Have you ever wondered why prayers go unanswered? How should you respond when God choose not to answer your prayers? Do you slack in your pace and passion in prayer just because you did not get a response to your request? These are tough questions because unanswered prayers often result in discouragement and for some, even disappointment.
What I have learned about unanswered prayer is that there are lessons to be learned and there are reasons why God do not answer, all of which are directly linked to the purpose for which we were created and placed here on earth.
God answer prayers to make us more like Christ and to advance our spiritual growth. He answers to bring forth our inheritance and blessings according to His perfect will. At times the answer come in the last minute to increase our level of trust in Him, to strengthen and to build up our faith.
God knows what’s best for us and while He has faithfully promised to answer prayers when we call on Him, (Jeremiah 33:3) yes, there are times He will not answer the prayers you and I have prayed. Here are 9 reasons why:-
1. You never bothered to ask
“You are jealous and covet [what others have] and your lust goes unfulfilled; so you murder. You are envious and cannot obtain [the object of your envy]; so you fight and battle. You do not have because you do not ask [it of God]” ~ James 4:2 Amplified Bible (AMP)
As harsh as this word may seem, it is reality for some of what happens on a daily basis. Some people would rather secretly covet and jealous others of what they have and go about getting it by false means rather than going to God in prayer and asking Him for it. You may not have physically murdered another person, but covetousness, envy and jealousy and grievous sins committed against another person that is comparable to murder.
2. Praying amiss – hidden and unrighteous motives
“You ask [God for something] and do not receive it, because you ask with wrong motives [out of selfishness or an unrighteous agenda], so that [when you get what you want] you may spend it on your [hedonistic] desires.” ~ James 4:3 Amplified Bible (AMP)
God searches the heart daily. You may think that what you are asking for is the right thing but God knows way ahead of time what you would pray for and He test and weight each motive. (Proverbs 16:2; 21:2) Too many times people pray for things – material things, money, husband, wife out of selfish and lustful desires. It is important that you seek to know the will of God for your life and that you pray accordingly.
3. Your request was not according to God’s will
“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions [requests] that we ask of him.” ~ 1 John 5:14-15 KJV
Again seek God to know what His perfect will is for your life. Remember it is not about you, it is about the advancement of His kingdom here on earth. So when you pray His will, you do so with confidence to know that He hears and will answer. It may not be when you want it but He will in due season grant the desires of your heart.
4. Praying with an unbelieving or doubting mind
“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God that giveth all men liberally…and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, not wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.” ~ James 1:5-6 KJV
Praying from a position of faith in God cannot be stressed enough. God is honored and pleased by faith based prayers (Hebrews 11:6) and is moved to bring your request to fruition. When you pray, you must never doubt. Believe that what you have prayed for you already have it, and yes, it will come to pass. (Matthew 21:22; Mark 11:24; Hebrews 11:1)
5. Unforgiveness in your heart
“Whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him [drop the issue, let it go], so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your tresspasses and wrongdoings [against him and others]. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.” ~ Mark 11:25-26 (AMP)
This is so often overlooked but harboring unforgiveness in your heart is clearly one of those things that prevents your prayer from reaching to God and clearly blocks the channel through which your prayers can be answered. When you forgive, blessings begin to pour into your life.
6. Un-confessed sins in your life
“But your wickedness has separated you from your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear [you].” ~ Isaiah 59:2 (AMP)
Sin separates a man from God. That separation brings about spiritual death. Therefore, if you want God to hear and answer your prayers confessing sins and asking God’s forgiveness is something that must be done on a regular basis. It is very critical to one’s life.
“If I regard sin and baseness in my heart, [that is, if I know it is there and do nothing about it], the Lord will not hear [me].” ~ Psalm 66:18 AMP
7. God’s way of protecting you from danger
“The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.” ~ Psalm 121:7 English Standard Version (ESV)
God is omniscient which means He is all knowing. He knows what is best for you and what will be harmful if He allowed what you are praying for to come your way. He sees danger ahead that you don’t see. On such occasions don’t give up, but keep on trusting Him.
8. Because of pride in your heart
“A man’s pride and sense of self-importance will bring him down, but he who has a humble spirit will obtain honor.” ~ Proverbs 29:23 (AMP)
A humble heart brings you closer to God and is a representation of the true likeness and character of His Son Jesus Christ. God is opposed to the proud but will certainly give grace to the humble. (James 4:6) He is therefore pleased to answer your prayers.
9. Little or no fellowship with God and His word
“If you remain in me and my words remain in you [that is, if we are vitally united and my message lives in your heart], ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you.” ~ John 15:7 (AMP)
When there is unanswered prayers, it is because you are having little or no fellowship with God or you are spending little or no time in His word. By remaining in God through the study of His word and your subsequent obedience, your prayers will have good result.
When your prayers go unanswered, that is not the time to give up but to persevere and to trust God in everything. Don’t give up on believing. All things work together for good to them that love God and are called according to His purpose. There is a time for everything and even your prayers being answered have a timing for its’ manifestation assigned to it.
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