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Remove the Hindrances to Prayer

Leading the Way / Michael Youssef
The Truth Network Radio
January 8, 2019 3:00 am

Remove the Hindrances to Prayer

Leading the Way / Michael Youssef

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I read a story about a missionary by the name of Herbert Jackson. Mr. Jackson had one of those cars that absolutely would not go unless somebody pushes it and so he developed an elaborate scheme throughout the day of the keeping the car going first thing in the morning. He lived nearby in school so he would go to the headmaster and ask for permission and gets kids out of the school to come and push the car, which is always fighting about and we all want to go on, push the car then throughout the day as is making his rounds.

He would try to find a hill in which he can park his car or he would leave the car running the whole time. Is he going in and out of his making calls in this just when all and on and on for two years day after day after day. This arduous this painful this elaborate scheme kids in the morning, push the car, keeping it running during the day or having parking it on a hill for two years. This painful experience persistent until he become ill and he needed to come home and so the mission board sent a missionary to replace him. And though this form is generated not only inherit Mr. Jackson's residence, but he inherited this miserable car so he told them they sit in the morning to go to the school he got to the head ministry get get some kids out and give your portion. Then he keep it running or pocket on a hill and and Mr. Jackson hasn't finished the conversation while this new missionary who happened to be mechanically minded looked under the hood or in the under the bomb up, as they say in English and they looked in there. He said not Dr. Jackson. I believe the problem is very simple. You have a loose cable connection and you just turn the thing around and got in the car started the car and to Mr. Jackson absolute amazement at home. I mean it just kept going ever since reading the story. I said to myself, you know, I really believe this is a portrait of the prayer life of many Christians. This is a picture of how many people view their prayer life. It's like this car is constantly needs pushing and needs shoving and many people pray and pray and pray for them to have no answer to prayer and the problem all along is a loose connection in your relationship with the Lord. That's what's stopping your press from being answered loose connection that is hindering you from experiencing the power in prayer loose connection that is causing you to feel as if you're spinning your wheels and prayer. A loose connection that keeps you from receiving answers to your prayer, loose connection in your life that is causing you to go through this elaborate procedure of asking and begging God and asking God and asking and asking and never receiving a loose connection that is robbing you of the joy that comes from intimacy with God one on one daily loose connection that has stopped you from hearing his voice. As you read his word. There are others who are running around looking for just that one book or that one preacher or that one counselor or that one formula that is going to take care of things is going to help them out. There's going to give them what they're looking for someone said to me not long ago, he said my prayer seems to be not going in a higher than the ceiling and and I feel that God is so far away from why is this why is this today I want to show you from the word of God. The six possible things that causes a loose connection that sees you from receiving answers to prayer.

Number one, your prayers will be hindered when the marriage relationship is out of kilter. Secondly, when you have wronged someone and did not make restitution your prayers will not be answers number three.

When you have an unforgiving spirit lurking inside your soul, your prayers will not be answer number four when covetousness set sin that will hinder your prayers from being answered for foreign disobedience become a patent in your life. And finally, when unconfessed sin is cherished when marriage relationship is out of kilter.

Prayers will not be answered; ready to get that well first Peter chapter 3 verse seven.

It's a familiar verse.

Probably most of you know it, but don't jump the gun, because what I want to point out to you. Here is far more important. Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing would hinder your prayers. Another translation puts it last your prayers go unanswered is even a much clearer translation. Now I'm not planning on expanding on this verse I would've taken me several messages just expound on this one verse. But the Bible makes it very clear at this point here that God has delicately given us a balanced formula for a joyous contented marriage. That formula is like a delicately balanced chemical formula.

If the ingredients are not right if the measurements are not according to to that formula. Things are going God out of whack doing a high wire that Coca-Cola has a secret formula. Very few people have access to. It's in a vault, but the formula for joyous contented marriage is spelled out. It was not a secret, it is not locked up in a vault, it is very clearly spelled in the word of God. So what is that formula listen carefully. Please it is for the husband to lovingly and humbly lead and for the wife to joyfully follow the together you can turn this formula upside down. He can turn it sideways and can go whichever way you want, you can go and read all the 2000 books on marriage without in the bookstores be my guess is fine. I'm going to tell you everything boils down to this formula. If these two ingredients are not delicately balanced in the marriage. The marriage gets out of whack but listened 11 listen to me. The good news is this whenever this formula gets out of whack. It can be restored.

