7 Hindrances to Prayer

April 24, 2010 by Paul Chappell

Prayer is the amazing line God has provided for direct access to His throne. D.L. Moody once said, “Next to the wonder of seeing my Savior will be, I think, the wonder that I made so little use of the power of prayer.” Truly, it is a resource we should avail ourselves of continually.

Sometimes, however, we jam this line of communication and prohibit our prayers from being answered. Dr. John R. Rice often spoke of the hindrances to prayer. Below is a list of seven.

  1. Personal known sin in the believer’s life
    “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me” (Psalm 66:18).
  2. Strained relationships between husbands and wives
    “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered” (1 Peter 3:7).
  3. Unreconciled wrongs, debts, or offenses between Christian brothers and sisters.
    “Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift” (Matthew 5:23–24).
  4. An unforgiving or bitter spirit
    “Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:21–22).
    “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32).
  5. The sin of covetousness
    “From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts” (James 4:1–3).
  6. Neglect and indifference to the Word of God
    “He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination” (Proverbs 28:9).
  7. Prayerlessness itself
    “Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way” (1 Samuel 12:23).

How tragic it would be to allow any of these things to hinder our prayers from the answers our Heavenly Father delights to give.


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