by Pastor Mike Windley on November 25th, 2014

In my message this past Sunday, we looked at how Scripture teaches us that prayer is a critical part of our ability to "multiply" and build God's kingdom. Jesus told his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few. Pray..." And the Scriptures teach us, "Unless the Lord builds the house, the laborers labor in vain." In other words, we've got to depend on God! We cannot rely on ourselves and expect to make a true kingdom impact. So, it seems so simple, right? We should pray. Easy enough. Yeah, right.
A life of prayer is not so easy. We also looked at the idea Sunday that there are enemies to prayer. Jesus had to go into the temple of his day and "cleanse" it by overturning the tables of the moneychangers and running them out. His house was to be a "house of prayer" but it had become a "den of thieves."
Are there enemies of prayer in our lives? Have our hearts become cluttered and encumbered? Is a cleansing in order? What enemies of prayer are making a "den" of our hearts?
Here are some enemies of prayer many struggle with:
Over extending ourselves – Our inability to say “No” and misplaced priorities is a den of clutter in our lives.Fear – A misunderstanding of the gospel creates a den of doubt about God’s love and acceptanceWounds – Past and present hurts have caused us to erect a den of walls between our selves, God and our world.Sin – The deceitfulness of sin has created a den of entanglement that stifles our communion with God.Self-centeredness – All of the above and more creates a den of idolatry of self that keeps our attention on our needs and ours alone. 
What’s the remedy? Our hearts are the temple of the God’s Holy Spirit that indwells every follower of Jesus. But they are not immune to becoming a “den of thieves.” If we are to multiply as individuals, as families, as a church, taking an honest look at the state of our “temple” on a regular basis is needed.  How do we do that? Honesty. Courage. Brokenness. Vulnerability. Repentance.
The good news (gospel) of a right standing with God (a renewed and restored relationship with God through Jesus) is news too good not to be shared! Let’s keep a close eye on our temples and have the courage to keep them cleared so they can be a “house of prayer” for God’s kingdom.

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