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Hindrances to Prayer
There are times when God doesn’t hear our prayers.  Why does that happen and how can we correct it?

This is a summary of a message given by Dr. TV Thomas at the School of Revival and Prayer held in Regina, Saskatchewan, July 2007. 

The Scripture declares that there are times when God doesn’t even hear our prayer.  There are times when we go through what is sometimes called “The dark night of the soul.”  Psalms 66:18 teaches us that power in prayer is connected to purity in heart.  John 15:7 reveals that daily confession of sin is necessary, the sins of omission and commission.  This is why it is so important to pray “Lord, put the searchlight of your Holy Spirit on my heart.”  So that we may maintain a close and clean relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

With lack of forgiveness, how can God hear us…

There are at least 15 things that can hinder our prayers.

  1. Rejecting the truth – Proverbs 28:9.  The informed who choose unbelief and fail to walk or pray in faith.
  2. Pride – James 4:6 and 2 Chronicles 7:14.  The Lord opposes the proud.  You and I cannot overcome Him so we must humble ourselves.
  3. Hard-heartedness – Zechariah 7:12-13.  When we harden our hearts the Lord gives us back what we have sown.
  4. Lack of compassion – Proverbs 21:13.  We cannot neglect justice and we must show compassion to others less fortunate than ourselves.
  5. Unconfessed sin – Isaiah 59:2.  This separates us from Him and hinders our prayers.
  6. Wrong motives – James 4:3.  Often our personal agenda is what we pray about.  He is not our servant, rather we are His servants and we must keep our hearts and motives focused on His will.
  7. Unbelief – Hebrews 11:6, Matthew 17:20-21, Matthew 21:22.  Unbelief unchecked will produce uncertainty and distrust of God, the Church and cause us to become sceptics.
  8. Not seriously asking – James 4:2.  Thinking about it is not enough, we must ask, and ask in faith believing.
  9. Broken relationships – 1 Peter 3:7.  How often this hinders our prayers, personally, in marriages, homes and in the Church.
  10. Sinful lifestyle – Isaiah 59:2.  If we refuse to give up our sin, the Lord cannot honour our prayers.  Our life must be one of obedience and service to Him
  11. Vain repetition – Matthew 6:7.  Many people pray the same things time after time, just going through the motions without really opening their heart to God and or getting through to the heart of God.
  12. Lack of forgiveness – Matthew 6:14-15.  We need to cultivate a forgiving spirit.  Lack of forgiveness is one of the greatest problems in churches today.  With lack of forgiveness, how can God hear us and send revival?
  13. Hypocrisy – Luke 18:9-14.  The Pharisee felt he was so much better than the sinner, but the other man was justified, he prayed honestly with no reliance on self.
  14. Double mindedness – James 1:5-8.  Praying doubtfully is asking faithlessly.  The Word says if we do this we should not expect an answer.
  15. Idolatry – Ezekiel 14:3.  We create our own idols, like prestige, power, leisure, wealth, work and family.  We must remember God will not share His glory with another.

We must keep short accounts with God and ask the Holy Spirit to search our hearts and reveal issues.  Then we can forsake them and repent of them.  We must make every effort to live a Holy life.

Originally published in Revival News, Fall 2007.




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