Prayer in unhealthy churches is reactive rather than proactive. A problem develops, and then the church members pray. A marriage struggles, and then they pray. A young person wanders, and then the church prays. Prayer in an unhealthy congregation is often a response of desperation rather than a marker of the DNA of the church.
Note that reactive prayer is not wrong or that its presence in and of itself is a cause for concern.
We all pray more, and more fervently, during a crisis event.
The problem here is when prayer only turned to when something is perceived to be going wrong.
The quote above is from an article by Chuck Lawless, Ten Reflections From A Decade Of Church Consulting, posted on Thom Rainer’s site.
They’re all very helpful.