Things That Hinder Our Prayers
Unfortunately I used to do most of these, but the Bible teaches against them, so I urge you to stop doing any of these prayer blockers. It’s like any other bad habit that you need to quit and it may take a while to overcome them, so pray for God to help you in any of these areas.
Numbers 11:1 God heard them grumbling about their hardships, which was evil to His ears and His anger burned greatly.
Numbers 14:27 How long shall I bear with this evil congregation who complain against Me?
I was depressed probably because I was constantly thinking or talking about my problem. Complaining and griping about my son’s addiction and rebellious behavior was so hard for me to overcome! Did you know this is part of the reason the Israelites stayed in the wilderness 40 years? God hates complaining, so you can see how important it is to seek help in this area, right?
I knew I had to stop, but it had become a habit. I’ve learned that complaining is known as a stronghold that Satan uses against us to keep us in a state of constant worry and defeat. If we are always focused on our problems then we’re not focused on God.
Ephesians 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
James 1:26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.
James 3:9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness.
James 3:10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.
2 Timothy 2:16 Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly.
2. Blaming others
Genesis 3:12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.
Genesis 3:13 The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
Fault finding has been around since the beginning. Eve blamed the serpent and then Adam blamed Eve.
James 5:9 Do not grumble against one another, lest you be condemned.
Jude 1:16 These people are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage.
It’s human nature to blame others, but the Bible says, don’t!
I blamed everyone I could think of, his dad, myself and especially the dealer and his manager who introduced him to drugs in the first place. I actually called my ex-husband once and told him that I thought our son’s addiction came from his side of the family. But I’ve learned that the only person to blame was my son, he chose this path, not me, or anyone else.
Did you know that blaming others is a form of pride? Because it excuses us of our own bad behavior, if it’s someone else’s fault. Ask God to help you to overcome the urge to blame others.
Ephesians 4:32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Romans 12:14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
After Job endured the judgments and criticisms of his “friends”, he forgave them and prayed for them and when he prayed for them, God restored his fortunes, his health and all that he had. He even received double when he prayed for his enemies (Job 42:10).
1 John 4:20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.
James 3:14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.
James 3:15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.
James 3:16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
Matthew 5:44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.
You must forgive everyone, including any family members that may be enablers. Forgiving the dealer that first introduced him to drugs was extremely hard for me, but when I did, I was filled with an inner peace that I cannot describe, even while my son was still a complete mess, here I was with this great sense of peace!
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding
Psalm 55:22 Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you.
Matthew 11:28 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Colossians 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.
2 Peter 3:14 Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in PEACE, without spot and blameless.
James 3:17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.
James 3:18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.
Romans 12:18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
1 Corinthians 7:15 God has called us to live in peace.
Peace is another awesome fruit of the spirit found in Galatians 5:22-23. Ask God to fill you with it because when He comes back, He expects to find you living in peace!
5. Living in sin
Keep in mind that just because you’re a Christian and you go to church, that doesn’t mean that you’re immune to sin, in fact you’re just as susceptible as an unbeliever and sometimes even more so, because godly people become more of a threat to Satan. In the past, I’ve considered temptations and trials as a compliment because I know I must be on Satan’s hit list or he wouldn’t be bothering me.
Isaiah 59: 1-2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.
John 8:34 Jesus answered them, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, Whoever commits and practices sin is the slave of sin.
1 Peter 1:14-16 do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.
2 Corinthians 7:1 Let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.
1 John 3:4 Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.
1 John 3:6 No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.
1 Thessalonians 4:7 For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.
We all fall short (Romans 3:23). Sin in any amount will distance us from God. We lose our tempers, or maybe tell a lie, or even say something unkind about someone else and usually the Holy Spirit will immediately convict us. Most of us ask for God’s forgiveness and try to do better next time, but what about those who blatantly, deliberately and habitually live a sinful lifestyle which they know to be wrong before they do it, but then choose to forge ahead anyway? This is known as iniquity and transgressions against God.
A transgression or iniquity against God is sin. Habitual sins always start with the temptation and then the decision. Some examples of habitual sin are pornography, alcohol, smoking, drugs, fornication, homosexuality, adultery and gambling.
Satan is a master of deception and is always behind temptation. This is where we need to pray, quote scripture or sing a song of praise, if you can’t think of one, then just sing Jesus loves me out loud, (remember, Satan trembles at His name) that’s how to resist Satan and his temptations; and then he’ll flee and take his temptations with him.
Habitual sins are just that-a habit! They can be really bad habits, but still habits. It’s hard work to break a habit. Have you ever tried to stop biting your nails or stop smoking? It’s hard to do, but with determination and hard work, you can do it.
One bad habit I can think of is to sit in front of a television all day. What a waste of valuable time! Remember the meaning of the word Prodigal that we discussed earlier? It means to be wasteful. How can we expect God to answer our prayers if we are more concerned with sports, soaps or what Hollywood is doing than to give Him the time He deserves? To see results, you must turn off the television; consider it a fast, and read the Bible, listen to Christian music and pray, pray, pray.
1 Thessalonians 3:13 May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.
6. Grieving the Holy Spirit
Ephesians 4:30-31 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God by getting rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, quarreling and slander, along with every form of malice (hate).
Galatians 5:19-21 Those who practice immorality impurity, indecency, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, divisions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Acts 7:51 You stubborn and stiff-necked people, still heathen and uncircumcised in heart and ears, you are always actively resisting the Holy Spirit.
Mark 3:28-29 People can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.”
John 14:17 The Spirit of truth the world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him.
John’s saying that worldly sinners despise the Holy Ghost, because they do not see him or know him. They blaspheme the Holy Ghost, and thus says the Lord: "There is no forgiveness, either in this world nor in the world which is to come."
Isaiah 63:10 Yet they rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit. So he turned and became their enemy and he himself fought against them.
Romans 8:26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.
Romans 8:27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
Revelation 3: 22 Those who have ears should listen to what the Holy Spirit says.
The Holy Spirit is our helper and we need him to help us pray, so be careful that you do not grieve Him! It’s no wonder I stayed in the “wilderness” so long! I was bitter, angry, and jealous of parents with “good” kids. Praise God I have learned to stop thinking the way Satan would have me think! If you’re still thinking that way, you have to stop it today! First: Ask for forgiveness and then ask God to help you to stop, because we can’t change ourselves without God’s help.
Trust and obey is such a great but simple hymn! It says Trust and obey, for there's no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey and that’s exactly what the Bible tells us, if we trust and obey, we will be filled with peace and happiness that passes all understanding. (see Philippians 4:6-7)
1 Samuel 12:15 But if you do not obey the LORD, and if you rebel against his commands, his hand will be against you.
Can you remember ever putting your children in time out for bad behavior? God probably wants to put some of us in time-out for our bad behavior too! The only problem is that we’re in a battle with the enemy and we can’t afford to be put in time-out. So I urge you to be on your best behavior. Remember God blesses obedience; and who couldn’t use some of God’s blessings in their life?