Prayer is a powerful weapon for a believer. What is prayer? Prayer is simply having a conversation with God. Through prayer we talk to God about our concerns, fears, and desires. Prayer is also where we make heartfelt requests, while seeking God for guidance and wise council. Today, I want to share with you three barriers to having an effective prayer life.
1. Unconfessed sin in our lives can be a barrier to praying effectively. When you and I voluntarily chose to disobey God’s word in our actions and attitude, we hinder our prayer life. In fact, when we fail to give up our favorite sins, we in turn place a wall between us and God. The Bible states in Psalms 66:18, "If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. In other words, don’t allow sinful behavior to hinder your prayer life.
2. Strained Relationships with others can be a barrier to praying effectively. Jesus says in Mark 11:25, "And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins." Never allow bitterness to block your blessing. Never allow lingering resentment or negative feelings toward someone to hinder your prayer life. This is why Paul says in Ephesians 4:31 "Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice." I have found out over the years that forgiveness is as much for us, as it is for those who hurt us. Because, strained relationships can hamper your prayer life.
3. Wrong motives can be a barrier to praying effectively. The Bible says it best in James 4:3, "When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with the wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures." What is the underlying reason behind your request? Are you asking God to give you something that will feed your ego? Are you asking him to do something that will directly or indirectly have a negative impact on someone else? Maybe you’re praying for something that is contrary to biblical principles. If you want your prayers to be effective, you have to make sure that your motivation behind your prayer is pure.
Yes, prayer is a powerful weapon for the believer. It is where we find strength and guidance for daily living. Don’t allow anything to hinder your prayer life; not unconfessed sin, strained relationships, or wrong motives. I leave you with the words of King David found in Psalms 55:1 which state, "Listen to my prayer, O God, do not ignore my plea;" Blessings!!!
Pastor Cornell Maltbia is senior pastor at True Holiness Saints Center in Conway. He serves on various nonprofit boards throughout his tenure of community service. For more information or to contact Maltbia, log onto trueholiness.net.