Faith Without Prayer Is Dead!

Prayer is the key to living in faith. If you say you have faith, but you don’t pray, your faith is dead. Prayer is as essential to being a Christian as Jesus is. One cannot be a Christian without Him. One cannot be a Christian without prayer. It’s one of the basic building blocks of being a follower of Jesus. The more important question to me is, “Why do we pray?” There are many good answers to that question. But the one that appeals to me is that prayer is simply practicing the presence of God. I’m glad that our Father in Heaven is responsive to our prayers. But I’m awestruck that He reveals His heart and mind to us in prayer. “I no longer call you servants because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you” (John 15:15).

I’m convinced that Jesus taught the disciples to pray by the example of His prayer life, even more so than by His teaching. They listened to His prayer life and learned how to talk to God. Luke 11 tells us that “Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” Notice that he didn’t say “how to pray,” but “to pray.” Upon hearing Jesus pray, the disciples realized that they too needed to pray. Learning our need to pray is vastly more important than the mechanics of prayer. When one is desperate enough to pray, the words will come naturally.

But Jesus did give His disciples an “outline” of prayer, so to speak. It’s not so much a formula as it is a summary of what to pray for when you finally figure out the importance of prayer. It’s recorded as part of Jesus’ famous sermon in Matthew Chapters 5, 6, and 7.   

“Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

The structure of the prayer that Jesus introduced to the disciples teaches me to work through STATIONS or SEASONS throughout my day built around common themes captured in this famous prayer. Here’s how I use them in my daily prayer life: 


We all know how the prayer begins. It’s so well known that we often miss the importance of the first two words of the prayer. Simply “our Father.” Prayer is meant to renew and refocus your mind and heart in a relational posture toward God as your Heavenly Father. 


His name is “hallowed.” I ask the Lord to show me any way that my life does not reflect His holiness and grace. 


I pray for kingdom agenda stuff, from my life to the needs of the world.


“Give us this day our daily bread” is more than a prayer for food. I talk to God about the necessities of life, from food to finance and everything in between. 


“Forgive us our trespasses,” as Steve Brown is famous for saying, “for they are many.” One cannot be in the presence of God without feeling our vulnerability and weaknesses.   


“Deliver us from the evil one.” We need the Lord to guard and defend us from all spiritual enemies that seek to defeat and discourage us.

Rather than simply repeating the Lord’s prayer verbatim, why not allow the Holy Spirit to lead you in your prayer agenda. After all, He is described in Romans 8 as interceding with us and for us.We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.”

If faith without prayer is dead, then churches without prayer are dead churches. Having said that, I want to invite you to join us for our Week of Prayer, March 26th to April 1st. Sign up at the table in the foyer or online. Our prayer guides are ready to be picked up on Sunday when you sign up. Plan to join us for our LIFT Prayer Service on Wednesday, March 29th, at 7 p.m. in the auditorium. 

Praying with you and for you,

Pastor Deric