Here are the last seven reason why our prayers fail, beginning with our neglect of the Word of God.
Teachings on Prayer – We don’t let the Bible teach us how to pray. Everything in the Bible was written for our instruction (Rom. 15:14). All the prayers of the Bible and all the teachings on prayer, all the stories of how people prayed and how they had faith to pray (Heb. 13:7) are our teachers on how to pray. If we fail to read the Bible and heed it’s teachings about prayer, we can’t expect to know how to pray; therefore, we will certainly fail in prayer.
Unity – We lack unity. Prayers will always fail when there is no unity in the body of Christ. For where there is no unity in the body of Christ there is also no unity with Christ. And where there is no unity with Christ there can be no answers to prayer. For prayer answers are reserved only for those who abide in Christ (abiding suggests a spiritual unity). John 15:7 says, “If you abide in Me and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.”
Vigilance – We are not vigilant in prayer. The Bible tells us that Satan prowls around like a roaring lion (1 Pet. 5:8), and if we are not alert and watchful in prayer, he will catch us off guard, lure us into sin, and keep us from earnest prayer. I urge you to stay awake, be watchful, and resist Satan whenever he strikes!
Word – We don’t pray according to the Bible. The Bible is our teacher and guide. But it is more than that; it is the very Word of God. If we abide in the Word we have the promise from Jesus that whatever we ask it will be done for us (Jn. 15:7). But the reverse is also true; if we don’t abide in the Word, whatever we ask will not be done for us, because we will not know His will. Begin to read, study, and meditate on the Word today. Let it fill your life and your prayers. Soon you will find that your prayers will not go unanswered.
Xanadu – We have not found quiet places to pray. What does that term Xanadu bring to mind? Well, whatever you are thinking, the way I mean it here is a place of solitude and beauty and rest—a place where we find the presence of God. It’s always hard to pray if our place of prayer is full of distraction, and if we are surrounded by things that would entice us to sin. God wants our full attention and loyalty. If we take the time to find those special, quiet places to pray, soon we will hear His voice and experience His presence.
Yielding – We don’t yield ourselves to God. To yield yourself to God means to give up your own will. It means to offer yourself to Him as a willing servant. It also means to resist all the forces of evil working in you and around you. If you do these things your prayers will not fail. But if you refuse to yield yourself to God, even without knowing it you are yielding yourself to the devil and to sin; consequently, your prayers will fail.
Zenith – Our prayers are not focused. When prayers have no direction and no focus, it is obvious that the intent of prayer is not to bring answers from God, but to puff up ourselves and draw attention to ourselves. This kind of prayer can never succeed, because it does not desire to succeed in the way God desires and has ordained for prayer. God’s plan for prayer is that prayers be specific, toward a desired goal, and with a Godly motive. And when we pour out our hearts to Him for those things He will give them to us. If you take this approach to prayer, soon God will begin to answer your prayers.