James 1:6-8 NKJV
But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
God has given us a wonderful avenue to have communion with him directly and to ask for what we need. That being the case, it does not mean that prayer is an open cheque for us to ask for anything. The assurance we have been given is that if we ask anything according to his will, then we will have it.
That being said, there are various issues that would cause our prayers not to be answered. First, a lack of faith is a sure barrier to answered prayer. James tells us that whatever we ask for, we should ask in faith and not doubt, for whoever doubts is a double-minded man who will not receive anything from God. When you pray and ask God for something, do you then go ahead and speak words of doubt right after you have exited your prayer closet?
James also alerts us of another issue that causes our prayers not to be answered and that is selfishness.
James 4:3 NKJV
You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.
God dies not answer selfish prayers. When our prayer is based on wrong motives filled with pride and only thinking of ourselves, then rest assured that God will not answer such prayers. Remember, we serve a God who searches the hearts of men so as much as our motives may be hidden from those around us, they are an open book before God.
God’s kingdom and his purposes must be paramount in our hearts so that the motives of our hearts may be right when we pray.
An unforgiving heart, Marriage problems, Idolatry and unconfessed sin are also other issues that can hinder prayer, we will take a closer look at them tomorrow.