Prayerlessness is Pride (Revelation 3:17) - Radical

Prayerlessness is Pride (Revelation 3:17)

“For you say, ‘I am rich. I have prospered and I need nothing,’ not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind and naked.”
(Revelation 3:17)

These are penetrating words from Jesus to his people, specifically the church in Laodicea, who were a self-sufficient people, or so they thought. They thought they had it all together. They thought they had all that they needed. “You say, I am rich,” Jesus says, “I have prospered. I need nothing.” It’s a pretty potent picture of pride in Revelation chapter three, verse 17, a people who think they can do it on their own, a people who think they have all they need, a people who were prayerless, who were not pursuing God, who were prideful before him.

When we do not pray, we show that we believe we are self sufficient. God help us to see that apart from You we can do nothing.

And it makes sense, doesn’t it? Like prayerlessness is pride. Whenever we don’t pray, when we are not a prayerful people, it is because we have become a prideful people. We are convinced that we can do things on our own. That’s why we’re not praying. A praying people know they need God’s help. A praying people are pleading for God’s provision. A praying people are pleading for God’s provision in our own lives and others’ lives. And when we don’t pray, when we are prayerless, we are prideful. We are basically saying with our lives, “I am rich, I have prospered, I need nothing,” when the exact opposite is actually true. We need Jesus. We need his help. We need his provision. We need his power, his strength, his wisdom. We need his perspective. We need him for everything. There is nothing good we have apart from him.

So God, we pray that you would keep us from pride and prayerlessness. God, please keep us, keep me, keep those listening with me right now to this prayer and praying with me, keep us from supposed self-sufficiency, from acting like we can do this on our own, live life on our own, lead families on our own, be a part of churches on our own, glorify you in this world on our own. We can’t do anything without you. We need you. Jesus, apart from you we can do nothing. Help us to realize that and help us to pray accordingly. Help us to pray all day. We need you. We need you. We need you. We need your grace. We need your help. We need your wisdom. We need your power over sin and temptation. We need your comfort in the middle of suffering. We need your guidance in every decision we make. We need your help in everything we do.

We are not a self-sufficient people. We are a God-sufficient people. We need you. We depend on you, so help us. Help us to be a humble people. We pray for humility. We pray that you would deliver us in our lives and in our churches from the pride of the church of Laodicea. And God, as we look to you, Jesus, as we ask for your help and we depend on you, we trust that you will prove faithful and that we will have all we need, because you provide all we need, because we look to you as our provider. Oh God, please make us a people who find our sufficiency not in ourselves and in our own resources, but who find our sufficiency in you today and in your resources to us today as we pray continually, as we seek your face constantly, as we trust in you completely. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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