This past Sunday we continued our SERIES "Small Things." It's doing the "right" small things faithfully over time that bring HUGE impact. We talked about the power of prayer and how God still displaying his power and miracles today!! If you missed it you can listen on-line at http://www.wyandottefamily.com/listen.html or you can listen on iTunes at http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/wyandotte-family-church/id478735158?mt=2&ign-mpt=uo%3D4.
Prayer is an important part of the follower of Christ and is an extremely powerful practice. Prayer does make a difference and does change people, situations and future events, Yet, are there some prayers that won't be answered? Are there things that hinder our prayers? Are there certain things that matter to God that no matter how many times we ask, the answer will be no?
Here are a few verses from the Bible that reveal to us potential hindrances to our prayers...
#1--Wrong and/or selfish motives
There are times we forget that He is God and not Santa Clause. He truly has our best interest in mind and cares about us more than we do. As a result, he knows that giving us everything we ever wanted would bring destruction and not life. If you have children or grandchildren then you understand this reality. There are times are children want to stay up all night playing video games on a school night, and we have to say no. Our children may get mad at us, think we are unfair, cruel and no good parents, yet we know that we have their best interest in mind.
James 4:1-3--What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.
#2--Undealt with sin
The Bible makes it clear that because of Jesus Christs' death on the cross and Resurrection, everyone has the same opportunity to receive spiritual forgiveness and freedom. (1 John 1:9, John 3:16). However, if we are living in such a manner that is not pleasing to God and we know it, yet choose not to change, we are putting up a wall to God. It's as if we asked our children what they did at their friends house and they lie to us. This happens over and over and they aren't changing. That effects the relationship, the freedom level and our ability to trust them. When we see no repentant heart or desire to change, it hurts the relationship. The same is true in our relationship with God.
Isaiah 59:1--Listen! The LORD’s arm is not too weak to save you, nor is his ear too deaf to hear you call. It’s your sins that have cut you off from God. Because of your sins, he has turned away and will not listen anymore.
#3--Broken horizontal relationships
Our relationships here on earth (horizontal) effect our relationship with God (vertical) and vise verse. When we treat others with hatred, disrespect, anger etc. it effects our personal prayer life and relationship with God.
1 Peter 3:7--In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together...Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.
Matthew 5:23-25--So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.
God still answers prayers today! God loves us and wants us to pray so we can know him better, hear his voice and see his power at work. Yet, our prayers can be hindered. Lord, forgive me for my sins, wrong motives and desires. I pray that you continue to change my heart and make me more like you in all I do!!