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7 Reasons Your Prayer Might Not Be Answered

7 Reasons Your Prayer Might Not be Answered

There are reasons why prayers are not answered, even though I get a little impatient with super-spiritual saints who leave the impression that they have a deeper grasp of prayer than most. Such folks teach that if other believers just understood God’s Word better—or had more faith in prayer—God would answer all their requests. They would never suffer illness or poverty again.

Such leaders seem to ignore the fact that Jesus was poor and the Apostle Paul struggled with a thorn in the flesh throughout his life. Paul prayed for God to remove the pain, but the Lord did not answer this petition.

God is not a cosmic genie who promises to answer every request if we just believe strongly enough in His power.

There are qualifiers. Someone once said that God answers prayer in one of four ways: 1) “Yes,” 2) “No,” 3) “Wait,” or 4) “You’ve got to be kidding Me!”

The following are seven biblical reasons why prayers are not answered as we request:

Why Prayers Are Not Answered Reason #1. Unconfessed sin.

“Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.” (Isaiah 59:1-2)

Why Prayers Are Not Answered Reason #2. An unforgiving spirit.

“And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” (Mark 11:25)

Why Prayers Are Not Answered Reason #3. An unbelieving heart.

“But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.” (James 1:6-8)

Why Prayers Are Not Answered Reason #4. Improper motives.

“When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” (James 4:3)

Why Prayers Are Not Answered Reason #5. An alienated marriage relationship.

“Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.” (1 Peter 3:7)

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bobrussell@churchleaders.com'
At just twenty-two years of age, Bob became the pastor of Southeast Christian Church. That small congregation of 120 members became one of the largest churches in America, with 18,000 people attending the four worship services every weekend in 2006 when Bob retired. Now through Bob Russell Ministries, Bob continues to preach at churches & conferences throughout the United States, provide guidance for church leadership, mentor other ministers and author Bible study videos for use in small groups.