Seven Reasons Why Prayers Are Not Answered
7 Reasons Why Prayers
Are Not Answered
By Bob Russell
There are reasons why prayers are not answered, even though I get a little impatient with super-spiritual saints who leave the impression that they have a deeper grasp of prayer than most. Such folks teach that if other believers just understood God’s Word better—or had more faith in prayer—God would answer all their requests. They would never suffer illness or poverty again. Such leaders seem to ignore the fact that Jesus was poor and the Apostle Paul struggled with a thorn in the flesh throughout his life. Paul prayed for God to remove the pain, but the Lord did not answer this petition.God is not a cosmic genie who promises to answer every request if we just believe strongly enough in His power. There are qualifiers. Someone once said that God answers prayer in one of four ways: 1) “Yes,” 2) “No,” 3) “Wait,” or 4) “You’ve got to be kidding Me!”
Why Prayers Are Not Answered Reason #1: Unconfessed sin.
“Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.” (Isaiah 59:1-2)
Why Prayers Are Not Answered Reason #2: An unforgiving spirit.
“And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” (Mark 11:25)
Why Prayers Are Not Answered Reason #3: An unbelieving heart.
“But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.” (James 1:6-8)
Why Prayers Are Not Answered Reason #4: Improper motives.
“When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” (James 4:3)
Why Prayers Are Not Answered Reason #5: An alienated marriage relationship.
“Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.” (1 Peter 3:7)
Why Prayers Are Not Answered Reason #6: An anemic effort.
“So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.” (Acts 12:5) “Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years.” (James 5:17)
Why Prayers Are Not Answered Reason #7: The sovereignty of God.
“I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion. It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.” (Romans 9:15-16)