Sometimes we feel as if our prayers just bounce off the ceiling and are not
breaking through. There can be many reasons that cause our prayer life to be stale and ineffective. Below, I have listed few of them. It will be different for everyone, there are no formulas here. Just get before God and allow the Holy Spirit to show you other things that may also be hindering your prayer life.
1. Conscious unconfessed sins (Ps.66:18; Is.59:1-2)
"If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened..."
(Ps.66:18). "Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save nor His
ear too dull to hear. But* *your iniquities have separated you from your
God, your sins have hidden His face from you so that He will not hear"
2. Idolatry - occult involvement (Ez.14:3)
"Son of man, these men have set up idols in their hearts and put wicked
stumbling* *blocks before their faces. Should I let them enquire of Me at
3. Stingy and covetous (Pr.21:13; 1 Ti m.6:10)
"If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and
not be answered" (Pr.2 1: 13).
"For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager
for money,* *have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with
many griefs" ( 1 Tim.6: 10).
4. Unbelief and doubt (Jn.16:9; Jas.1:6-8)
"...in regard to sin, because men do not believe in Me" (Jn. 16:9).
"But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts
is like a* *wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man
should not think he will* *receive anything from the Lord, he is a
double-minded man, unstable in all he does" (Jas. 1:6-8).
5. Unforgiveness and bitterness (Mt.6:14-15)
"For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father
wi*l* also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your
Father wi*l* not forgive your* *sins."
6. A wrong attitude towards your spouse (1 Pe.3:7)
"Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives,
and treat* *them with respect as the weaker partner, and as heirs with
you of the gracious gift of* *life, so that nothing will hinder your
(Jas.4:6) "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."
8. Selfish motives in prayer (Jas.4:3)
"When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives,
that you may spend what you get on your pleasures."
9. A critical spirit (Mt.7:1; R m.14:10) "Do not judge, or you too will
be judged" (Mt.7: 1).
"You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on
your brother? For we will all stand before God's judgement seat" (Rm. 14:
10. Ingratitude (1 Th.5:18) "Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is
God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
11. When you neglect to make restitution (Lev.6:4-5)
"When he thus sins and become guilty, he must return what he has stolen
or taken by extortion, or what was entrusted to him, or the lost property
he found, or whatever it was he swore falsely about. He must make
restitution in full, add a fifth of the value to it and give it all to
the owner on the day he presents his guilt offering."
12. Love for the world and worldliness (1 Jn.2:15)
"Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the
world, the love of the Father is not in him."
13. When you do not pray in Jesus' Name What is meant here, praying to any
other god by any other name does not guarantee an answer to prayer. (Jn.
14:14) "You may ask me for anything in my Name, and I will do it."
14. When you do not pray according to the will of God (1 Jn.5:14)
"This is the assurance we have in approaching God, that if we ask
anything according to His will, He hears us."