What does your blessings look like to you? Casting that mountain you face out of your way? Commanding the storm around you to quiet down and be still? Does it look similar to finding a coin is a fish’s mouth that’s worth enough to pay your bills? What ever they look like for you, know that you’ve got what it takes to have patience through the mission to work with God to boost your blessings into fruition. It may not resemble a resolution in one fell swoop. Instead, it may be something God does that gets you around your mountain. Maybe He’ll place the peace inside of you while the winds & rains continue. Or, it could be provision via the unconventional while you’re expecting the conventional. In any case, no matter how God answers, He answers prayer. This is something I wish I had known about prayer years ago.
Just about a year before I recommitted my life to Christ, and during a trying occurrence that was happening in my life at the time, I had given up on prayer in that situation. I was frustrated, and had told my aunt who encouraged me to pray, “If God was going to answer, He would have answered by now.” Little did I know that God always answers prayer. He always gives a “Not Now”, a “No’, or a “Yes”, according to your best well-being. And, sometimes He answers at a time in which we think it’s too late, but because of His all knowing Sovereignty, it’s the perfect time. The problem back then was that I didn’t stay with it long enough to hear or recognize the answers He was giving. I also wasn’t aware of the blockers that often come to discourage us from praying, or those that obstruct answers.
Fast forward to the present, several years later, having come closer to God, I often say my greatest regret wasn’t doing it earlier because since I have, I’ve simply been astonished at the Presence and Power of God in my life. Even in recent times, of having a dear family member battle through a hospital/rehab back & forth cycle, totaling 4 straight months away from home, God showed Himself mighty in all His Glory, in addition to other situations, through answered prayer. My uncle is home now, getting stronger and steadily recovering, thankfully for all the prayers that went up on his behalf and opened the windows of Heaven for The Lord’s miracle and healing virtue to flow.
In Luke 18:1,7-8 ERV “…Jesus taught the followers that they should always pray and never lose hope… God’s people shout to Him night and day, and He will always give them what is right. He will not be slow to answer them. I tell you, God will help His people quickly…” But, too often, we get tired, impatient, or think He’s not listening when He truly is hearing what you pray. As a matter of fact, King David, who was a man after God’s own heart, at one time, according to Psalm 10:1, thought God had turned His ear away but David decided to keep praying anyway. As a result, he got through some of his toughest times, conquering everything he faced!
Beloved of God, if you feel they haven’t manifested yet, I want you to see the blessings you pray for begin to flow for you, too. So, following are seven common hindrances to prayer, and tips you can start consistently applying today that’ll help you to bust away blockers to boost your blessings!
#1 – No Time For Prayer
A very common challenge is finding time for prayer. Life just seems to get in the way. Dedication to endeavors take precedent. Commitments to promises you’ve made take longer than expected. It even seems that no matter how much technological advances are available to help save time, there just no more time!
Blocker Buster Tip: Set Your Mind to Guard Your God Time!
I’m believing for you that knowing how important prayer is to your body, spirit, and soul, to fostering that inner peace, as well as, manifesting outer benefits in your home, workplace, and other environments, with God’s help you can find some time. The Lord will help you to do anything that is in His Will. And, the bottom line is, He wants to spend time with you. He knows all about you; more about you than even you know about yourself that He wants to enlighten you about. He, also, wants you to get to know Him.
Two things that can put you at ease when trying to carve out and set aside prayer time with The Lord is first to know that you have the right to claim and guard your time diligently and lovingly. In Matthew 14:15, it says of Jesus, “After sending the people away, He went up a mountain to pray by Himself. When evening came, He was there alone.” Sometimes, beloved, you may need to politely let those around you be on their own, as appropriately as possible, so you can retreat to a quiet place to be refreshed replenished and restored during your time with The Lord.
Second, you will still get to your promise, even as you shift some of your time from pursuing your endeavors, to pursuing God. The Father would not allow your time with Him get in the way of you completing the purpose He created you to do. It will actually empower you to do it more efficiently and effectively! We can see an example of this in Joshua 3:9 in which the Children of Israel were in the midst of their journey towards their promised land, yet Joshua instructed them to, “…Come here and listen to the words of the Lord your God.” For, listening is an important part of prayer too. It helps you to rest in Him by being still and taking in what God has to say about Himself and any situations you bring to Him in prayer.
