10 Reasons Most Prayers Are Not Answered
James 4: 3 “All of you ask, and receive not, because all of you ask amiss, that all of you may consume it upon your lusts.”
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Prayer is a practice of communicating and making a request to one’s God. Praying is very essential to our daily being because it is through communicating to our maker, plans for life can be revealed and vision for a purposeful future can be accomplished. Prayer is not a technique for escape from conflict but a stimulus to growth.
As Christians, the place of prayers cannot be overemphasized because even Jesus in Luke 18:1 encouraged us to pray and not faint. Nobody wants to pray to a God that will not answer his / her prayers and this could be quite frustrating when faced with such. As believers, praying is not the issue but the primary challenge is receiving answers to all prayers rendered to God. Most times, we feel discouraged and withdrawn even when prayers are not answered but we should remember we have a loving God who will always listen to His children and grant them their heart desires. All we need to understand is the art of prayers. It takes understanding to make one outstanding in life. When we pray like the Pharisees in the bible, we may never get answers to our prayers.
Let’s learn 10 reasons most prayers are not answered, so we can take steps to guide against such reasons. As we study this article today, my prayer for you is that, henceforth, you shall begin to receive speedy answers in Jesus’ name. Amen.
1 SIN: Psalms 66:18 “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.
Sin is a primary reason why most prayers are not answered. From the text, it shows we are conceived in sin and if we don’t forsake sin, it might hinder our prayers. Romans 3:23 which says that for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God implies that we are all guilty of sin and we must come to the salvation grace of Jesus Christ by accepting the blood shed on the cross for us to be redeemed. If you don’t accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, you are still in sin and iniquity still abides in your heart. God love sinners but hates sin, so no sinner can receive answers to prayers when he / she prays because the prayer of a sinner is an abomination to God. No sinner can get to God successfully in prayers because he has already rejected the sacrifice of God who is Jesus as his Lord and Saviour. The Solution to this reason is Salvation.
- LACK OF FAITH: Mark 11:23 “For verily I say unto you, that whosoever shall say unto this mountain, be you removed and be you cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he says shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he says.”
Faith is depending on God absolutely for everything, believing already that he has done the things one requested of him. God is a God of faith and works in the realm of faith. When you pray to him, you have to believe without doubting in His Supremacy that he will do it. Many Christians pray to God without faith, some even forget the prayers they prayed to God. God is a living God and you must expect answers from him. Expectation is the evidence of faith. Faith is a key to answered prayers When you pray in faith, you will always have expectation that your prayers will be answered.
- FEAR: 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love and of a sound mind.”
Fear is the opposite of faith. Faith is believing God while fear is believing in the circumstances and doubting if God can do it. Fears bring doubt and when you pray in fear, God does not honour such prayers. Fear limits the potency of prayers. Do not allow fear to cripple the faith of God inside you. The situation might be rough and tough but if you believe God is a loving God and do not doubt him, he will manifest himself in the faith filled environment such as he did for David against Goliath in the Bible. To overcome fear, you need to learn to believe in God more. You must learn to also trust God more in prayers and you are an overcomer in all things.
- IMPATIENCE: Hebrews 6: 12 “That all of you be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”
Patience is one of the fruits of the spirit. There is always a waiting point between when you pray and when you receive your answers. One needs to exercise patience when we have prayed to God, just like a farmer that plants a seed, there is the waiting time where he waters and dresses the field before the bountiful harvest time. We have to understand that God answers prayer in processes but if we are not careful and be patient, impatience can set in, making us lose focus and robbing us of the expected answers before the end of the process. Impatience can make us give up and when we give up, it indicates a loss of hope and faith which can make the prayers not to be answered as expected. We must learn to wait for our answers. You have to wait in faith and great expectations.
- LACKING THE WORD: Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.”
The word of God is the only thing that abides forever. Praying without the word of God backing your prayers will not give the desired result. It is the word of God that gives potency to your prayers. You can not get the desired breakthrough without quoting the relevant scriptures from the Bible. You can challenge God with his word and you will see the God of answered prayers in action. To be effective in prayers, you must spend time with the word so that you can discover strong reasons why your prayers must be answered.
- PRAYING AMISS: James 4:3 “All of you ask, and receive not, because all of you ask amiss, that all of you may consume it upon your lusts.”
Praying Amiss means praying outside the will and plan of God for one’s life. It is another reason most prayers are not answered. It is not every want or desire that is good for us and our existence. When we pray outside the will and plan of God for our life, the prayers will often hit the rocks. When you discover God’s plan for your life, it helps to channel the prayers accordingly. We have to pray for God’s plan for our life and not what you see him doing for another person which might be contrary to his purpose for your life. The solution to this reason is searching the scripture to know God’s plan and purpose for your life and pray in line with that. Ask God to fulfill his plans and purpose for your life and see speedy answers to prayers.
- NEGATIVE CONFESSION: Matthew 17:20 “And Jesus said unto them, because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, if all of you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, all of you shall say unto this mountain, remove behind to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”
Many times, when we pray, we ruin our prayers with negative confessions. What you say is what you will see. God does not work with prayers that have already been accompanied with talk of defeat. Negative confessions are poisonous to your prayers. Your confession must align with your prayers for God to answer you. Your life only moves with the direction of your mouth, if you talk success into your life, you will see success and vice versa. This is because life and death are in the power of the tongue. Proverbs 18:21.
- LAZINESS: 2 Thessalonians 3:10 “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.”
No matter how prayerful you are, no future for a lazy person in God’s kingdom. We have a lot of lazy Christians who think only prayers will help them. They spend all day and night praying in the church instead of going out to look for work opportunities. Prayer is not a substitute for work. Both go hand in hand. Prayers can get you work, even enhance your effectiveness but hardwork and commitment will keep you there. Laziness is a spiritual cancer and you must resist it in your life today.
- PRIDE: Psalms 138:6 “Though the LORD be high, yet has he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knows far off.”
Pride is an overestimation of oneself. It is a dangerous thing which can lead to destruction if not dealt with. Pride causes the fall of Satan and it is regarded as an anti-Christ spirit. No proud man can receive answers to prayers because God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble, 1 Peter 5:5c. A good example of this is demonstrated in Luke 18:9-14 between the Publican and Pharisee. The prayer of the Pharisee was not answered because he was full of pride while the Publican humbled himself and God answered and saved him. You have to reject pride in your life if you want God to answer your prayers. You have to ask God to break you and teach you how to be humble so that your prayers can be answered and not hindered.
10: TERRITORIAL SPIRITS: Daniel 10:12-13 “Then said he unto me, fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that you did set yours heart to understand and to chasten yourself before your God, your words were heard and I am come for your words. 10:13 “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.”
Territorial Spirit are spirits that control a given territory. These spirits can hinder prayers from being answered. One needed to be persistent in prayers in order to overcome these spirits. You don’t have to give up on your prayer altar but be persistent in prayers which always lead to answered prayers. Just like Daniel was persistent in the Bible until God had to send higher authority to send his answers to him, God is still doing the same for his faithful believers.