1. Prayerlessness: James 4:2--"You do not have, because you do not ask God." Our philosophy is often why pray when we can worry about it?
2. Unconfessed sin: Psalm 66:18--"If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me." Sin offends a holy God and separates us from Him.
3. Broken relationships: Matthew 5:23,24--"Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift." We often treat relationships with others too lightly. "If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see?"(I John 4:20)
4. Insincere communication: Matthew 6:7--"When you pray, don’t babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again." Repeating the same words over and over does not guarantee that God hears our prayers. It's not wrong to bring the same request to God many times, but we need to make sure that we mean what we say.
5. Improper motives: James 4:3--"And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure." We often just present to God our wish list instead of praying for His will to be done.
6. Uncaring attitudes: Proverbs 21:13--"If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered." When we see others in need we need to do more than just pray...we need to do what we can to help.
7. Inadequate faith: James 1:6,7--"But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord." How often do I pray not really expecting an answer, and when I don't get an answer I get what I expect!
Well, these provided me with food for thought today. I know I need to be more faithful in my prayer, and these are a few things that want to consider when I do spend time in prayer.
When we work, we work. But when we pray, God works! (Oswald Smith)