(Cont’d pt. 2) In the previous post I talked about how I needed to revamp my faith level in my prayer life and in general, enhance my spiritual walk with the Lord. FAITH IS THE KEY HERE. How do we expect to get mature with our prayer life if we don’t have faith in Jesus? It says in the Word of God in (Hebrews 11:6) :
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him
Let’s all try to revamp our prayer life together by going to that Prayer Gym to exercise on our Faith – stair master machine; our Belief– treadmill machine, Trust– bench press machine. Let us not lean to our own understanding but in all our ways, acknowledge HIM (GOD -your workout trainer), and He shall direct your path (Proverbs 3:5) – for a healthy exercise routine. Let’s build our Faith Muscles!
In this post I will now explore what I find to be the reasons as to why we don’t get some of our prayers answered. It could be any of the reasons I am about to list below. I don’t expect this list to be exhaustive because there could be more reasons for hindrances in prayer and perhaps I just haven’t thought of it yet so people are welcome to comment below to add on the reasons why they think some prayers don’t get answered. This is a learning process for me so I’m welcome to other people’s opinions and thoughts on the subject matter. Keep in mind that I’m not a pro on this topic so that’s why everything I will list is based on my perspective of the things based on experiences and things I have read. There are certain things we do in our prayers that hinder us from recieving answers when we pray to God. Let’s explore these reasons.
HINDERANCES TO PRAYER
1. Do you know how to pray? (Matthew 6:5-15)- I find that this is the number one fundamental reason as to why some prayers don’t get answered. I believe that prayer is a conversation between You and God; however, when you are a new believer and you have absolutely NO idea how to pray, I find that in the Body of Christ we have a tendency to assume that these people should know how to pray on the get go which is a grave error in our judgement that still persists to this day. I would recommend to a new believer that they can start off with Jesus’ example of the Lords prayer found in (Mathew 6:5-15).
The Structure of the Lords Prayer:
i.) Acknowledge the Father who is in Heaven.
ii.) Be Humble before the Lord and admit Honestly your weaknesses and failures. Acknowledge your weaknesses and failures before the Lord and seek God’s forgiveness in sincerity.
iii.) Seek the Lords help if you harbor any bitterness, resentment or hatred towards anyone who has wronged you in your life with the Help of the Holy Spirit. This is very important.
iv.) Understand that you can be tempted to do things that go against Biblical principles because of your weaknesses and seek God for strength help you to do right in the eyes of the Lord. Each day is a daily struggle between Flesh and Spirit so you need God’s help to increase your level of Faith in order to walk humbly under His Grace and Mercy.
v.) Praise Him, Worship Him and Thank HIM for listening to your prayers. Acknowledge that you cannot do anything without the Lords help so remember to do all these things as you end your prayer. This helps you to cultivate a character of humility because God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5).
Those that are more seasoned should be able to connect to those that need some direction in this area because some people don’t even know how to ask for the right things in their prayers simply because they have no idea how. You have not because you ask not.(James 4:2).I was like that once and through the help of my mother, being in a youth group (cell group) at church, and going to the christian book shop that had material on prayer books and intercession etc, I was able to equip myself to pray more effectively and saw many of the things in my life change.
Going to church and fellowshipping is a requirement if you want to grow in strength in your spiritual journey. You cannot mature on your own without the help of other people. You are not an island to yourself so don’t kid yourself into thinking you don’t need anyone when you need guidance to build your character and spirit. With a body of believers they can intercede for you when you are going through a crisis…how can you do that if you isolate yourself from the body?
I must emphasize that you can learn to pray even better when you are with a group of other Christians, in particular a small group setting such as a cell group. When you hear the way others pray, you will learn how to pray effectively at an individual level and you will be able to cultivate your own conversation with God as you listen to others. I think that this is the best way to learn how to pray on an individual level and at a small group level. You start off small and in an intimate group setting and that helps you when you move into the larger body within a larger group in a congregational setting. When individuals master prayer as a congregation, they will be able to pray more effectively at a corporate level of prayer and take down footholds and strongholds in your families, in your workplaces, in your cities, in your countries and then head into the global arena at an international level.
2. Motivation (James 4:3) – Are you asking amiss or are you hitting the target?
Some people need to understand this basic principle because it’s one of the most important and fundamental principles that people fail to understand. When you Pray, you must pray seeking that which you need and not seeking things out of selfish motivation. An example of this could be a man praying to God that he wants a particular woman that he desires to make as his wife and he sees a woman that he has “fallen in love with” but finds out later that she is married. He cannot then go ahead and seek the Lord to get her divorced from her husband just because he wants to make that woman his wife. That is UNGODLY and Evil! Such prayers will NOT be answered and anyone practicing this type of meditation for a long time will venture into the arena of demonic prayers which is a form of WITCHCRAFT. God won’t answer a prayer that contradicts His precepts. You must check your motivations when you pray. Prayers have a purpose, it can be for intercession, requests on NEEDS Not WANTS for yourself or others, it can even be a time for receiving a download of revelations in scriptures when meditating on the Word as you seek clarity for things that you don’t understand. Prayer is your relationship hotline between You and God.
I must provide a word of caution in that although such crazy requests will not be answered by God…demonic forces will gravitate to such impure meditations and attach themselves to people who move by these unrestrained carnal desires and guide them to places that can give them these “so-called answers” that God refused to grant. That’s why I call them witchcraft prayers.
Pride Promotes Strife
1 Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? 2 You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet[a] you do not have because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. 4 Adulterers and[b] adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”?
6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says:
“ God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble.”[c]
If you are guilty of this, repent right NOW and turn away from such behaviours so that you don’t latch yourself to some curses on your life that will bring you no rest and trouble will follow you and your household if you continue this activity. That is why people must learn to exercise prudence, sound judgement and self-control when pursuing things out of selfish desires. Some people don’t realize they do this but let me tell you…I have seen such crazy things happen to some people that I can honestly say I know what I’m talking about. On the subject of understanding the difference between the Needs versus Wants, I recommend checking out my earlier post called Desire: Differentiating between Needs vs Wants .
Let me clarify something here, it’s not bad to request things on an individual basis like wanting a spouse, car, job, house, healing etc. What I am trying to say here is that you must assess the purpose, intention and motivation of your request first before putting it forward to God. I encourage you to consider that He will answer your prayer on the basis of His Will for your Life and not your own. Some people have difficulty with accepting this and that is why they end up offended with the Lord for not answering their vain prayers.
I always say to the Lord when I pray for something I want…because I don’t always know what I need I say to God “By your will and Not my own” because I believe God wants the best for me and sometimes we request things that aren’t right for us at the time and we fail to see that but He can judge the request and He will answer those things that are what we need.
Jesus practiced this example in the Garden of Gethsemane before He was arrested and crucified as He prayed in Luke 22:41-43 (NKJV):
41 And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, 42 saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” 43 Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. [Emphasis added].
Seriously assess your requests and repent of any selfish prayers that you have put before the Lord. Believe that the Lord wants the Best for You so seek His Will for your life above your own.
“ For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.
I will continue my List in Part 3.