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The most obvious hindrance to effective prayer is the presence of unconfessed sins in the heart of the one who is praying. Because our God is holy, there is a barrier that exists between Him and us...
As Michael pointed out: unconfessed sins; living according to selfish fleshly desires; selfish prayers; a spirit of unforgiveness toward others; unbelief and doubt; discord in the home; and perhaps more are but some hindrances to a potent prayer life that robs one of a close communion with God. It is nonetheless my humble opinion, that one significant hindrance to a potent prayer life is sadly not knowing the Father’s heart made explicit in Christ Jesus - “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.” (John 14:7) That the Father’s unconditional love for His redeemed supersedes legalism, psychological baggage and more, Paul makes it clear in his personal revelation: Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?…For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:37, 38, 39). So, whilst it is difficult to constantly win the battle on all fronts, we may nonetheless rest assured of the presence of the Father at our faintest cry.
God always answers prayer for His children. It may not be the answer we want, but we should not want anything that is not the best for us. He said, if we ask for bread will he give us a stone? If our earthly fathers gave us good gifts, how much more shall our heavenly father give to us? But, it is true. If we are walking in His will for our lives he blesses us. If we are not he chastens us or withholds the blessings we could have had. There is an old saying, be careful what you pray for as you might get it. I have prayed for things that I did not receive for over 30 years. God did answer my prayer, but He knew that it would not be good for me to have that certain thing at the time I prayed for it. But in time He did answer my prayer. Learning to wait upon the Lord is something we all have to learn. I have gotten ahead of Him to many times and learned that it is not a good thing. We should not be afraid to ask God for anything. We can pray for others to come to Christ for salvation, but the person still has to be willing to accept Jesus free gift. But we need to remember, that we will have our prayers answered if we are walking in fellowship with our heavenly Father. We can never be out of relationship to Him, but we can get out of fellowship. Once we have accepted His free gift of salvation by grace, we are in a right relationship to Him through the indwelling of His Sprit who will never leave us or forsake us. Hebrews 13:5. And we are to be content with such things as we have. First John 3:23 And this is His commandment, that we should believe on the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another as He gave us commandment. if we keep those two commandments we will walk in the Spirit and God will hear our prayers. Then He will bless us when we pray in HIs will.
2 Corinthians 12:1-10 Thank God for Thorns An unknown poet has written: Once I heard a song of sweetness as it cleft the morning air, Sounding in its blest completeness like a tender, pleading prayer; And I sought to find the singer whence the wondrous song was born; Till I found a bird, sore wounded, pinioned by an ugly thorn. I have seen a soul of sadness while its wings with pain were furled, Giving hope and cheer and gladness that should bless the weeping world; Soon I learned a life of sweetness was of pain and sorrow born, For that stricken soul was singing with its heart against a thorn!’ You are told of One who loves you, of a Savior crucified, You are told of nails that pinioned, and a spear that pierced His side; You are told of cruel scourging, of a Savior bearing scorn, And He died for your salvation with His brow against the thorn. You are not above the Master! Will you breathe a sweet refrain? Then His grace will be sufficient when your heart is pierced with pain; Will you live to bless His loved ones though your life be bruised and torn, Like a bird that sang so sweetly with its heart against a thorn' If you have thorns in your life, thank God for the roses of grace that inevitably go with them.
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