Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Lord, Teach Us To Pray! Part 110

Hindered Prayer

Wherever you find praying Christians, be certain that you will likewise find the enemy trying to throw up roadblocks and create obstacles. The enemy not only hates a praying Christian, he is fearful of them.

It is a sad testament to how little many believers know about prayer, but often times we discover the enemy knows more about the power of prayer than we do. The enemy knows how effective prayer can be, he knows how often God answers it, and he knows that if we can overcome the roadblocks and obstacles he places before us, and continue to persevere in prayer, great and wondrous things will happen.

Because it is important to know what the obstacles and roadblocks the enemy employs in his attempt to steer believers away from a life of prayer are, because it is important to identify them and not be distracted or overwhelmed by them, I thought it wise to spend some time in discussing them and how we get around them.

The obstacles vary as do the roadblocks, but their intent is singular and their purpose a single-minded one. The purpose and intent of any roadblock or obstacle, is to keep you from continuing down the path of prayer, and cause you to grow discouraged, disheartened, or distracted.

In a perfect world, the more we saw the enemy resist us, the more we would be on our knees crying out to God, the more we saw the enemy throw up roadblocks, the more we would press in and barrel through them, but this is not a perfect world, and most Christians just give up on prayer at the first sign of resistance or opposition.

Some are held back in their prayer life due to worldly things they’ve allowed to nest in their hearts for far too long, while others are held back by discouragement, and disenchantment with those they perceived to be their spiritual betters. Others still, driven by impatience become sluggish and no longer have forward momentum in their prayer lives due to impatience, and their inability to accept God’s delaying of an answer to their prayers.

We’ve been taught we’re special since early youth, on through adolescence and into adulthood by so many individuals, that we now believe it is only fitting we get to cut to the head of the line, demand of God to answer us forthwith, and be justified in our anger and rebellion when He does not do as we expect and demand.

Doubt and unbelief can also be roadblocks and obstacles the enemy puts up, hoping that we allow them to impede our progress, and let them grow unhindered in the fertile soil of the heart until they choke off faith and hope.

As believers we are not ignorant of the enemy’s plans, we are not ignorant of his intentions, or his hatred of Christ’s followers, yet somehow we are hindered in our prayers by his snares and devices more often than we would like to admit.

Because he knows he is effective, because he knows his plans bring forth the desired results, the enemy barrages believers with attacks of various kinds and intensities, all so we would cease to pray, all so we would cease to call out and petition God that He might answer.

Not even the Disciples of Christ were spared roadblocks, obstacles, and harassments whenever they intended to pray, because the enemy is ever mindful of true believers, and whenever he is able, he attempts to distract us from our true purpose in Christ.

Acts 16:16-18, “Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit from fortune-telling. This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, ‘These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.’ And this she did for many days. But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, ‘I command you in the name of Jesus Chris tot come out of her.’ And he came out that very hour.”

It was not when they were about to go have lunch, it was not when they were about to nap, it wasn’t even when they were about to preach that the servant girl possessed with the spirit of divination would meet them, it was as they would go to prayer.

This did not happen once or twice, it was not accidental or coincidental, because the Scripture specifies that this she did for many days.

How many is many? Likely more than a handful or a few, and it had gotten to the point that Paul became greatly annoyed. Yes the spirit of divination within the girl was saying glowing things about Paul and those who walked with him, it was even testifying to the fact that they were indeed servants of the Most High God who proclaimed the way of salvation, but Paul knew the spirit behind the flattery, and after many days he finally decided to put a stop to it.

What I wanted to highlight in this scripture passage is not necessarily the fact that Paul cast out a demon from a servant girl, but that the demon within her, knew when it that the disciples were going to pray, and attempted to harass, annoy, and detour them from carrying out their intentions.

As they went to pray, for many days, the spirit within the girl would be about the task of attempting to keep them from praying, and communing with God.

The alarms are sounded whenever we go to prayer, the enemy forces are rousted, and the only order they are given is to stop you from carrying out the act of coming before God in prayer and supplication, and having fellowship with Him.

Do what the enemy hates, and you will be doing what God loves. Do what the enemy loves however, and you will inevitably be doing what God hates.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

No comments: