Keys and Hindrances to Answered Prayer

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You can also find my teachings in my two published books on my website

1. Intimate relationship with God John 15:7-10,16,

If you live in me,(abide vitally united to me), and my words remain in you and continue to live in your hearts, ASK WHATEVER YOU WILL AND IT SHALL BE DONE FOR YOU.

Jesus used the illustration of himself being the true vine, and his father being the vine dresser, who prunes and prunes again so that we can bear much fruit, and fruit which remains.

He gives instructions, or life keys to his disciples which show us that the choice for walking in intimacy and bearing fruit, such as answered prayer are our own responsibility, are our own choice.

He uses words like dwell, remain, live in, this relationship. Endure the pruning, even with joy, now there’s a challenge. If we remove ourselves from intimacy, we cease bearing fruit, and ultimately if we cut ourselves off from intimacy with Father Son and Holy Spirit, we become cold in our love and could go into a state of hardened heart, ( called reprobate or depraved in Romans 1:28) one

step away from losing your salvation.

Hebrews 10:26 also speaks of those who continue to sin deliberately after they know the truth of Gods’ word, coming into judgement. Yes God has great grace which he showed endlessly to the Israelites, and to all of us by dying for our sins, however, if we despise that grace in this way, with no repentance or effort to change,God will not allow us that grace forever. If you are sinning and failing but are receiving counsel and ministry and making sincere attempts to change, then his grace is still available to you.

So we need to abide in his word, make his word our home and centre his teachings in our lives

We have his inspired written word, and by reading it, meditating on it and obeying it, we are in a place where we can expect prayers to be answered
Unless… is not yet Gods’ time, or we have unconfessed sin in our hearts.

2. Both submission and obedience

John chapter 14: verses 12-15

Here we are promised we can do greater things than Jesus, more in quantity, and quantity. Jesus repeatedly says “ I only do what the Father tells me….” this is because he and the father are one and Jesus has chosen to only do the fathers’ will.

12 I assure you and most solemnly say to you, anyone who believes in Me [as Savior] will also do the things that I do; and he will do even greater things than these [in extent and outreach], because I am going to the Father.

13 And I will do whatever you ask in My name [ as My representative], this I will do, so that the Father may be glorified and celebrated in the Son.

14 If you ask Me anything in My name [as My representative], I will do it. 15 “If you [really] love Me, you will keep and obey My commandments.

John 4:12-15

  • Wisely Applied spiritual authority.

Luke 10:19 “ Behold I give you authority and power to trample upon serpents and scorpions, and (physical and mental strength and ability) over all the power that the enemy possesses; and nothing shall in any way harm you”

In this scripture, the word translated “authority” means jurisdiction, and the word translated “power”, means physical strength to apply that power. It comes from the Greek word dunamis from which we get the word dynamite.

So we have authority to speak and physical power to act in the authority which Jesus gave us through the work of the cross.

The wisdom to apply that authority comes from discerning which battles God wants you to engage in at any given time.

Remember the disciples were being mandated to go into all the world, so they had all the world spheres of authority.

This was later refined to individual disciples being given specific geographical areas.

We have spheres of authority that are automatic, authority over our own bodies, eyes ears mouth and tongue, which we should discipline and pray for.

We have authority over our personal ministry gifts and roles, which we should pray for and actively develop.

We have degrees of authority over our families, depending upon our roles. Fathers have authority to lead and protect, mothers also while submitting to their husbands Godly leadership over the family. Children have authority to pray for their parents and siblings.

  •  Mature discernment

Hebrews 5:14 “ Solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is those who by reason of use, have their senses exercised. To discern both good and evil”.

The gift of discerning of spirits is give to us (1Corinthians 12:10), but as we seek Gods will our gift of discernment will be increased, by reason if use, our discernment becomes mature and as we add divine wisdom, which God will give us when we ask for it we will see more answered prayer.

David asked God and we should too. We should ask whether the choice or the voice is from the devil, our fleshly desires, or God.

Generally speaking, Gods’ voice should bring inner peace even though our minds may be unsettled. It is our responsibility to guard our thoughts so that we can find peace which he gives us.

If it is from satan, and will disturb our spirits even thou it may look really good to our minds.

If it is our desire, either good or bad, we shouldn’t follow it unless there is a release in our spirits.

So seek Gods will, his good and perfect will, seek his timing, and pray for the doors to open that he wants open and for doors to close that he wants closed.

If we don’t discern which battles to fight and how to pray, we can wear ourselves out and also suffer defeats because we entered into areas of prayer which we were not specifically called to at that time.

Examples of this are David 1 Samuel 30:7,where David came home from battle and discovered that his wives and children had been stolen, he was no doubt exhausted so asked the priest to bring the ephod by which they sometimes communicated with God, and asked if he should pursue the raiders.
His natural mind
would have logically told him to do that, especially as his men who had lost families, were talking of killing him. He was a warrior but had learned through his failures not to depend upon his gifts and calling alone.

