This was our first service this Sunday 10th July 2011. The theme of the message is Barriers to Prayer.
Many of us go to God at times when we are in need and ask God for something. There is always a time when we find ourselves praying. have you ever noticed that every time the matatu or bus or car you are traveling in is about to crash everyone starts crying Jesus(even the atheists! 🙂 ) and everyone in their cry realizes that Jesus is supreme and that there is no name that can even attempt to compare to His.
Why do we just seek God in the times of need only? Paul says to us that we should pray without ceasing.
The first thing that poses a barrier to prayer is living a sinful life. The scripture illustration insists that only holy hands should be raised to God in prayer. Lift them and tell Him to cleanse them. You and I should seek to live a life that honors God, by our speech, our thoughts and actions. In that way, we are guaranteed that he will answer the prayers we pray to Him.
Isaiah 1:15-20 AMP
And when you spread forth your hands [in prayer, imploring help], I will hide My eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood! Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes! Cease to do evil, Learn to do right! Seek justice, relieve the oppressed, and correct the oppressor. Defend the fatherless, plead for the widow. Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; But if you refuse and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken it.
The second thing that is a real prayer-blocker per excellence is bitterness. When we fail to forgive or hold grudges in our hearts, we block the answer from god to the prayers that we so seriously lift towards him. Let us be at peace with all men, Paul said, in order that we will be able to tap into the great favor that God has in store for us.
Matthew 5:23-26 AMP
So if when you are offering your gift at the altar you there remember that your brother has any [grievance] against you, Leave your gift at the altar and go. First make peace with your brother, and then come back and present your gift. Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are on the way traveling with him, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. Truly I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last fraction of a penny.
The other thing that is a barrier to prayer is doubt. If we have the faith like that of a mustard seed, we can say to this mountain, Go out from this place and be thrown into the sea, and it will do exactly that. We have to pray without a doubt in our minds that God is able to answer our prayers.
1 Timothy 2:8 AMP
I desire therefore that in every place men should pray, without anger or quarreling or resentment or doubt [in their minds], lifting up holy hands.
Lets pray, every day, every time, everywhere. Its just not about the clapping of hands and hollering to the four winds, t is also a quiet conversation that we have with our savior every moment of the day.