Throughout the Bible, God’s people are commanded to pray at all times — in good times and bad. No matter what our situation or condition, we are to pray without ceasing. “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
I believe every sincere Christian wants to pray but even mature believers slack off or find it difficult at times. After much prayer and study of God’s Word, I believe the Lord shed some light on this subject for me. Here are five common hindrances to prevailing prayer:
- Difficulty believing your prayers are accepted. Even after hearing the gospel of grace preached for years, some Christians still lack confidence that they are accepted before the Lord.
- Feeling guilty for praying only when you are in trouble. The Bible tells us, “He shall regard the prayer of the destitute, and shall not despise their prayer” (Psalm 102:17). God will never reject our prayers simply because we offer them in a crisis.
- Mistakenly believing prayer has to be exhausting or loud. Sometimes fervent prayer is appropriate, but God will hear us if we don’t raise our voices.
- Emphasizing mental praying at the exclusion of praying aloud. I believe quiet, unspoken prayers are effective; indeed, when Paul speaks of “praying without ceasing,” I believe he is referring to mental prayers. But praying aloud can be a blessed relief at times.
- Prevailing prayer is impossible without the help of the Holy Spirit. Paul writes, “The Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us” (Romans 8:26).
Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you to pray. He will put a spirit of thanksgiving in your heart and as you respond to his voice, you will find a river of godly prayer flowing from your soul.