Thursday, March 29, 2012

Desiring Answered Prayer

We all desire that God would hear us and answer our prayers, but I wonder if we are in a position for God to answer us. Prayer is hard work! It is one area in every believer's life that could use improving. How important is prayer to you? Do you realize it is a part of our power source. We don't function well when we ignore prayer or spend very little time in it.

I want to share with you several things that will hinder the effectiveness of our prayer life:

1) Unwillingness to obey the Scriptures: (1 John 3:22) "And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight." The Greek present tense emphasizes continual keeping/obedience.

2) Cherishing Sin in Our Lives: (Psalms 66:18) "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:" To regard means to see with pleasure. There may be sins we are enjoying with out even realizing it. We must search our hearts and ask God to bring harbored sin to our attention. (Job 11:13-15) "If thou prepare thine heart, and stretch out thine hands toward him; If iniquity be in thine hand, put it far away, and let not wickedness dwell in thy tabernacles. For then shalt thou lift up thy face without spot; yea, thou shalt be stedfast, and shalt not fear:"

3) A Lack of Faith that God will Work: (Mark 11:24) "Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them." If we doubt God’s power, love, or desire to answer our prayers, why should He answer our prayers? (Hebrews 11:6) "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."

4) Unwillingness to Forgive Others: (Mark 11:25) "And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses."

5) Praying Selfishly and Not Truly Seeking God’s Will: (1 John 5:14) "And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:" (James 4:3) Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts/pleasures.

6) Bad Relationship with Your Spouse: (1 Peter 3:7) "Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered."

7) Not Asking/Praying: (James 4:2) "Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not."

I am sure you can find other reasons for ineffective prayers, but this list is an important one that should be mediated on! Do you have God’s attention when you pray? Prayer is vitally important and we need to clear out the obstacles so that we stay connected to our wonderful power source.

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