Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Habits that hinder your prayers

   Habits that hinder your prayers
             By Bayo Ogunmupe
     In an attempt to make human existence meaningful, people craft measures to make impact in the world. They live to achieve goals so as to realize their full human potential. The only way to achieve this is to work and pray. The belief in one God who answers prayers started among the Jews of ancient Israel in about 1513 Before the Christian Era (BCE). They named that God in Hebrew: Yahweh or Jehovah. Followers of this first religion that believe in one God- Judaism use Moses to beg Him in prayer. The English call Jehovah, God or the Almighty. The Christians, a sect of Judaism use the name of their founder Jesus the Christ to beg God so that Jehovah can hasten the acceptance of their prayers. The Arabs call God, Allah and use the cities Makkah, Medina, the hills Saffah and Marwa and the mosque Kaabah to beg Allah in worship.
     While our prayers must be constant, persistent and without ceasing, to gain God's acceptance; we need them to overcome satan's power. We need prayer to prevent satan from ensnaring us into sin. Also, prayer is appointed by God as the means by which we can obtain favour from Him. For us, prayer accomplishes many things. It promotes our spiritual growth. Prayer gives us power for any work be it in our career or profession. Prayer for results is a definite and conscious appeal to God which underscores the power of united or group prayer. God delights in the unity of His people- and seeks to emphasize it in every way. Indeed, where two or more people perfectly agree to ask for a thing, such prayer has irresistible power.
     In the nations of Asia: China, India, Russia and Japan, they appeal to God in their native faiths and God accepts their prayers. In Japan where 84 percent of the population believe in Shintoism, God accepts their supplications.Yet, they are prosperous, without oil or steel they are the third largest economy in the world. Brandishing work as prayer, the Japanese have banished poverty becoming a world leader in refining oil and building automobiles.
     The first hindrance to prayer is to ask God's favour in order to spend it for pleasures. Sin is the second hindrance to prayer, Isaiah 59:1-2. Your prayers are not answered because you wallow in sin. The third hindrance to prayer is to keep idols in your heart, Ezekiel 14:3. An idol is anything that takes the place of God, anything that is the supreme object of your affection. God alone should be supreme in our hearts.
     The fourth hindrance to prayer is to be found in Proverbs 21:13. "Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard." There is no greater hindrance to prayer than stinginess, the lack of liberality toward the poor and God's work. It is the one who gives generously to others  who receives generously from God, Luke 6:38; 1 John 3:22. And when you stand praying, forgive. Lack of forgiveness is the fifth hindrance to prayer. A wrong relationship between husband and wife is the sixth hindrance to prayer. This enjoins you to deal honestly with your spouse.
     Finally, prayers are hindered by unbelief. God demands that we believe His scriptures absolutely. To question is to make Him a liar. Let not any man without faith think of any answer to his prayer. "But if any of you lacketh wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to all liberally- but let him ask in faith," James 1: 5-7. Work and prayer go hand in hand. Worship comes later, when you have the time. Mostly we have substituted worship for prayer in Africa which is why we are poor; God does not hearken to our prayers. We have only poverty and corruption to show for our hypocrisy. Let us learn from the prosperity of the Japanese who believe that work is prayer. He prays the most who works hardest.

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