Do you want a close relationship with Jesus? Do you want to live the abundant life He came to give? Then we need to look at what the hindrances to prayer that you might have in your life that are robbing you of abundant life.
I want to start this post with the message that you are deeply loved by a God who WANTS to spend time with you. Who WANTS to enjoy you and share things with you. I want to share with you some hindrances to prayer that I have found in my life that have kept me from wanting to pray or spend time with Him. Maybe you have some in your life as well.
First let me define hindrance:
- hin·drance noun
- plural noun: hindrances
- a thing that provides resistance, delay, or obstruction to something or someone.
- syn. obstacle, impediment, barrier, block
As we go through this list if you feel convicted jot that down. Don’t go to guilt and condemnation because if you are in Christ there is no more condemnation. You are loved and adored and Christ knows that these things keep you from the abundant life that He came to give you. He showing you so that you are aware of the things that are blocking you from that abundant life.
Here are things I have found in my life:
James 4:3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
What’s the motive for why I am praying? Are my motives pure for what I’m asking God for? We can deceive ourselves so it’s important to really examine our motive. If we ask God, He will show us.
Isaiah 59:1, 2 Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.
Psalms 66:18 If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened;
Do you have areas in your life you know are wrong and you are pretending that God doesn’t see or know? Be HONEST with Him. Tell Him you are struggling in an area and ask Him to help you be willing to repent. He isn’t standing over us ready to beat us for our weakness, He wants to help us so that we can have deep fellowship with Him. Sin separates us. He doesn’t want that.
Proverbs 28:9 If anyone turns a deaf ear to my instruction, even their prayers are detestable.
John 9:31 We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will.
Are there areas of your life where he has called you to do something and you aren’t doing them? These could be big or small it doesn’t matter. I have an example of an area of disobedience. When God asked me to start my blog He said He didn’t care what I shared but I needed to share one life lesson a week.I have not been very obedient to that command. I find this area hard. DIY projects and recipes come very easy to me. I don’t have to rely on God to do those. I do have to rely on Him to do the life lessons. He has a message He wants me to share and I need to be obedient. I got the nudge this morning to share this, so I’m being obedient.
Ezekiel 14:3 Son of man, these men have set up idols in their hearts and put wicked stumbling blocks before their faces. Should I let them inquire of me at all?
Colossians 3:5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
When I think of idols I think of statues erected where we go and worship. An idol is anything that takes the place of God, anything that is the supreme object of our affection. God alone has the right to take first place in our hearts.
…One way to know that something in your life is an idol is to ask yourself, “Would I be willing to give this thing up if God asked me to?” Look honestly at your career, possessions, and family. If there are things you wouldn’t release to God, then they’re blocking access to Him.
My iPhone has become an idol in my life. Ugh… God showed me that as I was writing this post. I’ve got some work to do.
Stinginess/ not taking care of the needy-
Proverbs 21:13 Whoever shuts their ears to the cry of the poor will also cry out and not be answered.
1 John 3:17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?
Is God asking you to give and you aren’t willing. I can tend to hang on to stuff tightly. God has been working on me in this area. Not necessarily with seeing needs in others but in just living with a mentality that I don’t have enough. That’s a HUGE lie and I’m changing my mindset.
Mark 11: 25-26 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.
Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
This is a HUGE area where we can get stuck. It doesn’t feel natural to forgive. It goes against everything in us. We want to see someone pay for what they did to us. But forgiveness is for US. Forgiveness sets us free not the person you are forgiving.
Right before Jim’s surgery I felt God nudge me one morning during my quiet time and say to me that He wanted to do a little work in my heart that I was harboring some bitterness and it was somethings from the very early years of my marriage. Now that part of my life has been worked on several times. I was concerned about looking into all this right as I’m responsible to take care of my husband. But, I’ve learned to trust that if He leads me to it, it is for my good and He has my best interest at heart. I was obedient and dug in one morning and I was surprised that I was harboring bitterness and anger toward myself and God and taking it out on Jim.
We will not be able to grow and live an abundant life if we don’t forgive.
Matt. 17:20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to here,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
Matt. 13:58 And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.
This is a huge area of hindrance to our walk with the Lord. So big that I’m gonna do my next life lesson on this subject so make sure you come back and read it. I just published Dangers of Unbelief.
OK I’m gonna ask you to seek the Lord and ask you to show your areas you need to work on. We don’t want to be hearers only we want to apply what we hear so….
Spend some time asking God if He sees any of these hindrances in your life.
Psalms 139:23, 24 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Write down what he shows you:
Do you need to do some forgiveness work?
Lord I choose to forgive ___________________________________ for (what they did or failed to do) _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Which made me feel (share the feelings) ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Pray: Lord, I choose not to hold on to my resentment. I thank you for setting me free from the bondage of my bitterness. I relinquish my right to seek revenge and ask you to heal my damaged emotions. I now ask You to bless those who have hurt me. In Jesus name, amen.
The following is taken from The Steps to Freedom.
Do you have your priorities wrong?
Use the following prayer to renounce any areas of idolatry or wrong priorities the Holy Spirit brings to your mind.
In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I confess that I have made ______________________ (person or thing) more important that You, and I renounce that false worship. I choose to worship only You, Lord. I ask you, Father, to enable me to keep this area of __________________________ (name the idol) in its proper place in my life. In Jesus name. Amen.
Make sure you read my post on the 7th Hindrance to Prayer:
Need some encouragement? Check out these posts: