By: Mark DeJesus
Prayer is one of the most powerful tools we possess, but it can be a very frustrating subject for many believers. For many churches, only a small percentage of people come to prayer meetings. Many Christians have a sense of guilt over their lack of prayer or feel they don’t know how to pray effectively.
Some attempt to make it look like they have a great prayer life to impress people.
It can be helpful to understand what keeps us from praying. There is certainly a spiritual war going on over our investment in prayer and we need to recognize the obstacles so we can overcome them. These should not be excuses, but blocks to remove from our path:
- We feel our prayers are ineffective.For many, they forget that heaven’s timeline does not work instantaneously, so they get discouraged when an answer does not come right away. When we do not see instant results, the typical response is to fall back.
- We do not feel close to God.Sometimes we fall into comparison and we don’t see ourselves as being as spiritual as others. We feel far from God, so when we approach Him, we don’t carry the boldness we need to ask in confident faith.
- Distractions. I believe one of Satan’s devices to keep the church from praying is the constant distractions filling your day and life with things that are not necessarily evil, but distract from the priorities of heaven. Keep ’em busy, busy, busy, so they will feel a false sense of accomplishment.
- We rely on our own strength.The fact of the matter is that, judging by our daily routines, many people do not even need God. Is our day marked with a clear need for God to meet us in our world? If so, it would be evident in our prayer life. Often, we have what we need so we go about our day in our own strength.
- God will not hear or nothing will happen.Many people do not have a level of faith in their heart to believe God hears their prayer. If He does, they haven’t seen any results, so what’s going to be different this time?
- A lack of personal significance.They lack a sense of “my prayers really mean something.” They carry an unworthiness, disregarding the importance of who they are and the petitions they bring to God.
- No one taught us.The disciples asked Jesus—out of all the things they could have asked—to pray like He did. They are never recorded as asking how to preach or teach, but how to pray. Everything flows from there, but rarely do we sit with someone who has a strong prayer life and learn from them.
- We don’t know how to talk.Prayer involves talking to God, but many struggle in expressing their heart in an effective way. They don’t know how to share with another person and God is a person. He wants our hearts more than anything else. But if you struggle to share your heart with others, then sharing your heart with God can be challenging, too.
- Boredom. Many fall into religious duty over and over again. We like to have our routines, so our relationship with God can often fall into a boring pattern of saying the same thing, with little heart connection or ability to hear back from God. Therefore, we see payer as boring with no fruit.
- Disappointment. A massive block for many believers’ prayer lives comes down to disappointment. We may feel God let us down or left us hanging in a past situation. Maybe we pray for someone who did not get healed or even worse, died. In our disappointment, we can blame God and develop anger towards Him. And why would anyone want to pray to someone who they are mad at? This is something that has to be addressed and healed to open the prayer lines once again.
Question: Which block can you relate to the most?
Mark DeJesus has been equipping people in a full-time capacity since 1995, serving in various roles including teaching people of all ages, communicating through music, authoring books, leading and mentoring. Mark is a teacher, author and mentor who uses many communication mediums, including the written word, a weekly radio podcast show and videos. His deepest call involves equipping people to live as overcomers. Through understanding inside out transformation, Mark’s message involves getting to the root of issues that contribute to the breakdown of our relationships, our health and our day-to-day peace. Out of their own personal renewal, Mark and Melissa founded Turning Hearts Ministries, a ministry dedicated to inside out transformation. Mark also founded Transformed You, a communication platform for Mark’s teachings, writing and broadcasts that are designed to encourage people in their journey of transformation.
The above article, “10 Barriers to a Believer’s Prayer Life” was written by Mark DeJesus. The article was excerpted from www.markdejesus.com. June 2016.
The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.
This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”