Friday, November 15, 2019

When Tempted to Give up on Prayer

by Gregory A. Johnson
When Tempted to Give up on Prayer, by Gregory A. Johnson

I think one of the most heartbreaking things I have experienced as a pastor and as a Christ-follower is when a person tells me that they have given up on prayer. It seems to be happening more frequently as we get closer to the return of Christ. Hardly a week goes by now that I’m not made aware of a person giving up. I’m concerned about it and I feel led under the unction of the Holy Spirit to address it.

Friend, the devil is the one who will tempt you to give up on prayer. He does this because he knows that prayer is powerful. He also knows that the less you pray, the more casual you will be with sin and that sin will destroy you and those around you. Satan is in the business of destruction. Do not give him a foothold by giving up on prayer. You will not like the results.

Those giving up on prayer tell me it is because they pray, and God does not give them what they want or do what they need him to do. I will tell you why God does not always give us what we want or do what we ask him to do in prayer.

God does not answer prayers that go against Scripture or against his will. We are to pray, asking for God’s will to be done, according to Scripture.

I had a married man come to me, asking me to pray with him that God would show him if it was God’s will for him to divorce his wife and marry a woman that he recently met at work. I told him, “No, I will not pray for that.”

He asked, “Why won’t you?”

I answered, “Because I can tell you, according to Scripture, that it is not God’s will for you to divorce your wife to marry another woman.” He stormed out of my office angry, not caring what God tells us in Scripture and how his prayer request was wrong.

Friend, the night before Jesus was to be crucified on a cross, paying the price for our sins. He prayed.

And going a little farther he [Jesus] fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again. Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Sleep and take your rest later on. See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners (Matthew 26:39-45 ESV, Emphasis Added).

As a Christ-follower, prayer is not an option. Praying according to Scripture is not an option. Praying for God’s will is not an option. Accepting God’s will and God’s timing is not an option.

Beloved, never give up on prayer. Pray continually. Pray in agreement to Scripture and not against it. Pray for God’s will. Accept God’s will. Take up your cross and follow Jesus.

The next time you are tempted to give up on prayer, be reminded that the one you are praying to is the creator of everything and he will honor his word that he gives us through Scripture.

Know that you are loved,
gaj

More on prayer:  Two Powerful Forces That Will Impact Your Life