(Edited at 10:19 p.m. on May 21, 2015 for grammar and clarity or for butchering the kings English.)
Any prayer that asks God for something and then has no expectation of God to do something (or more personally have a personal cost as a result of God answering that He might call upon you to do something) is a cheap prayer. It’s like knowing a biblical instruction and then not obeying the Lord. It’s like asking God to help orphans and foolishly thinking that God has placed this need upon your heart with no expectation to be used of God to be a doer of His word. Being a doer may cost you something; your time, your reputation, your money, your friends, your effort, your agenda…
Consider James 4. After reading this text, how would you pray?
7 Submit therefore to God.
Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
Cleanse your hands, you sinners;
and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
9 Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom.
10 Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.
- It would be a cheap prayer to ask God to help you submit to Him and then resist submitting after you are done praying.
- It is a cheap prayer to ask God to help you from falling into sin and then not expect that God would expect you to resist such devilish desires.
- It is a cheap prayer to think you are drawing near to God while at the same time remaining where you are. You can not obey this directive to “draw near to God” without moving from where you currently are.
- It is a cheap prayer to think you are guiltless of sin and that you are not the sinner being instructed to cleanse his hands.
- It is a cheap prayer to expect God to purify your heart while you remain double-minded in your understanding of God.
- It is a cheap prayer to mourn and weep over your sin while you are plotting your next sinful encounter.
- It is a cheap prayer to pray for God to correct others and draw them unto Himself while pride rules your own heart.
Do you see how cheaply our prayers might be?
Prayer is costly… maybe this is why so few people pray anymore? Maybe this is why the prayer meeting has grown so cold in the life of the Lord’s church? Maybe this is why we don’t see the mighty hand of God as frequently as before? We have become so addicted to praying such cheap and silly prayers and refuse to pray costly prayers.
So many within the church don’t even know that it’s possible to instigate God to anger with our cheap prayers.
“O LORD God of hosts, How long will You be angry with the prayer of Your people?” (Psalm 80:4 NASB)