Hindrances To Answers To Prayer

Question

What hinders answers to prayer?

Bible Answers

Psalms 66:18 "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:"

Isaiah 59:1-2 "Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save;
neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: 2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear."

Inspired Answers

"If we regard iniquity in our hearts, if we cling to any known sin, the Lord will not hear us; but the prayer of the penitent, contrite soul is always accepted. When all known wrongs are righted, we may believe that God will answer our petitions. Our own merit will never commend us to the favor of God; it is the worthiness of Jesus that will save us, His blood that will cleanse us; yet we have a work to do in complying with the conditions of acceptance." {SC 95.3}

"We must have a deep, earnest sense of our needs. We must feel our weakness and our dependence upon God, and come to Him with contrition of soul and brokenness of heart. Our petitions must be offered in perfect submission; every desire must be brought into harmony with the will of God, and His will must be done in us. We must not pray in a doubting, half-hearted manner, but with full assurance of faith. When we come to Him in this manner, Jesus will listen to our prayers, and will answer them; but if we regard iniquity in our hearts, if we cherish any darling sin, we may be assured that no blessing will be given in response to our prayers." {BEcho September 24, 1894, par. 3}

"Prayer is the opening of the heart to God as to a friend. The eye of faith will discern God very near, and the suppliant may obtain precious evidence of the divine love and care for him. But why is it that so many prayers are never answered? Says David: “I cried unto Him with my mouth, and He was extolled with my tongue. If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.” By another prophet the Lord gives us the promise: “Ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart.” Again, he speaks of some who “have not cried unto Me with their heart.” Such petitions are prayers of form, lip service only, which the Lord does not accept." {4T 533.3}

Further Thoughts

There are many reason prayers are not answered. Many of them are overlooked. That was certainly the case for me. At a particularly vulnerable time in my life when I was getting few answers, I became very serious about understanding what the Bible says about prayer. In the course of my study of prayer, I became aware of various things that I was either unaware of, or minimized. Being strongly convicted that I needed to conform to what I was studying, I began doing those things that I had overlooked—in my case especially asking apologies of people I had wronged. As a result of those efforts, God began answering my prayers in ways I could have never imagined before. I would urge you to also carefully study what the Bible says about hindering factors in prayer. —Dan

Further Resources On What Hinders Answers

Nineteen Reasons Prayers Are Often Unanswered


 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.

A. Unanswered Prayer: Is Not God's Desire.
Matt. 7:7,8
Mark 11:24
John 14:13,14
James 1:5
James 5:14
Matt. 18:19
Eph. 3:20
 
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.
 
B. Unanswered Prayer: Nineteen Hindering Reasons.
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)

C. Unanswered Prayer: Turning them into Answered Prayers
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