Why Do We Become Quitters In Prayer?
By Armin Gesswein
One thing is clear from Scripture: God loves to answer prayer. He works overtime to get us to believe that. Too often we believe Him to a point, and then quit. There is nothing which we start and quit more than prayer. Why do we do that: quit short of God's answer?
What is even harder to believe is that we quit on the plain prayer promises. Yes, very plain--like John 14:14: "If you shall ask anything in My Name, I will do it." This has been called the greatest prayer promise in all the Bible. And we quit on it. We hardly pay any attention to it!
Not only that, but the plain prayer promises are also the most plentiful. They form a whole constellation in the kingdom of heaven; yet we hardly ever take a good look at them. Here are seven of them in a cluster:
(1) "Whatsoever you ask in My Name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son" (John 14:13).
(2) "If you ask anything in My Name, I will do it" (John 14:14).
(3) "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you shall ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you" (John 15:7).
(4) "You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, and that whatever you ask the Father in My Name, He may give you" (John 15:16).
(5) "Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My Name, He will give you" (John 16:23).
(6) "Until now you have asked nothing in My Name. Ask and you will receive, that your joy may be full" (John 16:24).
(7) "In that day you will ask in My Name" (John 16:26).
Those promises are very powerful. Why do we quit on them? Are they too good to be true? Is it because the Lord Himself seems to quit on them? Or at least, that He appears to be very reluctant to fulfill them?
Not at all! On the contrary, God longs to do just what He says. In fact, these great and precious promises are the ones He puts first, and wants to fulfill most of all. He gives them priority. Jesus assures us: "If you, then, who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him...." (Luke 11:13). "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you" (Matt. 6:33).
But alas, what do we do? Just when we face these golden prayer promises we quit! It's hard to believe, but just when we are in sight of the gold we have always wanted, we quit! It would be like having the "gold fever" and going all the way west in the "gold rush" days, when suddenly we see some big nuggets on the face of the ground right in front of our eyes. We wouldn't even have to dig, or gold-pan a stream for them. There they are! More than we ever dreamed of on the long westward journey. And then we quit! Can you believe it? Instead of quickly laying hold of them, we don't even bother with them.
That's what we do with these exceeding great and precious promises. There they are, and we just let them lie there. They answer to everything we need, or desire, or are made for. They are given to make us rich in Christ. Rich in good works--the wonderful works of the Holy Spirit. Rich in every kind of answer to prayer. But we hardly pay any attention to them. This is hard to believe.
We could become very strong in prayer; instead we quit and remain weak. We could experience great answers--life-changing answers--but we quit. We could have great prayer meetings in our churches, but we quit going. Or don't even have prayer meetings. Our assemblies could be full of people, and full of power from on high, but we have forsaken the assembling of ourselves together (Heb. 10:25)., We could be victorious Christians--overcomers against sin and Satan, but instead we quit, become "undercomers" and live defeated lives.
Let's repent of our quitting in prayer. Quitting on the plain Word of God. Quitting on the Lord Himself!