Why does it sometimes seem as if God is
not answering prayers?
I feel great comfort when I read the gospels
and notice that Jesus faced the same dilemma as us when
prayers seemed to be left unanswered. He spent all night
praying before he chose the twelve disciples, and even so,
one of them turned out to be a traitor. In Gethsemane, Jesus
prayed Matt 26:39a "My Father, if it is possible, may this
cup be taken from me." Was the cup of suffering taken away
from Jesus? Of course not. Jesus' prayers sometimes seemed
unanswered, just like our prayers seem sometimes see to go
However, look at Jesus' prayer again in Matthew 26:39, but
this time look at the second part of His prayer "Yet not as
I will, but as you will." Wow! This is real trust! Jesus did
not want His will to be done, but that God's will be done.
In other words, prayer was for Jesus a way to converse with
His Heavenly Father, a way where He could openly commune
with His Father and where His Father would share with Him
His will. Shouldn't our prayers be like His? "Yet not as I
will, but as you will." Wouldn't all our prayers always be
answered that way?
God's prayers does not always get answered either! How is
that possible? Read Matt 23:37 "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem,
you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how
often I have longed to gather your children together, as a
hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not
willing." NIV Just like a man longs for his wife to
return to Him, or just like parents who wait to see their
children return to them, God longed, really longed for His
people to gather together under His care. Was God's prayer
fulfilled? Sadly no. Why not? Isn't He the omnipotent one?
Isn't He all-powerful? He sure is, but He will never impose
Himself on anyone, even less on His own children. This is
real love, my friend. God loves you so much that although He
wished for you to come back to Him-although He knows that
you are going straight to a disaster if you don't listen to
Him-He still respects your decision. God loves you, my
Now, if Jesus' prayers and God's prayers are not always
answered, why should we, being sinful and not knowing how to
pray as we should, expect all of our prayers to be
fulfilled? Think about it: Can God grant us the desire to
marry someone we love, when He knows that the end result
will be an unhappy, broken home, where our own children
would become derelict? Or, how could God grant us fame and
fortune if He knows this would only puff out our egos and
make us turn our backs on Him? No, God won't stop us from
making wrong decisions. What He DOES do is everything, short
of interfering with our power of choice, to protect us from
The message found in John 11: 1-45 means so much to me. John
writes that a dear friend of Jesus, named Lazarus, was on
the brink of death. His sisters send for Jesus and pleaded
for Him to come immediately to the rescue of their brother.
Jesus delayed going to Bethany and Lazarus died. Mary's and
Martha's prayers seemed unanswered! Why did Jesus not come,
especially since He could have healed their brother? Why was
Jesus silent to their request?
They buried their brother and went through the whole funeral
process. Lazarus was embalmed and put into a grave, which
was covered by a heavy stone. All were mourning and in
despair. Where was Jesus? Why didn't He answer their
request? Then Jesus told His disciple John 11:7 "Let us
go back to Judea."
When Jesus got to Bethany, Lazarus had been dead for four
days. Martha reproached Jesus and said: John 11:21 "If
you had been here, my brother would not have died."
Martha was completely right, if Jesus had come immediately
Jesus would have healed Him and her prayers would have been
answered. However, would she have missed something if He had
done that? Would her relationship with Jesus have had the
same depth as when she saw with her own eyes Jesus ordering
death to flee from her brother and seeing him standing up
alive and well? Wouldn't she and all of us who read God's
Word have missed that Jesus could boldly and truly say: John
11:25-26 "I am the resurrection and the life. He who
believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever
lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe
this?" Would we have had the same assurance whenever a
loved one died that Jesus one day would resurrect our loved
ones? Wouldn't we have missed that if Martha's prayer were
When God does not seem to answer my prayers, is it that
God's silence is going to bring into my life a greater
revelation of my Heavenly Father than I have ever known?
Doesn't it mean that He is going to reveal Himself to me?
