Rightly Dividing

A Notice about Prayer

You can’t be a Christian if you don’t pray. I’m not talking about prayer being a work that you do that saves you or sanctifies you. I am not talking about something else that you need to do to make God happy. I am simply looking at it from the standpoint of standard Christian practice. The reason some people don’t pray may be because those people aren’t Christians.

Consider first, Christians are to be like Christ – and Christ prayed. You can’t read for very long in any of the gospels before you find Christ praying. The Son of God, the Second Person of the Trinity, God in human flesh, prayed. And He prayed often. He prayed regularly. He prayed when it was inconvenient to pray. And if Christians are actually “little Christs,” if Christians are being “conformed into the image of Christ,” if being complete in Christ means being like Him, if He has left us “an example that we should following in His steps,” then Christians will pray.

Second, Christians are to obey Christ – and Christ taught us to pray. Not only by His example, but by His own direct words. It is not something He expected us to pick up implicitly (though we do that too), it is something He commanded explicitly.

And third, Christians are to glorify God, and prayer shows God’s greatness. Prayer glorifies God in at least two ways, 1) it shows His greatness in that we want to spend time with Him. And 2) it shows His greatness by highlighting His resources and resourcefulness. We don’t just pray to God to get His help to glorify Him, the act of praying itself glorifies Him! Praying is not just the means to an end, in one respect it IS the end! When we don’t pray it must be because we think we can take care of ourselves. This attitude robs God of glory due only to Him.

We are too comfortable with profession of faith and no prayer coming from the same mouth. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.