God sees in advance that if He blesses you with something then His kingdom will not benefit anything but due to your pride many souls will be lost
Hindrances To Effective Prayer
Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. (James 4v2-3)We are moving forward with the subject of prayer and I seek to instil a mentality in you that will revamp your spiritual life forever. I will look at what I said about prayer earlier on this blog by way of recapitulation. If you remember in Invoking The Power Of God Through Prayer we discussed how some great figures in the Bible saw the power of God at work in their lives through prayer. I spoke of how being prayerful can catapult you to greater heights, where you are the devil’s biggest threat.In The Power Of Prayer I spoke of how prayer makes great power available. I emphasised that prayer must become a delight. If you remember I said that you cannot have a situation or outcome go your way if you do not pray. Prayer has the ability to bring food where there was no food, health where there was no health. It brings joy, happiness and all good things.
Today I want to shed light on the reasons why some prayers are not answered. Numerous times I have heard prayer failures blaming God for their unanswered prayers and just concluding that it was not under the will of God. They succumb to many circumstances in life and just sit back, fold their hands and say, ”it was not the will of God after all, there was no way we could pray our way out.“
There are many reasons why some prayers are not answered. The problem, unlike many people think, is not with God, it is with us. Whenever you see your prayers go unanswered just understand that the problem is with you, and it automatically becomes your responsibility to know what the cause is. Here I will talk about some of the main hindrances to effective prayer.
This is one of the major reasons why people do not receive answers to their prayers; they simply doubt God. They are not sure whether God wants to grant their requests or not. They pray with one mind saying it’s impossible and another saying it is possible. They are not pretty sure of the outcome that they will get. One major characteristic of doubt is that it begins with the question: What If?
You will begin to realise folks that the more you entertain what if’s is the more you allow doubt to penetrate into your life. The devil’s door into the life of anyone is questioning, and that is questioning in doubt. That is the trick that he has used ever since he was created. In the Garden of Eden he questioned God’s credibility to Eve when he asked if God had really commanded them not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Eve did not know how to stand for herself on the Word of God and thus she fell. Doubt is the reason why many Christians live defeated lives even though they ought not to. Folks, there is a higher life in Christ Jesus only if we would not doubt. What ifs are questions that question God’s integrity and the more you entertain them the more you doubt God.
The word doubt, as is written in James 1v7-8, For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways, comes from the two words Double-Minded. Double mindedness is doubt. As clearly written in scripture, let not a man who doubts suppose that he shall receive anything from the Lord. Doubt is the force that closes the door of answered prayer. Never entertain a what if question especially if the IF is a contradiction to the Word of God. If it questions God’s integrity and credibility, just ignore it and believe the Word, by doing that you create room for answered prayer.
And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. (Mark 11v25)
The second hindrance to effective prayer that we will look at is unforgiveness. Jesus made it clear in the scripture above that when you pray, forgive. The reason why He says that is because unforgiveness is the force that blocks God from answering prayer. Some people have been convinced that the scripture means that God does not forgive people who don’t forgive others, but that’s definitely false. If you do not forgive, you cut short the circuit that brings the forgiveness of God to you. Your forgiveness enables you to receive the forgiveness of God and if you don’t receive that forgiveness it is not God’s problem but your own problem, it is the forgiveness that you are holding back. When you open the door of forgiving you open the door of receiving forgiveness. The Bible clearly states that God withholds nothing good from those who walk uprightly (Psalm 84v11); so there is no scriptural suggestion whatsoever that God does not answer prayer.
Learn to forgive, it may be very difficult to do so but it is worth everything for your prayers to be answered. That person who has wronged you, no matter what he has done, know of a surety that as long as you have not forgiven him your prayers are also being blocked from being answered. There is something one American lady televangelist said about unforgiveness, she said that by not forgiving you are like a person who drinks poison expecting your enemy to die.
It’s very true; by refusing to forgive you harm yourself and block your prayers from being answered. Have you noticed that if you do not forgive you spend the whole day angry whilst the person you haven’t forgiven will be happy and minding their own business. You end up expecting them to be as sad as you are and if they don’t turn up sad, you will hate them all the more. I want you to understand that unforgiveness is a prayer blocker and it can cost you the joy of the Lord.
The main hindrance I want to talk about in this message is the motive, your objectives in prayer. This is probably the main reason why prayers are not answered. Let us look again at our opening scripture, the Bible says:
Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. (James 4v2-3)
What is the reason behind your prayer? What exactly would you want to achieve when God replies that prayer you so much want Him to? Do you see what James says is the reason behind prayers not being answered? He says because you ask amiss, that you may spend on the things that you lust for/after. There are people who want to be blessed financially by God, they spend sleepless nights praying, yet they do not see results to their prayers. They end up concluding that it is not God’s desire to answer those prayers. However the truth of the matter is that the reason why the prayers were not answered was because of their motives. Some seek after financial blessing so that they may show off to other people how rich they are with flashy cars and gadgets. God sees in advance that if He blesses you with something then His kingdom will not benefit anything but due to your pride many souls will be lost; He then considers it better to delay giving you those things for the benefit of His kingdom. Some people will never come to Church if they just get a salary raise. If someone gets a car, instead of also using it to spread the gospel; they entangle themselves in extra-marital affairs, they won’t even give a ride to fellow Church members, just because of pride. Some people pray to be anointed more not so that they can win more souls but so that they can brag about how prayerful they are and they will praise themselves, displaying spiritual gifts and revelation. That serves as a personal prayer blocker. The Bible urges you to examine yourselves (2Corinthians 13v5). That means you must take time to revise your motives when you pray, so that you may not ask amiss. Let every prayer that you make be directed towards your personal spiritual growth, the growth of other Christians and most importantly for the benefit of the Kingdom of God.
Desire that car, considering also that you will offer it to others when they want to go for a gospel outreach. Desire that house knowing that you will be willing to host Church home group services and to accommodate guest preachers from other towns if necessary. Desire that gift of prophecy not so that you may boast and build your name in the society out of it, but according to 1 Corinthians 13v 24-25, desire that gift so that unbelievers may be convinced and may believe in this Jesus. Folks, it is these small things that block our prayers from being answered. Unforgiveness, doubt and wrong motives are some of the hindrances to effective prayer. There are many other hindrances that I might talk about in the future but I believe with these three I have helped you much. Stay blessed and till next time remember, that
Jesus is Lord!!!