That is the thing about our Christian faith. You know in my house we have experienced this again and again and again for nearly 40 years, when tension arises between me and my wife. It is because one of us messed up that formula mostly heard I actually got her permission to say that because if you believe that I've got a bridge on a cellular and that is why you only have one option not to all 31 option and that is confession and repentance and restoration so that the unity of the Spirit in the marriage and the bond of peace be restored. That's of course if you want your prayers to be answered. The word of God says make sure your marriages is in sync spiritually around in this one of God's delicate balance formula gets out of whack. Day after day after day or week after week after month after month after month limit. I assure you that your prayer life will be like Mr. Jackson's car Armenia pushing and shoving on your parking on the field and you keep the car running and you're trying everything which way to go. Our prayers will not be answered when a husband does not love his wife enough to place her needs above his. The formula is out of whack. When the wife constantly criticizing her husband and putting him down and usurping his headship. The formula is out of whack. The answer is immediate confession. I'm saying immediately say the word immediate with me intermediate that is immediate confession and the seeking of each other's forgiveness, love it if you're not receiving answers to prayer.

You need to go back examine your relationship with your spouse. Are you spiritually in sync.

Secondly, your prayers will not be answer when you have wronged someone and refused to make restitution in Matthew chapter 5 verses 23 and 24 said. Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and then you remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar first go and be reconciled to your brother, then come back and make your offering that a member in the Old Testament. It is the head of the household who would come and bring the lamb to the altar as a sacrifice on behalf of his entire family.

That was the task of the head of the household. Not everybody came in and brought a gift, but each family came and brought a gift and Jesus is saying that if you get there in the lamb's feet are tied in and you're ready to get Hannibal to the priest to be offered and then you remember that you're wrong somebody and that person is hurt and that person is offended you believe that in front of the altar there feet died them all and go back and make restitution.

Then come back and make your offering now in the New Testament. Of course, the Lord Jesus Christ is our sacrificial lamb in the New Testament, Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away our sin. Jesus is the one who died on the cross to pay for our sins. We don't offer LM anymore we come to church to offer the sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving we come to church on Sunday so that we may offer the sacrifice of our labor through our tithes and offerings but beloved until you have dealt with the issue of taking advantage of someone or abusing someone or cheating someone or deliberately hurting someone your prayers and your praise and your giving is hollow because God is not pleased with them, and God will not bless you. You might have been praying for a long time for something in your playing on your praying in your prayers and what's wrong why God is not answering my prayer. I have not received answer examine yourself. Have I deliberately hurt someone, how I deliberately offended someone, have I deliberately injured someone that Zacchaeus, we had an encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ member little Zacchaeus tax collectors. I mean those tax collectors will brutal and they will put their hands in your pocket. Take everything you cuffed and Endo take more than their share and then they give something to the Roman governor pocket the rest of them and they were rascals and Zacchaeus was worth but he said to the Lord Jesus would have an encounter with him.

He said if I have wronged.

If this is I know of no budget for I'm going to go back and give it four times, and Jesus on the strength of that confession said salvation has come to this house number three when unforgiving spirit looks in your soul. The reason the Bible talks about the root of bitterness because it is hidden from sight. You don't see the root of a tree do if you get to the root of the tree was dead by get up. It is looking underneath you can see inside the fruit of bitterness. He said the root of bitterness Christmas digs deep underground, and the Bible said that unforgiving spirit will hinder your prayers from being answered.

Now I know forgiveness is an issue that thousands of books are written and millions of sermons are preached on a nonacademic coverage in five minutes okay but limited very clear on this one. I am so glad I lived long enough that I can make the statement because it did not come overnight, but for me this is a clear-cut issue.

I don't think about apart along it. It is unambiguous. There is no doubt in it and that is why when Jesus said to the disciples in Matthew six. Our father in heaven. And then he went on to say, and forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Forgive us our wrongdoing as we forgive those who wrong us. Now this something I need to explain here the summonses you know if I'm struggling with forgiveness. I can lose my salvation mimics plaintiff. The Bible talks about two kinds of forgiveness.

