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Seven Hinderances to Prayer and How to Pray Boldly

by Julia M. Bruce, MSPC, Mental Health Coach,
Keynote Speaker, CEO, Wellspring Christian Ministries

Do you struggle with prayer?

So many Christians seem to struggle with prayer. Maybe it feels awkward to talk to someone you can’t see. Maybe because of experiences in your life you feel inadequate to come into the throne room of God and ask anything of Him. Or maybe the lifestyle you’re living now keeps you out of the throne room. Maybe you prayed once, but it seemed as if God wasn’t listening and you gave up. Whatever it is that keeps you from “praying without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17), you need to put it down and run to the throne because God longs to speak to you.  (click to tweet) 

Come boldly to the throne of God in prayer

Through the writer of Hebrews, God tell us we can come boldly to the throne. Praying boldly means we should be able to approach the throne of our Heavenly Father in a confident and courageous way, demonstrating a willingness to take steps of faith to be obedient to Him. (click to tweet) The Greek word used here refers to having freedom of speech in such a way that we can speak our mind in a straightforward manner with great confidence. We can be frank with God and tell him exactly how we feel and what is going on in our lives. We don’t need to “sugar-coat” it. Nor do we need to try to paint it up with religious words.

When you think about it, God is omniscient. He knows everything. We can’t hide anything from Him – so we might as well be honest with Him. We can’t be too frank, too bold, too honest, too outspoken, or too blunt. (Click to tweet) He wants us to bare our hearts and soul to Him. We do need to come to him in reverence, but also with the whole and complete truth laid out before him.

What hinders us from bold prayer? 

Prayer Hinderance #1: Rejection

Most of us hate being rejected. We hate the word “no” all the way back to our two-year-old temper tantrums. So we come before God with hesitancy instead of boldness and confidence. We often associate “no” with not being liked. We tell ourselves that if God loves us he would answer this prayer the way we want Him to. However, we seldom ever consider that God’s no is for our best because he can see what’s in store for our future and that thing we think we want so badly we only cause us pain. Don’t be afraid of God’s “no.” Instead know that God has something even better in mind.

Prayer Hinderance #2: Doubt

Sometimes when we pray, we ask, but either expect God to say no or we don’t have the faith that God can do what we’re asking Him to do. Prayer and faith cannot be separated. Instead, we need to ask with expectancy and we can only do that if we have first taken the time to seek His will. James 1:5-7 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord.”

Prayer Hinderance #3: We feel we’re pestering Him

Sometimes we feel as if we come to God so often that we must be pestering Him. In our mind we might see Him rolling His eyes and saying, “you? Again?!” But we have to remember that in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, we are told to “pray without ceasing.” We can’t pester God too much.

Prayer Hinderance #4: Fear of being demanding

Sometimes we treat God like a genie in a bottle ready to do our every command. But if we have a healthy fear and respect for God, then we understand that we can’t “demand” our way and get it. Instead, we need to be sure that we have taken the time to seek His will, make sure our request does not go against scripture, and then bring our requests to Him – not our demands.

Prayer Hinderance #4: Unconfessed Sin

Psalm 66:18 says, ““If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened” If you feel like God isn’t hearing you, ask Him to reveal any unconfessed sin in your life and then confess it, repent, and seek His forgiveness.

Prayer Hinderance #5: Wrong Motives

James 4:3 says, “You ask and don’t receive because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your evil desires.” We must ask in accordance with God’s will as revealed in the Bible. We must ask only for things that are consistent with the character and nature of God. We must ask for things that are for the spiritual benefit of ourselves or for the person on whose behalf we pray. God will not answer our self-centered, self-serving prayers.

Prayer Hinderance #6: Ignoring Bible study

Proverbs 28:9 says, “If one turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination.” It is impossible to have our will and motives aligned with God, if we don’t know what His Word says. Without Bible Study, prayer is like a one-way conversation with you doing all the talking. But if we can’t take the time to listen to God and His instructions through His Word, God will not honor our prayers.

Prayer Hinderance #7: Harboring unforgiveness

In Mark 11:25 Jesus says, “And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” Harboring unforgiveness makes you angry and bitter – and God will not listen to your prayers.

Why can we have confidence to pray boldly?

Here are 11 verses that tell us why we can come to the throne of God boldly and with confidence when we come to Him in prayer.

  1. Nothing is impossible for God (Luke 1:37)
  2. God keeps His promises (Joshua 21:45)
  3. God cannot lie (Numbers 23:19)
  4. We are a joint-heir with Christ (Romans 8:17)
  5. God cannot fail (Deuteronomy 31:8)
  6. God has good plans for us (Jeremiah 29:11)
  7. He loves us with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3)
  8. When our hearts are right, our motives are right, and we have confessed any sin, we can know that God hears us. (Micah 7:7)
  9. Our prayers make a difference (James 5:16)
  10. We have been made righteous through Christ (Proverbs 15:29)
  11. God will do more than we can think or ask (Ephesians 3:20-21)

How can our prayer be bold?

