Hindrances to effective Prayer – Part 2
Galatians 5:24 – And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
1John 2:15-17 –Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
We enter into lust when we allow our desires, appetite or passion for things or people to supersede our passion and desires for God and His purpose. God is not against you having things; He is against things having you. We walk in lust when we allow things or people to have the place of God in our lives. Things are created for us; we were not created for things. When we live for things we make them our god and then they hinder our fellowship with God and make our prayer ineffective.
Friend, we cannot afford to allow that to happen. The cure to this is getting your priorities right. Always ensure that God has the first place in your life. This requires constant self examination because there are a lot of things that are beckoning to take the first place in our lives. I make it my business to confess Galatians 5:24 over my life to put my passions and desires under control. I suggest you do the same. When lust starts in a person’s life at first the person is in control and that is the deception. They think they can handle it (lust). Then they get hooked on it and lose control of their passions and desires. The journey from then on is fast downhill. A lustful person will end in disaster so watch out.
Matthew 6:14-15 – “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Unforgiveness is a major hindrance to effective prayer. Unforgiveness is so powerful that even in the time of prayer when you remember the person you have something against it impacts on your prayer and may bring it to halt. That is how dangerous it is on your divine connection with God. Unforgiveness stops God from forgiving you. Unforgiveness make you seek revenge. And God is against you doing that. God says vengeance is mine. So by trying to take revenge you make yourself God and think you can do a better job. Some people have developed depression, bitterness and other diseases as a result of unforgiveness. Friend, watch out for unforgiveness because it makes you hateful and hinders your prayer. The cure to this is by seeking God first for healing your hurt, and granting you the grace to forgive the person that offended you. Also you should pray that God will restore to you the joy of salvation and loving people in spite of their shortcomings. Forgiveness starts with a decision not with feeling.
Strife and offence
James 3:16 – For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
Friend, God is not the author of confusion, the devil is. And strife is one major tool he uses. The devil works hard to make sure there is disunity in marriages, in churches, in organisations and among friends so as to hinder progress and happiness. Strife is an expression of enmity. This comes as result of offence. The truth is life is a contact sport. And we will run into each other from time to time. But our reaction to the contact could sometime result in offence and strife if it is not quickly dealt with. If we allow strife to thrive then our prayers become ineffective. The cure to this is in what Jesus said: in understanding be ye men but in malice be like little children.1 Corinthian 14:20
Doubt and fear
James 1:6-7 but let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;
The most painful thing you can do to God as your father is to doubt Him. When you doubt His love for you, you hurt Him. When you believe in the power of the devil to hurt you over the power of God to protect you, you are calling him a liar and an incapable father. God needs you to trust Him for Him to perform for you. Fear erases faith and robs you of your fellowship with God. The cure to doubt is meditation on God’s promises. The cure to fear is meditation on God’s love for you and the magnitude of power and believing it. Then make a declaration of what he has promised you.
James 4:6 – But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
From the above scriptures it is clear that God hates pride and He resists the proud. What is pride? It is being boastful and puffed up, vainglorious. It is also making your opinion superior to God’s opinion. For example, if God says you are blessed and you say no, then you are prideful because you are saying your idea is better than God’s idea. God resists such persons and this hinders their prayers from being answered.
Sins if left unconfessed and unchecked will disrupt your relationship with God and rob you of countless blessings. Please be wise and get your priorities right. Remember every failure in Christian enterprise is a prayer failure. May the Lord grant you understanding for effective prayer.
Please note that this list is not comprehensive and no one hindrance is greater than others. It is an observation from years of experience of praying personally and with other people that I found that the above issues are common and crop up most of the time.
Psalm 66:18, 1Peter 5:5, 1John 4:18, Genesis 3:9-10a, Hebrews 11:6, James 1:13-15
Personal declaration for the day
Father I will avoid any hindrance to my fellowship with You. I receive Your grace to always keep our communication line clear.
Questions for you to reflect on
Have you thought of way of dealing with hindrances to your prayer?
How often to take inventory of your success in prayer?