Examples of Hindrances to Prayer in the Bible Essay

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¶ … Hindrances to Prayer in the Bible

What are the hindrances to prayer shown here?

A central hindrance to the acceptance or effectiveness of prayer, as well as its validity and power, is the understanding of the correct relationship between man and God. This view is expressed in many passages from the Bible. Isaiah 1 refers to the vision concerning Judah and Jerusalem during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. A central reason given for the distance between man and God and the reason for God's wrath and anger is the refusal of man to listen to and obey the holy laws and commandments. This is clear from a reading of Isaiah. "I reared children and brought them up, but they have rebelled against me. " (Isaiah 1:2) This refers to the rebellion against the law and word of God which is a cardinal cause of the lack of the power of prayer.

In essence, the most fundamental hindrance to prayer is the refusal to obey God. This is again emphasized in Isaiah 1: 4. "Ah, sinful nation, a people loaded with guilt, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption! They have forsaken the LORD;" (Isaiah 1: 4). This perspective is the reason for man's abject and oppressed condition, which is extensively described in the Isaiah text.

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From the sole of your foot to the top of your head there is no soundness-only wounds and welts and open sores, not cleansed or bandaged or soothed with oil. Your country is desolate, your cities burned with fire; your fields are being stripped by foreigners right before you, laid waste as when overthrown by strangers.

Isaiah 1: 4).

This is a direct result of humanities disobedience to God. In this situation where there is a break in the lines of communication between man and God, it follows that the results of prayer are worse than useless.

Essay on Examples of Hindrances to Prayer in the Bible Assignment

The multitude of your sacrifices - what are they to me? says the LORD. I have more than enough of burnt offerings, of rams and the fat of fattened animals; I have no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats. (Isaiah 1: 11)

God's will and anger therefore prevents the efficacy of any prayer and of offerings or sacrifices. This clearly shows that it is not the prayers or the offering in themselves that are significance, but rather the intention and the willingness of obey God that makes them effective. "Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to me. "(Isaiah 1: 13) the following words clearly expresses the uselessness of any prayer that does not reflect a true understanding and adherence to the word and will of God." When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen. "(Isaiah 1: 15). The hindrance to prayer is clearly the anger or disdain of God that is caused by the sin and evil intent of man.

In other words, the greatest hindrance to prayer is the lack of adherence to the word of God. Prayer that refuses to adhere to God's will is therefore useless. The conduct of those who wish to receive God's blessing and acknowledgment through payer are clearly stated in the passage from Isaiah. "If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land; but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword." (Isaiah 1: 19.20.)

Much the same sentiments are expressed in Psalms 80. In this Psalm the prayer is for God to renew the bond between man and God and to forgive the sins and excesses of the past. "Awaken your might; come and save us. Restore us, O God; make your face shine upon us, that we may be saved." (Psalm http://net.bible.org/verse.php?book=Psa&chapter=80&verse=2" 80:2, 3) This prayer for a restoration of God's benevolence acts as refrain throughout the psalm and is in fact a prayer for God to forgive and reinstate the holy contract between man and God, that has been disrupted by man's actions. This Psalm clearly shows that prayer is only effective when it adheres to the word and law that God provides. Once again, the central obstacle or hindrance to the effectiveness of prayer is the sinful and egotistical activities of mankind. Consequently, the Psalm makes the following plea. "Return to us, O God Almighty!

Look down from heaven and see! Watch over this vine..." (Psalm

Prayer is seen to be effective when it asks for forgiveness and for a reestablishment of the holy interaction with God through obedience to His Word.

We find a similar sentiment expressed in Lamentations 3. " I am the man who has seen affliction by the rod of his wrath. He has driven me away and made me walk in darkness rather than light..." (Lamentations 3:1, 2)

What is clear from this section of Lamentations is that the main hindrance to prayer lies in the lack of obedience to God. " Even when I call out or cry for help, he shuts out my prayer." (Lamentations 3:8) as a result of this lack of obedience to the word of God, "He has barred my way with blocks of stone; he has made my paths crooked. "(Lamentations 3:9)

The text of Lamentations continues with a long litany of the way that God's wrath is expressed towards man. "He has filled me with bitter herbs and sated me with gall. He has broken my teeth with gravel; he has trampled me in the dust.

I have been deprived of peace; I have forgotten what prosperity is. "(Lamentations 3: 15-17)

Lamentations also makes it clear that it is God himself who prevents prayer from being communicated or from 'getting through." "You have covered yourself with anger and pursued us; you have slain without pity. You have covered yourself with a cloud so that no prayer can get through. (Lamentations 3: 43- 44)

The Gospel of Mark also makes it very clear that those who pray out of sense of self - importance and vanity or to exhibit their elevated position in society will not be successful in their prayers and will be punished. Jesus speaks against those who"... walk around in flowing robes and be greeted in the marketplaces, and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets." (Mark 12: 38, 39) These vain and egotistical people "make lengthy prayers" which are false and will be punished by God. (Mark 12: 40)

2. Did any of the authors have a resolution or answer to their prayer hindrances in the passages?

A resolution to the problem of prayer can be derived for the Isaiah passages referred to above. In essence, the answer to the obstacles to successful prayer lies in the restoration of the correct relationship between God and man. In practice this means we must "change our ways" for prayer to effective and powerful. Isaiah emphasizes the need to "...wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong... (Isaiah 1: 4). There is also a need to fast and adhere to the ways of God before praying. "learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow. (Isaiah 1: 17)

The author of Lamentations also provides a solution to the problem of prayer and the wrath of God. This lies in believing in God's all-encompassing compassion and love. "Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him." (Lamentations… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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