1. Before prayer, Seek His Will

1 John 5:14-15 says, “Now this is the confidence we have before Him: Whenever we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears whatever we ask, we know that we have what we have asked Him for.” Seeking His will can be time consuming and it’s hard work. But we have to understand that this verse does not promise that we will get everything we want. We have to ask according to His will and you don’t know His will if you don’t seek for it. But when we pray – knowing that our prayer aligns with His will – then we can pray with confidence – and that prayer will be heard and He will answer it – in his time, not yours.

2. Be Persistent in prayer

In Psalm 88:1 we find that David cried out to the Lord day and night. 1 Chronicles 16:11 tells us to seek the face of God continually. Jesus told the parable about a widow woman who wanted justice and she sought the chance to plead her case to the judge, but he ignored her. She came every day until the judge gave in and she received justice. (See Luke 18). In Acts 1, the apostles were continually devoting themselves to prayer. If you know your prayer aligns with God Word and His will, then be persistent. Too often we give up praying just one prayer before God answers and therefore we never see the answer.

3. Align your prayers with God’s Word

If what you are praying for does not match up with Scripture, then you can bet God won’t answer the prayer. For example, if you ask God to help you come up with a good lie to tell your boss so you can skip out of work today, God won’t answer that prayer because His Word says, “Thou shalt not lie.” If it feels like God isn’t hearing or answering your prayer, search the Scriptures and be sure it aligns with what God says in His Word.

4. Pray God’s Word back to Him.

Once you have searched the scripture and found that your prayer does in fact align with Scripture – pray that verses back to Him.

5. Have an attitude of humility, not entitlement, in your prayer

Jesus told a parable in Luke 18:13-14 about the Pharisee and the Tax Collector. Both prayed, but it was the Tax Collector’s prayer that was heard. In these verses, Jesus said, “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

6. Pray with confidence.

Pray with confidence – not doubt or expecting God to say no. Ephesians 3:11-12 says, “according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him.” 1 John 5:14 says, “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.”

7. Be patient

Be willing to be patient – God’s timing is not always our timing. Psalm 40:1 says, “I waited patiently for the Lord, and He turned to me and heard my cry for help.” Trust His timing. He’s never late and He is always working everything out for your good and His glory. Sometimes the best things come to those who wait. 

8. Be obedient

Be willing to be obedient – Remember that our omniscient God already knows everything. He knows that if you are not going to obey Him, so if he knows you’re not, then why should He answer your prayer. If you are asking Him if you should take Job A or Job B and Job B pays more and should more exciting, but in your heart you’ve already selected Job B, then why should He answer our prayer – you’ve already answered it for Him without knowing what he knows. The company of Job B might be heading down financial disaster and a year from know it will fold and close it’s doors forever. God already knows that and so he might want you to take Job A while trusting Him to provide and meet your every need. Be willing to be obedient.

What is holding you back from praying bold prayers?

Whatever is holding back your prayers from being bold and confident, seek God’s wisdom, forgiveness, and ask Him to grow your faith. As His child, you have instant access to Him and He’s waiting now for you to come to Him in prayer.

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What Satan Does Not Want You To know

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The Path to Sin

Satan is constantly trying to trip us up and he doesn’t even play fair because he uses our own desires as bait to get us to sin. James tells us the five steps that lead us down the path to sin in James 1:14-15, “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” This download helps you identify your desires so that you can better recognize when Satan is baiting you and you can avoid falling into sin. When used along with prayer, asking the Holy Spirit to identify the desires that Satan baits you with, you can then ask the Holy Spirit to help you not become a victim to the bait of your desires. Download the worksheet today.

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God, Love and Marshmallow Wars by Julia M. Bruce

What’s Inside God, Love and Marshmallow Wars?

God, Love and Marshmallow Wars is a book that includes 365 daily activities and takes you on a guided journey through Biblical principles about Godly marriage that you can then apply to your marriage, as well as helping you talk through concepts that can help you develop a solid relationship. Inside you will find simple, quick activities that include:

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Waiting to see God’s Glory Revealed

Do you long to see the glory of God? Do you long for God to do something big in your life? Is there a prayer that you have been praying for some time and God seems quiet? Imagine how Martha and Mary felt as their brother Lazarus was sick and they watched as he grew worse. They sent for Jesus, but he didn’t arrive in time, and Lazarus died. They had probably seen Jesus heal many others and knew he had the power to heal their brother. But the truth is they longed to see the God’s glory revealed in their brother’s life, but Jesus didn’t come.

