HINDRANCES TO PRAYER!
Jesus told His followers, “And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Luke 11:9). Prayer is an incredible tool God has given us so that we may communicate personally and build an intimate relationship with Him. It empowers us to talk directly with God, worshiping His sovereignty, praising Him for His blessings, getting to know Him better, sharing our heart with Him, and asking Him to fulfill our desires and needs. However, in this verse the key words are ask, know and seek. But it’s not just once and done. The verb is “keep on”. Keep on asking, keep on knocking and keep on seeking. KEEP ON! Persistent prayer with fasting.
Prayer is a privilege HOWEVER, there are hindrances to an effective prayer life. Here are some common hindrances to a healthy prayer life and steps you can take to overcome them.
Unconfessed sin can create a barrier between us and God in our prayer life (Isaiah 59:2). Our sin causes us to live according to our fleshly desires and not by the Spirit. But if we repent and confess our sins Jeremiah 31:34 “I will remember them no more”. First John 1:9 promises, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
As humans we are very selfish and our prayer life is no exception. Often, we pray solely for things that we want without regard to God’s will or the needs of other people. James 4:1–3 says, “when you ask, you do not receive because you ask for the wrong reasons.”
In Matthew 6:14–15 Jesus says, “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Harboring bitterness, grudges, hate and unforgiveness in our hearts blocks and hinders our prayers.
Doubt in God’s ability to answer our prayers is a hindrance. James 1:6 “But when you ask God, you must believe and not doubt.” Prayer requires faith. When we pray we are acknowledging God is capable of answering our prayer, yet at the same time submitting to God’s will and understanding that He may or may not choose to answer the prayer the way we want Him to or in OUR TIME.
Paul tells us that conflict in a marriage can impede our prayer life. This is due to a lack of obedience in how we should act towards one another. He encourages husbands and wives to love and respect one another in obedience to God so that they can have a healthy prayer life 1 Peter 3:7 “do this so that nothing will stop your prayers”
When we make other gods or things a priority in our life before God it interferes with our prayer life (Ezekiel 14:3). It clearly states in the Ten Commandments, “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3). Each time the Israelites chose to worship other gods, God chose to not listen to their prayers until they repented. They didn’t repent so the result: they spent forty years wandering the desert before entering the Promised Land and were later exiled from the Promised Land. When they repented, however, He once again answered their prayers and restored their nation. Unrepented sins becomes a hindrance to our prayer life.
There are several groups that are close to God’s heart and He pays close attention: The widow, the orphan and the poor. Our prayers are hindered when we hear the cries of these and do not respond and help, therefore our prayers are hindered and go unanswered. James 1:27 “religion that God accepts as pure and without fault is this: caring for orphans or widows who need help and keeping oneself free from the world’s influence.” AND, Proverbs 22:22-23, “rob not the poor, because he is poor neither oppress the afflicted in the gate: for the Lord will plead their cause and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them.”
2 Chronicles 7:13 “At times I might shut up the heavens so that no rain falls, or command grasshoppers to devour your crops, or send plagues among you. 14 Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.”
KEYS TO GOD’S FAVOR: Repent of our sins, remove the hindrances, return to God and God alone, respond to His discipline thru change of behavior (I Samuel THEN HE WILL HEAR FROM HEAVEN AND RESTORE OUR LAND.
I am praying for you and your families,