W. Austin Gardner
Why does God not answer my prayers?
Jeremiah 33:3 Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. James 4:1 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? 2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. 3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
God has promised to answer prayer Jeremiah 33:3 Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.
When we are in trouble we can just call on God Psalm 34:17 The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, And delivereth them out of all their troubles.
If we believe He will answer and we will receive Matthew 21:22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
If we go asking He is a good Father and will answer and give to us Luke 11:9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. 10 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. 11 If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? 12 Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
There are several reasons God may not answer your prayer
We are not praying according to God’s will James 4:2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. 3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
God may give you what you want when He doesn’t want it for you but it will be to your detriment Psalm 106:13 They soon forgat his works; They waited not for his counsel: 14 But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, And tempted God in the desert. 15 And he gave them their request; But sent leanness into their soul.
We should seek His counsel, know His will, and ask accordingly I John 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: 15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.
Our relationship with our spouse can hinder our prayers I Peter 3:7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
Not believing God when you ask hinders prayer Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Unbelief hindered His work Mark 6:5 And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. 6 And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.
It was their unbelief that hindered His mighty works Matthew 13:58 And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.
Holding on to sin may hinder our prayers Psalm 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear me:
What about bitterness and un-forgiveness
What about living selfishly
What about when we knowingly live in rebellion to what God wants us to do
God may not answer your prayer the way you wanted it answered
He may want us to wait patiently for Him to answer like He did with Abraham, who had God’s promise of children as numerous as the stars in the sky and sand on sea shore but had to wait years and years
He may allow us to go into and through a trial we asked to escape, Hebrew children and the fiery furnace or Daniel and lions den
He may tell us no like He did Paul about his thorn in the flesh
What are some attitudes we should develop in our prayer life
Not my will but thine be done is what Jesus prayed, being submissive to God’s will
If God doesn’t seem to answer we should examine ourselves to see if we can understand why Psalm 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: Try me, and know my thoughts: 24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.
It could be that there is sin in our life
It could be that Satan is hindering the answer
It could be that God wants us to show great trust in Him, accepting that He is good and will do right
We should give thanks knowing that God is able and will answer with what is best
We should fill our hearts with faith by getting into the Word of God and getting it into our hearts
Believe God and pray
Grow in your faith instead of allowing doubt and fear to creep in, we pray in faith James 1:6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
Believe that God wants to give us all we need Romans 8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
When you do not understand how to pray trust that God will help you pray through His Holy Spirit Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
Keep sensitive to the Holy Spirit so that He can tell us what to do, what to change, how to get right, and walk with God John 15:7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.