They knew Jesus loved their family very much. Can you imagine their confusion as Lazarus gets close to death and Jesus still hasn’t arrived yet? Can you imagine their heartache as their brother takes his last breath and Jesus didn’t come? Yet, they had enough faith to believe that, even at this point, Jesus could make a difference. As we look at the story of Mary, Martha, and Jesus when Jesus arrives after Lazarus’ death, there are three things we can learn that will help us in the moments that we long to see God’s glory show up in our own lives.

The Backstory

For a little backstory, Lazarus, Mary, and Martha were friends of Jesus. In fact, the Bible records that it was this Mary that anointed Jesus with oil and wiped His feet with her hair. When Lazarus became sick, his sisters did the only thing they knew to do – they sent for Jesus. They had complete faith that Jesus could heal him.

However, we don’t find Jesus dropping everything and heading on over to Bethany as quickly as he can. He already knew what He was going to do, how He was going to do it and why. Unfortunately, in order to fulfill His will, it meant that Lazarus must die first (or maybe that’s not unfortunate for Lazarus because He got to spend a few days on vacation in Heaven!). So, Jesus hangs out where He was for another two days. Then He says to His disciples, “Let’s go to Judea.” Why? Because God’s glory was going to be revealed in a much bigger way than simply healing Lazarus.

Unfortunately, in order to fulfill His will, it meant that Lazarus must die first (or maybe that’s not unfortunate for Lazarus because He got to spend a few days on vacation in Heaven!).

God’s Delay Is Not a Delay in seeing the God’s glory

Lazarus, Mary and Martha needed their Jehovah Rapha – the God who heals. But Jesus chose not to go and these were His friends. Jesus was not being intentionally hurtful by not going right away. If we do the math, we know that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days by the time Jesus does arrive. That means that Lazarus was probably already dead when they brought the news to him that he was sick. He probably died not longer after the messengers left Bethany.

But the fact that Lazarus had been dead four days when Jesus arrived is significant and we shouldn’t miss the point of that. The Jews had a belief that a person’s spirit left their body after three days, unable at that point to reunite with the body. Perhaps this is the same reason that Jesus rose from the dead three days after the cross. It reminds me of the movie, The Princess Bride, where Wesley is “dead” but the little old, odd couple says he’s not dead, just “mostly dead” which, of course, is different than “completely dead.”

Because Lazarus was 100% dead, there would be no doubt in God’s glory

By waiting a couple days before going, there would be no doubt that Lazarus was not just “mostly dead,” he was completely dead. Dead as a door nail. He was so dead that when Jesus tells them to open the tomb, Martha says, “But, by now, he stinks.” (If Jarjar Binks were on the scene we might hear him say, “How rude!”) But I think God inspired John to include that particular interchange between Jesus and Martha so that everyone throughout time who reads the story of Lazarus will know that Lazarus was 100% completely dead. So dead that his body had started decomposing and stinking. Lazarus D.E.A.D.

Lazarus was not just mostly dead, he was completely dead. He was so dead that when Jesus tells them to open the tomb, Martha says, “By now, he stinks.” (If Jarjar Binks had been there we might hear him say, “How rude!”)

“If you had been here” – we would have seen God’s glory

If any of us were in Mary and Martha’s shoes as they laid the body of their brother in a tomb and sealed it shut, we’d probably feel not just the sadness and grief associated with death, but also confusion and hurt that Jesus hadn’t come. Can you hear the frustration and hurt in their voice as both sisters say the same thing to Jesus when He does finally arrive? They said, “If you had been here, our brother would not have died.” They knew He had the power to heal and they just didn’t understand why He didn’t show up when they needed Him.

If this were us in this story, we might have questioned just how much Jesus really cared about us and our situation. Jesus knew that in not going to them and healing Lazarus, there would be grief and confusion, but Jesus had a greater plan and in that plan they would all see God’s glory perfectly revealed to them. So, the first that we can learn, is to trust God’s timing.

Jesus knew that in not going to them and healing Lazarus, there would be grief and confusion, but Jesus had a greater plan and in that plan they would all see the glory of God.

Trust God’s Timing

I have to admit that waiting is NOT my thing. If you want to see my grumpy side, just let me wait – for anything. I have a couple of games on my phone so that when I find myself waiting, I can pull my phone out and occupy my time. Yet, waiting on God often needs more than a few rounds of a match-three game. At times, we wait years to see God’s glory through answered prayer. You might have been praying so long that you don’t even know how to pray anymore. The good news is the Bible tells us that when we don’t know what to pray, the Holy Spirit will step in and pray for us (Romans 8:26-27). So if you have reached the place of not knowing what or how to pray, ask the Holy Spirit to intercede for you and pray on your behalf.

