Thursday, July 23, 2009

Unhindered Prayer

One of the things that I have been dealing with, in all that our family has been going through, is my prayer life. I have always had one. For over 10 years now I have been getting up before everyone else and making sure that I get that time with the Lord. My prayer life has never been non-existent yet I have sensed in the past couple of months that God wants it go to a deeper level—a deeper place of intimacy with Him. He wants me to really grasp what “unhindered” prayer is all about. Of course, I don’t believe this is something just for me. He desires that all of us would have unhindered prayer.

So what exactly is unhindered prayer? A couple of definitions that I found for the word unhindered are:

o Not prevented or obstructed (unhindered access)
o Not hindered, slowed, blocked or hampered

Prayer can easily be obstructed, prevented, slowed, hampered or blocked for a few reasons. Here are some of them:

• Our prayers are for man rather than God – And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full (Matthew 6:5).

• Our prayers are nothing more than babbling – And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words (Matthew 6:7).

• We don’t believe – If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer (Matthew 21:22) and Therefore, I tell you whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours (Mark 11:24).

• We have unforgiveness in our hearts – And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive your sins (Mark 11:25).

• Our prayers are reserved only for our loved ones – Pray for those who mistreat you (Luke 6:28).

• We give up too easily – Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up (Luke 18:1) and He is always wrestling in prayer for you… (Colossians 4:12).

• We only pray for those things we want, “gimme” prayers – Pray that you will not fall into temptation (Luke 22:40) and “Why are you sleeping?” He asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.” (Luke 22:46).

• We worry instead of pray – Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God (Philippians 4:6).

• Our prayer life is inconsistent – Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful (Colossians 4:2) and …pray continually… (I Thessalonians 5:17).

• We are not confessing our sins – Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other… (James 5:16).

This is a list worthy of taking special note of. If you have ever felt that something about your prayer life just isn’t clicking, it could be that one of these areas is an issue in your life. God did reveal to me the area that I needed to work on and as I have begun to do so, I have felt a deeper connection to Him.

It is amazing how quietly these things can slip in and begin to put up walls between us and God and we don’t even realize it. Examine your heart and ask the Lord to reveal to you anything in your prayer life that needs to be changed.

I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints – Ephesians 1:18

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