There is a reason we lack urgency in responding in prayer to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. It is because we ignore or forget the reality of war.
Once awakened to this reality, we either crumble in inadequacy, or turn to God in desperate prayer.
It comes down to this: Without an understanding of the spiritual war we are in, prayer itself becomes a novelty. It is a mere ornament and easily shelved. We will understand the privilege of prayer in theory and then turn and neglect it because we lack urgency in putting it to use.
Catch a glimpse of the war, though, and reality will demand of us constant prayer. Prayer, then, is a statement about our eyesight. If we a lacking in prayer, we are certainly lacking a clear perception of the reality of war.
Concerning the need for a wartime attitude when praying, John Piper writes in Let the Nations Be Glad,
“So the truth is reaffirmed: God has given us prayer because Jesus has given us a mission. We are on this earth to press back the forces of darkness, and we are given access to headquarters by prayer to advance this cause. When we try to turn it into a civilian intercom to increase our conveniences, it stops working, and our faith begins to falter. We have so domesticated prayer that for many of us it is no longer what it was designed to be-a wartime walkie-talkie for the accomplishment of Christ’s mission.
“We simply must seek for ourselves and for our people a wartime mentality. Otherwise the biblical teaching about the urgency of prayer and the vigilance of prayer and the watching in prayer and the perseverance of prayer and the danger of abandoning prayer will make no sense and find no resonance in our hearts. Until we feel the desperation of a bombing raid or the thrill of a new strategic offensive for the gospel, we will not pray in the spirit of Jesus.
“The crying need of the hour is to put the churches on a wartime footing. Mission leaders are crying out, “Where is the church’s concept of militancy, of a mighty army willing to suffer, moving ahead with exultant determination to take the world by storm? Where is the risk-taking, the launching out on God alone?” The answer is that it has been swallowed up in a peacetime mentality.”