Under the old Covenant, priests and prophets were appointed by God to mediate between God and man. You cannot break that order. A priest cannot serve as a prophet and a prophet must not serve the role of a priest. Likewise, a king cannot serve as a prophet or as a priest.
Disobedience to that arrangement was in some cases punished by death. That was what finished Uzzah in 2 Samuel 6-6 who touched the ark of the covenant when it stumbled on a donkey. That was only the exclusive preserve of the levites, whom God appointed as the only custodians of the ark. Same as Saul, who lost his throne because he violated God’s order by offering a sacrifice that only Prophet Samuel was supposed to handle (1 Samuel 13: 8-10).
But when Jesus came, he abolished that order and enacted a new order of relationship between God and man. And now according to 1 Timothy 2-5, “there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus. We need to understand this theological foundation prior to understanding why prayer is an extremely critical component of the Christian faith.
It was this new spiritual order that Jesus instituted that makes you and I — who have received Jesus’s free grace — to have unfettered access to God through the name of Jesus.
The entire Bible is a book of prayers, the prayers God heard and the prayers he didn’t hear. Now, under the Old Testament, people still prayed to God. But the difference between that time and now is that their prayers at that time were not built on father to son relationship
Relationship based prayer is at another level. Oftentimes, God responded to their prayers based on their personal righteousness and good works. But in this dispensation, God responds to our prayers based on what Jesus has done. No matter what you have done, once you repent in the name of Jesus, God forgives and forgets and your prayers will still be answered, if it is based on God’s word. Also, Jesus is now our intercessor. He makes intercessions for us before the father. When you pray as a child of God, Jesus is the password to the heart of the father. That didn’t exist in the old testament. It is either you are good before God and your prayers are answered or you are evil and you are judged.
Reasons for Prayerlessness in the Church
Now, we have reached a generation that is increasingly becoming annoyed with prayer. It’s either they are not praying at all or they are praying foolish and unbiblical prayers. So, many factors are responsible for the weakness in the prayer lives of so many Christians. Let’s look at some of those factors responsible for prayerlessness in the church
- Pride: That is the probably the greatest factor. Proud people are self-reliant and self-sufficient. They don’t pray because they think they can live without any supernatural backing;
- Increased appetite for sin and iniquity. One of the signs of the last days is that iniquity shall increase (Matthew 24). Someone has said, “When you are sinning, you wont be praying, and when you are praying, you won’t be sinning”. It is impossible to maintain an active and effective prayer life when sin is increasing its hold on your life. That was why Elijah had to repair the altar before calling down fire during the contest with Ahab and his people in 1 Kings 18;
- The love of money. You can’t combine the love for prayers with the love of money. Money takes away the heart of men from God (Deuteronomy 17:17-18). Kings must not accumulate riches because when they do, they will steal their heart away from God. And in 1 Kings 10-25, Solomon did exactly the same thing which led to him being derailed from God, as mentioned in 1 Kings 11-1. Note, you and I have now been made kings and priests before God (Revelations 1-6). THE LOVE OF MONEY DELETES THE PASSION FOR PRAYER because in effect, money promises you everything in life for which you think you would have needed prayers to get;
- Lack of results to many prayers. When men don’t see results in the place of prayer, weariness sets in and the prayer altar begins to collapse until it dies completely;
- Increased demonic activities. Satan and his agents hate prayerful Christians with passion. So, they always target the prayer altar to kill it completely.
One of the major caterpillars of prayer altars is sin. You can’t be sinning and be praying, and you can’t be praying and be sinning. Sin is the number one killer of prayer altars. Satan knows this very well. So, he constantly pollutes the hearts of men with the passion for sin. He knows his target. It’s your prayer life.
Ayo Akerele, a leadership and system development strategist, and minister of the word, writes from Canada and can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org.