Our prayers can be hindered by our own, internal selfish desires, attitudes, character or emotions. Our prayers can also be hindered by spiritual forces we can’t see, and yet they affect our lives none the less. Because of every life’s uniqueness, God doesn’t give us a One-Size-Fits-All solution to a weak or stale prayer life. (beware of those who do)
God does say that the starting point of a dynamic prayer life is in our own hearts. When we desire God first and formost, and love him above and before everything else in our lves, when we encounter sins, desires, demons or darkness that oppose our prayers, we are already on the road to forsaking them, and recovering an overcoming prayer life.
I use these four points to evaluate and strengthen my own prayer life. The two forces, my own desires or satan’s minions, can hinder me internally – in my own attitudes, or externally – in my relationships. I like to use matrices to help me focus on one idea and a time.
|My character can affect my attitudes and emotions:Ps 66.18Ps 32-3-4
|Spiritual forces can affect my attitudes and emotions: James 1.5-81 S
|My Character can affect my relationships with others:Matt 18.15-20Matt 5.21-26
|Spiritual forces can affect my relationship with others.Dan 10.1-2 12-14Job 1.12
I use these four points evaluate my life. These factors keep a prayer life constrained and cold. I encourage you to do the same. Look for internal attitudes, external emotions and spiritual warfare that may be opposing your intimacy with God and preventing you from moving forward in your prayer life.
Find something? James says that defeating the devil and moving closer to God is a straightforward, honest process. James 5.7 says that in order to defeat the devil’s strategies, we need to humble ourselves, which includes confessing our sins and weaknesses to God. They we submit to God by purposing to follow and obey him. With a humble and obedient heart, when we resist the devil, he has no recourse but to flee.
Each one of these boxes focuses on one element of personal character or spiritual forces that can be in the way of a deeper prayer life. Read the scriptures in each box, and reflect on how they apply to your life. Maybe use a journal, and fill any specifics that come to mind.