Great time last Sunday morning! Y’all are the best! This was particularly important week as we talked about the single most life changing (and marriage changing) discipline….PRAYER.
Hope this helps,
Hixon and Margie
If we are honest, prayer can be a tough discipline. It is that part of our faith that has a funny way of “crawling off the altar”. We looked last Sunday at reasons we don’t pray but we wanted to look at the things that will actually hinder or completely block the prayers we do pray!
Believe it or not, the Bible teaches that all prayers are not equal. The way we pray matters! Our moves matter. Our focus matters. and much more…. Here are 6 hindrances to prayer.
1. UNCONFESSED SIN – Isaiah 59:1 – “Your sins have separated you from God.” Prayer is the process of becoming spiritually fit and receiving from God what he is already willing to do.- James McDonald
Overcome this by: praying to God that He would…“Search me…” Ps 139:23. Write down what he brings to your heart. Invite the Holy Spirit to convict you of any blindspots. Confess and turn from your sin. You have never felt as clean as you have when you are clean before God.
2. IDOLATRY – Ezekiel 14:3 “Son of man, these men have taken their idols into their hearts, and set the stumbling block of their iniquity before their faces. Should I indeed let myself be consulted by them?
Idolatry: to ascribe worth to something and place it higher in your affections that God. It might even be something as worthwhile as your marriage but as soon as your marriage, kids, reputation, etc… becomes more valuable to you that God, it becomes idolatry.
Interestestingly: We have approximately 46,000 Storage facilities in the United States with 2.6 Billion square feet of storage space…. to hold the stuff … that hold us…our idols.
Overcome this by: consider those things that are more important to you than God. Even good things can be idols. Put them in their right place.
3. REFUSALS TO HEAR GOD’S WORD. – Proverbs 28:9 – If one turns his ear away from hearing the Law, even his prayer is an abomination.
If we sit in church week after week with no intention of actually doing what we hear … then even our prayers are an abomination. (The word abomination appears 71 times in Bible, and means “vomit inducing”) My prayers? Vomit inducing? But….
Overcome this by: During any Bible teaching, ask the question, How does this apply to me? What do I need to change to be in line with what the Bible teaches?
4. LACK OF COMPASSION: Prov. 21:13 – whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor will himself cry out and not be answered. God cares about the poor, the down, the police, the black community, Republicans, Democrats, thieves, etc… God wants us to care about it all. God is not a respecter of person.
Overcome this my: Pray that you can see people as God sees them. Every person has a name, a story, and a journey that they are on… just like you.
5. MARITAL STRIFE – 1 Peter 3:7 -live with your wife in an understanding way…so that your prayers are not hindered. Are you hardhearted…cold… aloof…untouchable….vindictive… Massive hinderance to your prayers. Prayers “hitting the ceiling and bouncing back?” You might want to examine and evaluate your relationship wth your spouse.
Overcome this by: Get genuinely “right” with your spouse. Do you need to confess?…then confess. Do you need to ask forgiveness?…then do it.
6. UNFORGIVENESS – Mark 11: Whenever you stand praying…forgive so that God will forgive you. Man-o-man that is not easy! Immediate, unilateral, total – forgiveness? Impossible right? Well, have you even tried? If you are like most of us we rehearse the wounds in our mind and justify why we have every right to nurse our anger and hurt. Right now, just you, complete forgiveness. Forgiveness is saying “you don’t owe me anything anymore”.
Overcome this by: try for 30 seconds to release the offending person from your wrath. Pray that you will see God as just and righteous.
H & M