#2 – Guilty Feelings
Sometimes it may be a little intimidating to enter into God’s presence when feeling like He may chastise you for something you’ve done, or thinking He doesn’t want to speak to you because of it. Whether the guilt is valid, meaning it is your responsibility to take on as a consequence for something you did wrong, or whether you’re taking on guilt for something that really is not your fault, guilt could be a blocker to wanting to pray, and thus a blocker to blessings.
Blocker Buster Tip: Pray Anyway; the Only Way to Take Guilt Away
Beloved, God has always known that sometimes you’d make mistakes or poor decisions. For that reason, He has made way through Jesus to rectify those deeds. As a matter of fact, Hebrews 10:19-22, says “And so, brothers and sisters, we are completely free to enter the Most Holy Place. We can do this without fear because of the blood sacrifice of Jesus. We enter through a new way that Jesus opened for us. It is a living way that leads through the curtain—Christ’s body. And we have a great priest who rules the house of God. Sprinkled with the blood of Christ, our hearts have been made free from a guilty conscience, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. So come near to God with a sincere heart, full of confidence because of our faith in Christ.”
This means there’s no need to feel ashamed to approach the throne of grace in your time of need. I talk more at length, in (Pod)Casting Potential’s episode 19, Want to know 3 Keys to Happiness?, about how it doesn’t matter what you’ve done, The Lord still wants you to come nearer Him. Also, touched upon in that episode is what to do with guilt that is not rightfully yours. If you haven’t already, please take some time to listen, to hear what will help you to not only remove the guilty feelings by way of prayer, but also to increase your happiness. To start you off to rid yourself of the guilty feelings that keep you away from prayer, use The Prayer that Can Change Your Life. Beloved, God is always willing to hear your prayer of sincere repentance, and move forward to use you in whatever capacity He’s purposed for you. From there, as you continue in communing with The Lord, you will begin to see great positive changes in your life!
#3 – Fear of Hearing Unpleasant Truths
Fear of hearing conviction of wrong doing, or a Divine request for you to let something go, not always things bad in & of themselves, but sometimes possibly not in God’s Will for you, may have you hesitating to pray.
Blocker Buster Tip: Accept Adaptation to Tough Truths like Taking Needed Medication
Allowing the Truth to help you is not a bad thing at all. Scripture says that God loves you like a loving father who disciplines His children. Hebrews 12:5,6 reminds us stating, “And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says, ‘My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when He rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and He chastens everyone He accepts as His son.’” I remember one time speaking with a woman who told me that her relationship with her mother was so strained because she held a bit of disappointment that her mother didn’t chastise her more. Apparently, it made her feel like the fact that her mom was so extremely permissive meant that her mother didn’t care about her. My having studied Psychology and understanding various roots behind why some people do what they do, in a situation such as this, the underlying reasons a parent would do such a thing can be so much more involved, and so should not be judged. However, the point is, that God appropriately disciplines, not too harshly, but with mercy and grace. And that is love because God at His core is love. 1 Corinthians 13:6 ESV tells of love, that “it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.” So, He will at times correct you if you are going down a path that is detrimental to the great destiny He has for you. He will also correct your understanding of some things because the enemy is out to confuse and misdirect you with twisted truths, as he did with Adam and Even in the Garden of Eden. Rejoice, beloved! Not in the frequency of having need it done because God would rather you obey more than He needs to discipline. But rejoice in the fact that He loves you enough to do so.
It is part of God’s nature to correct via conviction because He is Righteous. Jesus teaches us about the Holy Spirit in John 16:8,9 saying that; “When He comes, He will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because people do not believe in Me”. This is not to condemn you but to keep you from condemnation because He’s given you and me patient chances to come into His presence as we are, by way of being covered in the righteousness of Christ. Yet, He does not want you to remain as He found you. He wants to heal you, progress you, and take you higher than you’ve ever been. Sometimes that means letting some things go that would otherwise be blockers, weighing you down.
Beloved, even I as one who brings you messages of The Lord, will not cheat you out of opportunities of living a Divinely healthful life by hiding the truth from you. Yes, God wants you to hear what you want to hear. He wants you to hear you are forgiven. He wants you to hear that the windows of Heaven are opening up to pour you out blessings that are pressed down, shaken together, and running over in your lap. He wants you to hear that He loves and accepts you always. AND… AND… AND… He wants you to hear what you “need” to hear to keep you out of traps that are hidden beneath words that are used as the enemy’s bait by way of “only” telling you what your itching ears want to hear. You can trust that you, as you heed, according to Proverbs 15:32; “…life-giving correction will be at home among the wise.”
