A lady thinking about reasons why our prayers are not answered

Top 7 Reasons Why Our Prayers Are Not Answered: Find Out Now!

As Christians, we believe that prayer is the primary way to communicate directly with God, don’t we? But have you ever poured your heart out to God in prayer, only to feel like it fell on deaf ears? It may seem as though God doesn’t hear prayers anymore, or worse, that there is no God, as some might claim (Psalms 14:1). However, I’m confident that you don’t share this sentiment.

Since you believe in God and that He is loving and faithful to fulfill His promises, you may wonder, ” what are the reasons why our prayers are not answered?” You’re not alone in this struggle. Imagine Jesus saying, “Ask, and you will receive, and everyone who asks receives,” yet you have been asking, especially when you desperately need His help, but have not received. 

This experience can be heartbreaking (Proverbs 13:12). I recall witnessing a woman crying and shouting, exclaiming, “God, I won’t serve you again! I will never acknowledge you again! Despite all my cries and prayers, you have failed to answer me when I desperately needed your help.” The woman’s disappointment was evident in her words and actions that fateful evening. What happened to her? Her daughter was dying or had died during childbirth, and she felt that God had not answered her prayers.

The scripture states, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.” (Proverbs 13:12). Thus, exploring the reasons why our prayers are not answered should not be ignored. This is the motivation for this blog post. We will discuss some common reasons why our prayers may go unanswered at times. Although I don’t have all the answers, I will do my best to provide reasons based on biblical principles. Take your time and read carefully; you might find the answer you’ve been seeking.

Let’s get started!

7 Reasons Why Our Prayers Are Not Answered

1. Lack of Faith

Faith is a crucial ingredient needed while praying. It is more important to prayer than salt is to food. A prayer made without faith is a waste of time, plain and simple. So, lack of faith is one of the reasons why our prayers are not answered.

But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.

James 1:6

For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;

James 1:7

To better understand the scripture, let’s highlight the key points:

  • You must ask in faith.
  • You must not doubt.
  • Otherwise, there is no need to expect anything from God at all.

We all ask things from God, as the Bible says of Him, “He who gives food to all flesh, for His steadfast love endures forever” (Psalms 136:25). But have you ever doubted? Maybe because what you asked from God seems big and impossible, or perhaps what you requested appeared insignificant. This double-mindedness is the culprit for most unanswered prayers.

Unbelief might arise when you focus on your own ability and also when you contemplate the possibility of your request, making prayers go unanswered. Unbelief is a barrier, but faith removes it.

Faith removes the mountains which unbelief creates.

Reinhard Bonnke

The importance of faith in prayer cannot be overstated. Even Jesus emphasized this, saying, “…Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen” (Matthew 21:21). So, keep in mind that lack of faith is one of the reasons why our prayers are not answered.

2. Unforgiveness:

It is important to note that unforgiveness is also one of the reasons why our prayers may not be answered.

Unforgiveness is a heavy burden that can weigh down our prayers, preventing them from ascending to God (Revelation 8:4). Harboring resentment or bitterness towards others creates a barrier between us and God. It makes our hearts heavy and unacceptable before God, impeding our communication with Him.

For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Matthew 6:14-15 (KJV)

And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”

Mark 11:25 (KJV)

If God doesn’t forgive you, how then do you think He can answer your prayers? So, unforgiveness is one of the reasons why our prayers are not answered.

3. Unconfessed Sin:

The issue of sin and its impact on our prayers is made very clear in the Bible, as seen in:

If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.

Psalm 66:18 (KJV)

Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

Isaiah 59:1-2 (KJV):

Do you have a long list of unanswered prayers? Take time to examine your life, for the warning, “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” (1 Corinthians 10:12 KJV). Check carefully and ask the Lord to search you thoroughly; perhaps some little foxes have crept in unnoticed. Don’t forget that unconfessed and unforgiven sin is one of the reasons why our prayers are not answered.

4. Wrong Motives or Not Praying According to God’s Will

Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

James 4:3 (KJV):

Yes, you ask, and that’s good! But the questions I would ask you are:

  • What are you asking from God?
  • Why are you asking it from God? (What are your motives?)
  • Do you consider God’s will while asking anything from Him?

