The Danger of Neglecting Prayer

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

Christians seem to have a hard time praying. They spend their days worrying, fretting, because they don’t have an answer to their problems. They talk to friends, seek out counselors, read self-help books, listen to podcasts, almost anything to avoid getting on their knees before God. But the Word is clear that we are to go to God first: “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).

David boasted, “In the day when I cried out, You answered me, and made me bold with strength in my soul” (Psalm 138:3). He was saying, “I’ve proven you, God! In all my trials, I turned to no one else. I sought only you and you heard me, answered me, and gave me strength for the battle I was facing.”

 Additionally, “The Lord … hears the prayer of the righteous” (Proverbs 15:29).

These are but a few of the promises given as evidence of God’s care. How could any Christian miss them? Yet, when it comes to prayer, the Bible gives us more than promises; it also gives us warnings about the danger of neglecting prayer: “How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation” (Hebrews 2:3). The Greek word for neglect here means “showing little concern; to take lightly.”

The context of this verse is a discussion of the things related to our salvation — and prayer is obviously one of those. God is asking, “How will you know and recognize my voice in dark days if you haven’t learned to hear it in your secret closet?” It’s hard to understand how God’s own people — who are under constant attack from hell, facing trouble and temptations on all sides — can go week after week without seeking him.

Some Christians need to change their priorities. They find time for visiting with friends, washing the car, shopping, dining out, watching sports — the list could go on and on — but they simply don’t make time to pray. Their lives would be so much richer and more effective in every way if they would put Jesus at the very top of their list.

“Those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing” (Psalm 34:10). I encourage you to go to your secret place of prayer regularly and seek him with all your heart.