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The Power of Prayer - Removing the Roadblocks to Answered Prayer, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
July 2, 2021 6:00 am

The Power of Prayer - Removing the Roadblocks to Answered Prayer, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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July 2, 2021 6:00 am

In this program, Chip explains that there are actually spiritual roadblocks that prevent our prayers from getting to God. He opens God’s Word and clearly lays out how to overcome these roadblocks. If you long to hear from God, and you want His power in your prayers, don't miss this message from Chip.

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Have you ever felt like there's something blocking your prayers, like they're not getting past the ceiling? In our last broadcast, I begin to talk about specific roadblocks that hinder our prayers. In this broadcast, I'll share three roadblocks that I have struggled with personally and I think will help you.

Stay with me. Thanks for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. Chip serves as our Bible teacher on this daily international discipleship program. I'm Dave Drouie, and we're in the middle of a series called The Power of Prayer. Now, if you missed the previous program Chip just mentioned, you can hear it on either the Chip Ingram app or at livingontheedge.org. After the teaching, Chip's always with us here in studio to provide some more personal insight into the message, so be sure to stay with us for that. Now let's join him for part two of his message, Removing the Roadblocks to Answered Prayer.

Roadblock number three is sin in the heart or the life. The context of this passage, Isaiah 59 verses one through three, is that the nation of Israel was very religious, very religious, going to the temple, doing all the right stuff, offering the sacrifices, but they weren't getting the answers to their prayers. And so they come to Isaiah and they say, you know, you know, maybe God's kind of winding down. You know, maybe He's tired. Maybe He's having a bad day. Maybe He's just not up to the job anymore, because we pray and it's obvious that we're good and righteous people, but He just can't come through.

You know, maybe He's just, you know, maybe He just doesn't have what it takes anymore. And so Isaiah responds to that in verse one of Isaiah 59. He says, Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor His ear too dull to hear. You can almost hear Isaiah saying, hey, look, Buster, there's a problem here, but it ain't with God.

Trust me. His arm is strong to do whatever. His ears aren't hearing your prayers. It's not because He has a hearing problem. And in verse two, he says, you want to know what the problem is? He says, But your iniquities have separated you from your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.

And then he didn't leave it vague. Verse three, he gives him four examples. He says, For your hands are stained with blood, your fingers with guilt, your lips have spoken lies, and your tongue mutters wicked things. The Scriptures teach that when there is sin in my life, when there's sin in my heart, this isn't reference to, you know, having a few ups and downs and struggles and failing here and there. I mean, we all have that. We're talking about God revealing this is wrong in your heart and your life, and you say, tough.

I'm not changing this one. It's Him showing you that you're selfish or there's an attitude toward another person or an unforgiving spirit or a moral issue, and you say, I'm not changing. In fact, the principle here is in verse eighteen of Psalm sixty-six. It says, If I regard wickedness in my heart, the Lord will not hear. You might ask why?

Why? You know, God's first and primary goal in your life on this whole planet is not to make you happy or successful or have a connected family or boost your self-esteem. His primary purpose on your journey through this planet is to make you like His Son.

Period. As a byproduct of your relationship with Him, your self-esteem will grow. They will be blessing you. They will have joy that's incredible. But His number one agenda for your life is to make you just like Jesus.

Loving, holy, pure, compassionate, honest, a man or woman of integrity. And so, when you have an issue in your life that's unresolved and you pray for these things, God doesn't answer because what He wants to allow is some frustration to occur so that as you pray, your prayers will shift from the outward focus to asking the question first, is this God's will? And then you check the scripture and say yes. To where you and I would start asking, Lord, is there a kink in my hose anywhere?

Is there a short in the wire? Is there something you want to do in my life that I'm unaware of? Got done with my message and I looked at the whole thing and I just had this kind of awakening and I looked at it all and I thought, wow, prayer is such a double-edged sword. There's a part of it that so attracts me.

It's so exciting. You know, there's power and provision and Mary just coming back together and kids coming in the door and saying, Mom and Dad, I'm sorry and just, yeah, let's pray. You ready to pray? Yeah, let's pray.

