HINDRANCES TO EFFECTIVE PRAYER
If God seems far away - guess who moved? It certainly is not God. Therefore, it has to be you - or me! God is the same in his loving attributes yesterday, today, and forever. He is unchanging. Faithful. A God of love. Concerned about every detail of our lives. When our prayers seem to hit the ceiling and bounce back to us, we need to carefully look at our spiritual standing before God. The Psalmist asked, “Who may worship in your sanctuary, Lord? Who may enter your presence on your holy hill?” He then delineates eight specific characteristics of a righteous person and concludes, “Such people will stand firm forever.” (Psalm 15)
Four of the more common hindrances to effective prayer are: 1. Wavering faith. (James 1:5-8) Any doubts about God’s dependability and character diminishes our trust in Him. We begin to be tossed to and fro and fail to stand firm on his rock-solid promises.
2. Wrong motives. (James 4:3) Frequently our prayers are all about our will - not God’s will - and we wonder why they go unanswered. James said: “…your motives are all wrong - you only want what will give you pleasure.”
3. Strife in relationships. (I Peter 3:7) When our relationships are not right horizontally, they hinder our relationship vertically. Just as God daily extends grace and forgiveness to us, we are to extend those same things to others.
4. Indifference to God’s Word. (Psalm 1). Our disregard or indifference to the Word of God is a major hindrance to effective prayer. Psalm 1 paints a picture of contrast between the person who cherishes and obeys God’s instructions and those who don’t. For those who do, “They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season, and they prosper in all they do.” (V:3)
An effective prayer life is the by-product of a strong desire to know and please the Lord. May God help us to uproot the weeds of wavering faith, wrong motives, strife in our relationships, and any indifference we may have to faithfully obeying the explicit instructions he has given us in his Word.
“I pray to you, O Lord, my rock. Do not turn a deaf ear to me. For if you are silent, I might as well give up and die. Listen to my prayer for mercy as I cry out to you for help, as I lift up my hands toward your holy sanctuary.” (Psalm 28:1-2 NLT) Be blessed my friend. Glen (Pitts) The Barnabas Group / Loads of Love Psalm 28:1-9; Psalm 15; Psalm 66:9-10; 18-20; I John 1:9; Prov. 15:8