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The 4 Symptoms of Prayerlessness

Discouraged by the fight:

Some may have given up on the fight; they feel hopeless. Discouragement stems from many sources: the loss of a marriage, the death of a child, or dismissal from a job. It hurts! It's emotionally unsettling.

In fact, it is a very dangerous place to be, much less settle. It wrecks the willingness to fight, even for things that are noble and right.

But, the fight and battle lasts a lifetime. It starts when we're born, and should take on a new urgency when we're born again. It doesn't end until we die and heaven's gates open to us.

Disdain for the fight:

For some, the fight is scornful. Contempt is harbored. No one starts off with that kind of attitude, but through a series of painful battles, the mind morphs into a flawed theological reasoning, such as: If God wants it to happen, it will happen.

This viewpoint is not new. It's called antinomianism, a doctrinal notion suggesting that our salvation frees us from the responsibility of obeying God's laws. However, one cannot rid oneself of the virus with such thinking. We're called to serve as fearless kneeling warriors. Any other kind of thinking renders us susceptible to contracting spiritual HIV.

The bottom line is that we must use prayer to fight for the purpose of God for our generation. Sideline living is not acceptable, no matter how comfortable it may appear. So how do we do this?

Church attendance is perhaps the best way help reverse prayerlessness while adding vibrancy and relevance to one's faith. That same study shows that almost 9 in 10 Americans who attend weekly religious services pray daily.

When we live in community with others who serve in the King's army it increases our prayer efforts while lowering our susceptibility to contracting spiritual HIV.

Paul ended his second letter to Timothy by stating, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith" (2 Tim. 4:7).

He was referring to the spiritual fight between good versus evil and the part he was to play as a soldier in the army of the Lord. The apostle was proud of the fact that he did not live his life on the sidelines.

The obligation to fight for God's purposes for the next generation — Timothy's generation — was passed on to Timothy and his contemporaries. In the same way, the baton is passed to us. We must pray.

David D. Ireland is the senior pastor of Christ Church, a multisite church in northern New Jersey with a membership of approximately 8,000. He is a diversity consultant to the NBA and author of some 20 books including The Weapon of Prayer. For more information, please visit ChristChurchUSA.org, @DrDavidIreland and DavidIreland.org.

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