And you all go, yeah, right, huh? But there's another side of prayer is that you don't pray like that and you say, okay God. I mean, that takes some real serious, prolonged, honest times before God where you come before His throne. Now here's the double-edged sword.

What I've learned is when I come and I want to believe and I want to pray unto God and when I know it's according to His will and I want to come boldly and in confidence, as I sit quietly before God, He starts showing me about my attitudes and my pride and words that are coming out of my mouth and the tone of voice that I speak to my kids and the insensitivity that I have for my wife and He begins to show me all kind of areas and I don't know about you, I don't like it. And I've got a solution. Don't pray. It's worked for me.

I'm serious. That's why I don't want to pray. I don't want to pray because you ever heard that little line, prayer changes things?

It's true. But you know what changes the most? The one who prays. And see, this is the most critical message in terms of long-term impact because if you decide that you want to experience His power and you want to see the supernatural and you want to see Him do some major things, I guarantee you get honest before Him and He's going to say from a Father's love heart, Chip, Bill, June, Sally, there's a kink in the hose. The reason there's no power is there's a kink in the hose. He's not like your brothers and sisters growing up. He doesn't go hide in the bushes and hold the hose like this right so that when you look at it then you go, you know. We think God's like that.

He's not. He says now point it out and He'll take away that kink so that the love can wash you and cleanse you and forgive you. So what's the application? The application is to do what David did. Psalm 139, 23 and 24 where David prays, search me, O God, and know my heart.

Test me and see if there's any wicked way in me. And then he goes on to say, cleanse me and lead me in the everlasting way. It's confession. It's getting honest with God about any sin in my heart or in my life so the kink can come out of the hose. Roadblock number four, as you look over to the side of the page, is an unforgiving spirit.

That's the key word in there, unforgiving. We've looked at Mark 11, 24, but maybe you didn't know verse 25 comes right after it. It says, therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you've received it and it'll be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him.

Notice why, so that your Father in heaven may forgive your sins. An unforgiving spirit makes it impossible for God to hear our prayers. How can we, who are God's children and He's extended mercy and forgiveness, and I'm talking about the clenched grudge, I'm going to walk with God and I'm going to love these people, but that person is on my blacklist. I don't look at them.

I don't talk to them. When bad things happen, I secretly rejoice. An unforgiving spirit. Jesus says, I forgave you when you didn't deserve it. I command you to loose or forgive others. Do you have someone that you have an unforgiving spirit toward? Forgive them. Forgive them.

Forgive them so God can take the kink out of your hose. Roadblock number five is the wrong treatment of our mate, or you can put it slash husband or wife. In verse one of 1 Peter 3 it says, wives are to submit to their husbands, but notice what it says in verse seven. Husbands in the same way be considerate. Literally it means live according to knowledge or with understanding as you live with your wives. Treat them with respect, and the word respect there really means honor. It was used of kings.

Ladies, you're kind of eating this up, aren't you? As with the weaker partner, as an heir with you of the gracious gift of life. Now basically men it says we're supposed to love our wives and treat them in an understanding, compassionate way.

Why? So that nothing will hinder your prayers. Unity in our homes is a prerequisite for power with God. The word for hinder there means literally to cut up or to cut into.

If you were an army and you were running away from another army, what you would do is you would cut up the road to make it a hindrance so they couldn't get their horses and chariots on it. And what he says is that when your life, when your marriage isn't what God wants it to be, gentlemen when we're harsh, insensitive, or ladies when there's a lack of respect and submission that what you're doing is you're putting roadblocks between you and God in the effectiveness of your prayers. And again ask why would God hold up your prayers? Because he's more concerned that the wife and the husband have this kind of relationship that models the love of Christ than he is you getting what you're asking for. And as you ask and ask and you know it's God's will and you don't get it, some of you will be like me and you'll get smart enough to say, hmm is there any problem that I should look at?

And he'll gently take that orange wire and put it in just the right position and say you know maybe your marriage needs a little attention and you give it that attention and we'll get this power on in the things that you're praying about. Roadblock number six, stinginess in our giving. There is a direct correlation in scripture between the power of prayer and the generosity of our hearts. Proverbs 21 13 says if, here's a condition, a man shuts his ear to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered.

