What Are Some Hindrances to Effective Prayer?

Anything that hinders our communication with God is an obstacle to prayer. The following list provides examples of hindrances to effective prayer.

1. Iniquity and Unconfessed Sins

“Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor his ear heavy, that it cannot hear, but your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear” (Isaiah 59:1-2). “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me” (Psalms 66:18).

2. Vanity and Selfish Motives

“Surely God will not hear vanity, neither will the Almighty regard it” (Job 35:13). “You ask, and receive not, because you ask amiss, that you may consume it upon your lusts.” (James 4:3).

3. Haughtiness or Pride

“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6).

4. Unbelief and Doubt

“He will convict the world of sin…because they do not believe in Me” (John 16:8-9). “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord” (James 1:6-7).

5. Covetousness or Stinginess

“Whoever shuts his ears to the cry of the poor will also cry himself and not be heard” (Proverbs 21:13). “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows (1 Timothy 6:10).

6. Unforgiveness

“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:14-15).

7. Idolatry

“Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their hearts, and put before them that which causes them to stumble into iniquity. Should I let Myself be inquired of at all by them” (Ezekiel 14:3)?

8. Bad Attitude Toward Wife

“Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered” (1 Peter 3:7).

9. Asking for things outside of God’s Will

“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us” (1 John 5:14).

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