The Sin of Prayerlessness

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Failure to pray actually can be a sin. Sin isn’t just breaking a commandment, though it includes that. There is also the sin of omission.

Pray without ceasing. (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

We must never forget that prayer is not only for petition, but also for protection and for preparation. Prayer not only gives us what we want; it prepares us for and protects us from what we don’t want.

In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus was in anguish as He contemplated the horrors of the cross. All He wanted the disciples to do was to be present and praying. Being God, He knew what was ahead. He knew every detail. And so He prayed, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will” (Matthew 26:39).

All Jesus asked for was some companionship. He didn’t need a sermon; He needed some friends. But His friends were sleeping. And this was a direct result of the sin of self-confidence.

The same can be true of us. We pray when we think we need to pray. When a crisis hits, when we get bad news from the doctor, when we are laid off, when we are having problems with our marriage or problems with our children, what do we do? We pray. And that is good. It’s what we should do.

But what about when things are going well? When the bills are paid, when the job is looking good, when there is no bad news from any front, do you pray then? Is it because you think you don’t need to? Is it because of self-confidence?

Failure to pray actually can be a sin. Sin isn’t just breaking a commandment, though it includes that. There is also the sin of omission. James 4:17 tells us, “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin."

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