In her book A Place of Quiet Rest, Nancy Leigh DeMoss includes several chapters on prayer. In a chapter titled “The Privilege of Prayer” she discusses a period of prayerlessness in her life and her growing conviction that she had to get to the root of it. “As God opened my eyes to this matter of prayerlessness, I asked Him to let me see it from His point of view. Here is what I wrote in my journal one day when God first began to deal with my heart.” She does not attempt to provide a doctrine of prayer or prayerlessness as much as a reflection on what prayerlessness means in her own life. I found it very helpful.
Here is what she says:
I am convicted that prayerlessness …
- is a sin against God (1 Samuel 12:23).
- is direct disobedience to the command of Christ (“watch and pray,” Matthew 26:41).
- is direct disobedience to the Word of God (“pray without ceasing,” 1 Thessalonians 5:17).
- makes me vulnerable to temptation (“watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation,” Matthew 26:41).
- expresses independence–no need for God.
- gives place to the Enemy and makes me vulnerable to his schemes (Ephesians 6:10-20; Daniel 10).
- results in powerlessness.
- limts (and defines) my relationship with God.
- hinders me from knowing His will, His priorities, His direction.
- forces me to operate in the realm of the natural (what I can do) versus the supernatural (what He can do).
- leaves me weak, harried, and hassled.
- is rooted in pride, self-sufficiency, laziness, and lack of discipline.
- reveals a lack of real burden and compassion for others.