"because having known God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were they thankful." (Romans 1:21)
Glorify -- Thankful -- Some ancient Jewish scholars translate Genesis 2:7 about the creation of Man with the words, "and Man became a speaking being", rather than our common, "and Man became a living being." If Paul was aware of this translation, then his comment in Romans takes on a deadly implication. Paul describes those who are not going to be in God's kingdom; the ones who do not share His favor. You might think he is describing real pagans. After all, he goes on to talk about their darkened minds and their immoral behavior. But these two words, glorify and thankful, tell us something frightening. What they imply is that these people, the ones whom God gives up, don't pray!
The Greek roots are doxazo and charizomai. We know doxa in our word doxology. We know charizomai from our word eucharist. And now we see that these words are full of prayer language. Glorifying God and thanking Him belong in the context of prayer. Conversation with God always results in adoration and thanksgiving.
But what about those people who no longer pray? What Paul describes is not the punishment for horrible sins, but rather the automatic, natural consequence of not conversing with the Creator. Instead of being human, they become animals. They slip from an existence as speaking beings that God intended -- speaking with Him -- into creatures whose lives are determined not by their conversation with the Maker but by their fallen instincts of a world infected with disorder. When prayer is not part of my existence, I am falling away from being human. If I fall far enough, God has to give up trying to talk with me.
If you understand that praying makes you human, then every day you do not pray has a terrible consequence. This is the correct view of evolution. We can evolve -- down the chain of existence, toward the bottom of the scale, becoming less and less human and more and more like fallen animals. Prayer is the only antidote to de-volving.
So pray, not just to enter into conversation with your Maker but to prevent the long slide toward the wrong end of life!