Proclaim. Mobilize. Equip.
Call 866-865-6253

4 Things That Can Keep You from Prayer

February 7, 2019

We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. Isaiah 64:6

When you pray, you will feel your unworthiness. We all do. Coming into a holy place makes you feel how unholy you are. Isaiah knew about this too, and he describes it using four pictures (64:6):

1. The Leper. “We have all become like one who is unclean.”

The leper was outside the camp of Israel. He could not approach the presence of God. So Isaiah says, “I come as someone who has no right to enter the presence of God.”

2. The Rags. “All our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.”

Even the best things that we do, like ministry and service, are not as good as they seem. Augustine said that he did not want to present the works of his hands to God for fear that God might find more sins in them than merits.

3. The Leaf. “We all fade like a leaf.”

Isaiah felt worn out when he came to God in prayer. “I’m like a dry leaf. I feel drained of energy, lacking in life. I feel as if I have nothing left to give.”

4. The Wind. “Our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.”

That’s a picture of the power of sin. It sweeps us away. Here we are struggling with the same sins and not gaining victory. We’re not prevailing over the world; the world is prevailing over us.

When Isaiah comes to God, he feels unclean, unrighteous, dried out, and unstable. And this is our condition too when we come to pray.

Which of these pictures do you identify with the most as you come to God in prayer?


The Author
Colin Smith

Colin Smith is the senior pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. He has authored a number of books, including Heaven, How I Got Here and Heaven, So Near - So Far. Colin is the president and teacher for Unlocking the Bible. Follow him on Twitter.



Explore this topic further

When You Grasp What God Has Done for You

Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy. 1 Peter 1:8 (NIV) Peter does not say, “You should be filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.” He...

Read Post

Angels Long for This

The prophets… searched intently and with the greatest care, trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. 1 Peter 1:10-11 (NIV) Since the beginning of time God...

Read Post

When You Suffer

You may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith… may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 1 Peter 1:6-7 (NIV) Your faith has far more value than a Rembrandt painting....

Read Post
For your gift of any amount

Momentum

Pursuing God's Blessings Through The Beatitudes

Get Unlocking the Bible's Weekly Email

"This Week at Unlocking the Bible" features new articles, radio programs, devotionals, and ministry updates

We will never sell or misuse your information.