They praise but will not pray

by David Wilkerson

We praise a Christ to whom we will not pray! We have become a praising people, but not a praying people. For many of God's people the prayer closet is a relic of the past. "Why ask God for what He has already promised? Just get hold of the promises and simply command deliverances!

"We no longer want Christ as much as we want what He can do for us. We want an escape from pain and suffering. We want our troubles to vanish. And we are so caught up in our escape from pain, we lose the true meaning of the Cross. We refuse crosses and losses - no Gethsemane for us! No nights of agony! We don't even know this suffering, bleeding, resurrected Christ!

We want His healing power. We want His promises of prosperity. We want His protection. We want more of this earth's goods. We want His happiness. But we really don't want Him alone! The Church once confessed its sins - now it confesses its rights

How many of us would serve Him if He offered nothing but Himself? No healing. No success. No prosperity. No worldly blessings. No miracles, signs, or wonders. What if - once again we had to take joyfully the spoiling of our goods? What if - instead of clear sailing and problem-free living, we faced shipwreck, fears within and fightings without? What if - instead of painless living, we suffered cruel mockings, stoning, bloodshed - being sawn asunder?

What if - instead of our beautiful homes and cars, we had to wander about in deserts in sheepskins, hiding in dens and caves? What if - instead of prosperity, we were destitute, afflicted, and tormented? And the only better thing provided for us was Christ?

Very few of God's people pray anymore! They are too busy working for Jesus to talk to Him! Ministers especially have become so busy doing kingdom work, they have little or no time left to pray. There is time to visit, to build, to travel, time to vacation, to attend meetings, time for recreation, reading, counseling - but no time to pray!

Preachers who do not pray become promoters. They become frustrated building contractors. When they lose touch with God, they lose touch with their people and their needs. Preachers who don't pray have egos that spin out of control. They want their own way. They substitute sweat for anointing.

Evangelists who do not pray become stars, storytellers. They lack humility, so they manipulate crowds through emotional gimmicks. The cry of many pastors is, "Oh, God, where can I find an evangelist who doesn't care about money, or who is not promoting something? One who can bring heaven down and make Christ real! Oh, God - give me a praying man to bring my congregation to its knees!" The shame of this generation is that we have too many talented men of God and only a few who have touched God in prayer.

There is even less praying in the congregation! I'm 100% for getting prayer back in our public schools! But that's not God's real problem! His problem is getting prayer back in our homes! His problem is to get His own chosen people to pray! And you are a phony if you fight for school prayer and neglect secret-closet praying yourself!

Do we pray? Oh, yes! When we need something. We have the formula down pat - "in the name of Jesus." All we need Him for is to counter sign our petition checks before the Father.

I am weary of hearing people say, "This is such a busy age - I have no time to pray. I'd like to, but I don't have time." No! It's not lack of time; it is a lack of desire. We make time for what we really want to do. Look at our Christian young people! Wasting hours of time playing Pac-Man, Galaxy War, goofing off, bored, restless, looking for some action! But no time to pray! No time for Jesus! Oh, God! Somehow! Some way! Get this generation on its knees. Not just the Lord's Prayer, but a daily communion with Christ .

Our Savior, who has the care and concern for multiplied universes, has the time to pray just for you! He takes the time to intercede for you before the throne of God (Heb. 7:25), and you say you do not have time to pray to Him!

We work feverishly for a Christ we ignore. We will go anywhere, do anything, in His name. But we will not pray. We will sing in a choir. We will visit the sick and the prisoners. But we will not pray. We will counsel the hurt and needy; we will stay up all night to comfort a friend, but we will not pray. We will fight corruption! We will crusade for morality! We will stand up against nuclear weapons! But we will not pray!

Most of all, we don't pray because we really don't believe it works. Prayer is a bloody battleground! It is where victories are won! A place to die to self! A place where a holy God exposes secret sin! No wonder Satan tries to hinder prayer! A praying man sends a shudder through hell. That man or woman is marked because Satan knows prayer is the power that crushes his kingdom. Satan is not afraid of power-hungry saints, but he trembles at the sound of a praying saint!