There are so many reasons for unanswered prayers. Some might even sound too simple to be a reason for unanswered prayers.
Just like trade involves the buying and selling of goods and services between two or more people, so also prayer involves buying and selling of goods and services between to more or people. In trade, money is often used as the medium of exchange.
We sell or our prayers requests to God using Faith as the cost of our answers.
The natural trade Exchange is backed up with money unless in barter system where goods or services are exchanged for other goods or services. The same way, we exchange our prayer request with answers using Faith as a medium of exchange.
God answers prayers, but there are certain prayers that he may not or will never answer. And there are also prayers that he will not ignore.
God is not unfair. in fact, he restricts the answers to certain prayers for our own good. Because answering them might not only destroy us but also destroy our loved ones and they might even destroy our soul and leave us in ruin. Speaking of this, Proverbs 14 :12 says; There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.(KJV)
Sometimes God answer some of our prayers at the spot even before we finish praying. but because we don’t listen to our spirit, after praying you keep waiting for answers that has already been released.
Instead of listening to your heart to hear what the Holy Spirit is saying concerning that prayer you just offered we stand up and tell God thank you for answered prayers and off we go without knowing or hearing what the Holy Spirit said said concerning your prayer.
There should be a praying time and a listening time as this will also help us to be conscious of his voice. Always trying to hear from him before taking any step on any thing.
A radio station is always on. until you tune in you won’t hear the message or what is been said on that station. In the same way, the Holy Spirit is always speaking. Until you listen attentively you’ll not hear what he is saying to you. So when you pray learn to listen for feed back.
Some of The Reasons For Unanswered Prayers
1. Doubt and Unbelieve
This is one of the most common reasons for unanswered prayers. Most times your prayers are not answered because they lack enough faith that will triggers the answers. The prayers are empty not having enough faith to hold them. You must pray believing that it is done according as you prayed. ( James 1:6-7).When you pray and say Amen it should be settled in your heart and in your soul that it is done. Even though the circumstances surrounding your answers seems impossible, settle it in your heart that God is able to break any protocol for you. Believe in your heart that it is done. Only then can you receive your answers.
Mark 11:23 says; whosoever shall say to this mountain be Thou removed and be cast into the sea, and shall not doubt in his heart but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass, he shall have whatsoever he saith.(KJV)
Sometimes, you pray a sincere prayer from your heart with the conviction that it is done. Next the devil comes and start whispering and he’ll will start saying things like; do you think God will answer you? The one you prayed about two years ago as he answered you? you had a fight with someone yesterday do you think he will answer you? and lots more. What do you do? you rebuke him at the instant. Never give him room to say more or give thought to what he has said.
The moment you start thinking about what he said. You’re simply energizing him and before long, doubt will unconsciously walk in. And every time you pray it will stand like a strong man in front of you that you can’t pass through to your answers. So the moment the devil starts whispering rebuke him and declare your assurance in the word and thank God for answers already.
Your prayers must be backed up with faith because you cannot please God without faith ( Hebrews 11:6). if it is impossible to please God without faith how can you then receive the answers to your prayers when your prayers lack faith?
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2. Lack of consistent prayers
More often than not, people give up on Prayer even before they start. When a request is made in prayer to God, you still need to pray consistently until you see the answer. We feel our prayers are not answered because we stopped praying.
Take the widow and the ungodly judge for instance. She kept going to him to fight her of her adversary. He would not for a while. But he said; though i fear not God nor regard man yet because this widow troubleth me i will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. Hear what the Lord Jesus said in the next verse; shall not God avenge his own elect which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? (Luke 18:2-7).(KJV).
The question is, do you cry day and night unto him? maybe you cried for a week and got tired or perhaps 1 months or 5 months or a year and you stopped. You probably decided that the prayer wasn’t going to be answered because you’ve prayed for a year and the answer didn’t come so you stopped praying about it. As long as what you’re asking for is not contrary to his will he’ll surely answer you. All you need do is keep praying about it until it happens. PUSH. (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
3. Lack of patience
One very funny truth about we Christians is that we always want God to be patient with us but we fail to be patient with him. Waiting is one word that people never want to hear.They want their prayers answered almost immediately. Of course we all want our prayers answered early but what if God is telling you to be patient. You might be expecting an answer to come within a year. Do you know if God’s timing for that answer is a year? Father Abraham also waited for 25 long years.
Never be in a hurry, be patient. As long as you are not asking contrary to his will, he will answer you. All you need to do is keep praying for his will while you wait. Be careful for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God (Philippians 4:6). (KJV).
4. His will/timing
Your prayer might be a sincere prayer that is not selfish and is centered on his will and yet the answers are not coming forth and you’re wondering what must have happened. The big question you should ask yourself is; what is God’s timing concerning this my answer? Fine it is his will accepted what about is time?
The Lord will only make everything beautiful in his own time ( Ecclesiastes 3:11), and not yours. You may need your answer to a particular prayer to come to pass in a week time but his time for that answer might be within a year. Some answers take a day, 2 days, a week, 6 weeks, 1 year,2 years, 3,5 even 10 or more. It doesn’t matter which category that particular answer falls into. All that matters is God’s own will and time.
If you are a true believer that is what you should look out for. His will and his time and not yours. when you understand this truth you’ll be patient and you’ll not be careful (anxious) for anything. That’s why we pray for his will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Jesus Christ seeing the agony and pain he was to go through cried out; Father if it be possible let this cup pass from me. Nevertheless, not as i will but as thou wilt. (Matthew 26:39). (KJV). Jesus who had the power to say no didn’t do so despite knowing the pain that he was to go through. Because he knew that the will of the Father was for him to go through the suffering all for our sake.
