Why does God not answer prayers?

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Surprisingly, God answers every prayer. The problem is not that God refuses to answer prayers. The problem is that we don’t know how to recognize His answers. God answers every prayer, but He doesn’t always grant every prayer. The important question to ask is which requests will God not grant?

Three reasons why God will not grant a prayer request

Why does God not grant your prayers? Sometimes you feel like you have done everything you know to do to be granted a prayer request. You have pleaded, persisted, fasted, rededicated yourself to Christ, dispelled all doubt to fully believe God and His will to grant whatever you ask for, and asked others to pray as well. But regardless of all that you have done, your prayers are not granted. What is wrong?
Though it is commonly said that God does not hear prayers, He actually hears all prayers. He is God and knows all things and all prayers made by all people. When it is said that God does not hear, it means that He does not acknowledge those prayers.
God will not hear your prayers if your requests are contrary to His will, are offered in sin, or do not fulfill the additional conditions required.

Requests contrary to His will

First, God grants prayers that are not contrary to His will. This is the reason Jesus says to pray in His name. Praying in His name is saying you desire His will to be done.

Requests offered in sin

Second, God will not grant the prayers offered by the unrepentant who stubbornly resist the will of God. King David wrote in Psalm 66:11,

“If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.”

And James 4:3 says,

“Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”

Requests not meeting conditions

Third, some prayers require going the extra mile with persistence or fasting or both. Jesus said in Matthew 17:21,

“Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.”

And until those conditions are met, God will not grant those prayers.

Learn more about prayer

I explain more about prayer in my two free eBooks When God Answers Every Prayer and When God Does Not Answer Your Prayers. You will find these books at patrickbriney.com. Plus, I have two great books about prayer. The first book, HOPE, is my personal story about what prayer can do. The second book, PRAY, explains how prayer works. These explain in more detail how to make requests and how God answers them.

Verses about prayers that God will not answer

Due to lack of faith

Jas 1:6-7, “But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.”

Due to iniquity

Ps 66:18, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.”

Isa 59:2, “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.”

Mt 7:22-23, “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

Jer 14:10-12, “Thus saith the LORD unto this people, Thus have they loved to wander, they have not refrained their feet, therefore the LORD doth not accept them; he will now remember their iniquity, and visit their sins. Then said the LORD unto me, Pray not for this people for their good. When they fast, I will not hear their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and an oblation, I will not accept them: but I will consume them by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence.”

Due to lack of repentance

Pr 1:24-28, “Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me.”

Jas 4:3-4, “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”

Due to wickedness

Pr 15:8, “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is his delight.”

Pr 28:9, “He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.”

Pr 15:29, “The LORD is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous.”

Ps 18:41, “They cried, but there was none to save them: even unto the LORD, but he answered them not.”

Jer 11:9-11, “And the LORD said unto me, A conspiracy is found among the men of Judah, and among the inhabitants of Jerusalem. They are turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers, which refused to hear my words; and they went after other gods to serve them: the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken my covenant which I made with their fathers. Therefore thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will bring evil upon them, which they shall not be able to escape; and though they shall cry unto me, I will not hearken unto them.”

Due to lack of compassion

Pr 21:13, “Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard.”

Zec 7:9-13, “Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment, and shew mercy and compassions every man to his brother: And oppress not the widow, nor the fatherless, the stranger, nor the poor; and let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart. But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear. Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the LORD of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the LORD of hosts. Therefore it is come to pass, that as he cried, and they would not hear; so they cried, and I would not hear, saith the LORD of hosts.”

Due to wrongdoing

Mic 3:4, “Then shall they cry unto the LORD, but he will not hear them: he will even hide his face from them at that time, as they have behaved themselves ill in their doings.”

1 Pe 3:12, “For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.”

Isa 1:15-17, “And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.”

Due to not being saved

Joh 9:31, “Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.”
Job 27:8-9, “For what is the hope of the hypocrite, though he hath gained, when God taketh away his soul? Will God hear his cry when trouble cometh upon him?”

Due to ignorance

Ro 8:26, “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”

Prayers that God won’t grant

The prayers that God refuses to grant are prayers offered without faith and in sin. Why should God grant a request for someone who does not believe in Him, or does not trust Him, or does not honor Him.
When God refuses to honor a prayer request, His answer is no. He answers every prayer, but He does not grant every prayer.
If you want every request to be granted, then work on your relationship with God. If you love Him, then you will trust Him and respect Him. You will want His will to be done, not your own.

Changing your life for good

If this article has helped you in some way, share your blessing with others. Let me know in what way you benefitted.
Ask God to teach you more about prayer. And search for more articles in my blog for more insights into prayer.
I look forward to hearing from you and reading your comment below.

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