I always pray through my sin checklist, as sin will silence
God's voice in my life. If there is an unconfessed sin, God
reveals it to me through His Holy Spirit and I repent from
it, knowing full well that: 1 John 1:9-10 "If we confess
our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our
sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." I confess
it and make it right. If there is still silence from God, I
begin to watch with great anticipation for what God is going
to teach me about Himself. I wait, and sooner or later God
reveals Himself. It is guaranteed! Mic 7:7 "But as for
me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior;
my God will hear me".
If it seems that your prayers are unanswered my friend, why
don't you prayerfully go over your sin checklist? Ask God to
come into your life and reveal any unconfessed sins and if
some are found, repent, and make them right. If still God's
voice seems to be silent, why don't you wait for Him
patiently and wait for Him to reveal Himself to you? You
will be flabbergasted and astonished of the kind of
relationship you can have with your Heavenly Father. God is
so awesome. You will discover that. Why don't you try it?
You know what set me free and what will set you free, my
friend? Truth! Truth is not a set of doctrines. Truth is not
a certain denomination. Truth is a person who is actively
involved in your life. Jesus could confidently declare: John
14:6-7 "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one
comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew
me, you would know my Father as well." No need to feel
depressed when your prayers are unanswered, instead start to
be excited and anticipate for God's Truth to reveal Himself
to you. Will you reach out and accept Jesus' stretched out
hand to you?
As a conclusion, let me share you a little story
illustrating what I tried to share with you.
The young man had lost his job and didn't know which way to
turn. So he went to see the old preacher. Pacing about the
preacher's study, the young man ranted about his problem.
Finally he clenched his fist and shouted, "I've begged God
to say something to help me. Tell me, Preacher, why doesn't
The old preacher, who sat across the room, spoke something
in reply -- something so hushed it was indistinguishable.
The young man stepped across the room. "What did you say?"
The preacher repeated himself, but again in a tone as soft
as a whisper.
So the young man moved closer until he was leaning on the
preacher's chair. "Sorry," he said. "I still didn't hear
With their heads bent together, the old preacher spoke once
more. "God sometimes whispers," he said, "so we will move
closer to hear Him." This time the young man heard and he
There are a number of
reasons why it may seem God is not answering prayers. The
obvious is that He is not answering them, period. Let us
examine these reasons.
If we are living in disobedience to God, our prayers will
not be answered. It is not that they are not heard but they
are ignored until the supplicant repents of his or her
disobedience and asks for forgiveness. God does not reward
disobedience. An example is king Saul. He disobeyed God and
when he sought an answer to his prayer of whether he should
fight the Philistines, God remained silent and of course
Saul was defeated and died by falling on his sword.
1Samuel 28:6-AV And when Saul enquired of the LORD, the LORD
answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by
2. Secret sin
Similar to disobedience is secret sin. Something we are not
prepared to give up. We may profess to be saved, go to
church regularly, even preach the word of God to others, and
at home at night where not even a family member can see, we
get on the internet and look at pornography. Just for an
example. It might be that we have an adulterous relationship
or be living with someone we are not married to, or have a
homosexual relationship, or believe in star signs and
astrology. It will need to be something you know is not
right but think you can get away with keeping it.
Psalms 66:18-AV If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord
will not hear [me]:
Do you run to God when you are in trouble but do not bother
with Him when you are not? Are your prayers expressing love
for God or are you just trying to get out of trouble? This
is the situation the Jews were in in the following verse.
They sought not with an affection to God, but for ease of
their own grief.
Proverbs 1:28-AV Then shall they call upon me, but I will
not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not
4. Neglect of mercy
Your attitude to others in need will determine how God deals
with you when you are in need.
Proverbs 21:13-AV Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the
poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard.
5. Despising the law
The law of God, the Ten Commandments is what defines sin for
us. Many contend that this law is abolished or no longer
applies because we are under grace. We cannot keep this law
perfectly and that is why Jesus died for us. However we are
supposed to try.
1John 3:4-AV Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the
law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
Romans 3:20-AV Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall
no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law [is] the
knowledge of sin.
Do you know what sin is when you do it? Of course you do.