Sometimes, we wait so long that we might even give up praying for that thing on our heart. But unless God gives us an answer of “no,” we need to keep praying, keep seeking His will, keep looking for where He is at work in our lives and know that in His perfect timing, He will show up and whenever He shows up, we will see His glory.

Unless God gives us an answer of “no,” we need to keep praying, keep seeking His will, keep looking for where He is at work in our lives and know that in His perfect timing, He will show up and whenever He shows up, we will see His glory.

Trust God’s Heart

Not only can we trust His timing, but we can trust that His timing is the absolute best because He loves us and He only wants the very best for us – even when we don’t know what’s best. Mary and Martha thought that what was best for Lazarus was for Jesus to come and heal him. Had Jesus only healed him, all of them would have missed out on the greater miracle that Jesus was going to do. Had Jesus only healed him, Lazarus would not have had the opportunity to spend four days in Heaven. Imagine the stories he could have told about what heaven was like! The point here is that God always gets the timing right and we can trust His heart to do what is absolutely best for us in ever situation – even when it doesn’t make any sense.

Had Jesus only healed him, all of them would have missed out on the miracle that Jesus was going to do. Had Jesus only healed him, Lazarus would not have had the opportunity to spend four days in Heaven.

Jesus wept

We can see Jesus’ heart in verse 35 as His human emotions are expressed. This short verse simply says, “Jesus wept.” But what caused our Savior to cry? He already knew that He was going to bring Lazarus back to life, so he wasn’t crying because his friend had died. What cause Him to be “deeply moved” (verse 38)?

I can think of two reasons why Jesus’ emotions were moved to the point of tears. One reason may have been because as He saw the people standing around, He saw those who did not believe and would spend eternity in hell because of their hard hearts. But He also saw the emotional hurt and pain of Mary and Martha and He loved them. He cared about how they were feeling. He knew how heavy their hearts were in their loss, grief, and sadness, and because he cared about them, his heart was heavy, too. But, there is no better way for God’s glory to be revealed than when he steps into our brokenness and makes beauty out of ashes.

When we hurt, God hurts

My friend, when you are hurting, Jesus is hurting with you. When the people who should be there supporting you, cheering you on, and encouraging you instead would rather see you fail, Jesus hurts with you. Or when someone close to you dies, Jesus hurts with you. When your children turn away from the faith you’ve raised them in, Jesus hurts with you. And when you long to hold a child in your arms, but infertility is your reality, Jesus hurts with you. When your spouse ignores you, leaves you, or cheats on you, Jesus hurts with you. And when a friend betrays you, Jesus hurts with you. Jesus hurts for each and every hurt that weighs us down. When you grieve, God grieves. When you cry, God cries. We have a God with a big heart. You can trust God’s timing, and you can trust God’s heart. 

When you grieve, God grieves. When you cry, God cries. We have a God with a big heart. You can trust God’s timing, and you can trust God’s heart. 

Trust God’s Power

Now remember that Lazaurs wasn’t just “mostly dead.” He was four-day, stinkin’ dead. They didn’t practice embalming, so decay had already set in. Prior to raising Lazarus from the dead, Jesus had performed two other resurrections, but they had only been dead a short time. It would take a BIG miracle where Lazarus was concerned and Martha had to point out just how dead Lazarus was. But in verse 4O, Jesus speaks words that could turn the deepest, darkest grief and despair into bright, shining hope. After Martha points out that Lazarus’s decaying body would stink by now, Jesus replies to Martha, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” Then with a loud voice, Jesus says three words: “Lazarus, come forth!”

When God acts, He calls us by name

Have you ever thought about that fact that Jesus called Lazarus by name in raising him to life. The power of God is such that had Jesus just said, “come forth,” every dead body within the sound of His voice would have risen from the dead. Jesus had to call Lazarus by name so that only he came back to life. This moment, this act of God that would reveal His glory, was for Lazarus alone to experience.

Those who witnessed God’s glory in action saw it happen, but only Lazarus experienced coming back to life. In that moment, the cells in his body that had already started to break down and decay instantly reversed – in just a split second the 100% completely dead Lazarus breathed and he came hopping out of the tomb still wrapped up like a mummy, and the 100% completely dead Lazarus was now 100% completely alive! That’s the power of our God. And whenever and whatever God speaks to the need you have, He will call you by name so that His glory is revealed in your situation.

The power of God is such that had Jesus just said, “come forth,” every dead body within the sound of His voice would have risen from the dead. Jesus had to call Lazarus by name so that only he came back to life.

