Prayer 123: A Prayerless Life is A Barren Life

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A Prayerless Life Is A Barren Life

Genesis 36 contains the lineage of Esau. On Wednesday nights I have been teaching through the prayers of the Bible, but tonight’s message is a little bit different. Tonight I want to look at the life of Esau and his descendants.
There is no record that Esau ever prayed to God. Though his physical birth was the result of prayer
Genesis 25:21 NIV84
Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was barren. The Lord answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant.
Esau lived among the people of God but never embraced God.
Observing the life of Esau and his descendants over the centuries gives a broad perspective of the impact of prayerlessness on a person and a people.

Prayerlessness causes:

Despise our spiritual heritage

traded his birthright, the place of honor as the eldest son of the Patriarchs. By worldly standards we should say, The God of Abraham, Isaac and Esau. But we say Jacob, not Esau because Esau despised his birthright. When we do not pray, we do not value God, His blessings or the things of God.
Genesis 25:29–34 NIV84
Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished. He said to Jacob, “Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I’m famished!” (That is why he was also called Edom.) Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright.” “Look, I am about to die,” Esau said. “What good is the birthright to me?” But Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left. So Esau despised his birthright.

Thanksgiving to God is critical to receiving salvation.

Thanksgiving is a critical ingredient in genuine faith.

When we are not thankful for God’s blessings, our faith lacks and prevents us from receiving God’s salvation.

Psalm 50:23 NIV84
He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God.”

Strife in Families

Esau married an idolatrous woman who brought grief to the people of God.
Indian Christian who married a non-Christian woman
Genesis 26:34–35 NIV84
When Esau was forty years old, he married Judith daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and also Basemath daughter of Elon the Hittite. They were a source of grief to Isaac and Rebekah.

Missed Blessings

Jacob who prayed received the blessings intended for Isaac. Esau wept for blessings but never prayed to God.
Genesis 27:38 NIV84
Esau said to his father, “Do you have only one blessing, my father? Bless me too, my father!” Then Esau wept aloud.

Bitterness and Murderous Anger

Without being able to trust God to make all things right, our hearts simmer with anger and bitterness until wickedness if birthed.
Genesis 27:41 NIV84
Esau held a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing his father had given him. He said to himself, “The days of mourning for my father are near; then I will kill my brother Jacob.”

Religious Hypocrisy

Esau wanted the blessings of righteousness without the actions. He realizes his idolatrous wives bother his parents- something he should have already known. So instead of marrying idolatrous foreigners, he marries idolatrous relatives and thinks it will make his family happy.
When we don’t pray, we cannot determine what is right and wrong. Prayer acknowledges God is supreme, over all, and when we realize how great God is, we begin to fear and reverence Him. This is the beginning of wisdom. Until we do this, we are basing our life on human wisdom, which is foolish and will always lead us in the wrong way.
Genesis 28:6–9 NIV84
Now Esau learned that Isaac had blessed Jacob and had sent him to Paddan Aram to take a wife from there, and that when he blessed him he commanded him, “Do not marry a Canaanite woman,” and that Jacob had obeyed his father and mother and had gone to Paddan Aram. Esau then realized how displeasing the Canaanite women were to his father Isaac; so he went to Ishmael and married Mahalath, the sister of Nebaioth and daughter of Ishmael son of Abraham, in addition to the wives he already had.
Esau tries to do the right thing for the wrong reasons. He is jealous of the favor of God upon his brother Jacob’s life. But instead of seeking God as Jacob does, he tries to do moral things to get his parents approval. And he ends up making an even bigger mess. The moral compass of the flesh will never point due North. It is always skewed and points to the way of death.
Proverbs 16:25 NIV84
There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.

Cut Off From The People and Places of God

Genesis 36:6–8 NIV84
Esau took his wives and sons and daughters and all the members of his household, as well as his livestock and all his other animals and all the goods he had acquired in Canaan, and moved to a land some distance from his brother Jacob. Their possessions were too great for them to remain together; the land where they were staying could not support them both because of their livestock. So Esau (that is, Edom) settled in the hill country of Seir.
We can be near the people of God without being a man or woman of God.
Going to McDonald’s does not make you a Big Mac. It will probably make you bigger, but it does not make you a Big Mac.
Going to Church does not make you a Christian.
If we are prayerless, we will eventually get so miserable around the people of God that we move away.
We can even receive the blessings of God without being a person of God.

Wrath of God

Esau’s descendants generally continued in his carnal path. They refused to let the Israelites pass through their land when they came out of Egypt. The flesh has no tolerance for the purposes of God.
Malachi 1:2–5 NIV84
“I have loved you,” says the Lord. “But you ask, ‘How have you loved us?’ “Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?” the Lord says. “Yet I have loved Jacob, but Esau I have hated, and I have turned his mountains into a wasteland and left his inheritance to the desert jackals.” Edom may say, “Though we have been crushed, we will rebuild the ruins.” But this is what the Lord Almighty says: “They may build, but I will demolish. They will be called the Wicked Land, a people always under the wrath of the Lord. You will see it with your own eyes and say, ‘Great is the Lord—even beyond the borders of Israel!’


Obadiah 3 NIV84
The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rocks and make your home on the heights, you who say to yourself, ‘Who can bring me down to the ground?’


Obadiah 8–14 NIV84
“In that day,” declares the Lord, “will I not destroy the wise men of Edom, men of understanding in the mountains of Esau? Your warriors, O Teman, will be terrified, and everyone in Esau’s mountains will be cut down in the slaughter. Because of the violence against your brother Jacob, you will be covered with shame; you will be destroyed forever. On the day you stood aloof while strangers carried off his wealth and foreigners entered his gates and cast lots for Jerusalem, you were like one of them. You should not look down on your brother in the day of his misfortune, nor rejoice over the people of Judah in the day of their destruction, nor boast so much in the day of their trouble. You should not march through the gates of my people in the day of their disaster, nor look down on them in their calamity in the day of their disaster, nor seize their wealth in the day of their disaster. You should not wait at the crossroads to cut down their fugitives, nor hand over their survivors in the day of their trouble.
The Edomites rejoiced and even participated in the destruction of the people of God.
They attacked the weak and wounded stragglers who could not keep up with the people of Israel as they traveled.


Hebrews 12:15–17 NIV84
See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. He could bring about no change of mind, though he sought the blessing with tears.
Obadiah 3 NIV84
The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rocks and make your home on the heights, you who say to yourself, ‘Who can bring me down to the ground?’
Pride abides in the flesh. Edom’s pride brought them into conflict with the purposes and people of God.


The Edomites no longer exist. The wrath and judgment of God came upon them and they were cut off from the face of the earth.
So will be the destiny of all who are godless.
Prayer is an acknowledgement that we need God. It is the first step in humbling ourselves before God.
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