Wow, that's pretty powerful isn't it? When there's people with need and we shut our ears to their cry, it says God in turn then shuts his ears to us. When your heart and my heart is open and pliable and generous to meet the needs of other people, then God hears our prayers. In fact, there's a correlation that as we are givers and lovers of others that God promises he'll just keep the pipeline full so that, you know why he entrusts certain people with money? He entrusts certain people with money because he knows they'll give it away. And some people he won't entrust with money because they'll just use it on themselves to bring destruction on themselves. So there's certain people that God won't trust lots of money to because they have real loose hands, real loose hands.

They just keep passing it on. In fact, the principle I put it down, look at verse eight of 2 Corinthians chapter nine in bold. It says God is able or powerful, the word we get dunamis, it means dynamite. God has dynamite power to make, now circle all the time the word all shows up. God is able to make all grace abound to you so that in all things, at all times, having all that you need, you will abound or overflow in every good work. Is that a promise to God's child? Wow!

Is that great? He says he's got this boatload of grace and mercy and gifts so that all grace can abound for all things, for all your needs so you have enough to share. Notice now the context. Verse eight is only true of people who practice verses six and seven. What's verse six say? Remember this, whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. It's a farming, agricultural, I mean this is just, you know, nuts and bolts. If you, you know, throw out fifteen seeds you get X amount of crop. You throw out fifteen hundred seeds you get X amount of crop.

That's all he's saying. That's how it works. The more you plant, the more you sow, the more you get back. And then he now spiritualizes it and applies it to us. Verse seven, each man should give what he or she has decided in his heart. See it's a personal matter of generosity between you and God. Not pressure, not manipulation, not guilt, not ought, but as he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly, not under compulsion. Why?

Here's the reason. For God loves a cheerful giver. The word cheerful we get our word hilarious. God loves hilarious giver. He loves people who aren't tight.

He just loves people who say my stuff, my home, my money, my time, my energy, it's God's. I'm going to share it and I'm confident that as I share it, he just keeps the pipeline filled up. Six roadblocks. Roadblock number one, is it prayerlessness? Are you failing to ask? Roadblock number two, are you asking with the wrong motives?

Asking selfishly? Roadblock number three, is there just sin in your heart or your life? You just know it and you simply need to confess and repent and decide today.

That's it. I'm not doing that anymore. Roadblock number four is unforgiving spirit. Is there someone you need right now just to forgive, to let go of?

Maybe even need to make a call or write a letter today, make restitution? Roadblock number five, is there unity in your marriage or does your marriage hinder your prayers? And roadblock number six, is there stinginess in your giving?

Ask the Holy Spirit to just search you, not because he's down on you, but so he can just get the kink out, so the love and the power of God can really float into your life. Chip will be right back with his application for this message, Removing the Roadblocks to Answer Prayer, from his series, The Power of Prayer. Whether you're a new Christian or a seasoned follower of Christ, prayer is absolutely essential to our relationship with God. It's how we communicate with him. And as his children, we are given free access anytime, anywhere.

But how does that actually work? In this series, you'll discover the steps to developing a dynamic prayer life, how to remove common roadblocks to answer prayer and what it means to pray with confidence. For a limited time, the resources for The Power of Prayer are discounted and the MP3s are always free. For additional ordering and pricing details, visit livingontheedge.org or give us a call at 888-333-6003.

App listeners tap special offers. Before we take a minute and jump right back into what I taught and how that really applies to our lives right now, I just have a big heads up. I mean, this is really, really important, right? July 4th is coming. I hope you have a great time with your family. I don't know what you do.

I know a lot of people travel, a lot of people go to the lake, a lot of people do some really great family times. I just want to remind you, you've been hearing about this match for about a month and I just am going to tell you, this happens all the time. I'm going to, I'm planning to, yes, I'm going to do it and it just keeps getting delayed. I don't doubt your intention. This is that reminder. This is just that person waving the hand to say, wow, let's turn that good intention into an action because after July 4th, I mean, the time gets really, really thin for your gift to be doubled.

