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If I have unconfessed sin or unforgiveness towards others, those are two significant reasons for ineffective prayer! ~ Bill Greguska
Mark 9:28-29 After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer.”
Need Help With Ineffective Prayer
Looking back in my own life, I recall having ineffective prayer at certain times in my life, yet after closer examination of the facts, the things that I was praying for were either selfish things, or things not in God’s will that I asked for, not to mention at times having a sinful and an unconfessed heart. Bill Greguska
I believe that some people think that if they pray, God will always hear them and give them what they ask for? A survey of the Bible on this topic suggests that the answer is yes and no. Yes, he hears you, but no, he may not always give you what you ask for.
The Bible does refer to ineffective prayer. It is clear that we potentially have an influence over God’s responsive to prayer through essential factors, such as:
If you are in God’s word and will, producing fruit, and loving one another with mutual respect, then God will hear your prayers.
John 15:7 “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given to you.“ This verse suggests that we need to be reading the Bible and allowing God’s words to saturate us. Are you doing this?
John 15:16 “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit-fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.” This verse suggests that if we are producing the fruit that God has called us to produce, we may ask of God in Jesus’ Name and he will answer our prayers. Are you bearing fruit according to God’s calling in your life?
1 Peter 3:7 “Husbands, in the same way, be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.” Although addressed to Husbands, this verse can also be applied to Wives. It suggests that if we are not being considerate of our spouse, and treating them with love and respect, then our prayers will be hindered. If you are married, how are you treating your spouse? If you are not married, how are you treating your boy/girlfriend or family members?
Turn Ineffective Prayer Into Effective Prayer!
The Second Reason For Ineffective Prayer!
The other reason for ineffective prayer is based on how you are addressing sin in your life at the time. Are you cherishing/embracing your sin or are you fighting against it?
Psalm 66:17-20 “I cried out to him with my mouth; his praise was on my tongue. If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer. Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!
Isaiah 59:1-2 “Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities (sin) have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you so that he will not hear.”
Ezekiel 14:3 “Son of man, these men have set up idols in their hearts and put wicked stumbling blocks before their faces. Should I let them inquire of me at all?”
Read James 5:13-18. Verse 16: “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”
1 Peter 3:12 “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
Change Your Ineffective Prayer Today!
Do You Fight Sin Or Become Numb To Sin?
Have you given yourself over to your sinful desires or are you confessing your sins to one another and striving to live a righteous life? Are there any sins in your life you wish to confess to God now and maybe admit to a close Christian friend?
The final barrier is about our faith in God. It would help if you believed and not doubt.
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 person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.”
Matthew 7:7-8 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”
Do you believe God will answer your prayers? Do you think God can and will answer prayers?
Sometime this week, re-read the verses from this lesson. Did anything convict you of an area you need to focus on more? (seeking God’s will, producing fruit, living a more righteous life, confessing sins, resolving doubts about God, etc.) Continue praying each day this week, and ask God to help you with those specific areas. Share any other thoughts or questions about this lesson with God and a close Christian friend.