#4 – Not Knowing What to Say During Trials
Tempting you to not even put in the time to pray, is not even knowing what to pray in a tough situation. But it’s not impossible to pray, as we see in Jonah 2:1 that says “While Jonah was in the stomach of the fish, he prayed to the Lord his God.” Even in the most challenging circumstances, when you are in a place you may have never thought you’d be, sometimes you may not even know what to pray.
Blocker Buster Tip: Jesus is Enough to Start; for He Knows Your Heart
Beloved, the wonderful part is that the Presence of the Holy Spirit does what you can’t, and He is wherever you are, RIGHT NOW! According to Romans 8:26, it conveys that “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.” So, in a case or situation such as this, retreat to a private place anyway. Then for as long, or as many times, as you feel the need just sit with seeking Jesus on your mind. I pray, as you do, that the ministering Angels of The Lord encamp around you to meet you where you are. You may be quite surprised at what wonders come out of just sitting in His presence. Though you may not talk, the Holy Spirit knows you inwardly, and prays to The Father for you. This is, essentially an urgency form of prayer when you have no words to pray.
#5 – Unfit Motivations
Definite hindrances to answered prayers can be unfit motivations! There are two to be cognizant of: #1-no motivation to pray and #2-improper reasons for requests. James 4:2,3 covers both reasons, conveying, “You want things, but you don’t get them. So you kill and are jealous of others. But you still cannot get what you want. So you argue and fight. You don’t get what you want because you don’t ask God. Or when you ask, you don’t receive anything, because the reason you ask is wrong. You only want to use it for your own pleasure.”
You may have heard me speak of how I had been a prodigal child, away from The Father for about 20 years. It wasn’t until I recommitted my life to Christ, and began to get to know Him and His Will, that I realized reasons why He didn’t seem to answer some of my prayers back then! I was periodically sending up prayers for things that weren’t good for me, AT ALL! Or, they were simply not for me. And, I was too far away to hear Him say, “No. You are My child, you deserve better than that.” When I think back on what I was asking for at times, I often say, “what was I thinking, asking for that?!” Now, I praise Him in thankfulness that I didn’t get what I asked for!
There’s a way to reduce these kinds of hindrances, though. Throughout this post, you’ve been given some tips on how to keep your motivation to go to God in prayer, and ask for what you want in the first place. This next tip is to help you to ensure your reasons for asking, and what you actually ask for, are a help and not a hindrance to your prayers.
Blocker Buster Tip: Be Still to Know His Will
1 John 5:14-15 NIV encourages us saying, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of Him.”
We learn God’s Will by adding to our prayer time, Bible study via personally reading the Bible or attending Bible studies. This is equivalent to meeting someone new, and spending time with them to hear them tell you about themselves. And, as you do this, you learn what they like and dislike. You begin to recognize their voice, their patterns, their desires, and as you be still to get to know that He is God, you’ll get familiar with these wonderful things about Him too. And, He’ll assist in guiding you towards what’s best for you, from His higher point of view!
#6 – Thoughts that God Seems Too Far Away
Trust, beloved, He is right there with you! Thinking God’s too far away to hear what you have to say is an easy thought to have when you’re not quite sure how God speaks to you. Or, you may think He doesn’t speak at all. Yes… I assure you, He does.
Blocker Buster Tip: Close the Gap by Making Frequency Taps
During the time I was that prodigal child, I wasn’t close to The Father, but I hadn’t lost my faith that He existed. I didn’t understand, however, that He is a bi-directional communicative God. For a long time, I perceived God as an arbitrary Spirit in the sky that really didn’t interact much with us on Earth. And, so prayer was but periodic, in moments of desperation, or much desired wishes at times, with no expectation for a real response. It wasn’t until I had gotten back into church, and Bible study that I realized God has always spoken to His people. And, He still does, but sometimes we are the ones who drift away, not in the space of distance between us and God, because God is everywhere. But, drifted away by way of not tapping into the frequency that enables us to tune into His Voice. Hearing the Voice of God, is a topic I discuss at a greater length than I can do in this blog post, in my (Pod)Casting Potential episode 11 called “4 Ways to Start or Improve Hearing the Voice of God”. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to listen to it, and download the free checklist that will guide you towards getting as close to God as you’d like to be. For, James 4:8 says to “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you…”!
