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Why Your Prayers Go Unanswered

Updated on January 11, 2018

Pray until 'how hard' it hurts?


Why Prayers Don't Get Answered

The Bible does let us know that our prayers may not always be answered and the growing Christian ought to learn the reasons behind unanswered prayers.

Some Reasons:

1. We ask the wrong things.

You may be wanting something (or someone) in your life but God may be wanting 'another'. Seek to know His will and watch for signs.

"Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is." Ephesians 5:17

2. We ask at the wrong time.

"Good things come to those who wait." We ought to be reminded that God does not operate as we do. He has all of eternity at a glance and knows the best time for things to happen. We need to trust His Omniscience and Sovereignty to pull thru for us, knowing that He is in control and knows what's best for us, when it's best for us.

3. We ask with wrong motives.

Self-centeredness often lead to ignorant prayers. Many times, we may not intend to act selfish. But, whenever we get caught up in our own affairs and struggles, we often begin to desire and plan life and its details on our own, with a tendency to consider our pursuits and preferences primarily.

"You ask [God for something] and do not receive it, because you ask [a]with wrong motives [out of selfishness or with an unrighteous agenda], so that [when you get what you want] you may spend it on your [hedonistic] desires." James 4:3 Amplified Bible

4. We ask with unclean lives.

Sin in the life of a Christian always lead to unfruitfulness. Unrighteous living will always hinder personal prayers. Often, with a sinful lifestyle or with a life that refuses to let go of sinful habits, a person's desires are far from what God would have him desire for his life.

"If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened;" Psalm 66:18


5. Marital Problem is a major hindrance.

Unresolved marital issues become a hindrance to right praying and would definitely result in 'unanswered' prayers.

"In the same way, you husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way [with great gentleness and tact, and with an intelligent regard for the marriage relationship], as with [a]someone physically weaker, since she is a woman. Show her honor and respect as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered or ineffective." ! Peter 3:7 AMP

6. Doubt of God is a major hindrance.

This verse talks about asking wisdom from God when you need it. The verse assures us that nothing will be withheld. But one must ask with confidence in God's character.

In connection to that principle, doubting God's ability to grant prayers is a major hindrance. Sometimes we don't realize we are guilty of this. We pray, but we are pessimistic. If in God's untainted wisdom, He sees your request as something of great importance and benefit to you, He will grant it.

"But he must ask [for wisdom] in faith, without doubting [God’s willingness to help], for the one who doubts is like a billowing surge of the sea that is blown about and tossed by the wind. 7 For such a person ought not to think or expect that he will receive anything [at all] from the Lord, 8 being a double-minded man, unstable and restless in all his ways [in everything he thinks, feels, or decides]." James 1:5-8

7. Unforgiveness is a major hindrance.

Here, Jesus talks about praying according to God's desires for us and to be assured that God will grant those desires. Then, He talks about having an unforgiving heart and resolving it.

We need to forgive the person who wronged. This does not mean we overlook or make light of the offense. This means that we harbor no ill feelings against the offender. The Christian's hate is toward the sin, never the sinner. This can be difficult to do many times, but that is what true Christianity is about.

"24 For this reason I am telling you, whatever things you ask for in prayer [in accordance with God’s will], believe [with confident trust] that you have received them, and they will be given to you. 25 Whenever you [g]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 transgressions and wrongdoings [against Him and others]. 26 [h][“But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your transgressions.”]" Mark 11:24-26 AMP

John Piper on Prayer

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© 2016 ana lyka menez

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    • lykamenez profile image

      ana lyka menez 24 months ago from //pitching my tent wherever i'm led...

      thanks for the encouragement @ericdierker !

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 24 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Quite interesting. Valuable stuff here.