James 4:2: “you have not, because you ask not.“
The great Doctor of the Church, Saint Alphonsus de Liguori, wrote,
“The absolute necessity of prayer is taught throughout the Holy Scriptures, and by all the holy Fathers; while, on the other hand, I see that Christians are very careless in their practice of this great means of salvation. And, sadder still, I see that preachers take very little care to speak of it to their flocks, and confessors to their penitents I see, moreover, that even the spiritual books now popular do not speak sufficiently of it; for there is not a thing preachers, and confessors, and spiritual books should insist upon with more warmth and energy than prayer.
“Not but that they teach many excellent means of keeping ourselves in the grace of God, such as avoiding the occasions of sin, frequenting the sacraments, resisting temptations, hearing the Word of God, meditating on the eternal truths, and other means, “all of them, I admit, most useful; but, I say, what profit is there in sermons, meditations, and all the other means pointed out by masters of the spiritual life, if we forget to pray? since our Lord has declared that he will grant his graces to no one who does not pray: ‘Ask and ye shall receive.‘
“… to save one’s soul without prayer is most difficult, and even (as we have seen) impossible… But by praying our salvation is made secure, and very easy….if we do not pray, we have no excuse, because the grace of prayer is given to everyone… if we are not saved, the whole fault will be ours; and we shall have our own failure to answer for, because we did not pray”
“We are so poor that we have nothing; but if we pray we are no longer poor. If we are poor, God is rich.
Without Prayer We Are Lost
“Without prayer, in the ordinary course of Providence, all the meditations that we make, all our resolutions, all our promises, will be useless. If we do not pray, we shall always be unfaithful to the inspirations of God, and to the promises we make to him. Because, in order actually to do good, to conquer temptations, to practise virtues, and to observe God’s law, it is not enough to receive illumination from God, and to meditate and make resolutions, but we require, moreover, the actual assistance of God; and, as we shall soon see, he does not give this assistance except to those who pray, and pray with perseverance.” **
— from The Great Means of Prayer “which he considered the most useful of all his writings, dating back to the year 1759” and The Great Means of Salvation and of Perfection.
Wars Are Rooted in Covetousness, Greed and Lacking in Prayer
James 4:2 “You desire and do not have; so you kill. And you covet and cannot obtain; so you fight and wage war. You do not have, because you do not ask.’
** “Those who pray will certainly be saved, those who do not will be damned.” — St. Alphonsus Liguori, Del gran Mezzo della preghiera