Powerful & Effective Prayer
07/01/22 – 07/07/22
Keeping the Lines Open
By Michael Youssef, Ph D. 07/03/22
Do you feel like your prayers are powerless and that God is not listening? This is not the experience God intended for prayer. He wants us to find joy and fellowship with Him, not frustration and loneliness.
Jesus opened the communication lines between us and the Father; however, our sinfulness can affect our prayer lives. We must remain on guard against potential pitfalls so that we can maintain open lines of communication with our Lord.
The first hindrance to prayer is a marriage relationship that is off kilter. Scripture warns us, “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” (1 Peter 3:7). God has given us a balanced formula for a joyous, contented marriage, and when that relationship becomes unbalanced, our relationship with God will also suffer.
Similarly, our prayers will not be answered when we have wronged someone and refuse to make restitution. Jesus said that before we give offerings, “First go and be reconciled to [your brother or sister]; then come and offer your gift” (Matthew 5:24). If we have deliberately cheated or hurt someone, our prayers are hollow in God’s ears. We must seek their forgiveness and restore that relationship.
Our prayers will also be hindered when an unforgiving spirit lurks in our souls. The Bible warns against bitterness: “See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many” (Hebrews 12:15). We should always be on guard against grudges, bitterness, animosity, and vindictiveness in our hearts. With God’s help we must work on forgiving those who have wronged us.
Prayer: Father, I pray that I will always stay on guard against the pitfalls that would hinder my communication with You. Help me to align my heart with Yours and to follow Your ways in all I do. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
“Set a guard over my mouth, LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips” (Psalm 141:3).