– John Bunyan
4 Reasons Why God Sometimes Doesn’t Answer Our Prayers
Prayer is very powerful. Prayer doesn’t just shield us from sin and temptation, but it also helps us know the nature and character of God in our daily lives. It is our daily lifeline to God, a two-way connection to the Creator of the universe.
Interestingly enough, there is one aspect of prayer that many Christians sometimes get stuck on. There’s a prayer where you talk to God as you would a friend and you basically just enjoy His presence in your life. There’s a prayer where you give thanks and praises to God. And then, of course, there is a prayer where you ask for things. This is where the confusion comes in.
When God doesn’t answer our prayers, we have many different reactions. Some people begin to doubt, other people become angry at God, and others feel that they are being punished. There are many reasons why God sometimes doesn’t answer our prayers. Here are four key reasons:
Reason #1: We Pray for the Wrong Things
The most important thing to God is your personal salvation. He loves you so much and He wants to spend eternity with you so He gave everything He had just so you can have a means to be reconciled with Him. That is the level God is operating from. And when we pray for things that are on the margins of that big picture, it’s understandable when those prayers don’t get answered. This is because God’s primary concern for us is our salvation. When we pray for the right things, meaning things that are related to our salvation that lead to a deeper relationship with Christ and deeper Christian character formation, then God is more than willing to send us blessings.
Reason #2: We Don’t Pray Like We Mean It
According to the book of James, God is very gracious, very kind, and willing to give us what we ask for. However, we cannot be half-minded about it. It’s not uncommon for Christians to pray to be delivered from certain challenges in their life. However, deep down, they are hanging on to things that they can do, or means that they can pursue so they can dig themselves out of their situation. In other words, when they pray to God, they basically doubt and have this back up plan in the back of their minds. That is not real prayer.
Reason #3: We Don’t Pray in Faith
When we pray in faith, we basically go against reality. We go against all common sense and rationality. We just place our faith and trust in God. We go back to the central truth that all strength comes from God, that He is able to produce miracles, and He is able to make unexplainable things happen. That is the power of faith, because faith is all about expecting results that you cannot see. It’s like leaping into the great void. There is a lot of power in that exercise, and it must be present in our prayer.
Reason #4: We Don’t Show Mercy
In parable after parable, Jesus pointed out that if we want mercy in our lives, we have to be merciful to people around us. For example, if we want certain challenges lifted, we are basically asking for God’s grace. It’s a free gift. We didn’t earn it; He just did us a favor and lifted us out of those challenges.
If we are asking for God’s grace, whether it’s in the form of deliverance from illness, unemployment, poverty, relationship challenges, or other difficulties, we have to show mercy to people around us. In other words, we should be forgiving; we should let go of past hurts. It’s very hard to open your palms to catch God’s blessing when you are hanging on hurts from the past. It’s very important to show mercy for us to receive mercy through our prayers.