God spoke and said “pursue and you shall recover all”, which is just what happened.


  1. Sin which is not acknowledged and repented of

This could be sin which you are aware of and continuing to allow in your life. David said in Psalm 66:18 “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me”.  If you are seeing the sin, and

allowing it, God will not hear in the sense of hearing with an intent to respond with a positive answer.

God does know you are sinning.

David disobeyed God by staying home when he should have been on the battlefield, he took another mans’ wife,and the child that came of this union died in spite of Davids’ prayers. David knowingly sinned, although as the anointed king, he was required to abide by a higher standard of behaviour than others.

God dealt severely with David, allowing his son to die in spite of Davids’ pleas for his healing.

He had  by staying at home in “in the time when Kings went to war”, and second he had a sexual relationship with Bathsheba at that time. He allowed himself to pull back from his responsibilities when he should have been in a place of warfare, and he knew he had done the wrong thing.!!

2 Samuel 11:1-26

In chapter twelve, we see that he also had Bathshebas’ husband killed, and the lord smote the child. It was only when the prophet Nathn confronted David with his sin, that he made an effort to repent.

The sin which we expose and confess ourselves, produces quicker healing and less consequences in our lives. But if we don’t expose and confess our own sin, God will cause it to be shouted from the housetops.

1 John 3:21 says that “If our hearts do not condemn us, then we have confidence in him. Unconfessed sin weighs us down in self condemnation, shame and guilt because if we know Jesus, we have an awakened conscience and the Holy Spirit will continue to convict us so that our spirits will be cleansed and healed as we come to that place of confession and repentance. Some sin can be confessed directly to God only, and some sin which we have committed for a long time or which has deeply wounded our soul, might need confessing to a pastor or counsellor or a wise friend.

“If my people who are called by my name will HUMBLE THEMSELVES and pray…and turn from their wicked ways, then I will heal their land”. When we expose and confess our own sin we are humbling ourselves and this causes God to move and answer those prayers2

2.Broken and unhealthy relationships

We see this reflected especially in Pauls’ teaching on the marriage relationship. In 1 Peter chapter 3, we are told that wives are to obey their husbands and husbands are to love their wives, ,dwell with them with understanding, that is understanding, that is not necessarily that you will understanding them every time but that you will show grace and love to them even when you don’t understand them. Also to show them honour, respecting the fact that they are physically weaker and also weaker in the sense of being more emotionally vulnerable because of their physiology.

At the end of verse seven Paul makes an impacting statement when he says, THAT YOUR PRAYERS ARE NOT HINDERED. I believe that in the context of this chapter, this applies to both women and men to fulfill their God given roles.

Matthew 5:23 teaches us to go and repair broken relationships BEFORE we pray. This can be a challenge as we need to pray daily, so I believe it is acceptable to God if before we pray we do a self examination of our relationships and attitudes and ask God to forgive us before we pray, then go to that person either by phone or internet or in person, and do your best to resolve that situation.

If the other person won’t accept this, then you are free from the consequences of this. Romans 12:18., Mark 11:253.

3. Unbelief and doublemindedness  James 1:5-8

This scripture reference tells us that the double minded receive nothing. First determine the will of God through the scripture, wise advice, confirmed prophecy from reliable people, and or your inner witness. That is the peace that is in your heart in spite of any circumstances or difficulties.

If we are living and walking in obedience to God we are automatically in his will and will know his will in our hearts. Circumstances can confirm the witness in our hearts but we should not be led by circumstances alone, when you pray “if it be your will”, we are adding room for doubt and double mindedness.

4.Disobedience Proverbs 28:9 says “one who turns away his ear from hearing the law [the word of God}, even his prayer shall be an abomination! Matt 21 mark 11;25

5. Demonic Interference  Daniel 10:12-14

Daniel was a very Godly man who eeven under threat of death openly prayed His prayers were no doubt powerful because of his obedience to God and yet he encountered continual resistance from high level demonic powers as he prayed, interceding for the nation of Israel and repenting on their behalf.  Finally a “certain man” came, Jesus himself in a theophany, an appearence in Old Testament times of the son of God. He reassured Daniel that his prayers had been heard and that he was “greatly beloved”.

The angel Gabriel came, also, then not just any angel, but Michael one of the arch angels, came to help because this was not a natural battle but a battle in the third heaven, and a major demonic power called the Prince of Persia, a regional spirit opposed Daniels’ prayer.

Daniel was told that he had been heard from the moment he prayed, but the great opposition need to be battled through. Daniel was given outstanding visions because of his persistence in this long battle. In Daniel 1:1 we are told “The message was true, but the appointed time was long

Timing, times and seasons also determine when our answers come. God alone knows some sovereign seasons in our lives, so when you have done all, then stand in faith. Don’t let discouragement steal your faith, but persist, pray always, keep on praying. Romans 12:12, Ephesians 6:18, Philippians 4:6, 1 Thessalonians 5:7