I mean, by July 6th, midnight, it's over. So let me encourage you, if you've been thinking about it, praying about it, intending to give to this mid-year match, let me encourage you before you get out of town, give. It will help us a ton and I will tell you what, you're going to help a lot of people here and all around the world. God bless you and be safe and have fun.

Well, if you believe God is calling you to join that future with us, we'd be honored to have you on our team. And while we're in our mid-year match, every gift we receive will be doubled thanks to some very generous friends of the ministry. So now is a great time to become a financial partner. To send a gift or to become a monthly partner, just give us a call at 888-333-6003. That's 888-333-6003. Or, if you prefer to donate online, go to LivingOnTheEdge.org.

App listeners, just tap donate. For all of us here, thank you in advance for your support. Well, here's Chip with a final thought about today's message. As we close today's program, I know I covered a lot and I went pretty quickly. And in our last program, I covered the first three roadblocks. So lean back and just let God speak to you right now. You can go to the website, LivingOnTheEdge.org, download the notes. Everything I've said is there.

It's in print. But what I want you to do is listen to the Holy Spirit right now. There's six roadblocks that we talked about.

Let me just list them. And what I want you to do is say, Lord, which one of these is something you want me to address so that you can break through in my time with you and in answering my prayers with great power? Okay?

Have you got that? So number one roadblock was prayerlessness. We simply don't ask. Number two was asking with the wrong motives.

You know, we're asking, but it's really about us, not about Him. Third was sin. There was a relationship or a habitual pattern or something that we know is wrong that we haven't addressed.

In other words, it was an ongoing sin that we just in rebellion refused to address. Number four, and this gets really close to home, an unforgiving spirit. I think of all the things that have tripped me up in prayer. You know, the times when I felt not close to God, the times when I felt like, Oh, God, you know, why haven't you done this? And when I really have prayed and sat quietly and said, Lord, would you help me understand why aren't you answering or what's wrong here or why am I not motivated to talk to you or listen to you? And in more cases than I would really want to admit, I will tell you, God will whisper, you know, you have some resentment toward your wife right now. You have an unforgiving spirit toward something one of your kids did or you know, that person in ministry and you know, that was nine months ago and you know, you haven't let go of all of that. You still have some bitterness in your heart and see part of the whole purpose of prayer, believe it or not, isn't just to get answers. It's for God to change you. It's for God to change me and so often these roadblocks come up so that he can put his arm around you and kindly and gently show you and show me some things that need to be addressed.

The next roadblock was a wrong treatment of your mate. I think men especially here, women, I'm not taking you off the hook, but the passage is really clearly directed. Men, if you are not tender, if you're not sensitive, if you're not treating your wife with respect, if you're not honoring her, I mean the Bible's real clear, it hinders your prayers. And so ladies, I'll let you take that to heart, but men, I'm going to come directly and say, is your relationship with your wife the kind that God can bless your prayers?

And I would say today, if it's not, here's your application, it's real easy. You need to express with a very tender heart, I am really sorry, will you please forgive me? And then do something that may be very hard, is begin to pray with your wife. Just, I mean, 30 seconds, a minute before you go to bed, even if you do it silently at the beginning, more than just around the table, praying with your mate will bring transformation in your relationship. And then finally, the last one is stinginess in your giving.

What I know is that historically, and in terms of all the research in America, that only about 2.5% of all the believers even tithe. And so there may be a barrier that you can't figure out why God's not hearing your prayers when he's saying, well, actually you're not honoring me with your finances. So let me just ask you to lean back, hear the voice of your Father, which one of those do you need to address? If you're willing to act to take a step toward Him, His promise, He will take big steps toward you.

Now, just go obey. You'll find the message notes Chip just mentioned in a couple of places. Go to LivingOnTheEdge.org and click the Broadcasts tab.

App listeners, tap Fill in Notes. If you'd like to partner with Living on the Edge, we'd love to have you join us. Thanks to the generosity of a small group of financial partners, whatever we receive between now and July 6th will be doubled. To give a gift, just go to LivingOnTheEdge.org. Tap Donate on the app or give us a call at 888-333-6003. That's 888-333-6003. And let me thank you in advance for your generous support. Well, for all of us here, this is Dave Drouie saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-25 06:57:31 / 2023-09-25 07:06:49 / 9

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