"What Are Some Common Hindrances To Our Prayer Life, and How Can We Combat These Things?"

Key Verse:  "The end of all things is near. Therefore, be clearminded and self-controlled so that you can pray." I Peter 4:7 (NIV)

A.  What are some common hindrances?

1.Hindrances clearly indicated in Scripture:

a)  Unbelief  (James 1:6 & 7)

b)  Disobedience  (Prov 28:9)

c)  Wrong motives   (James 4:3)

d)  Wrong family relations   (I Peter 3:7)

e)  Unrepented or unconfessed sin  (Psalms 66:18)

f)  Weakness of human body and mind .(Mt 26:40&41, I Peter 4:7)

g)  Demonic interference  (Daniel 10:12 & 13)

2.Other hindrances to consider:

a)   Our society does not view prayer as a daily necessity like eating or sleeping.  Therefore, it is difficult to excuse yourself from other activities in order to pray.  One tends to fear being considered a religious fanatic by outsiders or "super spiritual" by other Christians.  (In Moslem countries, everything stops during the daily "hours of prayer." People in grocery checkout lines or crossing the street stop dead in their tracks, face Mecca and bow down in prayer.)

b)   Prayer is a discretionary thing:  It doesn't have to be done at any particular time.  Consequently, it gets pushed aside by more "urgent" and "practical" activities.  It is easy to procrastinate when it comes to prayer.

c)   Prayer is hard work.  It demands physical and mental effort and energy. We must struggle with the weaknesses of our bodies and minds as well as with the spiritual forces of darkness.  We live in a fast paced yet pampered society, that wants everything to be "quick and easy".

d)   Prayer is an "invisible" thing.  It is difficult to measure the effectiveness of what we are doing while we pray.  It doesn't supply us with the immediate, visible results we like to see. When we sweep a floor or mow our lawn, etc., we can more clearly measure the success or failure of our actions.

e)  People often have limited ideas as to what prayer is.  To some prayer is something you do when you need something.  They are unaware of the variety of ways to pray.

3.All hindrances come from three major sources:

a)  The World — the culture we live in and how it affects us

b)  The Flesh — the human body & mind (intellect, emotions & will)

c)  The Devil — demonic forces at work in this world

4.With these things in mind, write your answers to the following

a) What keeps us from praying? From praying alone? from praying with others? (i.e. too busy, no place to pray, self conscious praying with others, etc.)

b) When we do pray, what keeps us from praying effectively? (i.e. mind wanders, fall asleep)

Click on the link below to view a "troubleshooting guide"

(see Prayer troubleshooting guide)

B.  What can we do to combat these hindrances?

Consider the role of the following in overcoming hindrances:

1. The   Scriptures

     a)  Instruction on how to pray

     b)  Info on God aids our praise which aids our faith

     c)  Example of people who prayed

     d)   Pray the Word

2. Other believers

    a) Inspiration, instruction and encouragement from their personal experiences and example

    b) Accountability. Positive “peer pressure”

3. Christian  literature

    a) Inspiration, motivation, instruction

4.     Practical  planning and  preparation-   (see practical helps)   practical planning tips-1.docx

5.     Supernatural  strength   -  (see supernatural help)   Supernatural help.docx

Prayer Workshop Lesson 4a.docx