Ten Hindrances to Prayer - Part 3

This will wrap up our study on corporate prayer. At our last meeting, we looked at five hindrances to the prayer meeting. Before we look at the last five, consider some of these thoughts.

In order to effectively storm the gates of Heaven in prayer, we must first have the spirit (small s) and the Spirit (capital S) of prayer. Our hearts must be tuned to the One to whom we are praying. Prayer is not a one way street.

The Necessity of the Holy Spirit in the Prayer Meeting

We are told in Jude 20, " But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost . . . . " What is it to pray in the Holy Ghost? It is simply allowing the the Holy Spirit to lead and guide you as you pray. Corporate prayer is no good unless the power of corporate prayer is present. Therefore, our spirits must be adjusted to the Holy Spirit as He leads not only individuals, but the group in prayer.

Corporate prayer is not about many people praying with each other, but the uniting of many hearts with the Spirit of God. The church is one living organism, not many individuals.So the voice of the one living organism is the voice that must cry out for God during corporate prayer.

The presence of the Holy Spirit is always there, waiting for His children to come to Him. Even though the Spirit is always there, it may take time to develop a knowledge of His presence. The more you practice allowing the Holy Spirit to lead in prayer, the more you will sense His leading, and the more unity will be displayed.

The Necessity of the Holy Spirit in the Individual

We are told in Galatians 5:16 to walk in the Spirit. Verse 18 tells us that we must be led of the Spirit. We must first be walking in the Spirit before He can lead. We must be sensitive to the Spirit to either walk in Him or be led by Him. As we learn to walk in HIm, we can then be led by Him, but it does not stop there.Verse 25 continues, "If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit." As we learn to walk in Him and be led by Him we form a new habit - living in the Spirit; that constant awareness of His presence in our lives which causes us to continue to walk in, be led, by and live in the Spirit. . . the cycle is meant to continue. As we live in His presence, the Holy Spirit will naturally flow through us uniting our prayers.

The Power of Corporate Prayer

Spiritual sensitivity grows as we experience corporate prayer led by the Holy Spirit Himself. The great revivalist Charles Finney once said, "Nothing is more calculated to beget a spirit of prayer than to unite in social prayer with one who has the Spirit himself. The Holy Spirit in Himself is contagious. Get around someone who is controlled by the Spirit and it will not be long until you desire Him too.

The Spirit of Corporate Prayer

There are benefits to corporate prayer. It was planned that way by God. As we pray in the power of the Holy Ghost we avoid aimless praying. When we pray in the flesh (and yes, it is easy to do, and happens quite often), our minds tend to wander. Ever been to a prayer meeting where it seems that someone is just rambling on? That is because they are. Spirit-led prayer will always be with purpose and direction.

Our prayer should flow. If the Holy Spirit is in charge He will guide your lips. This is not a time to be bashful and worry about using the right words. You are not praying to the others in attendance but to the God of the universe. He is the only One that matters at this particular moment in time.

Our prayer should inspire. The Holy Spirit is never negative. Even in tough times He is still the giver of joy and peace. If He is leading, He will inspire the meeting to continue to a higher level.

Our prayer should be focused on one subject at a time. God will give the topic, and successive prayers should build the level of faith. At the proper time, the Holy Spirit will change direction. These prayers may include elements of inspiration, revelation, desire, and agreement.

Hindrances to the Prayer Meeting

# 1 In Romans 14:23 we read, " And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin." Beware of striving prayers. These kinds of prayers add pride and energy to unbelief. The fact is that true faith is not being exhibited, but often this is a sign of jealousy of those that do have true faith. As the pray-er strives with God over matters, the tension he exhibits can rapidly spread from one to another. A little leaven is all it takes.

# 2 Cut out the intellectual prayers; those that are not of the Spirit, but rather are rehearsed. Matthew 6:7 tells us, "But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking." Just pour your heart out to God. Whatever amount of intelligence you possess was given to you by God. It is not of yourself, so quit be prideful with your big, theological, "holier than thou" terms. Just talk to God. He is the only One you need to impress.

# 3There is no place for "dead prayers" in the corporate prayer meeting. These kinds of prayers are close to the intellectual prayer, usually brought from the throat, but not the heart. Deuteronomy 4:29 could not be clearer - " But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul."

