Obstacles to Effective Prayer (Part 1)

prayer 2

James 1:5-8 (NIV)

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.

Some of King David’s prayers are recorded in the Psalms.  There we can read how he praised God, confessed sin, and cried out about his troubles.  He also asked God to hear his prayers and not be silent.  We all want to pray effectively like David did.  To do this however, we need to avoid certain obstacles that can hinder the effectiveness of our prayers, such as:

Wavering Faith

Doubts about God’s character or dependability diminish our trust in Him.  Therefore we must not allow feelings to dictate what we believe.


Wrong Motives

James 4:3 (NIV)

When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

Petitions motivated by selfish desires won’t receive a yes from God.  He wants us to pray for His will to be done, not ours.


Conflict in Relationships

Being resentful or argumentative with others will affect our communication with God.


Lack of Generosity

Proverbs 21:13 (NIV)

13 Whoever shuts their ears to the cry of the poor
    will also cry out and not be answered.

God is displeased when we ignore people’s needs or give begrudgingly to the church.  He hears us asking for a blessing yet he sees us refusing to obey Him in our giving.

1 Timothy 6:17-19 (NIV)

17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.



Proverbs 28:9 (NIV)

If anyone turns a deaf ear to my instruction,
    even their prayers are detestable.

Apathy to the Scriptures is another stumbling block.  God has given us the Bible so that we might know Him and serve Him wholeheartedly.  Failure to read and apply His Word consistently will diminish our ability to maintain a godly lifestyle.


It takes effort and commitment to develop a strong prayer life, but the rewards are great.  If your prayers have not been answered, consider if any of the above issues may need correction.  Then, start by personalizing the prayers you read in the Psalms or elsewhere in God’s Word.

Remember that God will grant us anything we ask for, but only if what we are asking for is in line with God’s will.  Having a close relationship with God, through studying and mediating on the Bible and then trying to live it out, will put us into that flow of God’s will and then our prayers will be much more likely to be answered.  God only wants the very best for you, do you?

Be sure to read Part 2 of this blog to check out some more obstacles to our prayers.  Everyone have a great weekend!

About wmarsau

Most of the people who visit this blog already know me so it is kind of pointless to try to describe my life in this short little blurb. What is the purpose of this blog is the question. Over the course of this last year I have been exposed to some amazing people and have made personal development an important focus of my life. Being successful, not by the world's standards, but by God's has become my main focus. Mainly, I want to work to develop myself as a person who is kinder, reaches out to help those in need, and truly makes a difference in this world. To this end I am constantly reading and am exposed to so many differnet things along the way. These have been amazing and it is helping me grow so much. Then I started to think, "Why am I being so selfish?" You need to share with others these amazing things you are learning and being exposed to. That is where this blog comes into play. As I am reading and experiencing things that are truly amazing and life changing, I will be posting them on this blog. Obviously, I will not be able to post everything in it's entirity, but I will be summarizing them and letting you know the source of the article or book they come from so you can check them out later if you wish. I want this blog to be a place where you can go to often and be inspired and leave here with a smile on your face. I will be covering all kinds of different topics dealing with success and personal development. Topics like taking action, relationships, living to your potential, reinventing yourself, finances, leadership, presenting, goal setting, time management, etc. I will also be occasionally including topics on cooking, music, and gardening because they are special interests of mine. As a little disclaimer, I have given my life to the Lord and he is #1 in my life. I am his servant and everything I do in life is for his glory. With that being said, religion influences all areas of my life. There will be references to God in this blog because I can't seperate God from this or any other area of my life. I want you to know that if you do not believe in God, that is fine. That is your choice. This blog is open to anyone who wants to better their life. I will not be trying to influence or pressure anyone into having a relationship with the Lord from this site. Please don't feel uncomfortable. You can just read the portions of the blog that you wish to. I am inviting you to go on a journey with me. We will learn together to be the kind of people we were designed to be. Anyone can make a difference in this world, but it starts%
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1 Response to Obstacles to Effective Prayer (Part 1)

  1. Pingback: Obstacles to Effective Prayer (Part 2) | wmarsau

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