April 22, 2011
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What can hinder my prayers? Can I improve my prayer life?
There are several attitudes and actions that can hinder your prayers. These hindrances will not only prevent you from receiving God’s answers they will keep you from praying in the first place. Here is a list of these deterrents along with suggestions for overcoming each one.
Wanting your own way and not God’s plan will hinder your prayers. This often shows up in prayers that tell God how to answer. The way to overcome this is to submit your plans to his will and be assured that he will answer (1 John 5:14).
Your prayer will be hindered by selfishness and wrong motives (James 4:2-3). This can be heard in prayers asking for God to provide what a person thinks he/she needs to be secure and comfortable. The corrective here is to ask Jesus to fill you with his loving concern for others.
Jesus taught that refusing to forgive those who hurt you will interfere with your prayers (Matthew 5:23-24). If you feel as though you cannot forgive someone ask Jesus to help you. (You may find my blog post on forgiving helpful.)
If there is a lack of harmony or peace with your spouse, children, and relatives then your prayer life will suffer (1 Peter 3:7). Do whatever you can to live at peace with your family members. Ask for forgiveness. Forgive others. Seek counseling if you need to do so. Your life will be longer and happier, and your prayers will not be hindered.
Disobedience is a prayer hindrance (1 John 3:21-22). When you refuse to do what you know is right or continue to do what you know is wrong your desire to pray will shrink. Start to obey God because you love him and your drive to pray will grow.
The lack of faith is another prayer hindrance (James 1:6-7; James 5:15). Faith is more than accepting a set of doctrines. It involves trusting God’s love, wisdom and power as well as being loyal to him. You may find this article on deepening your trust in God helpful.
A critical or judgmental attitude will kill your prayers (Matthew 7:1-5). God does not need you to tell him everything that’s wrong with your neighbor. Satan, the accuser, will do that. Begin praying for the Lord to bless those around you and you will find that Jesus is your prayer partner (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25)
This list of prayer hindrances is not complete. What prayer hindrances have you encountered? How did you overcome those obstacles? Please leave a comment and tell us about your story. Thanks.