Hindrances to Prayer
Excerpt from Sunday School Teachings at Dallas Metro Parish by H/S/E Akin Ogunleye
Identifying and overcoming the obstacles to our prayer could be extremely helpful in obtaining a quick response from God.
At the end of 'The Lord's prayer', Jesus warns "But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father f orgive your trespasses" (Math. 6:15). Scripture warns us to be diligent (Heb. 12:15) ----- lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled. Bible warns: (Ps. 66:18) "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me".
(Math. 6:5) hypocrites pray only to be seen by men. Scripture says in James 5:16, the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
(James 4:3) --- ask amiss that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
Unbelief: (James 1:6) --- ask in faith, nothing wavering.
When King Saul rebelled against God, the scripture says, The Lord answered him not (1 Sam. 28:6). Saul became so frustrated that he finally turned to a witch for advice and ended up dead!
This reminds us of the word of prophet Samuel (1 Sam 15:22) which says - To obey is better than sacrifice, obedience is the key to blessing! In in 14:14,15, Jesus promised doing anything we ask in His name and He also said, if you love me, keep my commandments. God is willing to answer our prayers as we are further assured in Rom. 8:32.
PRINCIPLES OF PRAYER (Matt. 6:5 15)
Emphasizing that genuine prayer is private and personal. The Bible warns .... not to pray merely to be seen by men.
Use not vain repetition as the heathen do (Math. 6:7).
Faithfully-. (Math. 6:8)
Read parables of the persistent friend (Lk. 11:5-13) and the insistent widow (Lk. 18:1-8). These illustrate the need to keep on asking constantly until we get what we need.
The Lords prayer present a specific pattern of prayer:
i. Appellation: Our Father who art in Heaven
ii. Adoration: Hallowed be thy Name
iii. Expectation: Thy Kingdom come
iv. Submission: Thy will be done
V. Petition: Give us this day our daily bread
vi. Confession: Forgive us our trespasses
vii. Request: Lead us not into temptation
ELEMENTS OF PRAYER
Reverence: (Meaning profound honor and respect or an act of respect).
When praying we need to bear in mind that we are communicating with a HOLY GOD. Reverent prayer recognizes the holiness and majesty of God. Ecclesiastes 5:2 says Let not thy heart be hasty to utter anything before God. Note: When Abraham spoke to God, he acknowledged that he was dust and ashes - Gen. 18:27. Job said: I abhor myself (job 42:6). Moses recognized that he was on 'Holy ground' when he stood before God (Exd. 3:5).
Prayer must be a daily habit. 1 Thess. 5:17 says we should pray without ceasing; Rom. 12:12 continuing instant in prayer. Read Lk. 18:1-8 (The parable of the unjust judge). The lesson here is that men ought always to pray and not lose heart verse 1. If this woman, by her persistence in asking, obtained her request from an earthly man, surely our Heavenly Father who is just will answer the earnest, persistent prayers of His people as long as we hang in there. Jesus said to His disciples (Matt. 26:41) to watch and pray.
The strength of prayer is more important than the length. We must pray earnestly and fervently. Bible says our Lord Himself offered up prayers and supplication with strong crying and tears (Heb. 5: 7). Earnest prayer involves pleading the promises of God by f aith. Ps. 119 is filled with things asked ... according to thy word.
When we pray with Holy boldness (as opposed to arrogance and pride-filled boldness) we express our confidence in God, addressing Him with hope and assurance as a Loving Heavenly Father. Paul writes - Let us therefore come boldly into the throne of grace (Heb. 4:16. He predicates his appeal upon the f act that in Jesus Christ, we have a Great high priest who can be touched with the feelings of our infirmities (Heb. 4:14-15).
Asking God for help is one thing, thanking Him for His help is another. Paul said: By prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your request be made known unto God (Phil. 4:6). Praise Him for who He is, f or what He has done f or you and f or what He is going to do in the future.
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