Imagine a prayerless church. This would be a church that believed in prayer but did not actually pray.
To believe in prayer is not the same thing as to pray. A prayerless church is a church that doesn't pray.
The prayerless church "doesn't have time to pray." It doesn't have time to pray because it doesn't believe in prayer. Practically, the prayerless church doesn't believe in God. To "believe in prayer" but not have time for it is to not believe in prayer.
Martin Luther King, Jr., found time to pray, and described prayer as a "conversation with God." If someone believed they could talk with God today, even now, wouldn't they? How could someone not have time for this? Even Jesus found time to pray.
The most powerful people in the world are the nations' presidents. If, for some crazy reason, you received a call from some country's President, right now, you would stop reading this and take the call. To make a weak analogy, if the omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent, necessarily existent Creator of you and all things wanted to converse with you all day and every day, wouldn't you do this? You would gain access to Knowledge, Power, and Love. Only a person not in their right mind would refuse this.
Economically, prayer makes sense. We get to consult with the universe's Leader, at no cost. Churches could save thousands and millions yearly if they took the free offer to connect with God rather than spending money and time to create programs through which, hopefully, God mediates his presence.
Much of today's prayerlessness among professing Jesus-followers is due to unbelief. For how could anyone rationally refuse the offer of ongoing conversation with God? How does the following make sense?
1. God, Maker of heaven and earth, offers me a conversational relationship with him.
2. Therefore, I don't have time to do this.
This is a cultural observation. It won't motivate people to pray. Feelings of guilt rarely change behavior. What's needed is re-conversion.
Imagine an unbelieving church. This would be a church without wisdom, power, or love. This would be the disconnected church. The dark church. The hollow church. The church without influence. The ghettoized church. The unsalted church.
(Want to join me for Prayer Summer?)