1. Secret Sin/Cherishing sin in your heart

Ps 66:18 If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened;

Isa 1:15 When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood;
Isa 1:16 wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong,
Isa 1:17 learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.
Isa 1:18 “Come now, let us reason together, “says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool

Isa 59:1 Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear.
Isa 59:2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.

Pr 28:13 He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy

2. Doubt

  • Doubt is a form of unrighteousness, just as faith is a form of righteousness.
  • Doubt is an action of the mind that disbelieves God.
  • It is the silent mistrust of Gods Word.
  • Doubt is tantamount to calling God a liar!

Doubt is a major obstacle to spiritual progress. Remove doubt and the impossible becomes easy – even commonplace.

James 1:6 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.
James 1:7 That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; Jas 1:8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does

Mat 21:21  And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen.
Mat 21:22  And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”

3. Neglecting the Poor

Prov 21:13 If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered.
Provers 28: 27 Whoever gives to the poor will lack nothing, but those who close their eyes to poverty will be cursed.

4. Asking with wrong motives.

Worthless objectives and selfish motives are another cause for unanswered prayer.

Believers often ask for what appears – to them – be the right things, but they ask with the wrong motives. Believe it or not, it’s quite possible to be totally ignorant of one’s own motives; to actually think that you’re asking with the right motive, and all the while to be totally wrong!

James 4:2 You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God.
James 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.

5. Improper treatment of spouse.

“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 prayers”
(1 Pet. 3:7)

6. Being unthankful

Ingratitude is classified as one of the sins of the last days.
2Ti 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2Ti 3:2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

1Th 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
Deu 28:47  Because you did not serve the LORD your God with joyfulness and gladness of heart, because of the abundance of all things,
Deu 28:48  therefore you shall serve your enemies whom the LORD will send against you

7. An Unforgiving Spirit toward Others

Jesus states plainly that Christians who will not forgive others, will not be heard themselves when they ask forgiveness. Jesus says in Mark 11:25,

Mk 11:25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.’”

It is mere folly to expect God to answer our prayers if at the same time we are cherishing wrath and bitterness in our hearts toward others. If we pray while holding bitterness in our hearts toward others, our prayers are really hypocritical, and God has not promised to hear.

We are to completely forgive others. Jesus says in one of His parables (Matthew 18:35) that we are to forgive “from the heart” (that is, genuinely and without limit)—because God has so graciously forgiven us. And yet in almost every congregation of believers there are persons who refuse to speak to others, and who are so gripped with the sin of holding bitterness in their hearts—that they have made shipwrecks of their lives.
If we want our prayers answered, we must learn to completely forgive. God has never promised to answer the prayers of those who harbour an unforgiving spirit toward others.

The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant

Mt 18:21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?”
Mt 18:22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
Mt 18:23 “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants.
Mt 18:24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him.
Mt 18:25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.
Mt 18:26 “The servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’
Mt 18:27 The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.
Mt 18:28 “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.

Mt 18:29 “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’
Mt 18:30 “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt.
Mt 18:31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened.
Mt 18:32 “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to.
Mt 18:33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’

Mt 18:34 In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.

Mt 18:35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.

Categories: SERMON NOTES


Rhema Family Christian Centre


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