Eph 5:14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.
The phrase ‘O sleeper’ refers to someone who has made a practice of sleep.
Sleep is generally associated with prayerlessness in scripture. The opposite of sleep in scripture is watchfulness. In other words, you are either sleeping or watching. The two are mutually exclusive.
The instruction is for the believer to awake from sleep, to awake and rise up from prayerlessness.
Note the following points from this scripture:
- Sleeping is prayerlessness; wakefulness is prayerfulness
- A sleeping believer is compared to a dead sinner. In other words, if you are prayerless, you are not different from a dead sinner. Praying for the believer is breathing; refusal to breathe will lead to death. Listen to the Psalmists prayer in Ps 13:3 Consider and hear me, O Lord my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death
- A sleeping or prayerless believer is in darkness; he has lost his light which Christ will give only if he awakes from the dead; if he awakes from prayerlessness. Prayerless people have been or will be overcome by the powers of darkness when sin sets into their lives for lack of prayer will lead you to sin.
Ex 20:20 And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.… His fear will be before your face only if you draw near to God and you will not sin.
Matt 26:41 41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. It seems the antidote to falling into temptation is watching and praying which is a state of wakefulness.
Quote: sin will take you away from God; God will take sin away from you!
The ways of God have not changed, He won’t fit into our schedule because the world is changing. Rather, we are the ones to fit into His schedule. I have no time to pray is a lame excuse and dishonors the Lord. How can His creature not have time for Him? Man’s breath is in his nostrils, he is like the grass of the field which fades away, he is like vapor which the wind drives away. So, for that man who is a created being to rant about not having time is nonsense.
The only way to be in God’s presence, to know His voice, His heart and holiness is by staying on your knees, lifting up your voice in prayer to God who is your source.
Is 52:1-6 Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean.
- If you are prayerful, there will be strength in your life. You will have strength against the devil, against sin, against demonic powers, etc. You can walk into the deepest pits and nothing will touch you because you are in the secret place of the Most High. His glory surrounds you and you can’t be touched.
- Prayer produces beauty in your walk with God. Your garments will not be filthy or stained with sin, your life will be beautiful as the presence of the Lord will add beauty into your life. Its like the beautiful garment on Joseph. The anointing of God over your life will make you stand out and make your life beautiful.
- No longer will you have fellowship with the heathen. Prayerlessness will provoke fellowship with the world while prayerfulness provokes fellowship with heaven. The closer you get to heaven, the farther you are from earth; as you connect with heaven, you disconnect from earth. As you set your affections on heavenly things, your desire for earthly things will be lost.
- Demonic oppression sets in when you don’t pray. The devil seems to have control over your life. It’s like you sell yourself to the devil. Prayer enables me to surrender to God; prayerlessness enables me to surrender my life to Satan unknowingly. Samson lost his anointing while he slept and the Philistines came upon him to attack him. Judges 16:19; Prov 23:21
- Ignorance to the things of the spirit; you become dumb. Is 56:9-11. Carnality, backsliding, the works of the flesh are a result of sleep!
- Prayer will make you worthy to escape the tribulation. Luke 21:36
Dealing with Prayerlessness
1. The antidote for sleep and eventual death is the breath of God.
In the vision of the dry bones, we see the picture of a prayerless church which when the breath of God came upon, the bones arose an exceeding great army. The bones were dead so had no ability to arise until the breath of God came into them. A man who is asleep and dead needs a stronger force to wake him up. It’s the breath of God that quickens.
The natural man has a tendency to hide from God, Adam, Israel. Sin takes us away from God. Therefore, it will take a supernatural force/power in the person of the Holy Spirit to help us break through the natural realm of fear into the supernatural realm of intimacy with God.
The valley of dry bones is a picture of the church as many are dead and dry from prayerlessness. When someone is dead, he can’t raise himself up but the resurrection power of the Holy Spirit can quicken such a person and bring him back to life again. The breath of God gives life. We will ask for the revival or quickening of the spirit which will produce the spirit of prayer in us.
Listen to the Psalmist in Ps 80:18-19 So will not we go back from thee: quicken us, and we will call upon thy name. Turn us again, O Lord God of hosts, cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.
When He quickens me, I will call upon Him; In other words, it’s by the help of the Holy Spirit that I’m awake to call upon the Lord.
Ps 13:3 Consider and hear me, O Lord my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death;
Except He breathes on me, I will sleep the sleep of death!
2. Another antidote for prayerlessness is the drawing of the Spirit.
SOS 1:4 Draw me, we will run after thee: the king hath brought me into his chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in thee, we will remember thy love more than wine: the upright love thee.
There is something called the drawing of the Spirit; it’s the drawing of the spirit that has made you part of this morning devotion as I’m sure many of us are very busy and would rather sleep at this time. When He draws you, you will discover that you will begin to pursue Him. Nothing else will matter in your life but Him.
Our prayer focus for the next two days will be for the Lord to quicken us by His Spirit and to draw us closer to Himself. This, my brethren is the answer to the malady of prayerlessness or the sleep of death!
SONG: The Heart of Worship (Maranatha! Music)
PRAYERS: QUICKEN ME LORD AND I WILL CALL UPON YOUR NAME; DRAW ME AND I WILL RUN AFTER YOU!
Say the words of this prayer out loud and then proceed to pray in your understanding and other tongues as you ask for the Holy Spirit to breathe upon you:
Holy Spirit, I acknowledge Your presence in me; You dwell in me and you are one with my spirit
I ask that You will touch me deeply and move in my life
I want to know the Lord personally and intimately
Take my eyes and turn them away from the things of the world and place them on You
Turn my eyes away from beholding vanity
Let me see You Lord; Let me behold You Lord
Take out of my heart the world and all that’s in it
Disconnect me from earthly things and connect me to heavenly things
Empty my heart of all that is earthly and worldly
Holy Spirit, if there’s anything in me that grieves You, Take it out and destroy it
Transform me, Cleanse me, Purify me
Bring me closer to my Master
Quicken me Lord and I will call upon you
Breathe upon me and wake me up from the sleep of prayerlessness that brings death
Come, Oh breath of God and breath upon me again that I may live
Heal my backsliding O Lord and draw me nearer to You
Put Your arms around me and hold me
Don’t let me slide back into the flesh
Uphold me with Your right hand so my foot does not slip
Draw me Holy Spirit and I will run after You
Break me free from the hold of sleep; And quicken me so that I will awake from slumber and arise from the dead
And Christ will give me light in Jesus name.
Come, breath of God, breath afresh on me; Quicken me, revive me Oh Lord
Turn me again o Lord, cause Your face to shine on me and I shall be saved
Bring me into Your chambers and cause me to remember Your love more than wine
Let my heart be completely captivated by Your love.
VERSE FOR THE DAY: SOS 1: 4 Draw me, we will run after thee: the king hath brought me into his chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in thee, we will remember thy love more than wine: the upright love thee