What happens when you don’t pray?

3405971322_23eae03cac_mMark 9:14-29 records an event in the life of the disciples and Jesus ministry that points to the effect of prayerlessness in our lives.

Jesus has just been transfigured on the mountain with Elijah and Moses and upon coming down the mountain back to his disciples, Jesus finds that there is a crowd of people causing commotion. Jesus asks what’s happening only to find out that a father has a son who is filled with an unclean spirit that has attempted to kill him and the father wanted the disciples to help but couldn’t heal the boy from his torment. Jesus steps in calling the father to believe in him and Jesus delivers the boy on the spot, using the whole event to explain to the disciples that the reason they couldn’t overcome the demonic spirit was because of a lack of prayer.

Several insights come out of this true story in Mark’s Gospel:

Great spiritual victories are often accompanied by great spiritual attacks

Jesus transfiguration is followed by a wrestle against evil. Ephesians 6:12 says, “We don’t wrestle against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers of darkness in the heavenly realm.” Often after great spiritual encounters and victories, Satan throws his worst at us to steal, kill and destroy the good that has been gained. 

Our society expects God to help them

The father in the story brings his son to Jesus because he needs help and he doesn’t know what else to do. It isn’t often until people are at their wits end do they seek after God. Unfortunately people connect with the church expecting to receive help from God but often because of the gap that exists between who Jesus is and what the church displays, people disconnect feeling disillusioned.

Faithlessness breeds apathy that undermines God’s work through you

When Jesus discovered the disciples lack of effectiveness with the need before them, he rebuked them calling them a faithless generation. Life will throw a myriad of challenges your way that will make you want to cower and retreat from the front lines of life but God gives justice to those who refuse to give up and keep believing. Jesus said in v23, “All things are possible for one who believes.”

Apathy expects the same results without having to take responsibility

The father in the story expects Jesus to satisfy his need because of Jesus miraculous powers rather than through having a relationship with Jesus. We can often treat Jesus like an EFTPOS machine that exists to facilitate the transaction of spiritual good and services rather than as the Son of God and the Saviour of our souls. Relationship with Jesus is a partnership that brings with it a responsibility to play our part in the relationship.

Apathy breeds prayerlessness and when you fail to pray, YOU FAIL 

After the crowds had disappeared and the disciples had Jesus all to themselves they asked, “How come we couldn’t cast the demon out?” and Jesus responded with, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.” The disciples failed in their ministry because they weren’t praying. There are some giants that can only be conquered through prayer. It doesn’t matter about your call or prophetic promises over your life, if you fail to pray, YOU FAIL! Prayer is our lifeline to God and the oxygen to our soul. Prayer isn’t about what we do, it’s about what God does when we pray. God has chosen to limit himself at times to our prayers. Scripture and history has proven, if we don’t he won’t but if we will, HE WILL.

Lead the Change!

One Response to “What happens when you don’t pray?”

  1. Rach Wallace Says:

    Corey I’m really glad you are getting us as a church to focus on prayer. A person who I greatly admire from my previous church believes that calling people to prayer is his ministry and he was always emphasising the importance of it and trying to stir people up to pray.

    It must have been a frustrating experience for him because it didn’t always get the results anticipated. I have to admit that I used to inwardly groan when he would compell us to attend meetings and only attended a handful of meetings but as I grow both in age and spiritually, I can see how important it is, even though I don’t really want to do it (gasp! lol)

    I often feel intimidated by corporate prayer and struggle to understand the dynamics of prayer, and I think that a lot of people would admit to apathy with prayer, especially corportately. It is easy to get caught up in our own lives and be all about ourselves. 90% of my limited prayer life was usually about me, but at conference I was incredibly challenged and had a paradigm shift with Pastor Alun Davies’ session on Asking, Seeking and Knocking. He encouraged us to think bigger and stop being self focused in our spiritual walks and prayer life. It was a big wake up call for me.

    Whatever has your focus will be the driving force of your life. When it is all about me I get really self absorbed and find myself behaving in ways I am not proud of. My marriage becomes about me and what I can get out of it or where I perceive my husband is failing me. Church becomes what I can get out of it and how I will be treated. Life becomes harder and you feel the fruit drying up in your life. When I am able to change my focus and take literally God’s command to love others as yourself, My marriage becomes about how I can meet my husbands needs rather than vice versa. Church becomes ‘What can I do to bless others?’ and prayer becomes about bringing other peoples needs to God and not just your own.

    The Christian life is not necessarily an easy one and the paradox of the gospel of Christ is that in giving away we recieve, in losing, we find.

    I will again be embarrasingly honest and say that on a fleshly level I don’t particularly feel thrilled about attending prayer meetings LOL and yet i KNOW that if we are to grow up and move forward as a powerful force doing God’s will it is vital for us to band together in prayer. It takes discipline, its easy to let go of it, but I encourage myself and others struggling with similar thoughts to be honest about our apathy without beating ourselves up, but own it and bring it to God and with a willing heart.

    Thank you Corey and Sim for keeping us on track by serving up the meat and veg even though sometimes I just want the desert. LOL

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: