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Obstacles and Answers to Your Prayers

The enigma of prayer frustrates many Christians.  We antagonize ourselves, we fight against obstacles, we demand answers, we struggle to understand how it works, and we hope our intentions and hearts are acceptable to God.  Few of us have a flawless record in our prayer life.  A brief look at Cornelius of Caesarea may help clarify the machinations of prayer for us.  From Acts 10, we know that he was a devout man, he and his whole household feared God, he was generous with his offerings and he prayed to God consistently.  Cornelius must have had God’s attention for a long time. He was no “drive-by” prayer warrior.  He was a sincere, honest man. 

“He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, ‘Cornelius.’  And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, ‘What is it, Lord?’”  Acts 10:3-4.   Cornelius was afraid.  The biggest obstacle to prayer is fear—undefined, pervasive, debilitating and paralyzing.  It often disguises itself as realism, humility, shyness, or sense of inadequacy.  Fear always shows up just ahead of your answer.  Fear tells you this isn’t real; you’re not worthy; you can’t do it. It will flash mountains of obstacles before your eyes. It will use any excuse to keep you away from the altar.  But, no aircraft stops flying because a cloud wall looms directly in its flight path.  The pilot flies through the cloud like it wasn’t even there.  Fear seems formidable to the carnal mind but dissipates into thin air to the spiritual mind.  

And he said unto him, ‘Your prayers and alms are come up for a memorial before God.’”  Acts 10:4. Realize that your answer may already be on its way! Banish your fear and keep praying with fervency.  The very reason you sense the presence of God is because this is what you prayed for!  If Satan can’t stop you from praying, he can’t stop you from receiving!  Now, note this: God rarely gives you the answer outright.  He shows you how to get it!  “And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter: He lodges with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he will tell you what to do.”   God’s has something for you to do.  He wants you to act on your belief. The secret of your spiritual success is prayer, faith and obedience.  Cornelius obeyed the voice of God.  “And when the angel which spoke to Cornelius had departed, he called two of his household servants, and a devout soldier of them that waited on him continually; And when he had declared all these things unto them, he sent them to Joppa.”   

In the meantime, God was dealing with Simon Peter through a vision of unclean beasts.  “The next day, as they went on their journey, and drew near the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour…This was done three times:  And the object was taken up into heaven again.” While you were praying in one place, God was preparing in another. God has been busy!  Everything you see has been in preparation for your arrival.  “Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean, behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made inquiry for Simon’s house, and stood before the gate.”  

Doubt is the other obstacle to prayer.     Fear shows up on one end of the prayer journey; doubt on the other.  You must win the challenge of doubt. Is this God?  Is God able to do this? “And called, and asked whether Simon, who was surnamed Peter, lodged there. While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said to him, Look, three men seek you. Arise, get down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them.” You’ve overcome fear; now get rid of doubt. Answer the door of opportunity.  Prayer has no obstacles that God can’t overcome.

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Reader Comments (1)

Thank-you for this. If one is a Christian - satan fights you in prayer more than any other area. Along with many others I know this fact from experience! All I can do is tell myself to - "Have faith in God", and PRAY!

February 2, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSydney Heimericks

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