2004-11-20 - What Hinders Your
A couple years 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! 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
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."
Psalm 94:9 "He that planted the ear, shall he not hear?
He that formed the eye, shall he not see?"
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
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."
Send it to the right address - "Our Father..."
Proclaim His Praise- " Hallowed be thy name..."
Remember He is the King, and we are the Servant. "Your will be done..."
Petition the Lord - ask for your needs.
Come to the Lord ready to repent-in humility.
Ask for protection.
Praise Him, thank Him, and trust Him to answer.
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 ask 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.
James 4:1-2 "Whence come wars and whence come fightings
among you? come they not hence, even of your pleasures that war in your members?
Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and covet, and cannot obtain: ye fight and
war; ye have not, because ye ask not."
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
Philipians 4:19 And my God shall supply every need of
yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first his kingdom, and his
righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
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, Jehovah's 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 with the following verses, to think and dwell
upon what you have gleaned from the Scriptures above. 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,
Rick and Sandy - Retired Authors