Why are some prayers not answered?


By BibleAsk Team

Sin Separates Man From God

God loves to answer the prayers of His children. “The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their cry” (Psalms 34:15). Those who ask will not be disappointed. Jesus says, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matthew 7: 7). All that God’s children need is theirs for the asking. What they cannot do in their own power can be done when their efforts are united with His. And the Lord is generous with the gifts of heaven Ephesians 1:7-9).

However, there is a time when God does not hear prayer. If a person knowingly disobeys God and yet asks for a blessing (though he does not plan to repent), his prayer will not be answered. In order for a prayer to be heard by God, it must be coupled with a decision to forsake all known sin. “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures” (James 4:3 also John 9:31).

Sin puts a barrier between God and the sinner (Isaiah 59:1, 2). The Bible says, “One who turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination (Proverbs 28:9 also Isaiah 1:15; 58:3–5). While God passes over the lack of obedience to law in those who have had no opportunity to learn it (Acts 17:30; Romans 5:13), He cannot accept the wrong actions of those who know it and have intentionally rejected it.

When it is in the heart to obey God, when efforts are put forth to this end, Jesus accepts this effort as man’s best service, and He makes up for the deficiency with His own divine merit and righteousness. The Lord supplies all the grace needed for victory “for everyone born of God overcomes the world” (1 John 5:4).

If a person makes a decision to follow the Lord but does not have the desire to do it, God promises to give him both the will and the action. “For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13). Thus, God provides the stimulus for our initial decision to accept salvation and the power to make that decision effective.

Lack of Faith Robs Christians From Answered Prayers

Another reason for unanswered prayer is lack of faith. The Bible teaches, “When you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord” (James 1:6-7). “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Hebrew 11:6).

Belief that God really exists and loves His children is the basic foundation of the Christian religion. Through nature, through the Scriptures, through the sacrifice of God’s Son, and through His providential leading, the Lord has provided people with all the proofs of His existence and love that they need and can make use of (Romans 1:20).

The Bible affirms that God does answer the prayers of the faithful. “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (James 5:16). Jesus Himself stresses this truth, “if you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (John 15:7). And the apostle John also reiterates the same message, “And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight” (1 John 3:22). Praise His Name!

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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