Prayer is easy, right?
Other times it feels as though our prayers never make it through the ceiling.
Five Roadblocks to Prayer
- Lack of Faith
“Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And instantly the woman was made well.” (Matthew 9:22, ESV)
- Lack of Forgiveness
“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”” (Mark 11:24–25, ESV)
- Lack of Confession
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” (James 5:16, ESV)
- Lack of Humility
“But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”” (Luke 18:13–14, ESV)
- Lack of Others
“Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.” (James 5:14, ESV)
Five Things to Remember
- God desires to hear your prayers.
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:6–7, ESV)
- God is willing to give good gifts.
“If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:13, ESV)
- The Spirit is interceding when we don’t know what (or how) to pray.
“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” (Romans 8:26, ESV)
- Just because God is silent does not mean that God is absent. He will never forsake you.
“Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”” (Hebrews 13:5, ESV)
- Jesus working things for His glory, you may not understand that in the moment.
“Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.”” (John 13:7, ESV)
Often times we want to develop our prayer life because we want to feel a sense of closeness to God. There is nothing wrong with that. However, I am reminded of these words from Rich Mullins at a concert in Lufkin, Texas:
And I’m all the time being asked by people, “How do you feel closer to God?” And I kinda always want to say, “I don’t know.” When I read the lives of most of the great saints, they didn’t necessarily feel very close to God. When I read the Psalms, I get the feeling like David and the other psalmists felt very far from God for most of the time. Closeness to God is not about feelings. Closeness to God is about obedience. It’s just as simple as that. Rich Mullins
Rich is onto something. We know where Jesus is. If want to feel close to God we simply need to step into obedience.
“Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’” (Matthew 25:37–40, ESV)