Have you ever had a stopped-up shower? Ick! Or, even worse, have you ever had a stopped-up toilet? It is the absolute worst. The other day, my husband had to go out and buy a plunger because our toilet was about to explode with stuff you don’t want me to describe. The pipe was clogged, and — let me just tell you, to put it nicely, things needed to flow (somewhere else)!
Just as things could not flow where they needed to because they were hindered by toilet paper, did you know that our prayers can be hindered too? Stopped up? Thwarted?
When this happens, it can create a horrible stop-up in our life. The painful things that need to clear out, just don’t. What we want to be over and done with, sticks around. What stinks, stays.
Might your prayers be hindered or blocked?
There are 5 things that can block or stop our prayers. The 5 hindrances are:
1. We turn away from doing what is right and, instead, do what is evil, without confessing our sins.
If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. (Ps. 66:18)
*Iniquity means: wickedness or sin
If one turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination. (Prov. 28:9)
For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” (1 Pet. 3:12)
2. We do not extend compassion and grace to others.
In the same way you married men should live considerately with [your wives], with an intelligent recognition [of the marriage relation], honoring the woman as [physically] the weaker, but [realizing that you] are joint heirs of the grace (God’s unmerited favor) of life, in order that your prayers may not be hindered … (1 Pet. 3:7)
While I know this verse is directed towards husbands, women are equally called to remember we are joint-heirs of grace and to extend that grace accordingly. To be angry and bitter, I believe, impacts a lot in our spiritual life.
3. We ask with selfish ambition or from soulish self-centered motives.
You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. (Ja. 4:3)
And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. (1 Jo. 5:14)
4. We ask without confidence in Him and without faith that He will do what we asked Him to do.
If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. (Jo. 15:7)
And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” (Mt. 21:22)
“And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” (Mk. 11:22-24)
5. We do not forgive others.
“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.” (Mk. 11:25)
What might be blocking you? Friends, the first place to start is repentance. Tell God, you are sorry. By doing this, you will find the flow is opened up once again. You will unblock the pipe. You will permit God to do what He so desires to do: help you!
Absolutely, the grace of God is enough to cover our mistakes, but if we willfully want to go our own way, God doesn’t pin us to the ground and force us to go His way. He is kind, patient and slow to anger.
In the past, I have thought the issue was God. I’d ask, “Where is He? Why hasn’t He shown up?”
Later, would come a day when I’d fall on my knees and realize the pride of me, kept me from the love of Him. I had inadvertently blocked His help. I had stopped His miraculous help!
If you are in this sort of place, where nothing is happening, may I encourage you? Turn towards your Father and clear out any hinderances. He loves you. He has good gifts for you. He wants to help you. He wants to give to you. Just as I want to give amazing Christmas gifts to my kids, He wants to give to you, too!
Unblock the flow!
Prayer: Father, give us clean hands and a pure heart. Show us if there is any wrong way within us. Forgive us for anything we may have done against you. Lead us to you — to the Good Shepherd, to our Defender and to our Provider. Hear our prayer and give us your peace. Hear the cry of our heart and answer us today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
P.S. The “Help My Marriage Workshop” is next Thursday, December 14. You can also access it by recording. Register here.
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