In just a split second the 100% completely dead Lazarus breathed & he came hopping out of the tomb still wrapped up like a mummy. The 100% completely dead Lazarus was now 100% completely alive! That’s the power of our God.

Waiting to see God’s glory

If you are longing and waiting to see the glory of God in your life, I hope that you will remember to trust God’s timing, to trust His heart, and to trust His power. If God can fix 100% completely dead, he can fix whatever is going on in your life. The same God that brought Lazarus back to life has the power to do the impossible in your life. The same God that wept when His friends were hurting, weeps with you because He loves you and you are so very precious to Him. And because He loves you, He will reign down His glory on you at only the most perfect moment and in the best of ways, so trust His timing. Rest in His love. Believe in His power and wait to see God’s glory.


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Now you can enhance your Bible Reading with the Verse Mapping Template

Our Verse Mapping download is FREE and includes 6 pages: 3 pages of instructions for using the template and the 2 page template, plus the cover page. If you’re looking to go deeper into God’s Word, learn more about God and develop a stronger spiritual life, Verse Mapping will help you dig into the scriptures. As you apply God’s Word to your life, you will develop a more intimate knowledge and relationship with God.

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Download our Free 2021 Bible Memory Verse Plan

We’ve put together 52 memory verses for you to hide God’s Word in your heart! You can download the full document for free and then print a new verse each week and as many copies as you’d like. Each verse prints four times on a page so that you can then cut them into index size cards and place them in prominent places where you will see them frequently throughout the day to help you remember to memorize them. Just because you visited our site, they’re yours for free! Download today.

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Download our Free 2021 Daily Bible Reading Plan

With just 30-40 minutes per day, you can read the entire Bible in one year. The One-Year Bible Reading Plan consists of both Old Testament and New Testament readings for each day of the year. The Bible is God’s personal Word to you. What is He saying to you today? Open your Bible and find out!

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Download our Free Self-Care Wheel

The Self-Care Wheel provides ideas for practicing self-care in six dimensions of yourself: Spiritual, Physical, Emotional, Intellectual, Sensory, and Social. NOTE: You will need 11X14 paper to print the wheel.

Want to know more about self-care? Our Self-Care blog series targets people who serve in any ministry position and takes a Biblical approach to self-care.

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Battle Isn’t Over and Just Pray

In every battle and every situation, our first response should be to get on our knees in prayer. When life brings us to our knees, the battle isn’t over, it’s just begun. So no matter what happens in life, stop worrying, stressing, panicking, overthinking, assuming, controlling, and wondering. Just pray.

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God, Love and Marshmallow Wars by Julia M. Bruce

What’s Inside God, Love and Marshmallow Wars?

God, Love and Marshmallow Wars is a book that includes 365 daily activities and takes you on a guided journey through Biblical principles about Godly marriage that you can then apply to your marriage, as well as helping you talk through concepts that can help you develop a solid relationship. Inside you will find simple, quick activities that include:

  • Scripture to memorize and meditate on.
  • Conversation Starters.
  • Concepts from the Bible on Godly marriages.
  • Romance Builders.
  • Relationship Builders.
  • Personal reflections.
  • Date ideas.
  • Group date ideas for you and other Christian couples.

Available in hardback, paperback and ebook from Westbow Press Bookstore, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. Click the icons below to purchase from your preferred bookstore. Now also available at WalMart online.

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Faith: Just a ‘lil dab will do great things

Genuine faith is powerful, even in small doses! In Bible days, the mustard seed was thought to be the smallest of seeds. In contrast, the mulberry tree has a deep, long-reaching root system that would give it life for many hundreds of years and make it very difficult to uproot and move. Yet, Jesus told his disciples in Matthew 17:14-20 that if they had faith as small as a mustard seed they could move mountains and in Luke 17:6, Jesus said faith the size of a mustard seed could uproot and move mulberry trees. A ‘lil dab of faith will do great things!

What can a ‘lil dab of faith do?

If you have a little Faith you can move stuff. Jesus says, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, `Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.” You can move a tree. 

How’s your faith measuring up?

If we have mustard seed faith, we can see miracles – miracles such as ridding our world of a viral pandemic, miracles such as seeing our nation turn back to God, miracles such as our government leaders seeking God before making decisions that affect our nation. If you haven’t seen God do miracles, then how’s your faith measuring up? 

A little faith can move the impossible to become possible. It can move doubt to belief. It can move nothing to become something. A little bit of faith can move emptiness to become fullness. And it can move wilderness lands to become promise lands

What needs moving in your life? Do you have a ‘lil dab of faith?

The necessity of faith

Faith is vital to the Christian life. Paul wrote, “For by grace are you saved through faith” (Ephesians 2:8). In Hebrews 11:6, Paul wrote that it is impossible to please God without faith. Jesus used the very tiny mustard seed to contrast the immeasurable, omnipotent power of God and when it is let loose in the lives of believers who have genuine faith, God will do great things.

