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Prayer

Hinderances to Answered Prayers

Proverbs 15:8
The LORD detests the sacrifice of the wicked, but the prayer of the upright pleases him.
NIV

The Scriptures list a large number of hindrances to our prayers. Here is but a sampling of the possible obstacles we may face in search for an answer from God to our prayers. Most of these, you will find, are the opposite side of the coins we reviewed on the page listing Conditions for Answered Prayer.

Iniquity
Psalm 66:18 If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened

Refusal to obey God
Proverbs 28:9 If anyone turns a deaf ear to the law, even his prayers are detestable.

An estranged heart
Isaiah 29:13 The Lord says: "These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.

Sinful separation from God
Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.

Waywardness
Jeremiah 14:10-12 10 This is what the LORD says about this people: "They greatly love to wander; they do not restrain their feet. So the LORD does not accept them; he will now remember their wickedness and punish them for their sins." 11 Then the LORD said to me, "Do not pray for the well-being of this people. 12 Although they fast, I will not listen to their cry; though they offer burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Instead, I will destroy them with the sword, famine and plague."

Offering unworthy sacrifices
Malachi 1:7-9 7 "You place defiled food on my altar. "But you ask, How have we defiled you?; "By saying that the LORD's table is contemptible. 8 When you bring blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice crippled or diseased animals, is that not wrong? Try offering them to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you?" says the LORD Almighty. 9 "Now implore God to be gracious to us. With such offerings from your hands, will he accept you?"-says the LORD Almighty.

Praying to be seen
Matthew 6:5-6 5 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. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Pride in fasting and prayer
Luke 18:11-14 11 The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: &God, I thank you that I am not like other men-robbers, evildoers, adulterers-or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.& 13 "But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, &God, have mercy on me, a sinner.& 14 "I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

Lack of faith
Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

Doubting, double-mindedness, sitting on the fence
James 4:3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

All Scriptures on this page from the NIV

 

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December 9, 2019

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