I once asked a deacon to stop by the church and look at a little motor on a projector screen that had stopped working. After carefully looking it over he told me, “have you thought about just plugging it in?” The only thing wrong was that the thing had come unplugged from the wall and was getting no power.
I know a lot of Christians like this little motor. They have a lot of ability and purpose, but just don’t have any power in their spiritual lives. They don’t pray except when they are in a BIG bind. They’ve become unplugged from source that gives them power through prayer … God. The Bible says a lot about prayer. We’re told that there is power in prayer. We’re even told that Jesus prayed regularly.
But have you ever felt like your prayers weren’t working or that God wasn’t listening? This week while reading, I ran across some verses in the book of James that talked about the things that hinder my prayers. That kind of scares me, because I don’t want anything stopping my prayers. So I thought I’d share with you a few of the things that might be unplugging our prayer life.
Has one of these 6 things unplugged you from the power source?
1 – Am I praying without faith? That means that I’m praying, I’m asking, but I really don’t believe it will happen. “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.” (James 1:5-8)
2 – Am I even asking? I had a lady say to me the other day, “I just don’t feel God’s blessings in my life.” I asked her how often she asked God for His blessings, and she said, “Well, I haven’t got around to actually asking yet.” That might just be her problem “…you do not have, because you do not ask God.” (James 4:2) When you get a chance read Luke 18:1-8 and it’ll teach you about persistence and prayer.
3 – Am I asking with the wrong motives? Sometimes when we pray we may be praying selfishly. Even Jesus said in his prayer, “Not my will but done, but yours.” “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” (James 4:3)
4 – Do I have a broken relationship with someone? You see, the principle is that I can’t effectively communicate with God if I’m allowing hatred and grudges to exist in my life. So Jesus tells us, “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.”(Matthew 5:23-24)
5 – Is God waiting to show me something great? In the story of Lazarus Jesus made Mary & Martha wait before coming to Bethany. Sometimes we have to wait. I look back sometimes at past prayers I’ve prayed and I realize God answered those prayers in His time. And He’s done it a much better way than I asked. Do you have a prayer life that seems unfulfilled? It could be that it’s just like it was with Lazarus. Maybe God is saying, “I’ve got something you can’t even imagine, and I’ll show you just around the corner.” (John 11)
6 – Is God wanting me to depend on Him? Paul’s prayers weren’t answered the way he wanted because God wanted Paul to depend upon Him. There will be times in life we’ll pray and not get the answer we want. Those are the time we’ll just have to depend upon God and know that, “His grace is sufficient for me too.” (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)
So, how is your prayer life? Any of these things got you unplugged from the power source?