03/02/2012 17:56



Prayer has many definitions among which are;

  • According to the layman’s understanding, it is the communication between man and God or a god.
  • It is a request for help or expression of thanks made to God or a god.
  • Prayer is a man given God the legal permission to intervene in the affairs of man.

Prayer can be classified into three basic forms; worship, petition and intercession with variations within each form.

In worshiping God, man recognizes God for Who He is, what he has done and what He can do. When man comes to understand the wisdom, power and goodness of God, he can do nothing but to worship God either through songs or by words.

Petition is the second form of prayer .In this form, the one praying makes his or her request made know to God, this is when the person prays for him or herself.

The third form of prayer is intercession.

The one praying prays not for himself but for other people, group or things.



Prayer is an essential tool in the life of a believer. Jesus being the son of God went to pray according to John 17; Jesus prayed for himself (petition) and prayed for his disciples present and those to come (intercession).Man ought to pray for the following reasons;

  • Not to fall into temptation
  • Show appreciation to God
  • Make him/her request made known to God
  • Draw closer to God
  • To live a God-fearing and a purposeful life

Hindrances to prayers

“Most assuredly I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also;

and greater works than these he will do because I go to the father.

And whatever you ask in my name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

If you ask anything in my name, I will do it”

                                                                  [John 14:12-14]


Jesus made these promises to man that He will do whatever we ask in His name. People pray but do not get answers. WHY?  Is it that, Jesus is not faithful? The answer is a big NO.




The bible says in 1 Cor. 1:9 that “God is faithful…”. Prayer is as said earlier is a communication, and there must be an answer, i.e. we talk to God and He in return talks to us.

One may ask “why then are some prayers not answered, because Jesus said if we ask anything in His name, He will do it?”

The following are some of the main reasons some prayers are not answered (i.e. hindrances to prayers);

  • Not praying according to the will of God

“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will He will hear us” [1 John 5:14 - NKJV]

This not praying by the way the ‘ten commandments’ are arranged or according to any book of any religious group. Praying according to the will of God is based on three (3) fundamental conditions for the assurance in prayer:

  • Asking in Jesus’ name (John 14:13-14; 15:16; 16:23-24)
  • Abiding in Christ Jesus and allowing His word to abide in us. (John 15:7)
  • Having Faith in God (Matt. 21:22; James 1:6)


  • When one regards iniquity in his/her heart

Jesus being our Master taught His disciples how to make effective prayer in Matt. 6: 12,

“ and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors” – NKJV

David said if he regards iniquity in his heart the Lord will not hear him (Ps. 66:18). This means keeping record of what others have done against you becomes a hindrance to our prayers.

  • Praying Amiss

A lot of people pray and do not receive the answers to their prayers because they don’t pray rightfully. Such people normally pray on what logically God will not do. Consider a man praying that God should kill Satan for him, that he and his family will live without any temptation. The Bible talks of when the devil will be destroyed, i.e. on the Day of Judgment. Will God kill Satan before the appointed time? Consider another man praying to see exactly what God sees and hears what God hears. A man and not God is not omnipresent, thus can be at a place at a time and how can such person see everything in the whole world at a time. These types of prayers are themselves hindrances.





  • Praying with little or no faith

According to James 1:6-7, the writer makes us understand that, people without faith are like the waves of the sea and are  being tossed by the wind and such people should not imagine that they will receive anything from the Lord. People who are double minded think of how the Lord will be able to do what they are asking. They belittle and limit God of His capabilities and how can one receive from whom he think is not having what he is requesting.