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It can be a test of our faith when prayers go unanswered. Everyone needs encouragement and sometimes weeks and even years can pass by while waiting for a particular request made to our compassionate Lord. However, God gives us many graces and teaches us that there are lessons that unanswered prayers can provide. It is important to endure and never lose heart but there are times when we, as the architects of our praying, have sabotaged our own prayers.


Here are a few biblical hindrances that should be avoided. 


Living in Unrepentant Sin


Living in unrepentant sin is one of the quickest ways to sabotage our prayers. God informs us and confronts the presumption that he will hear us no matter how we live. If you are leading an undisciplined life and making belligerent prayers, God may not answer.


“The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers.” (1 Peter 4:7).


Harboring Doubts About God’s Goodness

God will reward those who seek Him. If you are half-heartily asking without actually expecting to receive it is a dishonor to God and will undoubtedly anchor your prayers to earth. Do not allow prayers to part from your lips without having complete faith. 


If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord.” (James 1:5–7)

Ignoring God’s Words
There is a privilege in prayer and God is gracious and always waiting for people to come to him for comfort, help, and joy. God is never disturbed by us coming to Him often, but instead, when we seek Him too little. Do not pray while desiring for God to hear you if you are choosing not to hear Him. 


Praying for Your Own Praise
Do not withhold from praying until you are in earshot of someone else. Rather, speak to God when there is no one else to hear it. If you are praying for the sake of reputation, admiration, or respect you will take away the power of prayer.


“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” (1 John 5:14)