Help my unbelief!

In Mark 9, a desperate father had son who had a spirit that made the boy mute. He brought the boy to Jesus and his disciples hoping the boy would be healed. The disciples were unable to heal the boy. As a result, the scribes and disciples were arguing. Jesus approaches them and asks what they are arguing about. The father speaks up and explains the boy’s condition and informs him the disciples were not able to cast the spirit out. We learn that the boy has had the spirit since childhood and it has cast him into fire and water, trying to destroy the boy. The father says to Jesus, “But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”

Jesus replies: ““‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” 

Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!”

When we find our faith floundering, we too can cry out, “Help my unbelief!” We can also spiritually exercise our faith to help it grow.

Growing seeds of faith

As we see God working through our tiny bit of faith, our faith grows and spreads a deep root system like the mulberry tree, influencing everyone around us and making an eternal impact on God’s kingdom. Our faith also grows as we read and study God’s Word. Peter wrote that God has given us everything we need to grow our knowledge of Him, and it’s found in the Bible.

Whatever mountain stands in front of you, allow your faith to be the avenue through which God works to move the mountain and bring about His perfect plan.

God, thank you that you can do immeasurable things you do with our little bit of faith. Help our faith to grow, creating a deep root system that reaches out to everyone around us. 


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Our Verse Mapping download is FREE and includes 6 pages: 3 pages of instructions for using the template and the 2 page template, plus the cover page. If you’re looking to go deeper into God’s Word, learn more about God and develop a stronger spiritual life, Verse Mapping will help you dig into the scriptures. As you apply God’s Word to your life, you will develop a more intimate knowledge and relationship with God.

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We’ve put together 52 memory verses for you to hide God’s Word in your heart! You can download the full document for free and then print a new verse each week and as many copies as you’d like. Each verse prints four times on a page so that you can then cut them into index size cards and place them in prominent places where you will see them frequently throughout the day to help you remember to memorize them. Just because you visited our site, they’re yours for free! Download today.

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With just 30-40 minutes per day, you can read the entire Bible in one year. The One-Year Bible Reading Plan consists of both Old Testament and New Testament readings for each day of the year. The Bible is God’s personal Word to you. What is He saying to you today? Open your Bible and find out!

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The Self-Care Wheel provides ideas for practicing self-care in six dimensions of yourself: Spiritual, Physical, Emotional, Intellectual, Sensory, and Social. NOTE: You will need 11X14 paper to print the wheel.

Want to know more about self-care? Our Self-Care blog series targets people who serve in any ministry position and takes a Biblical approach to self-care.

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This week’s new Christian Tees designs:

The tassel was worth the hassle

This week, we are celebrating the accomplishments of the class of 2021. If you have a high school, college, or university graduate this year, our “Tassel was worth the Hassle” shirts and products make a great gift. View the samples below and other products in this design in our Spreadshop store. Once in the store, you can click on the customize tab and add your school name or graduate’s name!

The tassel was worth the hassle

See our other graduation tees and products:

Graduating Seniors, Class of 2021 and #Done2021

Once in the store, you can click on the customize tab and add your school name or graduate’s name!

See our other graduation tees and products:

Graduating Seniors and Class of 2021

Once in the store, you can click on the customize tab and add your school name or graduate’s name!

The slide show below highlights some of our favorite Christian Tees designs available in our Spreadshop and Teespring stores.

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God, Love and Marshmallow Wars by Julia M. Bruce

What’s Inside God, Love and Marshmallow Wars?

God, Love and Marshmallow Wars is a book that includes 365 daily activities and takes you on a guided journey through Biblical principles about Godly marriage that you can then apply to your marriage, as well as helping you talk through concepts that can help you develop a solid relationship. Inside you will find simple, quick activities that include:

  • Scripture to memorize and meditate on.
  • Conversation Starters.
  • Concepts from the Bible on Godly marriages.
  • Romance Builders.
  • Relationship Builders.
  • Personal reflections.
  • Date ideas.
  • Group date ideas for you and other Christian couples.

Available in hardback, paperback and ebook from Westbow Press Bookstore, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. Click the icons below to purchase from your preferred bookstore. Now also available at WalMart online.

WestBow Press logo

Bible Studies, Bibles, Books & More

Christianbook Distributors logo
Everything Christian for less!

Looking for a Bible Study, Bible, book or Christian gift? We are an affiliate with Christianbook Distributors and receive an 8% commission on any item purchased through one of our links. However, the commission never increases your cost of any item. View some of our favorite items by clicking on the logo and thank you for supporting our ministry.

