Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith.... --1 Peter 5:8-9
Most Christians know that they need to pray. We hear it (I hope) all the time. We even feel it to some degree when we don't. Many of us beat ourselves up over it (that may be good or bad . . . depending) But at least one thing is certain, we MUST pray! Therefore, it is important that we have reminders to continue in this most important and god-ward calling. A. W. Tozer deftly puts his finger on three of the inevitable results of unanswered prayer. [bold emphases mine]
If unanswered prayer continues in a congregation over an extended period of time, the chill of discouragement will settle over the praying people. If we continue to ask and ask and ask, like petulant children, never expecting to get what we ask for but continuing to whine for it, we will become chilled within our beings.
If we continue in our prayers and never get answers, the lack of results will tend to confirm the natural unbelief of our hearts. Remember this: the human heart by nature is filled with unbelief....
Perhaps worst of all is the fact that our failures in prayer leave the enemy in possession of the field. The worst part about the failure of a military drive is not the loss of men or the loss of face but the fact that the enemy is left in possession of the field. In the spiritual sense, this is both a tragedy and a disaster. The devil ought to be on the run, always fighting a rear guard action. Instead, this blasphemous enemy smugly and scornfully holds his position, and the people of God let him have it. No wonder the work of the Lord is greatly retarded. Little wonder the work of God stands still!
Faith Beyond Reason, pp. 36-37
We know Satan's modus operandi, thus we must ward him off by the power God has given us in prayer. Indeed, prayer is more than asking, it is communion with God. Thus, to be waylaid by the devil's deceptions is to be diverted from that sweet time we can have with our Lord. Let us resist such attacks in faith and find joy in the process!