Faithlife Sermons

Powerful, Purifying and Persistent Prayer pt. 2

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Barriers to praying

There was a time in my life that I couldn’t pray.
Irregular heartbeat.
I sank into a pit and was giving up
Tonight we are talking about barriers to praying.
1. Doubt/Unbelief/doublemindedness
James 1:6-7 “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;”
Matthew 9:24-25 “He said to them, “Make room, for the girl is not dead, but sleeping.” And they ridiculed Him. But when the crowd was put outside, He went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose.”
Story- Man whose car broke down. Called tow truck. Guy hooked up his car and started pulling his car up the hill. It was a struggle. Engine revving…gears grinding…slow going.
At the top of the hill he gets out and tells the guy. “I didn’t know if we were going to make it to the top!”
The guy looks at him and says, “I know, right! I wasn’t sure either! That’s why I kept my foot on the brake the whole way up!”
Some of us have the brakes on for what God is trying to do!
Mark 11:23 “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.”
2. Selfish Motives
James 4:3 “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.”
Soulish/Fleshly Prayers. My will not Yours.
Manipulating God
Soulish/Fleshly Prayers Definition:
Praying on the behalf of another person or yourself, but asking what you want to happen or what you think that person wants; instead of seeking the perfect will of God and praying in accordance with It. Soulish prayers can hinder the working of the Holy Spirit.
Examples of soulish prayers:
Manifesting: Manifesting means to make something happen. The new age movement calls this the law of attraction and it is the belief that positive or negative thoughts bring positive or negative experiences into your life. It says that thoughts are energy; and energy can attract similar energies to itself because there is an attractive magnetic pattern to the universe.
Praying ill against someone that you don’t like or that is doing something you don’t like.
Praying your will over God’s will.
Praying material blessings over someone that God is trying to break.
Praying that God will stop blessing someone.
Manifesting is inspired by various philosophical traditions: Hermeticism, New England transcendentalism, specific verses of the Bible, and Hinduism.
The main idea is that what you focus on, whether good or bad, comes to you and power is in your hands. You can create things in your life.
Matthew 5:44 “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,”
3. Anger at God
4. Unworthiness
5. Unresolved emotional trauma/pain.
Psalm 55:1–8 NKJV
Give ear to my prayer, O God, And do not hide Yourself from my supplication. Attend to me, and hear me; I am restless in my complaint, and moan noisily, Because of the voice of the enemy, Because of the oppression of the wicked; For they bring down trouble upon me, And in wrath they hate me. My heart is severely pained within me, And the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling have come upon me, And horror has overwhelmed me. So I said, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. Indeed, I would wander far off, And remain in the wilderness. Selah I would hasten my escape From the windy storm and tempest.”
Psalm 55:16-17 “As for me, I will call upon God, And the Lord shall save me. Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, And He shall hear my voice.”
Hard for me to pray- Dad. How you see your earthly father will always affect how you see your Heavenly Father. Mothers can affect our view of God too.
Hard for me to pray for Heather- Heather had broken up with me. I went to her to tell her that a friend of ours had died. Harsh response.
Emotional issues that we may or may not realize are there can block us from praying or praying effectively.
Are you willing to give Holy Spirit your heart before you give Him your words?
Strong grief or sickness
What do we do when we cannot pray? Nothing at first.
Romans 8:26 “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”
Ask someone to pray over you for the purpose of having Holy Spirit reveal any wounds or issues in your heart that may be blocking your prayer.
Follow that up with doing something about it. Ask Holy Spirit what you need to do in order to be healed of it. If you don’t get anything…talk to someone you trust and ask them what they think you should do.
Pray hardest when it’s hardest to pray!
If you don’t want to pray then get ready to watch the Devil play!
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