We’re in a message series about prayer called “Prayer Adventure.” Prayer becomes an adventure when you hear God speaking to you. And when you receive answers to your prayers. Prayer is not an adventure when you are simply asking God for things and nothing seems to happen. Jesus said in …
John 16:24 (ESV) Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
Jesus promised in this verse that when we ask in His name, we will receive answers and we will be filled with joy. That sounds like an adventure to me.
Today, we’re talking about “Obstacles to Prayer Answers.” Obstacles or hindrances to prayer are things that cause our prayers to not be answered. So, if we can reduce the obstacles in our prayer lives, we can expect to see more prayers answered, which will bring us joy. Sounds like a good plan, doesn’t it?
Prayer’s First Requirement
The first requirement for a prayer to be answered is that the content of the prayer needs to be in accordance with God’s will. That really is what it means to pray in Jesus’ name. To pray in His name is to pray for the things that He wants, not just for what we want. Of course, if we want what He wants, then we have the best of all worlds.
1 John 5:14-15 (ESV) And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.
John makes it clear that God hears prayers that are prayed according to His will. And if God hears our prayers, we will receive the answers. The implication of this Scripture is that if we don’t pray in keeping with God’s will, He doesn’t even hear us. And if He doesn’t hear, there will be no answer. However, things aren’t quite so simple. There is more to getting prayers answered then simply praying the right content. You can pray the right content, but still not receive an answer from God.