Updated: Aug 27
Why do some prayers seem to be unanswered?
Recently we covered a three-day mini-series called ‘Teach us to pray’. We covered a few practical aspects of prayer including, who do we pray to, and in what position etc. We also looked briefly at the 5 types of prayer, which include 1) confession of sins, 2) praise 3) thanksgiving 4) intercession and 5) petition. One aspect that we did not cover was the subject of unanswered prayer which we will now consider, is apparently unanswered prayer. We often do not talk about the prayers that appear to be unanswered.
Here are the first two of four potential reasons our prayers might be unanswered.
Reason 1. Being out of fellowship prevents God from answering prayer.
When we enter salvation through Jesus Christ, we form a life-long family relationship which is very robust. However, our day-to-day communion with the Lord is fragile and can be easily broken through our sin.
Ps 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:
1 John 3:22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
Reason 2. God has said no because your prayer was not in the will of God.
My grown-up children sometimes say that as a grandparent we let the grandkids away with much more than we did when they were kids. This is true because we have different roles as grandparents.
But God is not a kindly old uncle or grandad but a zealous loving heavenly father.
God has no grandkids only kids.
Each generation must directly connect with him.
1 John 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:
15 And if we know that he hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.
The implication here is that if we ask anything that is not his will then there is no reason to suppose we should be successful in our petition.
James 4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. God promises to meet our need not our greed!
Jesus, when in the Garden of Gethsemane said, Luke 22:42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless, not my will, but thine, be done.
The Father said ‘no’.
We must allow for God to say ‘no’ as He surely knows what is best in any given situation.
We need to remember that the Kingdom of God is in a warzone, there is a huge battle raging between God and his army, and Satan and his troops. Sometimes the Lord needs us to step up to the plate.
Also, we need to remember that God’s silence is not his absence…