Devotion: Impediments to answered prayer

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It is always a great pleasure to reach out to you and minister the Gospel of Christ in this season.

At the beginning of the year both Christians and non-Christians are “holy, religious, upright and obedient” to God and don’t want to repeat the mistakes of last year.

You are all in reform mode; you don’t want to go out with your boss anymore, you want to leave that woman’s husband, but you fear that you may go back to the kombi after he takes back his car and you will also return to the ghetto because he will stop paying rentals for the apartment.

Some of you want to stop smoking marijuana and drinking that poisonous Zed or Krango. Today we want to look at impediments to answered prayer.

Many start the year on a high note; hoping, expecting, trusting, believing and with faith in God that the New Year will usher in the long-awaited and prayed for breakthrough.

Churches are always full to the overflow with people loaded with zeal and determination to the brim.

Morning, all night and evening prayer sessions are oversubscribed. Tithes and offerings are given without a nudge.

As the year progresses we have to send the church elders to remind you that there will be church service tomorrow.

As the year comes to a close some exit like a defeated dog with tail between legs after failing to achieve goals and set targets.

The following year the cycle begins. We remain with those that really love God and worship Him for who He is. You have to break the cycle this time around.

Let us look at some obstacles to receiving the move of God in our lives. I am always careful not to load you with don’ts without the does. At times the church is full of don’t do that, don’t do this; don’t wear this, don’t eat this etc.

Let the least of what we should do be longer so that we don’t have time to do what we are not supposed to do. It is good to know that the red light means stop but it is even more helpful to know that the green light means go. My longer least is titled, Effective praying (NewsDay 25 June 2011.)

God invites us to call upon Him in Jeremiah 33:3, “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” In John 16:23, Jesus says, “And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.”

The invitation is open, but if you live in sin you block the intervention of God in your life according to Isaiah 59:2, “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.”

Repent and don’t harbour presumptuous sin so that you keep the communication line between God and you open. Always stay in fellowship with God.

Make sure you live according to the will of God. Before you bombard Him with those demands ask Him for His will first. He created ears and the mouth so He can hear and talk. As a general rule, His will is in His Word, the Bible.

James 4:3 corrects you, “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.” 1 John 5:14 exhorts you, “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us.”

Don’t expect God to open doors for you if you are blocking others by failing to forgive them as instructed by Mark 11:25, “And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” Stop praying in vain.

Always pay your vows according to Deuteronomy 23:21, “When thou shalt vow a vow unto the Lord thy God, thou shalt not slack to pay it: for the Lord thy God will surely require it of thee; and it would be sin in thee.” And Ecclesiastes 5:4, “When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.” I always say God’s next instruction to you is as good as the last unfulfilled instruction. Deal with the balance brought forward.

Always remember that God is glorified by finished work as Christ did and says in John 17:4, “I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.”

Remember God always performs His part, Philippians 1:6, “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Other impediments you need to work on are unbelief, doubt, double mindedness, dishonouring spouses, ingratitude and forces of darkness.

For further study make yourself comfortable with the following Scriptures; Psalm 66:18, John 9:31, Matthew 6:33, Hebrews 11:6, James 1:5-8, James 4:1-4, 1peter 3:7, Psalm 67, 1 Thessalonians 5:15-18 and Daniel 10.

Always read the Bible and mix it with faith and works. Don’t give up, keep the fire burning, you are going somewhere.

All Scripture quotations are from the King James Version of the Bible.

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