Jesus taught that we are “to pray, and not to faint” (Luke 18:1).
In that verse, Jesus is saying that prayer and fainting are opposites, which is not the way we usually think of them. To faint means literally to become weak or powerless. The person who faints is “out of it.” He has no control or influence over a situation. He is ineffective.
However, prayer gives us the ability to tap into God’s power to be an effective witness for the Lord in this world. It also gives us the ability to speak to the devil and his evil works in our life and command him by the authority of the Name of Jesus to flee from our lives as we resist him.
Jesus was saying that the person who spends time in prayer has a great supply of God’s power made available to him or her. The person who doesn’t spend time in prayer robs himself of the strength and ability that only prayer can give.
Many people view prayer as something they are “supposed” to squeeze in their daily schedule. They turn to prayer when they don’t have anything else to do, or out of guilt and spiritual condemnation. I once heard of a person who prayed during the commercial on the late show in order to make sure he got his prayers in before he went to bed.
The purpose of prayer isn’t to fulfill some kind of obligation to God. It’s so we might have God’s power working and flowing through our lives. With prayer, there’s power. Without prayer, there’s fainting.