If such mighty power is available to us through prayer, we might ask, “Why do we not pray more?” Someone says we are lazy! Is this so? I cannot answer, but I do know that real prayer is work and there is no hard work more distasteful to the flesh than persistent, prevailing prayer.
We might add three more reasons. The first is the world, for its rush is apt to wean us from our prayer life.
The rush and hustle of our day is not conducive to an effective prayer life but rather to carnality, which is always deadly to an effective prayer life, for “the carnal mind is enmity against God” (Romans 8:7).
Then there is the flesh. Sin is the great destroyer of fellowship with God. If we would be mighty in prayer, we must penitently lay bare the sins both of omission and of commission so as not to compromise with sin, whether it be sin distasteful to human respectability and vicious in the eyes of men or sin hidden in the deep caverns of our lives.
Either prayer will drive sin from our lives, or sin will drive prayer from our lives. To view sin lightly is to deny the presence of sin, which is a characteristic of this fleshly age (Isaiah 59:2).
The third reason might be because of the Devil. This enemy of man’s soul does fear our prayers. He knows that if he can keep us from our knees, we will draw defeat all along the line. We must “resist the devil” (James 4:7) and press the fight on our knees.
Friend, the world, the flesh, and the Devil are arrayed against you. Unless you challenge and defeat them, sin will cripple you even though you are a Christian, and you will drag through life as an impotent man.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:12)
Many are the Christians who never get an adequate appreciation of the marvelous power and peace produced in a praying heart. Too often they are like the lady who viewed the famous masterpiece in the art gallery and who remarked with an impatient shrug of her shoulders, “I can’t see anything so wonderful about it!”
A bystander who had the necessary discernment replied sympathetically, “What a pity! Don’t you wish you could?”
Some Christians are half-hearted in their prayers and never find the ear of God, while others are so indefinite and slipshod in their prayer lives that nothing happens; and what’s the use of bothering with something that does not bring results?
May the Lord have mercy upon us if this has been our experience and conclusion.