THE GREATEST HINDRANCE TO PRAYER

Bible Reading: Luke 11:1-12; James 1:17

The Bible speaks clearly of things that hinder prayer. These include sin, unbelief, unforgiveness, and praying with wrong motives, but perhaps the greatest hindrance of all is a wrong concept of God. Some people see Him as harsh, demanding and cruel, others as distant and unapproachable. To some people God is seen to be like a detective – just waiting to catch them out. Tragically, others think that God rejects them because they are simply not good enough or worthy of Him.

Can you see something that is consistent in all these wrong views of God? They almost all reflect a poor relationship with an earthly father – one who was harsh, cruel, demanding, distant, always missing and unapproachable.

Unless God’s grace has touched and changed us, our understanding of God will be similar to the relationship, or lack of relationship that we had with our earthly father. In his remarkable book, “Kisses from a Good God,” Paul Manwaring says, “The reason for nearly every deficit of our souls can be found in the deficit that exists in our earthly relationships – father wounds, as they are often called, or the wounds of a mother or even a friend.”

God is not like this! He is good, compassionate, and slow to anger, rich in mercy, extravagantly kind, never absent, always approachable and not demanding! He longs for His lost son to come home so that He can pour on Him good things. He is an extravagant Father! He loves to give us good gifts and will never ever give us something that is bad for us.

Jesus came to heal the brokenhearted and to restore us. Many times I have been asked why, coming from the broken and damaged background that I came from, do I have no hang ups or anger towards God. He healed my broken heart, set free me from all the wounds of rejection and filled my heart with love for God. It is easy to pray to this Heavenly Father because He is totally good. Our circumstances, failures and successes do not change the goodness of God!

Our damaged concepts of God may be the biggest hindrance to prayer. How do you pray effectively to a God who you don’t really trust?

Questions:

What do you earn about the character of God in James 1:17?

What principles of prayer are found in Luke 11:5-13?

What does Luke 11:13 say about the goodness of God?

What is your understanding of the goodness of God? How does this impact your prayer life? Is there an area of your life that needs healing so that you can relate more easily to God?