The first forgiveness is when you come to the Lord Jesus Christ. You recognize that you're a sinner and you heading for help without his salvation. And you say Lord Jesus, I repent of my sins forgiven my sins, I receive you as my only Savior who paid the wages of my sins. You're the only Lord you only Redeemer in the Bible say that that moment you are forgiven your transform from darkness to light.

You are being transformed from hell to heaven. You have been transformed from death to life at that moment all of your sins are blotted out from the sight of God eternally. That's a first gun forgiveness business. Second, forgiveness of Jesus is talking about here and that is because we live in this sinful world we get them out of sin sticks to us and we have all kinds of things are at taking place in muddy our solar muddy spirit. Now the theologians call the first kind of forgiveness.

You say you are positionally forgiven that you're in a position of being forgiven eternally.

But this daily forgiveness is daily cleansing is is something that we do every day, simply because we living in a sinful world. We give you an illustration to make this point. Remember when Jesus was washing the disciples feet appear subliminal you can wash my feet and Jesus said if I don't wash your feet, you will have no part with me and he said to pick up later she jumped aggressive. Give me a bath not to have part of of you all get a bath, he said. Jesus said, known those who already been base that is those who are forgiven, positionally forgiven those who are names are written in the book of life, those who are born again those who are blue belong to Christ, already been base all they need is a washing of the feet. As you walk the streets of this sinful world. Just the feet need to be washed.

That is what Jesus is talking about here in the Lord's prayer. Forgive us our wrongdoing as we forgive those who wronged us daily cleansing. So when you not forgiving somebody. This daily cleansing. This daily forgiveness that you receive from the hand of the Lord is going to clog the line of communication between you and the Lord, and unite and receive answer to prayer because you are holding a grudge. The carrying of bitterness.

You have not forgiven somebody you see that is going to cause statics in the line of communication and therefore if you not going to hear the answer to prayers these daily unforgiveness because the Holy Spirit that is within you to grieve when you grieve your best friends who do you have to comfort you gonna hinder your prayers from being answered.

Jesus said if you refuse to forgive someone, you will not experience daily cleansing daily forgiveness is an effective salvation. No I when you don't experience daily cleansing your communication line gets clogged the cable connection loosens up why because unforgiveness is a sin that will hinder your fellow shipping with your heavenly father and an intimate basis forgiving anyone and everyone who wronged me is my moment by moment, not just daily occurrence. And trust me when I tell you I learned this the hard way.

It wasn't always like that.

But I know experientially how unforgiveness and bitterness and holding of grudges can hinder answers to prayer not only my prayer life gets hindered, but praying for all the people gets hindered and think about that responsibility for a long time. Listen to me. Don't ever ask a better person and unforgiving person to pray for you didn't get that you know why you get into trouble to because the answers to your prayers going to get clogged in their pipeline number 11. Listen, I have seen with those two eyes. What unforgiveness does.

I've seen unforgiveness destroy marriages I've seen unforgiveness destroy homes. I've seen it destroyed relationships are seen unforgiveness actually causes physical pain that is unexplainable. Give it up as the Lord to give you the strength to be a forgiving person and I'm telling you this is one prayer God will answer number four covetousness hinders answer to prayer, that whenever we hear the word covetousness immediately think of wealth you know somebody basically deciding what somebody else has. Which is true but covetousness can manifest its ugly head in unfaithfulness with that which is in our life that belongs to God.

Keeping that which belongs to the Lord is a sin and is going to hinder answers to prayer when the Lord rebuked his people through Malachi 4 that covetousness it was because they were keeping the thighs in the offering it because there was stealing was not theirs belongs to the Lord.

There were robbing God.

There were keeping that which belongs to God and he said in Malachi 38. He should return to me and I returned to uses the Lord? What kept them from the Lord and whether they need to return because there were keeping for themselves that which belongs to the Lord.

Beloved, listen to me for years four years I robbed God I stole from God. I was a thief.

I was ordained to the ministry and I was a thief until 30 years ago, the Lord convicted me as a salad rationalize it in him in full-time ministry.

I give myself to the Lord and God says come off it put the cash in put the cash in and then I realize that that's what the people doing Malachi time with doing this.

I've got needs and their rationalize, you miss out on so much blessings when you're changing God for what belongs to God.

