“So that nothing will hinder your prayers.” 1Pe 3:7 NIV
Here are two hindrances to answered prayer: (1) Unconfessed sin. “Your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear” (Isa 59:2 NIV). As a believer, God expects you to walk in obedience. “What does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Mic 6:8 NIV). Notice, these are “requirements.” If you don’t meet them you’re wasting your time praying, unless it’s a prayer of repentance. You must seek God’s forgiveness, then He will hear your prayers. (2) Unresolved conflict. “Husbands…be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect…so that nothing will hinder your prayers.” There’s no point praying if you are always fighting with one another. “Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness” (1Jn 2:9 NIV). God will answer when you come out into the light, deal with the thing that drove you apart, and attempt to mend the relationship. Now, sometimes it isn’t possible to make amends. “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Ro 12:18 NIV). Sometimes the other person would rather keep the issue alive than accept your apology. When that happens look into your heart. Do you really want restoration, or would you rather “blame place” and let things fester? If your attempts have been wholehearted and honest, God won’t let a broken relationship stand in the way of your prayers. But if your attempts have been half-hearted and self-serving, try again—this time for real.