WHAT DID YOU EXPECT??
By Paul David Tripp
Category: Marriage & Family / Christian Living
Prayer is very important in the salvation of the lost. At most times, we evangelize unbelievers and our efforts don't seem to bring people to salvation right away. This can seem disappointing, especially when we want to see people immediately repent and be baptized by the Holy Spirit much like in Acts 2. All we can really do afterwards is pray that God will be merciful to draw our unbelieving prospects to salvation before they die. As Jesus says in John 6:44, "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him..." Prayer has worked in bringing people to salvation and continues to work everyday. However, we must have our hearts right with the Lord if we want our prayers to be answered.
I have attached ten crucial hindrances to effective and answered prayers (adapted from the bestselling Christian book THE LOVE DARE by Alex and Stephen Kendrick). I hope this helps, especially in your own journey in praying for the salvation of the lost, whether they be celebrities or close ones.
Ten Things that Block Prayer:
- Praying without knowing God through Christ: John 14:6: “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”
- Praying from an unrepentant heart: Psalm 66:18: “If I regard wickedness in my heart, the Lord will not hear…”
- Praying for show: Matthew 6:5: “When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward in full.”
- Praying repetitive, empty words: Matthew 6:7-8: “And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words.”
- Prayers not prayed: James 4:2: “You do not have because you do not ask.”
- Praying with a lustful heart: James 4:3: “You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.”
- Praying while mistreating your spouse: 1 Peter 3:7: “You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman, and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.”
- Praying while ignoring the poor: Proverbs 21:13: “He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor will also cry himself and not be answered.”
- Praying with bitterness in your heart toward someone: Mark 11:25-26: “Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions.”
- Praying with a faithless heart: James 1:6-8: “But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”