God wants to answer our prayers and there are countless promises in the Bible that can be claimed in that regard. We need to ask with every expectation of getting answers! However, sometimes answers to prayer are delayed or go unanswered for a variety of reasons. The following thoughts indicate some of the more common reaons for unanswered prayers.
Matt. 7:7 "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened."
Mark 11:24 "Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them."
James 1:5 "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him."
James 5:14 "Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: 15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him."
Matthew 18:19 "Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven."
Ephesians 3:20 "Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,"
The Bible also gives conditions for answered prayer. Ignoring them brings delay and silence. Here are some of the factors that help or hinder prayers being answered. Prayerfully consider your life and your prayers in the light of these factors.
1. We don’t ask. (Matt. 7:7,8)
2. We haven't asked in faith. (Mark 11:24)
3. We are not looking for God’s answer. (Acts 12:13-15)
4. We are not asking in Jesus' name. (John 14:13,14; 16:23,24)
5. We haven’t fully surrendered our lives to God. (Mal. 1:14; Rev. 3:20)
6. We are asking for things outside of His will. (1 John 5:14,15)
7. God is waiting for us to accept a greater answer. (1 Sam. 1:9-12)
8. His answer is being delivered in a “rough packing case.” (Gen.
45:3-8; Daniel 3:13-15)
9. We are disobeying God. (1 John 3:22; Ex. 20:8-11; Mal. 3:7-10; Mal. 2:14,15)
10. We must FULLY obey before the answer comes. (1 Kings 18:44; 2 Kings 5:14)
11. We limit God by our half-hearted obedience. (2 Kings 13:18,19)
12. We limit God by our half-hearted prayers. (Dan. 9:3; Matt. 17:21)
13. We are cherishing something that is outside of God’s will. (Isa. 59:1,2)
14. We are forgetting to first “go, then come” so far as forgiveness goes. (Matt. 5:23,24)
15. We are lagging behind God’s directing of our lives. (Luke 9:23; Ps. 119:105)
16. We are seeking a supernatural remedy when a natural remedy—granted a remedy requiring dying to self—is available. (2 Kings 20:7)
17. He is unable to answer at this time (Daniel 10:12-14)
18. It is better that things stay the same (2 Cor. 12:7)
19. The “Prayer Warriors” you are praying with are not in relationship with God and therefore not obtaining answers to prayer. (Mark 9:18)
1. Look for a promise that you can claim for your situation. (2 Peter 1:4; 2 Cor. 7:1; 1 Cor. 1:20)
2. Find another person, or group of people, that can pray with you locally. (Matt. 18:20)
3. Prayerfully go through the list of hindering factors and ask God to show you if any are present.
4. Prayerfully make an inventory of your life to see if anything needs changing. (2 Chron. 7:14)
5. Prayerfully make any adjustments needed as soon as possible—immediately is best! (Matt. 4:22)
6. Thank Him for answering regardless of circumstances. (Daniel 6:10)
7. Keep praying until He answers. (Dan. 10:2,3; Col. 1:9)
8. Live out your prayer. (2 Sam. 12:13)
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” Phil 4:6