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 reasons for unanswered prayers.
Here are God's promises to answer our prayers if they are for our good, His glory and according to His will.
Matthew 7:7-8 (NKJV) 7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
Mark 11:24 (NKJV) 24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.
John 14:13-14 (NKJV) 13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.
James 1:5 (NKJV) 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
James 5:14 (NKJV) 14 Is anyone among you sick? 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.
Matthew 18:19 (NKJV) 19 “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.
Ephesians 3:20-21 (NKJV) 20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
The Bible 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” we are praying with are not in good 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 which 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