It is true that sometimes prayers are not answered and blessings not received because there is something wrong in our lives, which needs to be put right. But this can get twisted into a continual searching for the key to unlock the door into the Father's presence. All sorts of strange things are unearthed to be repented of or broken in our lives in order to release the blessings we seek.
Satan will take advantage of this an remind you of things long dealt with, and try to convince you that they are still a problem. This can cause guilt and condemnation in lives where there should be none: “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Rom.8:1)
There is also a danger which comes from such teaching as thre Word—Faith movement, which suggests that the power of our faith brings about the things we pray for. This means that if we do not receive what we pray for, then we do not have enough faith. This is devastating to those who pray earnestly and sincerely, and do not receive,. Hudson Taylor once said, “We do not need a great faith, but faith in a great God.”
When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. (Matt.6:6)
After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn't we drive it out?” He replied, “This kind can come out only bby prayer and fasting.” (Mark 9:28-29)
It is also true that sometimes in scripture specific instructions are given as to what should be done in a particular situation. But this too can get twisted, and the belief grows up that there is only one right way to do anything spiritual, and if this is not followed then it will not be effective.
God wants you to be honest in your relationship with him, sincere in your desires, and humbly willing to be used for his purposes. He has promised to “give you the desires of your heart” (Ps.37:4). And he has spoken out against ritual observances and empty words.
Some have wandered away from these and turned to meaningless talk. They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm. (1 Tim.1:6,7)
Previous posts in this series:
Legalism: The Truth, The Trap, The Solution
Magic Formulas: The Truth
Further posts to come in this series:
Magic Formulas: The Solution
Answers to Everything: The Truth, The Trap, The Solution
Scripture Twisting: The Truth, The Trap, The Solution
Superstition: The Truth, The Trap, The Solution
Elitism: The Truth, The Trap, The Solution
The Need to See: The Truth, The Trap, The Solution