Obstacles to Prayer

1. Internal noise/static because I am...

 a. rushed - I go into prayer soon after a demanding activity.

 b. I don’t take enough time to quiet down mentally and physically when I begin my prayer.

 c. I keep thinking about all the many things I must do when I get done praying.

See that you give yourself enough time to slow down after demanding activities.  Take a deep breath, hold it to the count of three, let it out very slowly.  Do this three times when you begin your prayer time.  Keep a pad and pencil next to you.  When something you "have to remember" pops in, jot it down in one or two words and then let it go.  It’s safe now!

2. Not sharing feeling of fear...

 a. I fear God may ask something terrible of me as a "proof of my love".

 b. I fear to be who I really am before God because I think He will be repulsed and reject me if I let Him get that close.

Realize that it does not please God to have you suffer.  Think of someone you truly love; do you want that person to be in pain because that would prove they love you?  God is not sadistic, He is a loving God.  Ask the Lord for the gift of courage, to risk being who you really are with Him.

3. Not sharing feelings of anger...

 a. Anger at God for the things that have happened in my life..."If You cared about me, You would have prevented..."

 b. Anger at myself, rejection of myself because I do not measure up to my impossible standard of perfection, or because of past failings.

 c. Anger at another person(s) or institutions (the Church, etc.)

Allow the feelings to surface and be present.  Simply tell the Lord how you feel without excusing or justifying.  It may take time to exhaust the intensity of the feelings: allow the time.  It is prayer when you are willing to share it with God.  Listen to the Lord’s response to your prayer.

4. Do all the talking in you prayer...

Consciously stop and listen inside of yourself, to your own feelings, reactions, responses.  The Lord speaks here.

5. Having a pre-conceived agenda for what prayer will be, what will happen...

 a. May be part of the above points, especially No. 2

 b. I may be so used to being in control of things I am frightened at the idea of not knowing where my prayer will go.

Tell the Lord you’re struggling in this area.  Ask Him to help you learn how to be more TRUSTING, less fearful of what you don’t and can’t control.