Your conscience tells you because if you have Jesus His laws
are written in your mind. It is not possible to sin except
we break the law of God. Yes, Jesus paid the penalty for all
our sins and has forgiven us for them, but as He said "Go
and sin no more". Every time you break one of these laws of
God, you are helping to sacrifice Jesus.
Romans 6:15-AV What then? shall we sin, because we are not
under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
Romans 6:16-AV Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves
servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey;
whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto
Proverbs 28:9-AV He that turneth away his ear from hearing
the law, even his prayer [shall be] abomination.
6. Blood guiltiness
Isaiah 1:15-AV And when ye spread forth your hands, I will
hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I
will not hear: your hands are full of blood.
He shows that where men are given to evil, deceit, cruelty
and extortion, which is meant by blood, there God will show
his anger and not accept them though they seem holy, as in
Isaiah 59:3-AV For your hands are defiled with blood, and
your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your
tongue hath muttered perverseness.
Similar to 5.
Isaiah 59:2-AV But your iniquities have separated between
you and your God, and your sins have hid [his] face from
you, that he will not hear.
Micah 3:4-AV Then shall they cry unto the LORD, but he will
not hear them: he will even hide his face from them at that
time, as they have behaved themselves ill in their doings.
Zechariah 7:13-AV Therefore it is come to pass, [that] as he
cried, and they would not hear; so they cried, and I would
not hear, saith the LORD of hosts:
Continual refusal to listen to God or to His Word or
Prophets will cause Him to not hear you when you are in
trouble and cry out to Him.
Ver. 13. "Therefore it is come to pass, [that] as he cried",
&c.] The Lord by the former prophets called them to
repentance and obedience:
"and they would not hear"; his words, nor obey his voice:
"so they cried": when they were besieged in Jerusalem, and
were carried captive into Babylon:
"and I would not hear, saith the Lord of hosts"; so as to
deliver them out of the hands of their enemies; see "#Pr
Do you waver in your faith? Gung ho for the Lord one day and
backsliding the next? Only want to make an effort when it
James 1:6-AV 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.
James 1:7-AV For let not that man think that he shall
receive any thing of the Lord.
9. Self indulgence
James 4:3-AV Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss,
that ye may consume [it] upon your lusts.
How many are asking God for material possessions? To win the
lottery? For financial blessings? For a better house? In
this ministry we get numerous prayer requests for self every
day. How many times do you pray as though God were Santa
Claus, or a credit card?
God has already promised to take care of all our material
needs (not wants) during Jesus ministry on earth. When you
ask for such things, doesn't it seem as though you are not
believing his promise?
Matthew 6:31-AV Therefore take no thought, saying, What
shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall
we be clothed?
Matthew 6:32-AV (For after all these things do the Gentiles
seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of
all these things.
Matthew 6:33-AV But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and
his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto
Matthew 6:34-AV Take therefore no thought for the morrow:
for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.
Sufficient unto the day [is] the evil thereof.
To summarize this then, if you pray with sin in your life
that you know about, or having not listened to the Word of
God preached to you, or have not shown mercy to someone in
need, or without faith in the promises of God given you in
His Holy Word, don't hold your breath waiting for an answer.
One prayer or cry that God WILL hear from anyone not
presently one of His own, is a cry of repentance and of
seeking salvation. From such He will not turn His head. Dear
reader, are your prayers getting through? If not, or if you
are not sure, answer 'The Savior's Call' in this newsletter.
Sometimes, because it takes so long for an answer and
sometimes because the answer is "no" and we can't imagine
any other answer besides a yes. Meaning, if the answer isn't
"yes" God must not be listening.
Look at how people respond with their own answered prayers.
Almost 100% of the time, someone has received something
tangible; a healing, a job, a soulmate etc.
It's almost never that someone can respond about the no
answer and how it has strengthen their faith. But answers
that take a while are worth the wait and there is a lot to
be learned from God's "no" answers. God talks, but are you
If we look at this
clearly we will see that God is preparing us for the answer
of our prayers. However, sometimes we expect the answers of
our prayers to be quick and now, due to the society we live
in. God answers our prayer in His timing and if we are
supposed to be Christ like we need to align ourselves up to
His timing. He will hear our prayers and requests, He is
standing right next to us. But, to receive the answer we
must allow God to change us to accept the answer. But,
sometimes we don't get what we want and we feel God didn't
answer our prayer request. That, way of thinking is wrong.
