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-- © GodSpeak International 2002 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from <copyright@godspeak.org> --

Author: Elvi Glass <yael062005@yahoo.com>
Editor: Teresa Seputis

Prayer-School Course #19

Prophetic Intercession

Lesson 8

Hindrances to Effective Inercession

By Elvi Glass

There are times when our prayers are not answered. This is when there may be a hindrance preventing God from answering our petitions. In this lesson we will talk about some of the hindrances that keep us from moving in intercession to the extend the Lord intents us to.

I won't be able to cover all the hindrances in this lesson. However, I will try to talk about what I believe are main blockages.

Hindrance 1 - Lack of Intimacy Time With God

First of all I would like to stress again that the amount of time we spend with God is directly linked to how sensitive we are to His voice. The more we yield to Him and let Him be in charge of our lives, the better is our ability to hear Him. A close relationship with Him also enables us to recognize His voice more clearly.

If we only spend little time with God, we will be sensitive to His voice only a little. Lack of spending time with Him is one of the greatest hindrances to our relationship with God. However, there can be times when our prayers are hindered despite the amount of time we spend with Him. During those times it seems as if our prayers just "bounce" off of the ceiling instead of penetrating into God's throne room.

Before we conclude that there is a hindrance, it is always good to ask God first. God doesn't want our prayers to be hindered and He will be glad to expose anything that blocks His flow in our lives. It is important to realize that, even though the answer to our prayers may be delayed that doesn't always mean there is a barrier. Sometimes it is not the right season for the answer to manifest.

Hindrance 2 - Intentional Sin

Intentional sin is one of the main hindrances. Unatoned sin separates us from God. Intentional sin is not atoned for. This is an easy hindrance to recognize because we are aware of intentional sin and can chose to repent. Intentional sins give the enemy a right to interfere with our prayers. As we confess the sin and repent from it, the door to him will be closed. God does not want our prayer effectiveness to be limited. James writes in 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 is powerful and effective."

If we are serious with our walk with God, we will be sure to not allow intentional sin in our lives. God will gladly help us to repent from it.

Hindrance 3 - Wrong Motives

There are also times when we ask with the wrong motives. For instance, we may want something to happen our way instead of waiting to see what is on God's heart regarding the situation. For example, we could be in a job situation where our supervisor is difficult to get along with. The tendency is to pray for God to remove this person. However, God may have put us there in order to teach us some things about relating to difficult people.

I was in a situation at a secular job where I experienced sexual harassment from my supervisor. I reported the situation to the management but for some reason I was not removed from this person's supervision. This was very difficult for me and my first instinct was to run. I constantly prayed for God to remove this person from the office. Instead of removing the person, God revealed to me that He wanted me to walk in forgiveness and be His witness to this man. I spent many days driving home under tears blessing this man in prayer. God also gave me many opportunities to witness to my supervisor. About a year later, he received Christ into his life. The sexual harassment stopped at that point because Christ changed him from within. Strangely enough, as soon as it stopped, I was moved to another position where I had better opportunities to develop my skills. My prospective was that I wanted God to make this problem (sexual harassment) to away. But God's perspective as that this man needed to see Christ demonstrated and He used this ambassador of Christ for the task.

James 4:3 says, "When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures." This means we need to seek God to understand what His will is regarding the situations we are praying about.

Hindrance 4 - Unforgiveness

Another hindrance is unforgiveness. The bible makes it very clear that we are to forgive others as God forgives us. There is a direct connection to our Father forgiving us and us forgiving others. In the Lord's prayer (Matthew 6:12) we pray for God to forgive us as we forgive those who sin against us.

Jesus illustrated the importance to forgive by telling us a parable in Matthew 18:22-35. In this parable Jesus talks about a king who wanted to settle accounts. One of the debtors didn't have the money and the king ordered that his family, his possessions and him be sold so the debt could be paid. But the servant begged the king to have pity on him and the debt was canceled. After the servant left the king's palace he came across a person that owed him money and he demanded that he be paid immediately. Even though that man begged the servant to have mercy, the servant threw him into prison until the debt could be paid. The king found out about this and he became very angry and threw his servant into the prison where he was tortured until he could pay the debt.

