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Core Values: Prayer
Breaking through the Roadblocks
I have found these five roadblocks to prayer true in my own life. Let’s journey together through them and seek to breakthrough each roadblock.
The top five prayer busters and the antidotes.
- Lawlessness – Antidote, Love.
- Fatalistic – Antidote, Faith.
- Distractions – Antidote, Discipline.
- Coolness – Antidote, Confession.
- Apathy – Antidote, Alertness.
Lawless – Antidote, Love.
Disobedience drives me away from God. Love drives me to God.
When we go to God in prayer, unconfessed sin becomes the “Elephant in the room.” We cannot go deeper in prayer until we deal with our sin.
Get the elephant out of the room by following these steps:
Before you can take these steps, it is only possible when you Trust God enough to be vulnerable. That is based on love. When we have not experienced genuine love in our lives, it is difficult to trust that His love will permeate His response. In other words, Love is the Leverage. Without Love, we will live with elephants in the room because we cannot remove it.
Jesus’ obedience involved public shame and ultimate death. But our Lord is honored above all – Listen to Phil 2:8-11
So, loving the Lord is the key to this open relationship where our conversations can be free from an ELEPHANT in the ROOM.
First, Acknowledge it.
Don’t try to get used to it.
When you have an elephant in the room with God, it is hard to ignore it. You may be willing to live with a herd of elephants but God isn’t willing to put up with ONE.
There is only one way to get the elephant out of the room: Deal with it.
Now, if you try to deal with it by yourself, then the elephant will be far too heavy. But if you join your heavenly father in dealing with it, then you will have the power you need.
Too often we want to get the elephant out of the room through a door called secret. So we don’t mention it, we don’t address it or look at it. We ignore the elephant in the room and we really look foolish because we are being foolish.
We also seek to deal with the elephant by redecorating the room so the elephant fits in. Now that is rather odd. It is hard to redecorate a room so that an elephant looks natural. Now please. Sin is never to be natural in a born-again believer’s life.
Second, Agree with God about it.
Name the elephant. Call it what it is.
Third, Accept God’s Grace to move it.
There is no way you can remove the ELEPHANT in the ROOM. To try to do so will only lead to frustration. You must accept the forgiveness of the Lord and be free.
Fourth, Anticipate the ELEPHANT seeking to get back in.
When you have confessed your sin, accept God’s forgiveness and when you are reminded of the sin (remember that memory is a biological function of the mind, while forgiveness is an act of the will) remember that God has forgiven you.
Fatalism – Antidote, Faith.
Determinism fosters passivity. Faith fosters action.
Classic Eeyore “End of the road… nothing to do… and no hope of things gettin better… Sounds like Saturday night at my house.”
Why should I pray when it isn’t going to make a difference anyway? If God is sovereign and he has his plans and his plans are going to be carried out, then why should I pray? He is going to do what he is going to do anyway.
Ok, let me to talk to the Eeyore’s in the house today.
God has ordained prayer. We didn’t invent it. Now to think that prayer is an unproductive, useless activity is to say that God intentionally came up with something for us to do that is unproductive and useless. That certainly is a low estimation of God’s character.
God works through our prayer. He ordained it to be that way.
Some things are not going to change – they are set in stone for eternity. For example, the way of salvation is set in stone for eternity. Jesus is the only way. Now there is no need for me to pray that there would be another way.
Listen, the Bible is our source of authority on all matters. Here’s what the bible has to say about this:
Phil 1:19 for I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,
The prayers of the people and the provision of the Spirit are put on equal footing in this passage…. Meaning that just as much as God works through the power and provision of the Holy Spirit, he works through the power and provision of the Prayers of his people.
James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man has great power to prevail. 17 Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years.…
Genesis 18 the father of Faith, Abraham interceded on behalf of Sodom and Gomorrah out of love and compassion for the people in that land – as well as his own nephew. He petitioned God to spare it if 50 righteous people were found.
God agreed. Then he went down to 45. God agreed. Then 40. Then 30. Then 20. Then 10.
Your prayers matter. Your prayers not only move the hand of God your prayer are precious to the heart of God. Revelation 5:8 talks about the Golden bowl of incense in heaven that is the prayers of Christians.
James 1 teaches us to ask in faith and our Father who loves us will give us every Good and perfect gift.
There are many hindrances to prayer because prayer is powerful.
Prayer changes you.
Prayer moves God.
Prayer facilitates intimacy.
Prayer molds minds.
Prayer destroys strongholds.
Prayer reshapes perception.
Prayer dispatches angels.
Prayer heals wounds.
Prayer strengthens others.
Prayer protects you.
Prayer relieves worry.
Prayer moves mountains.
Prayer uncovers deception.
Prayer stays God’s wrath. (Abraham)
Prayer purges sin. (1 John 1:9)
Prayer illuminates your path.
Prayer opens doors.
Prayer empowers obedience.
Prayer garnishes peace.
Prayer unifies people.
Prayer provides direction.
Coolness – Antidote, Confession.
Elsa in the movie frozen could not control the icy power of her touch.
There are times when you pray when you do not feel the presence of God. You will not sense His love or concern. You will actually feel that God is a million miles removed from you.
Within the last couple of weeks, I had one of those days. A day that was just off. I didn’t feel well emotionally and I was distant from my wife. We talked about it at the end of the day. I said, “I don’t know what is wrong with me, you haven’t done anything, I haven’t done anything, I just feel like there is a wall between us.”
Listen, that is why it is unwise to base your decisions on your emotions. Your emotions can be very deceptive. They can also be destructive if you are not careful. If you don’t control them, you can freeze those closest to you.
By the way, the next morning, that unusual feeling I had experienced was gone. When that “coolness” was there, it did not hinder me from talking with my wife. As a matter of fact, our discussion that evening when I felt distant and detached, meant more to me than many other discussions because it demonstrated that our relationship isn’t based on surface feelings but a deep commitment and loyalty that supersedes emotions.
So it is in your relationship with the Lord. You start to pray and it is like you feel your prayers are hitting the ceiling and bouncing right back down to you.
Your prayer life isn’t to be based on how you feel but on your faith. You believe and trust God. You know he loves you and cares about you. You overcome those times of “coolness” that you may not be able to explain and you seek the face of God. You may find that it is during that season that you learn more about the quality and depth of your relationship with the Lord than any other time.
Distractions – Antidote, Discipline.
Smartphone! Is your tv a distraction? etc
The greatest invention of distraction is a smart phone. Mega Distractor.
Distractions prevents me from being focused. Discipline focuses.
1 Timothy 4:7 “Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness”
Apathy – Antidote, Alertness.
Ostrich head in sand
Desperation sees the danger. We must become desperate in our prayers.
Danger is only perceived by those who see. Some may want to live in a state of denial than to feel the discomfort with facing the facts.
Church of Sardis – WAKE UP
When we wake up to the reality that many of our co-workers, friends, family, and neighbors are headed to hell without Christ, our prayer lives will change. We will become passionate in our prayer lives.
The prayer of a righteous person accomplishes much. The enemy will seek to put up any roadblock that will hinder you from prayer. Don’t let him. Deal with the elephant in the room. You don’t have to go through life living like that.
Pray with the confidence that the Lord God hears your prayer! Your prayers matter to Him and therefore to others.
Do not become distracted. Determine to discipline yourself to avoid distractions.
Be motivated by the eternal realities all around you. Remember you walk by faith, not by feel. So do not pray by feel, pray by faith.