Why God does not answer some prayers – Part 9
There are many reasons why God does not answer many prayers. Like every other sacrifice offered to God, unless our prayers meet the conditions of God they will not be accepted.
The number one cause for unanswered prayer is a sin. Sin is the greatest inhibitor of prayer. Isaiah laments about the grave consequences of sin to our prayers this way, “Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, That it cannot save, Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you So that He will not hear” (Isaiah
God will not answer prayers that are made outside His will. When we pray and ask for favours outside His will we stand the risk of not being answered. On the contrary, when we pray according to His will, we know that He answers us (1 John 5:14-15).
Certain prayers are time-bound; they are answered at the fullness of time. Zechariah and his wife prayed for many years without any answer. Little did they know that the destiny of their child would be tied to the birth of the Messiah. He was born just on time to be the forerunner of Jesus Christ (Lk. 1:13-17). Many of the prayers we make for our respective countries, and for God’s kingdom for political and social transformation often take time to materialise because they may be time bound in God’s scheme of things. No matter how intense the children of Israel prayed, God had ordained it that they would be in Egypt for 400 years. God responded to their groaning after 430 years.
Disobedience hinders our prayers. God did not answer Saul when he prayed because of his disobedience. God sent him to kill Agag, but he spared him. When the king realised that God was no longer answering his prayers, he then went to consult a medium when the Philistines came to attack Israel (1 Samuel 28:3-19). Proverbs 28:9 puts it this way, “God detests the prayers of a person who ignores the law”
Doubt and faithlessness affects our prayers. James 1:5-6 says, “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. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind”
Blood-guiltiness affects our prayers. Hands that have been stained with blood must repent and confess their sins if their prayers are to ascend before God. Of this sin God said, “When you lift up your hands in prayer, I will not look. Though you offer many prayers, I will not listen, for your hands are covered with the blood of innocent victims” (Isaiah
Those who fail to forgive and show mercy to others are in danger of not having their prayers answered by God. Proverb 21:13 says, “Whoever shuts his ears to the cry of the poor will also cry himself and not be heard.” Forgive others so that God may forgive you. Be careful to observe these principles of prayer.