Hindrances to effective Prayer

James 5:16bThe earnest (heartfelt,continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working]. (AMP)

From the above scriptures we can see that God is interested in what we have to say. A father’s greatest joy is to have effective conversation with his children. What concerns you concerns God. Having effective conversation with God is effective prayer. For your prayer to make an impact you must be aware of the possible hindrances and deal with them. For your prayer to make an impact on hell, it must first make an impact on you and heaven. Today I will outline some of the hindrances to effective prayer.

Ignorance and wrong teaching on prayer – cure: revelation and knowledge

Hosea 4:6 – My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.


Not all communication is effective nor is all prayer effective. The above scriptures show that our motives and attitude in prayer affects the impact of our prayer. So first, check your motive before you pray. If your prayer is to show off and prove your spirituality then while you may get the accolade of men you will miss the joy of conversation with God. I have met several people who use the amount of days they have spent fasting and praying to intimidate others and to gain recognition as spiritual giants. While praying and fasting is good and essential in our walk with God, it is not meant to be used as a badge to boast about how spiritual you are. It is not a ticket to answered prayer. Also watch your motive. The primary motive of prayer should be to have conversations with our Father and not present a list of requests or to prove spirituality.

In the course of the conversation God Himself will ask you what you want Him to do for you. He is more eager to bless you than you know. Although there is spiritual warfare in prayer, prayer is not primarily warfare, although there is asking in prayer, prayer is not primarily asking, although there is binding and losing in prayer, it is not primarily about binding and losing. Prayer is primarily about having conversations with our Father. It is primarily ‘fellowshipping’ to strengthen our relationship with our heavenly Father.

Poor or wrong application of knowledge – the cure: right motive and attitude

Luke 18:10-14

Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men–extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ And the tax collector, standing afar off, will not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.

Sin and weight

While sin and weight are different they both hinder prayer. Sin is a robber and weight reduces our effectiveness. T.L Osborn said every time we sin something dies within us. You cannot have an effective conversation with God when you bring sin between Him and you. Weight is habits and lack of discipline. They are not sinful but they border on sin. For example, if you leave your health unchecked it will eventually result in bad health and hinder you from living an effective life and in some cases it leads to early death. Sin and weight have the same impact. They are destructive if a person entertains them. It sounds harsh but it’s the truth – sin and weight truly destroy so watch your ways.

Further reading

Hebrews 12:1-2, Isaiah 59:1-2

Personal declaration for the day

Father I know You love me and I know You care for me and will always provide for my needs. I will spend my time of conversation with you like a son or daughter spends intimate and enjoyable time with a loving father. Thank you for first being my Father before being my Master, Lord and King. I thank You for making me part of Your family and I choose to be a serving son/daughter. From now on, I carry the consciousness that being Your offspring is my primary identity and not being Your creature or subject. Father, I will pray and have conversations with you according to Your word and I know I will get results in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Questions for you to reflect on

Name some of the hindrances to prayer that you know?

Which do think have hindered your prayer before?

Have you dealt with it? How?