Luke 18:1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;
In a Christianís life, the most effective tool we have is often the most neglected and misused. That tool is prayer. Infact, prayer is the first thing that falters in a Christianís life. They can go to church, read their Bible, look and act like a Christian, but are backslidden in their heart because they do not pray. Without prayer the Christian is limited in what can be done and what can be accomplished for Godís glory. Prayer gets God involved in the matter and God can take care of needs.
When it is boiled down to the most basic level, the two excuses people give for not praying is 1) ďMy prayers do not matterĒ and 2) ďI am too sinful to prayĒ. Both of these objections to prayer can be answered from the word of God.
I Am Too Sinful to Pray
The last object should be answered first. Can a person be too sinful for God to answer there prayers? Many people feel like it. This is only a ploy of the Devil to keep people from praying. To prove it, looking in the Bible and see what the Word of God says about this matter.
Genesis 19:15-22 And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city. 16 And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city. 17 And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed. 18 And Lot said unto them, Oh, not so, my Lord: 19 Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast shewed unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die: 20 Behold now, this city is near to flee unto, and it is a little one: Oh, let me escape thither, (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live. 21 And he said unto him, See, I have accepted thee concerning this thing also, that I will not overthrow this city, for the which thou hast spoken. 22 Haste thee, escape thither; for I cannot do any thing till thou be come thither. Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar. 23 The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar.
In this Biblical account, the main character is Lot. Lot was Abrahamís nephew and for many years Lot traveled with his uncle. It might have been said that Lot grew up in a Christian home. Unfortunately, Lotís desire was for money and business. For these reasons he moved his family into the wicked city of Sodom. During this time Lot fell into habit, being conformed to the world around him.
At last God had enough and declared judgment upon the wicked cities of Sodom, Gomorrah and the surrounding cities. God then sent angels to deliver Lot and his family from the destruction to come. At this point it becomes evident the level of corruption that had invaded Lotís life. He offered the wicked men of Sodom to rape his daughters, he had a poor testimony that his family wouldnít listen to his, and finally when he did escape his brought alcohol with him to the mountains and got drunk and committed incest with his daughters. If we didnít have the testimony of the Bible declaring Lot to be saved (II Peter 2:7-8) then we would assume Lot was an unsaved man. He was a sinful man!
However in the midst of this crisis, Lot had a prayer request. He didnít want to flee into the mountains, he wanted to still seek shelter in a city. In Genesis 19:19-20 Lot prays for a city to be spared from Godís judgment. The encouraging this is that God answers that prayer and granted his request. Imagine that, an entire city is spared from judgment because a sinful man prayed for a city to be spared. God answers prayer!
You may not be as sinful or as corrupt as Lot was. Be encouraged that God recorded in His Word that Lotís prayer was answered. God will answer your prayers too. All you must do is pray. Talk to God. Donít let sin in your life be an excuse not to pray. God will give you victory in your life if you only pray.
My Prayers Donít Matter
Another unfortunate excuse people give for not praying is they believe their prayers do not matter. Nothing can be further from the truth. Your prayers do matter. Even more, God wants to hear you pray. Look at the Word of God and see how much and how serious your prayers truly are to God.
I Corinthians 5:5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
This can perhaps be one of the most sobering and scary verses in the Bible. Did you know that someone can be delivered unto Satan for destruction? Notice what the verse says: the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. This is a saved person, when they did their soul will go to Heaven. There body, however, will be given unto Satan to be destroyed. It is like giving Satan a warrant and permission to kill someoneís flesh.
I Timothy 1:20 Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.
In this same frame of thought, Paul himself delivered Hymenaeus and Alexander to Satan. People can deliver others to Satan. People can allow Satan to work in the lives of others.
How does this work? Every time you pray, God get involved in the person you pray for. According to the Bible, prayer is used to make people more like Jesus (Romans 8:26-29). The more someone prays for a person the more God works in someoneís life. The opposite is also true. The less you pray for a person, the less God works in someoneís life.
So again, how do you deliver someone to Satan? You stop praying for them. You cross them off your prayer list. You may be the only person praying for that individual. If you stop praying for them, that is more access Satan has to work in that personís life and the less protection God is given to work in that personís life. Your prayers do matter. They are important.
Donít let excuses stop you from praying. Your prayers do matter, and God will answer prayer even from sinful man.