Hindrances to Prayer – 7 ways to sabotage your prayer

Prayer should be a habit for a Christian. A believer need not to be reminded to spend time with God in prayer, knowing that it helps sustain his zeal to live godly. But as imperfect as we are, we sometimes become a stumbling block to our own prayers being answered and then wonder why God isn’t assuming His ‘prayer answering’ position in our lives.

We sometimes forget that God is holy and perfect and for your prayers to reach His ears, we should ensure we are in right standing with Him. That is why asking for forgiveness is key before going ahead to make requests. God is not a genie to grant wishes. You can’t live anyhow you want and expect God to be at your beck and call.

These are some of the ways we can ‘sabotage’ our prayers.

1. Sin
That’s pretty obvious, isn’t it? Isaiah 59:1 tells us, ‘God’s hand is not shortened that it cannot save; nor his ear dull, that it cannot hear; but our iniquities have separated us from God and our sins have hidden his face from us so that he will not hear’. You can’t eat your cake and have it.

2. False motive
Some people ask for certain things from God for their own selfish interests and not because they want to use what they are asking for to bring glory to him. We forget that God searches and knows the hearts of men whiles we can only attempt to know one’s intentions by staring at the face. You may be asking for a good thing but if it’s for a wrong reason, don’t expect God to answer it. He will wait for you to have a change of heart about the motive and if it’s according to his will, then you can have it.

3. Unbelief/doubt
When you come to God in prayer, your heart should be all in it. James 1:6 says, ‘But let him ask in faith, without doubting: for he who doubts is like the surge of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man think he shall receive anything of the Lord; a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.’
It is your faith that moves God to do something for you. If you’re not sure that he can or will, then don’t pray at all because you’d be wasting your time. No halfhearted prayers reaches God’s ears.

4. Hypocrisy/overconfidence
Some people put up this front that they are spiritually advanced because they can pray the longest and the loudest and so when they pray, God shouldn’t automatically heed to their call. Bottom line, if praying is just on your ‘make yourself look good agenda’, then sorry, you’ve missed the mark. God doesn’t attend to ‘show off’ prayers. Let’s not take God’s grace for granted.

5. Refusing to pay tithe/offering
Some Christians think they are so smart that they can rob God of tithe due him. We find no problems taking loans from banks with high interest rates and make efforts to pay on time but somehow find it so difficult giving God just 10 percent of what we earn. We go to bed and wake up intact, we breathe on our own, eat without choking, go out and come in without accident and still think a tenth of our income to show appreciation is uncalled for. Some people pay ridiculous prices to have the things we take for granted to sustain their lives. We should always remember that.

6. Spousal inconsiderate attitude
News flash, all the spiritual gurus! No matter how fluent you are in the language of angels, if you mistreat, disrespect or be inconsiderate to your spouse and don’t resolve it, all the prayers you say are null and void. You can’t portray yourself to be a wonderful Christian and be a terrible spouse and expect God to be part of the deceit.
So is a particular prayer request not getting answered? Perhaps, there are some matters to resolve with your partner first. Then get back on your knees.

7. Unwillingness to forgive oneself and others
One fact that we live with is that, as long as we remain human, we are likely to hurt and get hurt by people. Forgiveness isn’t easy but we can make it a part of us so we don’t imprison ourselves with bitterness and resentment. If we withhold forgiveness from others, God will do same with us. As Rev. Dr. Ernest Adu-Gyamfi would put it, ‘As long as you don’t forgive, you are a walking civil war.’ We feel like if you don’t forgive someone, you have some power over him/her and that you’d be doing him/her a favor if you do but the truth is, forgiving others is in your best interest to get your prayers answered.

Self-evaluate yourself this week and after you’ve put your house in order, get ready for God to start manifesting himself in your life.

© Josephine Amoako 2018

WRITTEN BY: Bernard Adu-Gyamfi