Christianbook Distributors Search:
Christianbook.com

Wellspring Christian Ministries receives an 8% commission on any purchased made from Christian Book Distributors through any affiliate link on this site. Your price for any item is the same as purchasing from CBD directly.


Here’s some of our recent posts.

904.239.8937
A non-profit ministry located in Jacksonville, FL 

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Prayer Requires the Right Attitude (1 Timothy 2:8)

by Julia Bruce
CEO and Keynote Speaker

In any prayer group at any given moment, 95% of the people will not be paying attention to your prayer. 55% will be daydreaming, 20% will be thinking about what they’re going to say when it’s their turn to pray, 14% will be wishing you wouldn’t blab so long, 5% will have their eyes open, and 1% will be wondering why you have your shirt on inside out. (Chances are you just looked to see if your shirt is on inside out.Image result for smiley face)

Why are People afraid to Pray?

Prayer. At times it seems that if you ask someone to pray, you might as well have asked them to jump off a high-rise building. Why is praying (especially out loud) something so many people are afraid of doing? Is there some big, secret, unforgiven sin that makes them afraid of talking to God? Are they so worried about what others might think about how they pray? Is there a right way to pray?

I can pray silently or out loud. I can pray at the dinner table or in my closet (actually my prayer closet is my bathroom because its the one place no one bothers me). Or, I can pray on my knees or standing on a mountain top. I can pray with my eyes closed or open (which I do when I pray while driving). I can pray out loud or silently in my heart and mind. Or I can pray with my hands folded or with them raised toward heaven. It’s a good thing we can pray anywhere and in many ways because 1 Thessalonians 5:16 says we are to pray without ceasing. The only thing we have to be sure of is praying with a right attitude.

What exactly is prayer?

Prayer is about communicating with our heavenly Father. It’s simply talking to Him and listening when He talks to us. If we all went around afraid to talk to one another because of what other people think about how we talk, we’d never say anything. So why, then, are we so worried about what people think about how we pray? We don’t have to use our “deep spiritual holy” voice and say big fancy religious words. We only just need to bring our hearts to God and tell Him what’s on our mind.

As the opening statistics show, most of the time when we pray, the people around us don’t have a clue what we are saying. So when it’s your turn to pray, don’t worry about anyone else in the room. It’s just you and God and you’re having a conversation.

Attitude says a lot

In most conversations, attitude says a lot – sometimes more than the words do.  In Paul’s first letter to Timothy, Paul was providing his young “apprentice” with some instructions and in Chapter 2, those instructions have to do with prayer. Here we find that Paul instructs Timothy on who to pray for, where to pray, and how to pray.

Who should be included in our prayers?

Paul told him to make supplications, prayers intercession, and thanksgiving for everyone, everywhere. This included kings and all who are in authority. For us, that would be our president, congress, senate, mayors, governors, city officials, police, judges, etc. And during an election year, we should be praying even harder. In Matthew 5:44 Jesus said we are to even pray for those who persecute us – those people you would consider your enemy. Does your attitude towards certain people effect how or if you pray for them? The reason we are to pray for everyone is because God desires that everyone find salvation and our prayers should reflect the heart of God.

After Paul tells Timothy who he should pray for, then then begins explaining effective prayer. Paul said that men should “pray everywhere, lifting holy hands, without wrath and doubting.”

Where to pray

Everywhere. Seems simple enough. Everywhere means – everywhere. At home, church, school, office, in the car, on a plane, while your snorkeling, in the checkout line, while at the gym. Pray everywhere regardless of who is watching or who is listening. Pray everywhere regardless of what others think. Simple. It’s everywhere.

But….if I am to pray everywhere, then I need to be living my faith with integrity before everyone. It’s kind of like riding around in your car with that Jesus fish sticker and blowing through the red light as you have one hand on the horn and the other hand sticking out the window with an unkind finger gesture because they obediently stopped for the red light. As you speed past them and they see that sticker, what do they think of you? What do they think of Christ?

If you pray at the office, but everyone sees your open hostility towards your boss or someone else, what does that do to your testimony? We are to pray everywhere, which means we need to live Christ-like lives everywhere. Maybe “everywhere” is not as simple as it first looked.

How to Pray

1) Lifting holy hands. 

Does this mean we are required to have our hands raised towards heaven when we pray? And just what are holy hands?

We do not have to have our hands raise towards heaven for God to hear us. However, there is some meaning that is expressed when people lift their hands while praying or singing or worshiping God. Lifting our hands to God can also be a sign of surrender. Sort of like when a police office on TV says, “put your hands up!” When the suspect raises their hands, its a sign of surrendering to the police’s authority. So as we lift our hands, we are saying to God, “I surrender all into your authority.”