Jesus tells us, in Matthew 6:14-15 that it is the same with us when we don't forgive. God will not forgive us when we don't forgive. Wow! That is a powerful principle here. Sure, it's not easy to forgive. Actually, it can be quite painful to let go and forgive a person, because our human nature wants revenge. We want to see that person pay for what he/she has done to us. But it is not up to us to decide what somebody deserves. Only God knows what a person deserves. When we don't forgive, we are saying that we deserve God's forgiveness, but the other person doesn't. Forgiveness is not a feeling. We may have to give the matter to God more than once, but it is important that we do not carry unforgiveness in our hearts.

What about forgetting? Can we forgive but not forget? When we say that we have forgiven but not forgotten, we really have not forgiven at all. God forgives us in a way where He doesn't remember our sins and we should forgive the same way. God tells us in Jeremiah 31:34 that He will forgive our wickedness and remember our sins no more. What He forgives it is also forgotten. God commands us to forgive and that also means that we forget.

Psalm 103:12 tells us that God "has removed our transgressions from us as far as the east is from the west." Let's examine how far the East is from the West to get a better idea of what the Bible is talking about. If you leave here and want to go north, you can go north as far as the north pole and then you start heading south. The same thing happens when you want to go to the south; when you get to the south pole you start heading north. But if you go east, at no point will you start going West. You will continue going East forever. That's how far he has removed our transgression.

Once the door to unforgiveness is open to the enemy he will be happy to come in with bitterness, slander and revenge. These will hinder us further in our prayers and relationship with God. Ephesians 4:31 tells us to "Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice."

Hindrance 5 - Fear

Another hindrance is fear. God knows that fear can be paralyzing. Fear is the enemy's primary weapon. He uses this weapon to disable us. He knows that when we fear we have a tendency to hide and avoid situations that could result in a confrontation with the enemy powers. Giving in to fear renders us highly ineffective. The enemy knows that once he has us bound up in fear we are no longer a threat to him.

Unfortunately, reality is that we are in a constant war. It is dangerous ground to pretend that we are not. we may think that we are playing it "safe," but we are really setting ourselves up to be run over by the enemy. We find in Romans 8:15 that we "did not receive a spirit that makes us slave to fear, but we received the Spirit of sonship. And by Him we cry, "Abba, Father."

Being a slave means that we are subject to something or somebody. When we are enslaved to fear, we are literally subject to the enemy. Areas that are occupied by the enemy are not occupied by God. This means that we are not allowing God to move in our lives at the capacity He desires. We are in a war and it can get pretty scary at times, but God is with us and we are more than conquerors in Christ (Romans 8:37). God promises us His protection and victory against the enemy. Let's trust God and not give room to fear.

Hindrance 6 - Ungodly Attitudes

Another hindrance is ungodly attitudes. This is when we come to God with complaining and murmuring. When we complain we don't trust God that He knows what He is doing. Only God knows the big picture. Only He can manifest the perfect answers. God looks at the potential. When we want to settle for what we think is best, we will settle for less than what God desires for our lives.

Let me illustrate. God may reveal to us that He has called us to a particular ministry but nothing in the natural lines up with this promise. In fact, things may look like just the opposite from what was promised. As the years go by, we become impatient and want to take matters into our own hands. God may promise us a ministry, but between the promise and the actual manifestation of the promise, He will have us spend time in preparation. When we act outside of God's timing, we may not be prepared for the task and risk walking in less than God's perfect plan. As it is illustrated in Philippians 3:14, He desires for us to win the prize.

Also, 1 Corinthians 9:24 states: "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize."

God has our best interest at heart.


These are just a few examples of things that can hinder our prayers and relationship with God. Do we want God's perfect will to be accomplished? Do we want to walk in His fullness? If you answered "yes" to these questions, let's continue breaking through the barriers that hinder us and walk in God's fullness. May God do mighty exploits through you.

-- © GodSpeak International 2002 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from copyright@godspeak.org --

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