One of the reasons for the lack of effectiveness in our prayer lives might be a broken relationship. Many view prayer as an escape from everyday life. They view prayer as mystical and of no practical value. They see no correlation between prayer and interpersonal relationships. However, Peter told husbands to live with their wives “with understanding, giving honor to the wife . . . and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered” (1 Pet. 3:7).
True prayer draws our attention to the nature and character of God. We become like Him as we recognize His attributes. When we emerge from the inner chamber of prayer we will love with a revolutionary love—the love of the Father. Our capacity to love will be broadened and deepened. Consequently, prayer and interpersonal relationships are interwoven. Prayer affects our relationships, and our relationships affect our ability to pray. Many times I have needed to ask my wife and my children to forgive me. I could not be in harmony with God when I was out of tune with my family.
A heart that is finely tuned to the heart strings of God will produce a symphony of music that builds loving relationships. When those relationships are broken, the music may still be able to play, but not with the same kind of beauty. Broken relationships hinder our intimacy with God.
Loving Father, draw me into the inner chamber of prayer so that I might learn to love others as You love them. Help me to see people with the eyes of the Holy Spirit, and give me the humility to repair damaged relationships. I don’t want anything to come between us in the intimacy of the inner chamber of prayer. Show me if there is anyone I have offended or spoken harshly to, especially in my own family, and help me to restore what I have broken. For Your glory I ask this, Lord.
–Adapted from Giving Ourselves to Prayer: An Acts 6:4 Primer for Ministry (Chapter 37, Hindrances to Effective Prayer by Sammy Tippit). This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.
Praise the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Thank him for including you among Abraham’s spiritual descendants, for calling you to shine like a star in the firmament of glory (Gen. 22:17). Confess that sometimes your witness is dim. Commit yourself to connecting with and praying for other Christians who want to shine for God. Ask where you should begin.
Plead with God on behalf of children in your family and those around you. Pray that they will see the spiritual consequences of daily choices—and choose God.
–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.