Trust me, God said when you repent and return to me what belongs to me. Then watch out because I'm gonna open the windows of heaven and I'm gonna pour out so much blessings that you can handle it is a rough translation but you get the meaning and God is saying to his people through Malachi, repent of your stealing of the money and watch out God answer prayer number five when disobedience become a habit. Your prayers will not be answered in the very first thing Israel had you know the story. A man by the name of Saul Amin had all the pedigree and all the qualifications of any king would have. He was told he was handsome he was strong he was charismatic, and he will he's got it all what he had it all, but he had one major flaw.

He was a disobedient to the Lord. He relied on his charisma to accomplish things and that was his downfall. In first Samuel 1522. Here's what the prophet Samuel said to him, he said, has the Lord as much pleasure in your burnt offering and sacrifice, as in your obedience.

Saul tried to pray God will not answer him, because disobedience he disobedience is a form of arrogance and pride. It really is.

Now you may be living a life were deep down you know there's an area of disobedience in your life in the Holy Spirit this morning. You know it only else my know it you do you know what you're doing. That is not pleasing to the Lord, you know what you're doing.

That is not honoring the Lord, you know what you're doing is placing you in the place of temptation all the time and your prayers are not being honest to remember this obedience open heaven's door's obedience bring answers to prayer a verse I shared with you in the last message I want to give it you.

Again, it's worth repeating. It's worth memorizing. First John chapter 3 verses 2122 dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, and we have confidence before God we received from him. Anything we ask and that's where most people stop don't stop there to bone because we obey his commands and do what is pleasing to him as the rest of the verse you see the connection obedience. Obedience answers to prayer, obedience because when you obedience to the Lord, you are going to pray for anything that's outside of the will of God. Finally, unconfessed sin will hinder answers to prayer.

The psalmist said in Psalm 6618 if I regard iniquity in my heart. The Lord will not hear me let me give you a much clearer translation if I cherish iniquity or sin in my heart. The Lord will not have listened, but he has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer. You notice the Bible did not say if I sin God will not listen. God will not hear me. God will not answer my prayer and I am so thankful dude about this because if that was the case all of us were up the creek will but is saying it is the love of sin is the cherishing of sin. It is the habitual sin. It is the excusing of sin is the rationalizing of sin. That's what hinders answers to prayer.

In fact, there is a verse and first Princess chapter 5 that is almost terrifying.

What Paul was dealing with the church in Corinth that is disobedient that all the spiritual gifts, but there were disobedient that all of the spiritual gifts, but there were carnal and God said to them through the apostle Paul that if you are a believer. If your name is written the book of life.

If you are an elective God and you persist in sinning and living in commonality.

Sometimes the Lord takes that persons life in order that he may save his soul mate, something that does not give you some shivers does to me that me ask you this is a loose connection in your life. Is there a loose connection that is holding back answers to prayer. You can come to the Lord right now at this very moment the sacred moment this holy moment come to him right now.

Come clean with God say Lord I don't want any loose connections in my life and my relationship with you. I wanted loose cables and my connection with you. You can indeed say to him with the words of William Carper. This is a great man his life story so amazing. He was a great, important, and yet is suffered from a great deal of depression in his life and he went to spend a great deal of time with them. John Newton, the right of amazing Grace, and he encouraged them along and get them.

He wrote many of the hymns of two songs that were saying and for example he wrought God moves in mysterious ways. You know that he was trying to commit suicide and for two hours the horse and buggy that he was taking to go so he can jump off the bridge into the Thames got lost in the fog, and two hours later he found himself in front of his house.

He was lost he goes insider to study any rights God moves in mysterious way, his wonders to perform a loving father, I thank you for each individual who is declaring father that whatever it is in our life that is hindering your answer to our prayers, father, whatever it is that is keeping us from praying in the context of your glory in the context of your majesty in the context of the awesomeness of God in the context of your will father in the name of Jesus with an ounce and we ask that Sue, the power of the Holy Spirit that dwells in us Holy Spirit, we are so sorry to grieve you with so sorry to point you, and we ask that you would continue in this Holy Spirit.

Mutinous and renewing us total loyalty to the Lord Jesus Christ. Father we pray anything that is causing statics in our relationship with you to be removed today through the power of the Holy Spirit. We pray this in Jesus name, amen. Thanks for listening to this message from Dr. Michael you Seth recently featured on leading the way. If you'd like to know more about us, please visit that's

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