We have reached the final week of our Incense Rising study. We have learned what the Bible says about prayer through the 60-day devotional, and we have dug deep into Scripture to learn even more in this Bible study. Today, we will look at prayer from a different angle. What happens when you don’t pray?
Read Joshua 9. Pay special attention to verse 14: Then the men of Israel took some of their provisions; but they did not ask counsel of the Lord. The Israelites never sought God’s guidance on this matter. Do you think the outcome would have been different if they had took the matter before the Lord?
Are there times when you do not seek God’s counsel? Which situations do you make decisions on without first praying?
Immediately, my mind went to vacations. I used to seek God’s will, but now we have the same week marked off for the same trip annually. What are the areas in your life that you do not seek God’s will? We do not want to find ourselves out of God’s will simply because we did not inquire with Him.
Prayer is the channel through which peace flows. We may re-visit the same request for days, weeks, even years, but peace is readily available each time we pray. We rob ourselves of peace when we don’t pray. Do you remember our study of Hannah’s prayer in 1 Samuel chapter 1? She was bathed in peace when she arose from prayer. What does Philippians 4:6-7 say about peace and prayer?
When we don’t pray, we lack many things. James says:
You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. James 4:2 NKJV
Again, we return to a theme that runs throughout Scripture. Ask! A simple word, but it can make huge differences. Do we realize what we do not have today just because we did not ask? Has there been something you asked for, but instead God answered very differently? Did you feel God blessed you even more than you thought possible? Unanswered prayers are often the best answered prayers.
My precious guide dog, Iva was an unanswered prayer. The prayer was originally for my vision to be restored. I gained some sight, but through God’s providence, I found I needed a guide dog. Once I received Iva, I realized how much she filled an emptiness in my life.
Finally, the worst outcome from an anemic prayer life is the damage it does to our relationship with God. Why wouldn’t a Christian want to talk with their heavenly Father? One day, you realize the great gulf between you and God. Who moved, you or God? Who stopped the communication? Usually, by this point, there is sin in the life of a believer.
The numerous dangers of not praying and the abundant benefits of prayer make a good case for a diligent prayer time. Your flesh fights it. Your enemy fights it, so you must fight for it.
Heavenly Father, help me establish a life of prayer. I stand amazed that our conversations are so important to You. Therefore, they are vital to me. Guard my time with You. In Jesus’ name, amen.