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Hindered Prayer Part 1

Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.” Psalms 50:15 (NKJV)

Have you ever found yourself frustrated when attempting to call someone and you’re not able to get through to him or her?  It could be they simply have chosen not to answer the phone and made themselves unavailable.  But maybe it isn’t their fault — maybe it’s just poor reception; you know, it can be like the phone commercials where they don’t have not enough bars for reception. “Can you hear me yet?”

Some people feel this way about God when they are praying to Him — they can get frustrated as they feel as though He chose not to answer, or has just made Himself unavailable when they called out.  Or, just like the cell phone, perhaps it was simply a poor connection. The Scriptures give us great insight on this.  The first thing we need to know is God is omnipresent. This means He is everywhere all the time. We can see the Psalmist’s words reflecting this truth. 

Where can I go from Your Spirit?  Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.  If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me. Psalms 139:7-10 (NKJV)

For those who freely choose “Not” to walk with the Lord this can be unnerving and even convicting, but for those who are walking with Him and who seek an abiding relationship with Him, it brings great comfort.  As Christian’s we have been given access to come directly to God through prayer.  And it is through prayer that we’re able to call upon the Lord. So we can know with total assurance of God’s availability all the time. 

There are many things, which could cause hindrance (bad reception) within a Christian’s prayer life.  I do not intend to compile an exhaustive list of everything causing hindrance to our prayer life, but let’s take a look at five things causing hindrance to our prayers. 

1. Unconfessed sin.

But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear. Isaiah 59:2 (NKJV)

Unconfessed sin is the most common.  When we have sin in our life, and we have not brought it before the Lord and confessed it, then our fellowship (reception) with Him has been severed.  It is important for us to repent and confess any known and unknown sin we may have participated in when we come to God in prayer.  If there is something going on in our life we know it to be wrong, we need to get it out and treat it as poison to our body.  If we are not aware of anything, then we need to ask God for forgiveness for those things we are unaware of, and ask for Him to reveal them to our heart.  

Remember, God is looking at our heart and not just the action, so it is important for us to have a sincere godly sorrow (2 Cor. 7:10) when confessing sin. If we find we’re not feeling bad about our transgressions, then we need to ask God to change our heart to see our sin as He does. 

The next thing causing hindrance to our prayers is— 

2. Asking for selfish reasons.

You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. James 4:3 (NKJV)

When we ask God for something while having our own personal selfish motives in mind, we are asking for the wrong reason.  This is the core of selfishness, and God does not receive it. He knows our hearts, and He knows the reason why we ask for these things—regardless of how we may present something outwardly. 

It is important to note even though we have access to God through prayer as a believer, it doesn’t mean He is going to answer our prayer, or give us what we want.  We must remember prayer isn’t getting God to move closer to us, and give us what we want, but getting us to move closer to God and desire what He wants.  

STUDY QUESTION: What can we learn from the Scriptures contained within this devotional about God’s ability to see and hear us, and our ability to hinder calling out to Him?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you willing to ask the Lord to search your heart and to reveal any areas causing your prayers to be hindered?

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Seek God in prayer right now and ask Him to reveal any area you need to lay at His feet, and repent of these areas.  If there is someone you need to ask forgiveness for in regards to a previous offense, go and seek their forgiveness, and then let it go.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Father, thank You for Your grace, love and mercy. Thank You for allowing me to come to You boldly. Father, I ask for forgiveness for any sin in my life that I may be unaware of.  Show me any area where I need to lay something down at Your feet.  Lead me in Your understanding and in Your ways.  In Jesus’ precious name, amen…


Blessings upon your day, Scott



Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000