And so he cried out; i Know it will be tough on me but as long as it is your will for me then so be it. He laid it as an example for us to always let the will of God have it’s stand in our lives. Let his will be done in your life if you want to enjoy the peace that comes with the answers. At the right time it will emerge. Just be patient with God as much as you want him to be patient with you.
5. Asking amiss
Ye ask and receive not because ye ask amiss that ye may consume it upon your lust ( James 4:3) (KJV). The scripture above explains it all. when you ask with wrong motives or intentions God will not answer. When you ask to fulfill your own selfish interest, to show off, to prove that you’re somebody those kind of prayers will never be answered.
You don’t need to prove yourself to anybody whether they like it or not you’re somebody. Your quality or worth is not measured by material possessions. Let your fruit show it. Selfish prayers will never be answered.
6. It might destroy you
God may not answer certain prayers you offer in order to save you. He sees the end from the beginning but you don’t. There might be something he is saving you from but because you don’t understand and so you keep knocking and knocking and knocking.
When that door eventually opens you will not enjoy it because it wasn’t God’s plan for you. Like i said earlier it is good to pay attention to the Holy Spirit and create a room for listening so you don’t keep banging a door that God himself closed to save you.
If you don’t listen to the holy spirit and like Sarah you look for another means to open a door that God closed waiting for his time, then you’ll suffer the consequences of forcefully opening a door before it’s time.
Sarah out of impatience and frustration made that mistake by letting Abraham sleep with her maid Hagar. by this, Abraham stepped out of the Divine will of God and tried to force the promise to come to pass.
We all know how the story ended. Ordinarily, Since Abraham failed his own part of the covenant, ordinarily God would have turned his back on Abraham. But because of his infinite mercies he gave him another chance and assured him that his promise will still stand. But we’re still suffering from that decision till today. The conflicts here and there in the middle east till today is as a result of that decision (Genesis 16:1-12).
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Unforgiveness is something a lot of people take lightly but it goes a long way to causing unanswered prayers. It might be really difficult to forgive when you have been treated badly that the thought of it alone makes you feel like strangling the person to death. But the truth is, forgiveness is not something you do for others but for yourself.
If you must grow beyond that person and that level then you must let go. Think about the fact that God as been faithful to you irrespective of how unfaithful you’ve been towards him. Instead of pulling yourself back with the weight of pain from unforgiveness, hindering your prayers, stopping the flow of the Holy Spirit due to the pain why not let go and let the lord heal your heart? I tell you the weight of unforgiveness is too heavy. Don’t bear it. Hand it to God so it doesn’t hinder your prayers and become a mountain between you and the Holy Spirit. Forgive that you might be forgiven, (Mark 11:25).
8. You didn’t ask
One very big mistake a lot of Christians make is that they feel God knows what they want and that he’ll give it to them. It is true that God knows what you want but you still need to ask him. Our earthly parents don’t give us everything we want at all times. We go to them and tell them of our needs and if it is something they can do as long as it isn’t a bad thing they’ll definitely do it.
If ye being evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him.(Matthew 7:11).(KJV)
Jesus knew that more than anything that blind Bartimaeus needed his sight yet he asked him, what wilt thou that i should do unto thee? And the blind man said that i may receive my sight. (mark 10:51).
Ye lust and have not, ye kill and desire to have and cannot obtain, ye fight and war, yet you have not, because ye ask not.(James 4:2). Never assume that God knows it all and so he’ll give you what you desire. God does not play with the place of fellowship and also because he wants us to always communicate with him, (not only when we have need). So he gave us the privilege to ask through the name of Jesus Christ believing that we may receive.
9. Living a life of Sin
you cannot live a life of Sin and expect God to answer your prayers. Tell me why should he answer your prayers when you’re baptized in sin and you make sin your daily bread.
You fornicate, your eyes are on your neighbor’s wife or husband, you treat your wife or husband like trash, you oppress the less privileged, steal from your boss, you refuse to pay your workers. Gossip is like the taste of honey on your lips, you criticize everyone that passes by.
You are anointed with lying, you have the gift of cheating in fact you cheat in business, you cheat on your husband or your wife, you put on Pride like your daily clothes. As long as you’re concern everyone is nothing except you, yet you expect God to answer your prayers.
You don’t even have regard for higher authorities. Haven’t you heard that the prayer of a sinner is an abomination to the lord or don’t you know that is eyes are only on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayers for this face is against those who do evil.( John 9:31, proverbs 28:9, proverbs 15:29).
Other reasons for unanswered prayers include:
Most times we fall short of one or more of some these reasons for unanswered prayer. But God in his compassionate mercy still gives us the answers to our prayers just like he gave Abraham another chance and kept his promise to him. We shouldn’t take this kindheartedness of God for granted.
We should strive to daily live a life that pleases him. A life that he will be proud of and like Job he will say to the devil have you seen my son David, Michael, or my daughter Sarah, Joy, you can include your name.
We shouldn’t keep nailing him on the cross over and over again with the weight of our wrong ways. Remember that as merciful as he is, he is also a consuming fire. Most times we are the cause of our unanswered prayers but still we keep blaming God for our unanswered prayers.
Be sure to also read: Why does God allow trials and tribulations