Summary: Are you serious? Could it ever be wrong to pray? Let us take a look and find out
WHEN IT IS A SIN TO PRAY
1Peter 3:12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.
Prov. 28:9 He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination. (something that God hates)
Prayer is communication and conversation with God. Just as much as man to man (or woman to woman), or a mixture can have conversations that do not edify or give positive results, the same is true with prayer.
Simply invoking the name of Jesus does not make the content of what follows a spiritual prayer.
Definitely, we are admonished to pray, and to pray much. But it must be the right kind of prayer.
I. Praying to Impress Men
Mt 6:5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
Lu 18:11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
In our modern day, there are those who only go to the altar with the rest to make others believe that they are spiritual.
Others put on an emotional display or get noisy to make a show of their supposed spirituality.
Jesus said these already have their reward. It is a sin to pray that way!!!
II. Praying when God already said NO
Numbers 22,23, & 24 tell of Balaam. This man was asked to pray that God would curse Israel. He found out quickly that God would not do that. However, he wanted a reward from Balaak, so he continued to
ask God to curse Israel. That may sound absurd to you, but how often are we guilty of asking God for something that He clearly has denied us.
Examples: that boy or girl that I want to marry; that certain job that pays so well; the ideal place where I want to live
When you pray for your will over Gods' will, then it is sin to pray.
III. Praying to Feel Better with NO Intent of Obeying
Ro 2:13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.
Jas 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
Acts 8:13-24 tells of Simon who wanted the Holy Ghost to further his personal interests, but we have no evidence that he ever real changed.
1 Jn. 3:22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
I fear that many go to the altar and feel the conviction of the Holy Ghost, but only pray until they feel better, but not determined to do what God has talked to them about doing.
You might as well have not prayed. Your prayer has become sin.
1Sa 15:22 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
The altar is the place of sacrifice. It is needed. What really matters is what you do after getting up from the altar.
IV. Praying with Unforgiveness
Mt. 6:14,15 14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Don't think that your prayers are going anywhere if you are holding feelings against your brother or sister. You are just spinning your wheels until you humble yourself and ask for forgiveness.
You can ask God to forgive you for despising your brother, and that is great, but you are also required to do more.
Mt 5:23,24 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee
Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
Talk is CHEAP.
Put legs on your prayers.
Pray through: fruit, shoot, and root----James Rowton
fruit = that which is produced and affects others
shoot = the visible support for the fruit to grow from
root = the sometimes hidden life support