Are Your Prayers Stuck in a Cycle of Religiosity?

Wasted Prayer
Prayer is a top priority in the Christian life, but not when used as a means of procrastination, according to Greg Darley. (CreationSwap/Megan Watson)

Christians need to stop praying about commands the Lord has already given and simply obey them, according to Christian author Greg Darley.

Darley, leader of International Justice Mission's College Mobilization team, is releasing his first book next month, titled Wasted Prayer. Though its title sounds incendiary, its message is arguably far less so.

According to Darley, the problem is that prayer is often locked up inside a "cycle of religiosity." And that's when he says prayer becomes nothing more than procrastination.

"Prayer is not just a transaction. It's a relationship marked by obedience," says a press release for Darley's book. "Only when we break free from a cycle of religiosity, in which prayer is a reaction to our circumstances, do we enter a fruitful relationship characterized by discipleship. In this relationship, prayer is good. But in the religiosity, prayer is often procrastination. It's an excuse. It's a prison sentence that keeps us locked in 'safe' inaction."

There's also biblical evidence in both testaments, says Darley, that prayer isn't always the answer. Or, in other words, faith and prayer without works is still dead.

Because discipleship is inherently about obeying Christ's orders, the author argues that no Christian life is complete without conscious, active obedience to Christ.

Thus, while prayer is high atop the list of Christ's commands for our lives, Darley notes that praying is often an excuse for inaction in other areas of life.

"Following Jesus has always been about action. If there's no action in your life, you aren't following Jesus. It's impossible to be a disciple and stay still," the announcement notes.

"When Jesus called the disciples to follow him, they literally walked behind him. If they had stayed where they were, they wouldn't have become his disciples. Being a disciple, in essence, means acting." 

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