The Children of God should always know the things which hinder their prayers. When they are avoided, results are guaranteed.
Many factors are contributory to an unanswered prayer by God. Some of them are;
1. LACK OF HUMILITY
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14)
2. FORSAKING GOD
“And he went out to meet Asa, and said unto him, Hear ye me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin; The Lord is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you” (2 Chron 15:2)
“Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the Lord of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the Lord of hosts. Therefore it is come to pass, that as he cried, and they would not hear; so they cried, and I would not hear, saith the Lord of hosts” (Zech 7:12-13)
4. LACK OF LOVE
“Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard”. (Prov 21:13)
5. REGARDING INIQUITY
“ If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me (Ps 66:18)
6. WRONG MOTIVE
“Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts”. (James 4:3)
“And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you”. (Matt 17:20)
“Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness”. (Isa 59:1-3)
9. VAIN REPETITIONS
“ But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking”. (Matt 6:7)
“ For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matt 6:14-15)
“And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted”. (Luke 18:9-14)
12. WORRY AND ANXIETY
“ Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God”
“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways” (James 1:5-8)
Prayer cannot be a life when all these things and more are seen in the life of a child of God or prayer warrior. Other relevant negative factors may be considered too.
An intercessor who wants to live a life of prayer should be mindful of what he eats and the time he takes them-especially during the night. God may decide to wake you up in the midnight to save a dying soul, possess kingdom ,secure the city and territory for Him. When an intercessor eats too much before sleep, he may not be able to wake up properly to take on the responsibility. So you should always check yourself and be ready for an action at any time, to represent God on the earth when a duty calls.
15. SPIRITUAL LAZINESS
Many people are spiritually lazy. Even when they know the need of the hour, they fail to do it. In short, when they are relied upon, they are not dependable. This is one of the reasons why some Christians are defeated in their life struggles and challenges. They cannot save a soul because they are equally lost. At this point, many christians discover that they do many funny things even by the time they sleep at night. Many of them are being chased by masquerade, having relationship in a dream,flying or oppressed by the demonic agents. As these factors hinder a vessel in his christian walk, they may also hinder his prayer life.
16. CARES OF THIS LIFE
Jesus condemned this vehemently in many of His teachings. St. Paul also says in Colossians 3:1-2, “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above where Christ sits on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth”. The pursuit and the glamor of this world is the mad cravings of the desire of the things of the flesh which may lead to eternal damnation. The Bible talks about the love of the world which is being in enmity with God. This embraces the pride of life, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes. The cares of this life has the slogan ‘ operation get me at all cost’. When you set your heart on the earthly things, you may not have the appetite for the things that have eternal value. By so doing, the pursuit for the intimacy and knowledge of God appears vague and insignificant. You may be divided in your heart when praying because you are already occupied with many irrelevant things. This can hinder your prayer life.
This is one of the factors to check which may fight an answered prayer. This can pose a hindrance because ignorance of any vital thing in life is a great advantage of the enemy to attack. This can be seen in a life of a prayer warrior. Some people are not conversant with many of the happenings around them. It could be in the family, life, church or nation. This topic provides a room for you to always know the current affairs, read journals, christian articles, publications,datas of the world events,good dailies and other meaningful books. When you quote the scriptures correctly,these ones could be applied for effectiveness in your prayer. Their ideas will help you to be enlightened and be ready to pray aright.
Finally, you should not take a time spent with the Lord as a waste. As you go to God in prayer, be ready to obey His commandments. This will help you and speed the possibility of miracle in your life. You should not rush into your prayer chamber and mutter some words hastily, only to come out in a few seconds. This can also bring hindrance on your ways.