The 4 Symptoms of Prayerlessness

Christians need to pray, not just to protect themselves and their families from evil attacks, but also for the health and vitality of the church.

David D. Ireland
David D. Ireland is the senior pastor of Christ Church. He is author of some 20 books, a diversity consultant to the NBA and marriage expert.

Yet, when it comes to prayer, many Christians remain asleep at the wheel. A recent study shows that only 57 percent of Americans pray at least once a day, which is pretty much the same as it was the last time the survey was taken 32-years ago.

The Bible tells us that prayerlessness is sin. So why don't more Christians pray?

I believe that prayerlessness stems from a crippling virus-like effect that sidelines people from the fight of spiritual warfare. I call it, "spiritual HIV," or "High Indifference Virus."

Just as medical HIV weakens the immune system, spiritual HIV decreases a warrior's prowess to fight off spiritual enemies. His soldier instincts have been compromised. This infected warrior sits listlessly while his disease-stricken soul deteriorates. It breeds further in his soul as the unsuspecting victim adds layers of theological opinion and an assortment of Bible verses to the mix to support his faulty indifference toward spiritual warfare. The more he uses his Bible to shield himself from the war that's raging, the more the virus takes over his immune system to make him indifferent.

The HIV can be diagnosed with one or more of these symptoms: 1) disinterest in the fight, 2) disbelief in the fight, 3) discouraged by the fight, and 4) disdain for the fight.

Disinterest in the fight:

Those afflicted are not aware of being infected and become detached from the spiritual fight. They believe there is nothing to lose in the fight or that the stakes may be too small.

Nothing could be further from the truth. A main tenet of Jesus' mission was to destroy the works of the devil. This includes removing blinders from the minds of people so they can positively respond to God's call to love and serve Him. Jesus was always engaged in the spiritual war. The stakes have not changed!

Admittedly war is never pretty, yet Scripture declares we are to fight the good fight of faith. The Bible positions spiritual warfare as a necessary reality Christians must embrace to push back the powers of darkness.

Disbelief in the fight:

Some Christians don't believe in the fight at all. The High Indifference Virus makes their compromised souls blind to the spiritual war.

The irony is that many of the virus victims hold to the inerrancy of the Bible, which includes teachings such as, "Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground" (Eph. 6:13).

To those who have never fought spiritually, the verse seems like religious chatter. It has little or no meaning to them, since they may not truly believe in the existence of a spiritual war.

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, @DrDavidIreland and

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