The Sin of Prayerlessness

Pastor Sam Crosby
San Saba’s First Baptist Church
May 2, 2017

All of us have broken commands of God and sinned. We have lied, stolen, lusted or harbored thoughts we knew did not honor the Lord. Some call these the sins of commission – sins we commit. Sometimes sin comes in the form of things we do not do. Possibly we fail to witness for Christ, fail to encourage another, fail to forgive an offender, or fail to worship the Lord. Some refer to these as sins of omission – things we omit from our lives that should be there. To fail to pray is a sin.

Samuel the prophet knew the people of God had sinned against God. He pointed out their sin and they felt deep conviction. They begged the prophet to pray for them. He assured them that God was merciful and gracious and would forgive them if they turned to Him. He also declared, “Morevoer, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you;” (I Samuel 12:23, NKJ). Samuel identifies the sin as something omitted rather than something committed.

To not pray is sin. To be so busy in life that prayer is left out is to be too busy in life. Prayerlessness is a sign that life is out of order and that priorities have been confused. Prayer is the admission that God is the source of strength and the guide for life. To not pray is to basically declare that I do not need God for strength or guidance. Such an attitude is sin.

People around you need you to pray for them. Jesus commanded us to pray for our enemies and for those who use us (Matthew 5:44). Paul instructed that we pray for civil leaders and all those in authority (I Timothy 2:1-2). He also said he was praying for the lost (Romans 10:1). Jesus asked His disciples to pray with Him in the Garden of Gethsemane before He faced the cross. In His greatest hour of need He yearned for the prayers of His friends. He came back to find them sleeping and mournfully asked, “Why do you sleep? Rise and pray…” (Luke 22:46, NKJ). To not pray is to sin.

Your family needs you to pray for them. Job rose early in the morning to sacrifice for each one of his children (Job 1:5). He interceded to God on behalf of his kids by offering a sacrifice to the Lord for each one of them. He was afraid they might have turned their hearts against God. With sacrifice is prayer. Because Christ is the final sacrifice, we need not slay any animals on an altar. The way to God has been provided through the blood of Jesus. But we need to pray. We are invited to enter into the holiest place before the throne of God and pray (Hebrews 4:16). To not pray is to sin.