# 4 Forget about personal, ambitious prayers. Personal prayers are not wrong, but drawing attention to yourself is. Paul warns of ambitious, prideful individuals through the example of Diotrephes in III John 9 and 10 - " I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth . . . ." Those that pray to be heard, to maintain their pubic image, or to impress the hearers should be eliminated. It is a simple matter to cut them off and the Holy Spirit is back in charge of the meeting. After a few times, they will get the message.

# 5 Then we have the uncooperative pray-ers, those who choose not to get involvedl.If not involved in prayer, they will be involved in something. Solomon reminds us in Ecclesiastes 3:1 that "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven." When at a prayer meeting, it is time to pray. Those leafing through the Bible, playing with a "gadget", or doodling on a piece of paper are out of line in the prayer meeting, and need to lovingly be corrected.

Trust the Promises of God

God's Word is filled with promises. I am told there are over 1,000 promises between Genesis and Revelation. The promises of God are meant to be claimed, and there is no place like the corporate prayer meeting to claim them. As they are spoken in agreement, God will certainly hear and reward the request. Be bold in your approach to the throne - not cocky, but bold. Dream big for the Lord. God delights to hear His children simply trust in what He has already promised to give them. By the way, God is still on the throne. So run to Him with your concerns and storm the gates of Heaven. Where two or three are gathered, He is in the midst.

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Comments 20 comments

GodTalk profile image

GodTalk 3 years ago from Kentwood, Michigan

Good job Bill. "Dream big for the Lord. God delights to hear His children simply trust in what He has already promised to give them." I love that line. Thanks for writing this series....God bless!


lifegate profile image

lifegate 3 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi Jeff,

Thanks for being the first one to comment. You're quite welcome. I hope it's been a help to many people. I need to apply the same lessons in my church. Haven't had time to look at the things you emailed yet. Hopefully tomorrow!


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

I just updated a hub (well- made it ever green as Hp wants) and we seem to have the same message, but then we have the same God so why not, huh? I just have a feeling God wouldn't mind a whole lot more praising of His name than the shopping lists we most make out to Him, how bout you?

Great write, I always look forward to reading you. ^


lambservant profile image

lambservant 3 years ago from Pacific Northwest

Bill , I am not quite sure what you mean by striving prayer.

Dead prayer to me is lifeless, monotone, passionless and full of generalities such as "Lord be with Bob today." God is already with Bob, be more specific, folks. Sometimes a person feels he has to pray something but can't think of something so they pray so generally that there is no real meaning. I have learned to keep quiet in those times and let others pray until the Spirit quickens something to me. Silence is okay sometimes and we need not be praying filler prayers.

I have been in some prayer meetings where there was a holy hush and the presence of God was so thick. Silence is sometimes very powerful if the Spirit is leading this way. You can usually tell the difference between holy hush and no one feels like praying because they're thinking about the ball game they're missing or just have a dead spirit which I think you mentioned.

I would also add don't be long winded and monopolize the prayer meeting.

I have also been in prayer meetings where when we begin someone just starts right in with praying for something. We join hands and brother Harvey opens with Lord, we pray that this country will end abortion, when we should be entering his gates with thanksgiving and praise.

This has been a very very good series, Bill, very practical.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 3 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Good morning Jackie,

So why not? That's great!Can you send me the link to your hub? I like the analogy of the shopping list. That seems to be the case so many times. Thanks for the visit. I'm always glad to hear from you.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 3 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi Lori,

I'm "amening" you on everything you said. As far as as striving prayers. I guess I'm thinking along the lines of "Lord, I know You can do this. Why haven't You already? If You really can, then why don't You". Those words may not be spoken, but the attitude is there. We try to make it sound good, but underneath is a sense of doubt.

How about this for a dead prayer - "Lord, I lift up all the names on the prayer list." I know he means well, but there's one man that prays that every week at our church - wonder how far that goes heavenward.

I really like the holy hush. Sometimes I think more good is accomplished during times of silence than all that is mentioned during prayer.

Personally, I don't mind long-winded prayers as long as they're born of the Spirit, and not someone just rambling on. The difference is obvious. The problem with most long winded praying is that it's filled with useless wind rather than the wind of the Holy Spirit.

As always, glad to hear from you, and have a great weekend!


lambservant profile image

lambservant 3 years ago from Pacific Northwest

Oh, the striving prayer makes sense now. That example you gave of the dead prayer is what I was talking about with making things so general. Lifting up all the names on the prayer list - wow, that says "let's get this over with, I'm too tired to pray for everyone, indifference sometimes, Spiritless. In my earlier years as a Christian I would do that in my private prayer once in awhile. Prayer was a chore on those days.

