Nineteen Reasons Prayers Are Often Unanswered


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.

The List

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)


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