The Essence of Prayer XIV – Hindrances to Prayer

There are many hindrances to prayer that the believer needs to be aware of.

1st Hindrance:  Lack of watchfulness.  The believer needs to be aware of the spiritual realities of prayer itself.  One of these is watchfulness.  In the garden of Gethsemane, the Lord commands the disciples with Him to watch and pray, Matthew 26:29.  Ephesians 6, the believer needs to be armed for prayer.  The believer needs to be aware that Satan hates to have us pray.  There will be every impediment to prayer put in our way that seem real walls against prayer.  Prayer itself is a wrestling as Jacob did with God, Genesis 32:24-29.Lack of watchfulness will keep the believer from prayer.

2nd Hindrance:  Disregard of the holiness of the place to which we are coming.  Psalm 100:4  The believer must have as part of his watchfulness going into prayer the awareness of where he is entering.  He must not be like Nadab and Abihu, Leviticus 10:1, who were careless in their approach to God, offering profane fire that He had not commanded.  The believer must enter into God’s presence with praise and worship, recognizing that He is God.  Matthew 6:7-9, the Lord Jesus teaches us to begin prayer with “Hallowed be Your name”.  Moses was commanded to remove his sandals in God’s presence, Exodus 3:5.  Esther had to be acknowledged by King Ahasuerus to enter into his presence, Esther 5:1, 2.  We need to enter into God’s presence with worship then serious prayer, entering into what God is doing, becomes possible.

3rd Hindrance:  Unforgiven sin.  There is a hindrance to prayer if we walk into God’s presence with hard hearts.  Further along in what is called the Lord’s Prayer, we are taught to request forgiveness as we forgive, Matthew 6:12.  If we do not have a clear conscience before God, if we have not forgiven others and are therefore not forgiven, there can be no actual prayer.

A further necessity for the believer is to bring Christ’s blood into the holy place, to acknowledge that we are sinners bought by Christ.