Prayer Blocks [Tuesday Prayer Gathering]

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Today we are going to look at some biblical passages that tell us why God might not be answering our prayers.  They will serve as warnings to us and possibly clarify why we feel like our prayers are hitting the ceiling.

Scripture teaches this truth in many different scenarios:

God refuses to hear our prayers when we refuse to obey his Word.

As we go through the list, we will identify what exactly hinders prayer and why each of these are so important.

Here are 11 blocks to prayer:

  1. Unconfessed Sin.  If I had been aware of malice in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.  However, God has listened; He has paid attention to the sound of my prayer.  –Psalm 66:18-19
  2. Attention-Seeking Motives.  “Whenever you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites, because they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by people. I assure you: They’ve got their reward!”  –Matthew 6:5
  3. Babbling Words.  When you pray, don’t babble like the idolaters, since they imagine they’ll be heard for their many words. Don’t be like them, because your Father knows the things you need before you ask Him.  –Matthew 6:7-8
  4. “Unspoken” Prayers.  You desire and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. You do not have because you do not ask.  –James 4:2
  5. Selfish Desires.  You ask and don’t receive because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your evil desires.  –James 4:3
  6. Family Disharmony.  Husbands, in the same way, live with your wives with an understanding of their weaker nature yet showing them honor as coheirs of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.  –1 Peter 3:7
  7. Ungenerous Lifestyle.  The one who shuts his ears to the cry of the poor will himself also call out and not be answered.  –Proverbs 21:13
  8. Unforgiving Heart.  And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven will also forgive you your wrongdoing.  –Mark 11:25
  9. Faithless Requests.  But let him ask in faith without doubting. For the doubter is like the surging sea, driven and tossed by the wind.  That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.  An indecisive man is unstable in all his ways.  –James 1:6-8
  10. Contrary to God’s Will.  Now this is the confidence we have before Him: Whenever we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears whatever we ask, we know that we have what we have asked Him for.  –1 John 5:14-15
  11. Disregarding Scripture.  Anyone who turns his ear away from hearing the law—even his prayer is detestable.  –Proverbs 28:9

As we continue to pray, we need to make sure our prayers are being heard in the first place.  Use this time to do some self-introspection and discover if any of these items are blocking your prayers.  As you pray, make note of any steps that you need to take in obedience.  Commit these items to God in prayer.

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