Our motives play a significant role in the effectiveness of our prayers. When they are selfish, our prayers go unanswered. When they aren’t in line with God’s will, He remains silent.

Even Jesus had to pray according to the will of His Father; otherwise, I suppose His prayer would have gone unanswered at that point. He prayed, saying, “…O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Matthew 26:39 KJV).

Praying amiss or not in line with God’s will is another reason why prayers go unanswered.

And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us.

1 John 5:14

5. Influence of Demons

The influence of demons is also one of the reasons why our prayers are not answered. While it’s very important to scrutinize our own hearts and actions when seeking answers to reasons why our prayers are not answered, we must also be aware of the spiritual forces that surround us.

A powerful example of the influence of demons on our prayers can be found in the book of Daniel chapter 10. Daniel prayed and fasted for three good weeks, denying himself choice food, yet the answer to his prayer was delayed until an angel appeared to him with a startling revelation.

Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.

Daniel 10:12-13 (KJV)

In this passage, the angel explains to Daniel that his prayers were heard from the very beginning. However, a demonic force—referred to as “the prince of the kingdom of Persia”—stood as an obstacle to the answer.

Is this not a potent reminder that we are not only contending with our own weaknesses and shortcomings when we pray, but also with spiritual forces?

Ephesians 6:12 (KJV) reminds us, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

This might be the reason why that thing you have been asking from God has not been answered. You see? God might have answered you from the first day you set your heart to seek Him, but yet you haven’t seen the answer and you wonder why.

6. Lack of Persistence:

Aside from the story of Daniel as I have shared earlier while talking about the influence of demons, a good story I can use to make this point very clear is that of the persistent widow. [Related article: 5 Lessons from the Parable of the Persistent Widow: The Secret to Effective Prayer.]

Luke chapter 18 describes an unrelenting and dogged woman who refused to give rest neither to herself nor the unrighteous judge. This is an express description of what the scripture says: that you who make mention of the name of the Lord, give yourself no rest and give Him no rest. (Isaiah 62:6). [Related article: Luke 18:1-8 Explained]

Let’s imagine that the widow wasn’t persistent and gave up too soon; she would have missed out on the vengeance on her adversaries as she requested.

If you are someone who easily gives up when the answer to prayer seems delayed, that might be the reason why you have a list of unanswered prayers.

7. It’s Not the Right Time or Silence is the Answer:

Sometimes, the answer to our prayers isn’t exactly what we ask for, neither is it a simple “yes” or “no.” There are instances when God’s response may be just silence. In such cases, we may conclude that our prayers went unanswered.

So one of the reasons why our prayers are not answered, so to speak, is because it is not God’s timing. God may not give you an immediate answer to prayer because He is waiting for the best time to give you what you are requesting.

In conclusion, the experience of unanswered prayers is not without reasons, and we have discussed a number of them.

We strongly believe that there is a God, and He hears prayers.

1 John 5:15 says, “And if we know that he hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.”

Knowing this, we should consider these reasons why our prayers are not answered and ask God to help us in those areas that affect us. I pray that God will help you, and from henceforth, none of your prayers will go unanswered anymore in Jesus’ name. Amen.

God’s grace!

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Below are some answers to common questions related to the topic of unanswered prayers.

Does God hear all prayers?

Yes, I would say God hears all prayers, as He is all-knowing and ever-present. However, our relationship with Him, our motives, and our persistence can impact how He responds to our prayers.

How can I know if my prayer is aligned with God’s will?

To discern if your prayer is aligned with God’s will, you have to spend time studying the scripture and learning about His character, will, and promises. This will help you understand His will for your life and the lives of others. Additionally, you have to ask the Holy Spirit to guide you, and He can help you discern God’s will as you pray.

Why does God sometimes remain silent when we pray?

The reasons for God’s silence in response to our prayers may vary. It can be an opportunity for us to put our faith to the test, a call to get closer to Him, or a sign that the moment isn’t appropriate for what we’re asking. It is essential to trust in God’s wisdom, love, and sovereignty during His silent times, knowing that He always has our best interests at heart.

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