#7 – Delays & Doubt
Experiencing delays and doubt can be serious show stoppers to prayer. At times, they may even make you think that God isn’t there, has forgotten about you, or is too busy for you. None of these are the case at all!
Blocker Buster Tip: Trust, Continuing to Confide in The One who Presides
Trust, keeping confidence, that God is a Rewarder for your Faithfulness in seeking Him through Prayer! Per Hebrews 11:6, “…believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.”
Additionally, Hebrews 6:10 & 10:35-37 NIV reminds us that “God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them… So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised. For, ‘In just a little while, He who is coming will come and will not delay.’”
The end of those sets of Scripture just provided says that God will not delay. And, He doesn’t. What seems like a delay to you is part of His Divine schedule. Every now and again, God may test your faith to grow your patience with what seem like delays, in the natural. Other times, it may be a case where Angels assigned to your prayer requests are caught up in some Spiritual realm tasks or battle sent to hinder them from bringing you the answers to your prayers, such as Daniel experienced in Daniel 10:12-14 ERV, which says; “‘…Daniel, do not be afraid. From the very first day you decided to get wisdom and to be humble in front of God, He has been listening to your prayers. I came to you because you have been praying. But the prince of Persia has been fighting against me for 21 days. Then Michael, one of the most important princes, came to help me because I was stuck there with the king of Persia. Now I have come to you, Daniel, to explain to you what will happen…’”
Beloved, your prayers are being heard! The Angels who faithfully do The Lord’s bidding have been assigned and are in route. At times they may be delayed in getting you the answer you seek, but believe that God is Omniscient. He is all knowing, and so knew what was going to happen before it happened, thus He worked even that into your plan to have it work out in Divine timing! And, as we are reminded in 2 Peter 3:8-9 NIV “…do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness…”
Additionally, one of the biggest tactics the enemy uses is to get you to doubt that God is Who He says He is, or that He will do what He says He will do. The enemy does things to cause you to doubt your prayers because he knows that as per Luke 10:19 you’ve been given power that is more powerful than the power he has. Prayer is the conduit through which The Lord delegates His Power to us, which makes sense why the adversary goes through extreme measures to cut off that connection. He knows that through prayer, and progression into Spiritual Maturity helps you to discern the difference between good and evil, and you receive strength and greater measures of faith to stand in the Truth of God’s Word and Ways.
We see he tried this with Job, wherein Job prayed to The Lord, but the enemy kept sending attacks against his life trying to render Job faithless and doubtful of God and the effectiveness of his prayers. I decree and declare this will not, or no longer, happen to you! As a matter of fact, I cancel break and destroy every toxic tactic that would come against the lives, and God-given endeavors, of you and yours from this point forward! In Jesus Name! As you press on in prayer, you’ll come out on the other side triumphantly, just as seen in Job 42:10,12, where Job’s perseverance in faithful prayer brought him out stronger and more blessed than before!
Beloved, your blessings are waiting for you! Waiting to be released unto you, as you use which ever blocker buster tips that apply to you, and “pray continually, give thanks in circumstances…” per 1 Thessalonians 5:17,18, never giving up. For, The Lord’s interventions are on their way, and will manifest to His Glory in your life! Therefore, as I stand in faith with you and for you, I speak forth a birthing of your own testimonies of how God shows up and shows out for you!
As you read through these tips, some questions, or other thoughts that you may like to express or get more information about may have surfaced. So, as always, I welcome your comments or inquiries, either in the comments box below. Or, if you’d like more privacy, send them directly to me via my Ask Coach LuKeisha page. I’d love to hear from you!
Also, not only does Prayer change things, but there’s Power in Unified Prayer! Is there something I can touch and agree on with you in prayer? If so, please send a Prayer Request! It is my pleasure to do so!
Through to next time, beloved of God, may using these blocker buster tips begin to boost your Blessings, ushering them into manifestation for you! In Jesus Name!
Love You to Life!
Lukeisha Carr, BCACLC
Your Biblical Life Coach, Coaching you to Your Abundant Life in Christ!