God gives us Good gifts
because He loves us. He doesn't want us to have something
that would harm our walk with the Lord, and sometimes He
doesn't answer our prayers at the snap of your fingers, due
to sin. He wants us to change and be Like Him, so that when
the answer to our request comes to us, we will Praise Him
for preparing us for that request. Don't think God doesn't
answer you that is a deception from the devil (rebuke in
Jesus name) he doesn't want you to have Good gifts from God.
He is only there to destroy your relationship with God, keep
Praising Jesus despite the way you feel, or what you are
going through, Ask Him to forgive you if you have sinned.
Learn the steps on walking with the Lord, the first is
having him in your heart. Through this step He changes you
inside and out. Second read your Bible all the time, then
you will gain strength, Thirdly pray...May God bless you
God wants us to look at
him first, before receiving answered prayers. God has in his
hand our answers to prayer. But he wants us to totally and
fully look at His face before he gives you what is in his
hand. And when this occurs, something extraordinary will
occur, beyond your wildest comprehension.
I have had a problem a
long time ago dealing with the fact I thought God was not
answering my prayers. I blamed myself. I discovered God
answers even if he says no. Sometimes what I asked was not
best for me. God can see ahead and knows the consequences of
what we ask. I thank God for not saying yes to what I want
because he knows best. I don't. It is like a child asking
for candy everyday and the parent saying no because they
know what too much candy can do to the teeth. the child
doesn't know. I know that God loves me so much he wants what
is best for me and does not want me to suffer. Saying no
sometimes is his way of protecting me.
Because He sometimes
doesn't answer them the way that we wish He would. He knows
what is best for us better than we do, so He will answer our
prayers for help in the way HE knows that is good for us. We
do not stop to understand this though. Just because He
doesn't give us something in the way WE think we should have
it doesn't mean He is not answering our prayers for
help.............Also, He will answer us in HIS time, not
ours. We being human have a tough time being patient and
waiting. He will not answer us according to our timing, but
according to His timing for His plan for us. MAY ALL BE
I feel GOD doesn't answer
pray for many reasons: 1. are motives are selfish. 2. the
answered prayer may hurt us or another in some way. 3 he has
makes us wait to trust him, or the time is not right for the
prayer to be answered and he is showing and teaching, and
preparing us in the time we are waiting. 4 we might be
praying our will not his. we should try praying his will.
also how many times do we just thank him for what he has
done ? to many times people think of him as the servant like
a genie we make are wish and it is supposed to come true.
well he is the master we are the servant. what he give is a
gift that should be thanks and praise for his name.
There are many reasons
that one feels that God is not answering prayer as no two
human beings think alike, but the most common are:
One.) The person praying for an intention does not release
the burden to God and believe with blind faith that God will
answer the prayer. Mark ll:24 tells us that whatsoever ye
shall ask in prayer, believe it has been given and ye shall
Second.) If any person does not forgive all others for hurts
done to them by any other or has malice of any source in
their heart for another will not have their prayers answered
by God. Most often this person blames God when in reality
they are the reason for unanswered prayer.
Third.) Breaking of God's Commandments. Some who pray
continually break The Commandment of our Lord and wonder why
their prayers are not answered.
Fourth.) Some think prayers have to be answered immediately
and feel like they are not answered as they forget that
prayers are answered in God's time and not the impatient
time of the one asking.
