To hinder something is to put an obstacle in the way to slow down progress or completion. Collier dictionary uses this sentence to illustrate the meaning… “Her stubbornness hinders her in relationships with other people.” As we continue to consider prayer we need to understand that there is something that hinders, slows down or prevents our prayer life. What is it? It is sin! Psalm 66:18 says that wickedness in the heart prevents the Lord from hearing and Isaiah 59:2 states that the iniquities we involve ourselves in hide God’s face from us and that He does not hear. Sounds like a hindrance to me!
There seems to be two ways this affects us, one we have already seen is that God turns His ear from sinners so that He does not hear. The other is that we can be so guilt-ridden by sin that we feel unworthy to even approach God with our prayers. Either way the cause is clear. Sin! In order to overcome we must allow our sin to be cleansed and the only way to do that is to turn to the “Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world!” Turn to God and His Son’s sacrifice on Calvary’s cross. Once we have come to God on His terms we will continue to have an avenue of approach to Him with our prayers of praise, thanksgiving, requests, and supplications.
Does that mean we will always have an effective prayer life? By no means! Satan is always looking for ways to hinder us, to break down the reconciled relationship we have with our Heavenly Father. Look out for these things that will hinder your prayer life… Doubt (James 1:5-7)… Pride (James 4:6-7)… Lacking in Love for others (Matthew 5:23-34)…Refusal to do our part (James 2:14, 17; 4:17)…Neglecting the power of group prayer (Acts 4:24; 6:4; 12:5; James 5:14-16).
We cannot afford to let anything stand in our way concerning our relationship with God. Be on guard against sin and turn to God in prayer often. He is waiting patiently for you.
Copyright © 2004, Nolan P. Rutter