Obstacles to Prayer
Sometimes we feel as if our prayers just bounce off the ceiling and are not breaking through. There can be many reasons for this. Listed below are only a few of them. Ask the Lord to show you other things that may also hinder your prayer life.
1. Conscious unconfessed sins (Ps.66:18; Is.59:1-2)
“If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened…” (Ps.66:18). “Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save nor His ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you so that He will not hear” (Is.59:1-2).
2. Idolatry – occult involvement (Ez.14:3)
“Son of man, these men have set up idols in their hearts and put wicked stumbling blocks before their faces. Should I let them enquire of Me at all?”
3. Stingy and covetous (Pr.21:13; 1 Tim.6:10)
“If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered” (Pr.21:13).
“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs” (1 Tim.6:10).
4. Unbelief and doubt (Jn.16:9; Jas.1:6-8)
“…in regard to sin, because men do not believe in Me” (Jn.16:9).
“But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does” (Jas. 1:6-8).
5. Unforgiveness and bitterness (Mt.6:14-15)
“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
6. A wrong attitude towards your spouse (1 Pe.3:7)
“Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner, and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.”
7. Haughtiness/Pride (Jas.4:6)
“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
8. Selfish motives in prayer (Jas.4:3)
“When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”
9. A critical spirit (Mt.7:1; Rm.14:10)
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged” (Mt.7:1).
“You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgement seat” (Rm.14:10).
10. Ingratitude (1 Th.5:18)
“Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
11. When you neglect to make restitution (Lev.6:4-5)
“When he thus sins and become guilty, he must return what he has stolen or taken by extortion, or what was entrusted to him, or the lost property he found, or whatever it was he swore falsely about. He must make restitution in full, add a fifth of the value to it and give it all to the owner on the day he presents his guilt offering.”
12. Love for the world and worldliness (1 Jn.2:15)
“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”
13. When you do not pray in Jesus’ Name (Jn.14:14)
“You may ask me for anything in my Name, and I will do it.”
14. When you do not pray according to the will of God (1 Jn.5:14)
“This is the assurance we have in approaching God; that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.”
The above article, “Obstacles to Prayer” was written by Bennie Mostert. The article was excerpted from www.wop.net.
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.”