Summary: What things in our lives stand in the way of our prayers?
WE HAVE TALKED A LOT LATELY ABOUT THE NEED FOR THE CHURCH TO ARISE TO A PLACE OF WARFARE AND BATTLE AGAINST THE WORKS OF DARKNESS THAT PREVAIL IN OUR SOCIETY. THE ALARM OF GOD IS SOUNDING LOUD AND CLEAR TO RALLY THE TROOPS TO THE BATTLE AT HAND. OUR GREATEST WEAPON AS BELIEVERS IS PRAYER. IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT WE KNOW AND UNDERSTAND HOW TO MOST EFFECTIVELY POSTURE OURSELVES FOR EFFECTIVE PRAYER, SO THAT WE CAN BE A POWERFUL WEAPON FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD.
The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. James 5:16 KJV
The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available – dynamic in its working. James 5:16 AMP
The Power of Righteous Prayer:
Brings us more near to God.
Opens the way to a Spirit-filled and led life.
Brings power for ministry and devotion to God.
Builds us up spiritually.
Gives insight into the provision available through Christ.
Helps us to be victorious against the devil.
Helps bring clarity to God’s will.
Enables God to work through our lives by His Spirit.
Brings us into deeper fellowship with God.
Brings grace, mercy and peace.
Brings wisdom, revelation and the knowledge of God.
Makes the presence of God more real in our lives.
Ensures us of Christ’s intercession for us and our impending final salvation.
What Are the Barriers to Effective Prayer:
*There are things that will inevitably come to mind or distract us when we go into a place of prayer. We will automatically remember we have laundry to do. We will think about something else we need to add to the grocery list. We will get a picture of the lawn and how it desperately needs mown. Many things will creep up and seem like the most important thing at the moment in an attempt to lure us away from prayer.
*There are also things in our own lives that will prove to stop our prayers from going forth in a powerful and effective manner. We must learn to deal with the barriers to prayer.
a. Unforgiveness works its way quickly toward bitterness and resentment if not properly dealt with.
b. How many people have been hurt? 100%. It isn’t the being hurt, but the dealing with the pain that is critical.
c. Sometimes the easiest yet most dangerous thing is to just hold on to the hurt and unforgiveness. If we cover, shield, protect and refuse to expose the issue, it can’t hurt us any more is often our justification.
Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the alter, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; leave there thy gift before the altar, and go they way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and them come and offer they gift. Matthew 5:23-24
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. Mark 11:25
d. Unforgiveness is destructive and will prevent our prayers from being effective probably more than anything else.
e. Take note of the difference in these two verses. If you are at odds with someone and it is known to them and you, the onus then is for reconciliation between the two of you. Reconciliation does not have to turn into a friendship and can be handled from a distance, but reconciliation and forgiveness are necessary to enjoy effective praying.
f. The other example here involves a personal feeling that you have toward someone that they know nothing about. In Mark 11, we are told to deal with that in the moment and privately. Don’t go to the person and share your hurt with them at the moment and expose them to something they knew nothing about. That is not healing and proper, that is vindictive.
g. “Releasing the people who have harmed you and have inflicted unbearable pain on you will release you to progress in God’s plan” (J. Kilpatrick).
h. Our inability or unwillingness to forgive others cuts us ourselves off from the forgiveness of God.
2. Regarding Iniquity
If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me. Psalm 66:18
a. Iniquity refers to the crookedness or capacity to sin that is present within all of us.
b. If an arrow is crooked or bent, it will never hit the mark. Sin is defined as missing the mark, and iniquity refers to the crooked or bent nature of man that causes us to sin.
c. Therefore, regarding iniquity is to overlook or take pleasure in the crookedness of our own lives or the lives of others who have been entrusted to our care.