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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...




Why We Aren't Prayer Warriors

By Ken Horn
Mar. 9, 2014

Prayer can’t work if believers don’t pray. “You do not have because you do not ask” (James 4:2, NKJV). Consider these influences that keep our prayer lives short ... or nonexistent:

Love for the things of world

Genuine delight in the Lord, not the world, is a key to answered prayer. “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4).

Substitution ... even with good things

Talking and reading about prayer are good things to do, but not if they substitute for actual prayer.

Misplaced priorities

People find time for things that are important to them. Make prayer a priority, and you will pray more.

Distractions

When Satan sees your prayer life beginning to grow, he wants to do anything he can to distract you from it. Fight distraction by minimizing what you can externally and asking for God’s help in dealing with internal distractions.

Reluctance to pray with others

Consider the power of united prayer, as described by Jesus: “If two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:19,20).


When we do pray, other factors can limit our prayers’ effectiveness. The Bible has clearly listed several of these limiting influences.


Unconfessed sin

“If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me” (Psalm 66:18, KJV).

First John 1:9 has the solution: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (NKJV).

A poor marital relationship

First Peter 3:7 indicates that when a husband and wife are not getting along, their prayers are hindered. Ephesians 4:26 says, “Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry” (NIV). The old saying is true: “The family that prays together stays together.”


An unforgiving spirit

Unforgiveness becomes a barrier to answered prayer (Mark 11:25,26). If you have unforgiveness in your heart, drop everything and make it right. (See Matthew 5:23,24.)

A proud spirit

Proud prayers are worse than no prayers. “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time” (1 Peter 5:6, NKJV).

Doubt

“Whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them” (Mark 11:24). Doubt and faith cannot coexist, according to James 1:6-8.

But don’t discount little faith as unbelief. You don’t need great faith — just a little faith in a great God. The small step of faith tests the bridge, but the strength of the bridge gets the traveler across.

Lack of intensity

Weymouth translates James 5:16 this way: “The heartfelt supplication of a righteous man exerts a mighty influence.” God wants you to put your heart into your prayer.


It has been said God answers prayer in four ways: (1) “No, not yet”; (2) “No, I love you too much”; (3) “Yes, I thought you’d never ask”; and (4) “Yes, and here’s more.”

Sometimes we don’t recognize the answer because we have been asking amiss (James 4:3) or expecting amiss (2 Corinthians 12:7-9).

James 4:15: “Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that’” (NKJV). Seek the Lord’s will first. When you have a strong sense of His will in your life you can pray with confidence.

Pray in the authority of Christ’s name, which can only be done if you are praying according to His will and if you are living in a deep relationship with Him. “Whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it” (John 14:13,14). “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you” (John 15:7).


KEN HORN is editor of the Pentecostal Evangel.

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