I see what you're saying about long winded. The one's not prompted by the Spirit are usually someone need and seeking attention.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 3 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Glad that helps!


PlanksandNails profile image

PlanksandNails 3 years ago from among the called out of the ekklesia of Christ

Lifegate,

I believe the most important aspect of corporate prayer is about being in one accord with Jesus Christ. Without it, our prayers will be soulish in nature. The collateral damage of soulish prayers (witchcraft /spiritual manipulation) can wreak havoc on the Church.

A corporate soulish prayer meeting gives the authority of man to loose the demonic into activity. We have the authority to stop the enemy, or release him. Praying soulish prayers is "Christian" witchcraft.

Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. - James 3:10


lifegate profile image

lifegate 3 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

I have to agree, PandN. If the Holy Spirit isn't in charge, we can be sure another spirit is. Good point! Thanks for stopping by and commenting.


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

Hear the daylight rising. It is a poem and I checked and you did read it so this is right at the bottom I added today, thx!


lifegate profile image

lifegate 3 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Thanks Jackie!


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

Awesome ending to your wonderful series here, dear Bill. I am so glad you mentioned that prayer is not a one way street! For when we are in that personal relationship with our Lord, it is just that, a relationship, where we talk to Him and then he answers. We must be still and hear Him.

Most of the time I do not ask for specific things, but merely praise His name for Him being Him as He has already blessed me beyond measure. If the Holy Spirit places something on my heart then I will ask for such in prayer and praise His name, knowing He has heard and He will answer in whatever way He deems necessary.

I will ask that the Holy Spirit put His words in my mouth, especially when asked to pray publicly, for I truly do not know what to pray, and He has done so. Afterwards, people will come up to me and thank me for the prayer as it was so powerful, then I know it was the Holy Spirit speaking through me, for I have no memory of what words I prayed and that it was words that whomever needed to hear. I always tell them that it was not me but obviously the Holy Spirit, for I cannot pray in such a manner with my own words. When we are walking in the Spirit, our life will reflect such and His truths are revealed. In reality, when we are not walking in the Spirit, then we are walking in the spirit of the anti-Christ. Yikes!

Up and more and sharing.

God bless you. In His Love, Faith Reaper


lifegate profile image

lifegate 3 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi Faith,

You said so much and I agree with you 100%. Thanks for adding to the conversation . I always look forward to hearing from you.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 3 years ago from The Caribbean

Very practical teachings about prayer. Thank you especially for listing the hindrances. And your final counsel about praying boldly is one that I need to remember.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 3 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

MsDora,

Thanks for following along and thank you for your comment. These are just some things our church are working towards. It's been a blessing seeing them in action. Thanks again!


Faithful Daughter profile image

Faithful Daughter 3 years ago from Sunny Florida

I agree with you that one should not be bashful or concern ourselves with using the right words. Many times I have gathered in corporate prayer and have heard how beautiful and superfluous words come out of some people's mouths and I feel as if my prayers would never sound that beautiful, but then I've wondered if these people are really filled with the Spirit or are they just very rehearsed.

You brought up many good points in your hub and find it a great reminder for the seasoned believer. I especially like where you say, "The church is one living organism, not many individuals. So the voice of the one living organism is the voice that must cry out for God during corporate prayer." Very true. We are One in Christ when we are led by the Holy Spirit and come together in unison; WE make the body of Christ.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 3 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi FD,

It's always good to hear from you, and I like your example about using the right words. Been thee many times. Thanks for visiting and for adding to the conversation!


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 3 years ago from Southern Minnesota

I guess I should have read the whole series before making comment on part one. Once again all issues (hindrances) have been addressed.

I gained much from this teaching on prayer and the value of corporate prayer and really enjoyed the video teaching about how the enemy showed up when Eve (the one with the ability to produce) entered the scene and represented how Adam and Eve represented a corporate prayer group as in agreeing together and how that was interrupted. Excellent example of how we are to persevere in both unity with each other and prayer in order that we might bring forth good fruit for His kingdom.

A well written, explained and relevant lesson. Enjoyed the series.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 3 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Glad you enjoyed it TJ. This is stuff I'm trying to get some of the church to see as we want to strengthen our corporate prayer time. They're getting some of it, so hopefully, we're on the right track in our prayer meetings! As always, thanks for the visit.

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