Five.) Sometimes what we ask for is not good for us and God
really protect us by not answering what we ask for. He will
answer our prayers but it may be a different manner that we
requested but ultimately we will find the answer was better
We have an Awesome Lord who died for our sins and who loves
us. He waits daily to hear about our needs, wants and
desires and does His best to supply them to us. We have to
believe, by blind simple faith that He will. We should love
one another even if that person has hurt you as prayers said
for one that hurts you is music to God's ears. God gave us a
simple Ten Commandments to follow in His Light. Some find
these simple request from one who died for them too much. We
have to learn to be patient for God's timing and not our
timing. Most of all, we have to realize that God knows what
is best for us and will give to us only what we can handle
and still find our way home to Him
In His Love, Barb
In answer to the question
concerning prayer, God always answers every prayer lifted to
his throne of grace, sometimes it may seem as if he does
not, we must check out temperature and see from which
position we make the request. If my people, who are called
by my name will humble themselves and seek my face, and turn
from their wicked ways then I will hear them from Heaven,
forgive their sin and heal their land, he says, if two on
Earth age in my name then I will do it for them, he says he
has taken our sicknesses and infirmities upon himself, he
says the he is the same today as he was yesterday as he will
be tomorrow. There are four wills of God, the majority of
prayer refers to his creative will, don't feel bad if iy
seems that the prayer is not answered, it has been so,
either yes, no, or later, please keep praying, Pray Until
Something Happens, keep pushing in, blessings to you
from Andrew in London
As I look back over my
lifetime, I have experienced many times when God seemed to
be ignoring me or even worse, not protecting me. Now, since
I have lived long enough to see a part of his plan, I know
that I grew during those times. I'm sure when I get to
heaven and see the total plan for my life I will be shocked
to see how many things I prayed for that were not in my best
interest. I think it will be interesting to see how many
messes He save me from. I have a dear friend who always
says, " Be careful what you ask for". Many times I asked to
have my "freedom" but when I thought I was free, I usually
fell into sin of one kind or another. I wanted freedom for
my parents so I got married very young. Not a good idea! I
wanted freedom from that marriage, and my young husband died
and left me with two small children. I have learned that
just resting in God's timing is a lot easier. I have learned
to pray, "Thy will be done", and I have had a lot less drama
in my life. I think they call that Peace!
Being human, we are
inclined to want all our prayers answered in our time frame
and, this is not how it is-Sometimes, I feel, "God" is
testing our faithfulness to him-He does reply to our
prayers-but in "His" time-If we put our faith and, full
trust in our" Father" knowing he will respond, so He will.
He does not always answer
the way we expect Him to and we miss it. Sometimes we ask
amiss and it is not His will.
When we sometimes think
that God does not answer our prayers, it is because we are
so impatient. We want our prayers answered immediately and
God will answer all prayers, BUT IN HIS TIME. We have to
learn patience and to continue to pray earnestly and not
give up, the prayers will be answered. Perseverance is very
important and always remember to thank the Lord for his
never ending love that He has for us. He wants us all to
humble ourselves before him, He wants us to be healthy and
have success, but we must always put Him first.
I believe it just seems
as if Gods isn't answering us only because he wants us to
wait. Just because He does not give us what we pray for
instantaneously is not a refusal to our request.
God bless us all!
His word is sufficient in
explaining why we wait sometimes with frustration after
praying. In both cases these women were barren and had
prayed long and hard with no results till the time when the
Lord provided. Gen 18:14 14 Is anything too hard for the
LORD? I will return to you at the appointed time next year
and Sarah will have a son." (NIV)
1 Sam 1:20 20 So in the course of time Hannah conceived and
gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, "Because
I asked the LORD for him." (NIV) Seven times the servant of
Elijah was sent to see if there was any rain and then;
I King 18:44 44 The seventh time the servant reported, "A
cloud as small as a man's hand is rising from the sea." So
Elijah said, "Go and tell Ahab, `Hitch up your chariot and
go down before the rain stops you.'" (NIV)
Ps 75:2 2 You say, "I choose the appointed time; it is I who
judge uprightly. (NIV)
The Lord appoints all times not us.
Eccl 3:11 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time.
He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they
cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. (NIV)
Eccl 8:6 6 For there is a proper time and procedure for
every matter, though a man's misery weighs heavily upon him.
I would think because we
don't have our eyes set straight upon Jesus, and we let the
devil put that bit of doubt there. I know I have anyway and
always regret it, because Jesus is my first Love and my
Sometimes God may not
answer our prayers because something may make us turn
against him or maybe some things were just not meant to be.