– Martin Luther
Loss of Resources
When we fail to pray, we fail at many other things. Imagine that you have a friend who has everything that he or she needs. They are rich beyond description. They are a very good friend, but you fail to communicate with them very often or at times not at all. Then you get in a bind and continue on in your financial struggles. Would it make any sense to cut off the relationship with your friend, who is eager to help you? No, that would make no sense at all. Yet that is exactly what we do when we stop praying or our prayer life takes a steep decline. We are cutting ourselves off from He Who states “every beast of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills” (Psalm 50:10). In fact, everything on the earth is His (Psalm 50:11). That would seem inherently foolish, wouldn’t it?
Loss of Fellowship
Returning again to the idea of having a best friend, we can say that if you never talk to your best friend or call him or her rarely, you would eventually lose the fellowship you had with them. If they’re your best friend and you rarely talk to them, can you truly call them your “best friend”? That is what happens when we cut ourselves off from the fellowship we have with God. It might be our sins that cause us to lose fellowship with Him, but that problem can be resolved by confessing our sins to Him (1 John 1:9). We won’t lose our relationship with Him, but we can fall out of fellowship with Him. God desires to have fellowship with us, but it is up to us to keep the doors of communication open.
Loss of Intimacy
Some people to whom I have given marriage counseling simply stop talking to each other. That is at the root of the problem because no problem can possibly be solved where there is no communication. Intimacy is lost in the silence of the parties. That is the same thing that happens when we are silent for long periods of time with God. God wants us to cry out to Him for help in times of need. The psalmist wrote, “In my distress I called upon the LORD; to my God I cried for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears” (Psalm 18:6). He is ready to listen, and our cries will reach His ears, but if we fail to communicate our deepest feelings to Him, there is a loss of intimacy, which keeps us in the overwhelming flood of our problems.
I heard one man describe prayer like this: A believer’s prayer life is like the pulse of their spiritual life. If there is little or no prayer, there is little or no vitality in the Christian’s life. Martin Luther was certainly a man of prayer, praying for hours, because he understood that the less he prayed, the harder it got.