3. Spiritual hindrances (Daniel prayer) – Spiritual hindrances have a way of holding up things that you request of the Lord. For such prayers, fasting maybe required when your dealing with higher level spiritual wickedness in the high places. Daniel had to fast for 21 days and pray when he had to come against the Prince of Persia (Daniel 10:13). This isn’t some mamby pamby demon either. Daniel was dealing with a high level spirit that ruled the country of Persia during the reign of King Cyrus. Although this is just one Biblical example of a spiritual hindrance to prayer, there are times when fasting is required to deal with things you cannot see that are holding up your promises and answers from God. If you want to receive some breakthroughs that are being held up in the spirit, you’ll need a whole lot of spiritual discipline and meditation of God’s Word to come against these demonic forces. Think of the 40 day and night fast that Jesus had to go through alone in the desert. The demon he was up against was Satan himself (Matthew 4:1-11) and Satan tried multiple times to tempt Jesus to be disobedient but Jesus’ Spirit was already heightened and sharp to discern Satan’s schemes that he was able to overcome Satan’s temptations to contradict the Word of God. Can you imagine what would have happened had Jesus succumbed to the schemes of the Devil? Salvation would not even be a word that would be in existence to this day. Jesus was successful in this fight because He knew what He was up against (Ephesians 6:12).
This is why we have to step our game up and do some things above just praying by including fasting in order to fine tune our spirit with the Holy Spirit who will give us the answers we need to tackle these things effectively and also sharpen our discernment to point out what is causing the hindrance. Remember, it’s not by might, nor by power, but by His Spirit (Zechariah 4:6). I remember when I decided to pray for something I really needed but encountered several problems because I couldn’t see what in the world was going on. I wondered what was the hold up? I then ended up fasting and praying and then the Lord pointed out a few people that were standing in between me and my miracle through spiritual discernment.
Hebrews 4:12 (NKJV) – For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. [Emphasis added]
I then proceeded to pray for wisdom to handle these individuals because I could not rely on my own understanding to deal with the issue. In this instance…the Lord removed them out of my path and I received my breakthrough miracle. You do your part in the spiritual battle by fasting (if need be) and praying and God will do His part to help bring you to your promise.
Seek Spiritual Wisdom in this Arena.
6 However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, 8 which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
9 But as it is written:
“ Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”[c]
10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.13 These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy[d] Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. 16 For “who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?”[e] But we have the mind of Christ. [Emphasis added]
4. Lack of Repentance rooted in bitterness (Hebrews 12:15)-
Believe it or not even UNFORGIVENESS holds up our prayers from being answered. Look back on Jesus’ teaching of the Lord’s prayer. He instructs us to forgive those who trespass against us in (Matthew 6:12,14). Now I know it’s hard to forgive people who have hurt us in ways that are difficult to come to terms with but let me be straight with you and tell you that if you refuse to forgive, your prayers will not reach Heaven. This is why we need to practice daily deliverance and we must seek the Lord to help us forgive people we harbor bitterness towards. Remember that Jesus didn’t have to go on the cross for us to forgive mankind for sins we have committed, but God so loved the World that He gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).
I strongly suggest those that are dealing with unforgiveness and bitterness to read the book The Bait of Satan by John Bevere. This book really helped me to see how bitterness can hinder the prayers we have been pressing for God to answer. We have to learn to FORGIVE if we want God to Hear Our Prayers.
Consider these Scriptures to help you think about Forgiving people and letting go of Bitterness:
[ Forgiveness and Prayer ] “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. 26 But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses. [Emphasis added]
Matthew 18:22-35 (NKJV) – 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. 23Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. 25 But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made. 26 The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ 27 Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.
28 “But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’ 29 So his fellow servant fell down at his feet[a] and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’[b] 30 And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt. 31 So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done. 32 Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. 33 Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’ 34 And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him.
35 “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.” [Emphasis added]
12 Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.
14 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: 15 looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; 16 lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright. 17 For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears. [Emphasis added]
I think you now get my point right? Well, I’m sure there are more reasons why certain prayers don’t get answered by the Lord, but these are what I have been able to come up with. I hope this may help you and enhance your prayer life and spiritual growth in the Lord. Change the things that you need to change and consider these things carefully and repent to God if you struggle with areas of unforgiveness. I will fess up and say that I still have issues with bitterness that I need to deal with so this is an ongoing journey for me. Stay blessed and seek Gods face with honesty and sincerity and He will hear from Heaven.
For more information regarding Prayer and Praying effectively, I recommend reading books on the topic (this includes the BIBLE) and seeking wise counsel with those that are seasoned in the Word that are able to help you. Those that are called to be Intercessors specifically by calling are great to talk to since they live and breathe prayer. They are very good resources in the prayer arena. Don’t forget your pastors, priests or spiritual leaders that you serve under who are also able to help you in this area of prayer. Seek and you shall find your answers to the hindrances in your prayer life.