James 4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
People often complain about prayer not answered. Many times they get discouraged to pray because nothing is changing even after fervent prayers.
The street is filled with so many frustrated Christians who have prayed and prayed yet nothing is happening. Good to know, there are some things that could hinder the effectiveness of prayer. Things that would make you pray and it will be like you are under a closed heaven, as if God is so far away that he can’t hear us when we pray.
Interestingly, there are some things that we harbor that can hinder prayer from answering.
We have highlighted 5 things that can hinder the effectiveness of our prayer. I have also written 20 reasons why your prayers are not answered, you can also check it out. Now let’s examine this hindrances.
1. Lack Of Faith
One of the biggest hindrances to effective prayer is a lack of Faith. The scriptureHebrews 11:6 says But without faith, it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.This explains that God operates with us based on our level of faith. We must have trusted God enough for Him to earn our prayers.
If we can pray to a God that we do not see, that means who trust and believe in him to some extent. So, it makes no sense praying to something or someone when you do not have faith that he can do that thing. Doubt is the biggest hindrance to prayer. Doubt sets in when a man loses his faith. He/she will begin to doubt if God can actually do what he/she has asked for. The scripture says without faith it is impossible to please Him. That means who can not earn or get anything from Him if we do not have FAITH. In essence, the lack of Faith can hinder the effectiveness of prayer.
The scripture says the sacrifices of God are a broken and a contrite heart. The brokenness comes when an individual identifies that they have done something very terrible. And the contrite heart is making a resolution never to do that thing again.
Apostle Paul said we can’t be in sin and ask Grace to abound, it is categorically impossible. The eyes and ears of God are so righteous to behold sin. So when we sin and we do not make any move to repent and confess that sin, our prayer doesn’t get to God.
It is not every time that you must confess your sin to a man, many times all you need to do is confess that sin unto God. Not that God is blind and didn’t see you when you committed that atrocity, He sees everything every time. However, with the mouth confession is made, God wants you to confess that sin and forsake it genuinely.
Whether you are a Pastor or an ordinary member, God relates with every man equally, however, our level of relationship with Him will determine how he will relate with us in return. If God could turn His eyes away from Christ Jesus because of the load of sin that Christ carried, you should know better than anyone else that God truly detests sin.
The book Psalm 66:18 If I regard sin in my heart, the Lord will not hear me. God detests sin, confess your sin and never go into it.
How can unforgiveness hinder your prayer? While Christ was teaching how to pray, He gave the Lord’s prayer. In one part of the Lord’s prayer says Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.
In essence, this means God will do unto us in the same proportion that we do unto others. When you have an unforgiven spirit, it hinders the prayer of any man. When we pray to God, He wants us to come to Him with our heart plain and free from grudges or evil unto another man.
Obedience is far better than sacrifice. This is the word of the scripture. Disobedience can hinder our relationship with God from growing. God doesn’t want anyone to disobey His commands. When we are given instruction from God, it is important that we fulfill them. Instead of making prayers for averting troubles or consequences of our actions, it is better we just obey simple instructions.
Remember the story of King Saul in the scripture. He was given an order to wait for Prophet Samuel to come and make sacrifices before Israel went into battle. However, when Samuel tarried in coming, King Saul got restless, he could not wait for the prophet of God, he went ahead to make the sacrifices on behalf of the Prophet. God detests disobedience. He wouldn’t speak to us anymore when He gives instructions and we disobey.
So many times, we just say prayers that are not supposed to be assuming we have patiently waited and obeyed His instructions.
5. Wrong Demand
We need to understand that whenever we want to ask things from God, it must be according to the will of God for our lives. Many times we get over ambitious that we make wrong demands from God. Our prayer most times should be to know the will of God for our lives instead of guessing and asking the wrong thing for the right reasons.
Also, at times, we ask things for wrong motives. For instance, asking God in prayers to buy the latest car in town, not to glorify God but to exonerate ourselves as a rich man. Most times, when our motives are wrong, God doesn’t listen to such prayers. God will only release blessings into our lives to glorify Himself, not ourselves. He will do things in our lives that people may come to the knowledge that Him alone is God.
Apparently, we have known some of the things that can hinder our prayers as believers. Let’s endeavor to pray to God with open hearts. Also, we should ask things according to His will not to glorify ourselves.