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Bible Basics

For Smart People
Who Do Not Want To Be Dummies
About God and the Bible

(Parts I, II, III)
By J. George Cover

Lesson 9 - What About Prayer? Part II. (Text Version)

What Hinders Prayer?

What hinders people from praying?

  1. Sin keeps people from praying. Praying also keeps people from sin.
  2. The cares of the world and deceitfulness of possessions.
  3. Television and other pleasures can crowd out prayer. People think they do not have time.
  4. Lack of close and cherished fellowship with God.
  5. Lack of real love for God.

If we are too busy to pray and read the Bible, we are too busy, busier than God wants us to be, and too busy for our own good and God's kingdom.

What Hinders God From Hearing And Answering Prayer?

  1. Sin. "Your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear" (Isaiah 59:1). "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me." Psalm 66:18.
  2. Lack of faith. "Let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavers is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways" (James 1: 6-8).
  3. Asking amiss. "You ask, and receive not, because you ask amiss, that you may consume it upon your lusts" (James 4:3).
  4. Praying to be seen of others. Jesus said, "When you pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets that they may be seen of men. Truly I say to you, They have their reward. But you, when you pray, enter into your closet, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father which is in secret; and your Father which sees in secret shall reward you openly" (Matthew 6:5-6).
  5. Using vain repetitions. Jesus said, "When you pray, do not use vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not like them, for your Father knows what things you have need of, before you ask him" (Matthew 6:7-8).
  6. Turning away from hearing God's law. "He that turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination" (Proverbs 28:9). If we do not want to hear what God wants to say to us and are not willing to obey His commandments, why should He want to hear what we have to say to Him."
  7. The Sovereign will and plan of God. "Nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done" (Luke 22:42).

Does God Hear Sinners' Prayers?

Most sinners' praying would fall under one or more of the above categories. However, God will hear a repentant and sorrowing sinner's prayer when he calls on Him. Jesus told of a man (Luke 18:13-14) that "would not so much as lift up his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner." Jesus said, "I tell you that this man went down to his house justified (forgiven, saved)."
There is a verse in John 9:31 that reads, "We know that God hears not sinners; but if any man be a worshipper of God, and does his will, him he hears." Notice that this statement was made by the enemies of Jesus when they were accusing Jesus of being a sinner. They were partly right and partly wrong.

"Please tell me more."

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