By R. E. Lacy
"That your prayers be not hindered" (1 Peter 3:7).
There is hardly a limit to the spiritual benefits of unhindered prayers. Does not the Scripture say, "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done unto you" (John 15:7)? In the light of this truth, Satan and all hell's wicked forces will seek to break that vital contact between God and the praying man. Opposing forces rejoice when prayers are hindered and strangled to a mere form of prayer--nothing more than a pious religious ritual.
However, the precious Holy Spirit, godly people and heaven's forces are also on hand to keep the windows of heaven open, and to strengthen our prayer life. If everyone would resist weakening forces and yield only to the powers of righteousness they would find that "the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and His ears are open unto their prayers" (1 Peter 3:12).
Life of the Soul, Home, Church
Unhindered prayers are the life of the individual soul, the home and the church. A prayerless soul is a lifeless soul. The prayerless home has no spiritual life, and the church that has only the form of prayer is likewise dead. It was a praying church that got Peter out of prison. It has been rightly said, "The family that prays together, stays together." Cannot this also be said of a praying church?
Unhindered prayers are a rebuke to the sins of hypocrisy, lukewarmness, and unbelief. Sin of any degree or kind must needs wither and die in the closet of prevailing prayer. The sins of liberalism, materialism, formalism, and legalism would likewise expire if faced by soldiers of the Cross armed with John Bunyan's weapon of "all-prayer." This mighty weapon got John Bunyan to heaven in spite of the environment of a hell-bound world.
Thank God there is that blessed Christian life of praying unhindered prayers! This is made possible by the abiding Holy Spirit and God's Word.
The Bible says, "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me" (Psalm 66:18). A person who is conscious of sin in his heart or life can say prayers, but he cannot break through into the Father's presence until that sin is taken care of God's way. To pray "the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man," a man must be in right standing with both men and God.
There are heart sins that hinder prayer. There are home sins that hinder prayer, and there are church sins that hinder prayer. Oh the actions, words and feelings that are out in the open at home, which the owner would not want anyone outside the home to know about! All such things hinder prayer, though they may be successfully hidden from public view.
Unchristian home life is the cause of many hindered prayers. Churches are no more spiritual than their respective homes. Unconfessed and unforgiven sins in professed Christian homes are also in the church.
The Apostle Peter lets us know that prayers are hindered by an uncontrolled tongue. "For he that will love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile" (1 Peter 3:10). A Spirit-filled man of prayer is not given to gossip or questionable conversation. Two things positively do not go together: an unbridled tongue and a praying heart.
"A world of iniquity," according to James, is that tongue "set on fire of hell" that "no man can tame." But a tongue controlled by the power of God's wonderful grace and set on fire by the Holy Ghost is a force on the side of righteousness. God is glorified and this man's prayers are not hindered.
Might each of us endeavor to be among that number whose "prayers be not hindered"--for the sake of our soul, our home and the church.
– From Emmanuel Herald.