2000-03-11 - What Hinders Your Prayers?
What Hinders Your Prayers, Part 1
Three weeks ago Rick attended one of the best men's retreats he ever had the privilege to be a part of. In fact everyone who went on the retreat took part in it because everyone spent a great deal of time in prayer. It was awesome because it was so practical. One of those things that not only increases your faith from hearing the Word, but sharpens your skill as you DO what the Word says! Over the next few weeks the two of us will try to bring you the condensed version of those teachings plus our own unique perspectives as we pray together. Both of our lives are very much enriched through prayer, but at times we find our prayers seem to go nowhere. And we are certain that for most of you there are times that you feel your prayers bounce off the ceiling too. Here are some reasons why. The first of this series is called," What Hinders Your Prayers?"
Hindrances to Prayer - An Outline
Sometimes when we pray, it is as if our prayers bounce right off the ceiling and go no place. There are reasons prayers are often hindered. What we have learned is that sometimes they are sent to the wrong address. Sometimes prayers are sent forth for people to hear instead of God.
Matthew 6:5-6 And when ye pray, ye shall not be as the hypocrites: for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have received their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thine inner chamber, and having shut thy door, pray to thy Father who is in secret, and thy Father who seeth in secret shall recompense thee.
The Pharisees prayed for people to hear, but in Scripture we are told to pray in private to God and He will answer us. We can preach some great sermons while we pray, yet we need to earnestly direct our petitions to God. Reason number one for hindered prayer: you sent it to the wrong address. The second reason prayer is hindered is because it lacks substance as it is repeated over and over and over and over and over again. Believe me, God can hear.
Matthew 6:7-8 And in praying use not vain repetitions, as the Gentiles do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
The third reason is some people just do not know how to pray. No one ever taught them. OK a quick lesson on how to pray. Jesus gave us a model prayer to follow.
Matthew 6:9-15 After this manner therefore pray ye. Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so on earth. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And bring us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
This brings us to our fourth reason for hindered prayer - a lack of faith or trust in God.
James 1:5-6 But if any of you lacketh wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to all liberally and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him as k in faith, nothing doubting: for he that doubteth is like the surge of the sea driven by the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord;
A fifth reason our prayers bounce back unheard is we simply do not ask.
Reason number 6 to be found in the next verse: Selfish Motives
James 4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may spend it in your pleasures.
Often times we do not have a proper perspective on our priorities. We do not seek the Lord first. "Your will be done, Father" ... We let the lust of our flesh ,of our eyes or the pride of life subtly influence us and attach "in JC's name amen" to the end of our prayer.
Hindrance Number 8-Independence from God. We have so very much oftentimes that we tend not to pray for "everything" as we should. With our cupboards full - do we need to pray for our daily bread today? It is all too easy with abundance to not ask and act independently from God to try and meet our needs. "I'll take care of it" instead of seeking God for His provision and guidance.
Philippians 4:19 And my God shall supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
This kind of applies to married guys - We need to dwell with our wives in an understanding way. I heard a very respected man kind of say it like this. Men, you need to die to yourself and enter into your wife's world. Your prayers will definitely be hindered if you do not or are not heeding this scripture in its context.
I Peter 3:7 Ye husbands, in like manner, dwell with your wives according to knowledge, giving honor unto the woman, as unto the weaker vessel, as being also joint-heirs of the grace of life; to the end that your prayers be not hindered.
Last of all, God is no respecter of persons and your sin will definitely inhibit your prayers.
Isaiah 59:1-2 Behold, Jehovahs hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: but your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, so that he will not hear.
We would like to leave you to think and dwell upon what you have gleaned from the Scriptures above with the following verses. It is our prayer that if you have blown it that you will confess your sins to God and repent so that your petitions will be heard and not hindered and that He may bless your life fully. Amen
James 5:16-20 Confess therefore your sins one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The supplication of a righteous man availeth much in its working. Elijah was a man of like passions with us, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain; and it rained not on the earth for three years and six months. And he prayed again; and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit. My brethren, if any among you err from the truth, and one convert him let him know, that he who converteth a sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall cover a multitude of sins.
In His Service,