Literally speaking, there is no such thing as “holy hands” because we humans are not holy – not even in our little toe. Certainly not in our hands. The word “holy” is the Greek word hosios, which means consecrated or dedicated to God.  So by saying that Paul desired men to lift holy hands, he was saying that they should present themselves as consecrated and dedicated to God. This means that every part of who we are and every part of our lives is being presented to God. This includes presenting our spouses, children and other family to God. It is presenting our work, hopes, plans, and dreams to God. It’s presenting our money (or lack of) to God. It’s presenting our fears and failures to God. We present our worries and anxieties to God. It’s presenting everything to Him.

Everywhere. Everything. All

So far, we are to pray everywherepresent everything,  and surrender all. Everywhere. Everything. All.  God doesn’t settle for anything less. So what have you not surrendered? What in your life is not consecrated and dedicated to Him? Are there sins or compromises you are holding on to? What are you not willing to sacrifice for Him? What promises have you made, but not kept? Everyone. Everywhere. Everything. All. 

2) Pray without wrath. 

Here we find the complete opposite of everywhere, everything, all. Here God expects none. Paul didn’t say, “without wrath except for….” he simply said “without wrath. He didn’t leave any door open for even just a little bit of mad. If we have already surrendered everything, then that would include any anger. Whether you have anger towards a spouse, child, parent, coworker, another church member, or that crazy driver that almost hit you on the way to church, if you bring that anger with you into prayer, you will not have effective prayers. Psalm 133:1 says that it is good and pleasant for us to dwell together in unity. Wherever there is anger, there is division – not unity.

When Jesus taught about prayer, he said that if we realize someone has something against us we are to leave our sacrifice and go make things right before we come to worship and pray. In His model prayer that he gave the disciples as an example of how to pray, He said, “forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.” And in Matthew 6:15, He said, “But if you don’t forgive people, your Father will not forgive your wrongdoing.” If we are not able to forgive others, and we insist on holding on to wrath, anger, and bitterness, our prayers will not be effective.

3) Pray without doubting. 

Hebrews 11:6 tells us that “without faith it’s impossible to please God. Faith and doubt cannot reside in the same place. Faith cancels out doubt.  Like wrath, we are to have no doubts in God. In Luke 1:37, we find that nothing is impossible with God. If we come to God in prayer with doubt, then our focus is not on God, but on ourselves. Just as God is God of the Heavens and the Universe, He is also God of the impossible. The word impossible isn’t even in His vocabulary. I’m mean, if He can just speak and suddenly there is light, fish, birds, trees, flowers, fruit, animals, creepy crawling icky things, oceans, land, and people, then why do we think anything is impossible for Him.

We allow our human finite minds to form our thought about an infinite, omnipotent, omniscience God. We want to put God in box that fits our belief criteria.  Because we are looking at God through the lenses of our own weaknesses, mistakes, hurts, and failures, we doubt His power on sovereignty. Our life experiences try to determine how we define God and what He’s capable of. For example, if you had an expected repair bill for your home and no way to get the money needed for the repair and prayed about it and God answers that prayer in some way, your faith in Him just grew. But if you prayed and prayed and are still praying and there seems to be no answer coming, it becomes harder to pray without doubts.

Help my unbelief!

James 1:6 says, “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.” In Mark 9, a man has a son who has a demon and the father brings the son to Jesus’ disciples seeking help and healing, but the disciples are not able to cast the demon out. In verse 22, the father says, “If You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” In my mind, I see Jesus look at the father with one eyebrow raised as he says to the father, “If you can? Everything is possible to the one who believes.” The father’s response is one we can all follow. He cries out and says, “I do believe! Help my unbelief.”

So if you’re praying in doubt, start by asking God to help your unbelief. James 1:5 says “Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him.” So ask for the wisdom you need to trust and believe that He is who He says is and that He will do what He says He will do. Then turn your focus on the God of the impossibles and trust Him to meet your every need in the best way.

The Right attitude for Effective Prayers:

This then sums up the right attitude for effective prayers:

  • Pray for everyone because our prayers should reflect the heart of God and God desires everyone to be saved
  • Living with integrity and faith so that we are able to pray everywhere
  • Presenting everything of who we are to God, we are to live consecrated and dedicated lives fully surrendering all to God
  • Bring no wrath, anger, bitterness and division as we forgive others so that we can live in unity
  • Focusing on the God of the impossible so that our faith cancels out our doubt so that no doubts invade our prayers and asking God to help our unbelief with doubt does creep in.

Remember that God doesn’t settle for less than praying for everyone, praying everywherepresenting everythingsurrendering all, and having no wrath and no doubts. This is what leads to an attitude for effective prayers. 

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