Why Don’t You Pray?

Justin Johnson

What did you pray today? Did you pray at all? … Why not?

If you have trouble praying or are not praying at all, there is one thing for certain: grace doctrine is not working in you.

Grace teaches us to pray (Rom 12:12; Col 4:2; 1 Thess 5:17; etc.).

Paul says the word of God “effectually worketh also in you that believe” (1 Thess 2:13).

You say, “But I do believe God’s grace!” Then, why don’t you pray?

The Function of Prayer

You may have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God, and the gospel of God’s grace, but that information is lying dormant in the storage room of your mind without prayer. If grace is only brought out of your mental storage in doctrinal discussions about salvation, or for justifying your freedom from doing works, then grace is not working in you at all, and you need prayer.

Grace is the only way to be saved, and grace does give us liberty, but grace is more than a “get out of the law free” card. Grace is the power of Christ working in you to change the response and purpose of your heart.

Prayer is the spoken purpose of your heart. When you pray it forces your knowledge of God’s grace to be applied to the purpose of your heart. When your heart meets the amazing grace of God, it is your heart that changes, not God’s grace.

Perhaps you don’t pray because of greed (taking all without thought of the cost), thanklessness (receiving without acknowledging the giver), and selfishness (thinking you don’t need God’s help for anything).

Grace does not produce greedy, thankless, selfish Christians. They were greedy to begin with. Grace changes hearts, and that is where prayer works.

A lack of prayer betrays the lack of change in your heart to be generous, charitable, thankful, and loving toward God and others. A lack of prayer betrays your claim to love God.

Why Don’t You Pray?

How can you receive the love and grace of God toward you while you were yet a sinner, and not thank God in prayer?

How can you be a part of a church ministry with only a mind to be “served”, “receive”, and “ministered unto” instead of praying what you can do for others?

How can you know that God’s grace is what the world needs, and not pray for it? When you pray for it, your eyes may be opened to more opportunities to present the gospel.

If we believe God’s will that all men come to the knowledge of the truth, would we not pray that men grow in it? It makes for better prayers when you have specific truths in mind for specific people. Start with yourself.

If we know that we are being conformed to the image of Christ, should we not pray to comprehend and know Christ (Eph 3:18-19; Phil 3:10)?

If we know that Christ crucified our old man and created for us a new man by grace, then should we not pray in thanksgiving to God every day we put on the new man?

Of course, if you are not putting on the new man, then it makes sense why you don’t pray (Eph 4:18-24).

Whom Do You Need More Than God?

If you do not pray, then when do you thank God? When do you involve God in the purpose of your heart? Whom do you consult when the purpose of your heart exceeds the power you have to make it happen (Eph 3:20)? When do you express your desire for God to work in others as he has worked in you? How do you express your love to God if not in prayer (1 Cor 8:3)?

Who provides to you life, peace, wisdom, and growth, if you do not pray to God?

How does God’s grace affect you if it does not produce prayer? It may not be having any effect at all. Perhaps you have received the grace of God in vain (2 Cor 6:1).

If grace doctrine is ever to have an effect on others, it must first have an effect in you. It will not have an effect in you without prayer.

“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;” – Ephesians 6:18

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For more resources on prayer visit our section on prayer, or listen to this recent lesson.

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Published: August 13, 2016
Last Modified: March 27, 2019
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