A. Colossians 4:2
Constant prayer is enjoined upon the Christian throughout the New Testament.
B. James 5:16
Prayers are effective coming from the “righteous”, which suggests the prayers of the unrighteous may not work.
C. James 4:3
It is possible to ask and not receive. This is our subject: seven roadblocks to effective prayer.
A. James 4:1-3
Selfish prayers will go unheeded by God.
B. Matthew 6:11
We may, in fact must, request what we need, but that is all.
C. 1st John 5:14
God is happy to hear requests made “according to His will”.
II. UN-REPENTED SIN
A. Isaiah 59:1-2
God’s ability to hear and save is not at all limited. It is man’s choice to sin that causes God to ignore prayers.
B. John 9:31
Sinners have no good reason to expect God to listen to them since they don’t listen to Him.
C. Psalm 66:18
There is a basic condition of acceptable prayer.
D. Proverbs 15:29
Prayer is not a right. It is a privilege extended by God to those who obey Him.
E. 1st John 3:22
God is happy to grant our requests, provided we’ve kept His commands.
A. Ezekiel 14:3
God deliberately distances Himself from idolaters.
B. Colossians 3:5
Bowing down to false gods may seem unlikely today, but covetousness is a very real kind of idol worship. By choosing anything material as priority over God, He has been replaced with an idol of sorts.
C. Hebrews 13:5
Covetousness is most easily identifiable as a lack of contentment.
A. Proverbs 21:13
They will be ignored by God who ignore the needs of the less fortunate.
B. Proverbs 19:17
One’s relationship with the Lord is dependent on that one’s relationship with the needy.
C. Ephesians 4:28
Christians must budget from their own earnings in anticipation of helping the poor.
D. 1st Corinthians 13:3
Of course, it is of little value to provide aid if done grudgingly.
V. FAILURE TO FORGIVE
A. Mark 11:25-26
Forgiveness toward others is a qualification of acceptable prayer.
B. Matthew 18:21-35
It is wildly inconsistent to expect God to forgive our sins, which are immeasurable, when we won’t forgive those who have wronged us.
C. Luke 17:3-4
Of course, repentance is prerequisite to forgiveness.
VI. MARITAL DISCORD
A. 1st Peter 3:7
Although women are taught to respect and submit to their husbands, men are equally obligated to honor their wives and understand them. Failure to do so will hinder prayer.
B. Ephesians 5:25-29
A man’s love for his wife should be sacrificial, like Christ’s love of the church.
C. Proverbs 18:22; 12:4
A man should see his wife as his “good thing”. After all, his headship is meaningless without her as his crown.
A. James 1:5-8
Doubt kills prayer’s effectiveness. Why bother asking if you don’t believe?
B. 1st Timothy 2:8
Prayer is to be encouraged, provided doubt is left out.
C. Matthew 21:21-22
Prayers of faith can move mountains, but doubt will ruin them.
D. Romans 10:17
Doubt is the opposite of faith. To obtain faith, one must hear God’s word.
By Bryan Matthew Dockens from an outline by David Cambridge
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