Summary: This is the first sermon in a series dealing with things that hinder our prayer life. This also makes a great Study for the Adult Sunday School class.
HINDRANCES TO PRAYER
LESSON #1: DISOBEDIENCE
TEXT: ISA. 59:1-2
1 Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:
2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
One of the biggest hindrances to our prayer is DISOBEDIENCE / SIN
- We cry out to God
- We ask for this or that
- We want our prayers to be heard
- We want our prayers to be answered
But because of unrepented sin
- The heavens are shut off
- Our prayers go nowhere
WE FEEL LIKE DAVID FELT WHEN HE CRIED OUT
“The Heavens are as brass”
Many times, when faced with unanswered prayer
- The first person we want to blame
- The first person we want to point our finger at is God
We look up to the heavens
- We cry out
- God what is the problem
- Can you still hear
- Have you gone deaf
Why are you not answering my prayer?
The truth is, sin is a wall that separates us from God.
When Adam and Eve sinned in the garden,
there was a curse that was loosed.
A curse that separates us from God.
- No longer was there fellowship with God.
- No longer were they able to walk with him in the cool of the evening.
There was a loss of relationship.
- There was a veil placed between God and man.
Sin separates us from God
This is the reason Jesus came to die
19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,
20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;
He came that his blood might wash our sins away
- That our relationship with Him might be restored
When we asked Jesus to come into our hearts and wash away our sins
- Relationship is restored
- Fellowship was regained
- There are now open lines of communication
But the moment we begin to fall away
- Harbor sin in our lives
- Have an unrepentant attitude
That connection begins to be severed
11 Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff.
12 Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they were accursed: neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you.
To back up a little
What has taken place here; Israel has just won a tremendous victory
- Marched around walls of Jericho
- Seven times
- Walls came down
- All was to be burnt or sacrificed to God
- The silver, the gold, the brass, all to be his offering
- They were to keep nothing for themselves
But Aken, one of the men, took some gold and silver and hid it under his tent. As a result of his sin, God takes his hand off his people.
- He no longer fights their battles for them
- He no longer gives them strength
- He no longer gives them direction
- He no longer hears their prayers
They are left to fight their battles on their own
As they go up against a small city called Ai, they suffer a terrible defeat.
You need to understand something - disobedience is sin
- God does have grace
- He will work with you
- He will deal with you
- He will convict you
- He will send a sermon your way
- The Holy Spirit will pull on you to repent
There will come a point when God will say
- Enough is enough
- Deal with it now
If we refuse to deal with the issue of sin, that sin will build a wall between us and God.
29 The LORD is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous.
If your prayers are not being answered
The first place to look is not at God (to blame him)
- But to our own hearts
- To our own lives
The frightening thing here is that many never realize God has removed his hand from them until disaster hits.
Israel did not know God was not with them until the dead were left on the battlefield.
Many times we think we can disobey God
- Do what we want to do