If you’ve tried praying and nothing is working, you may be facing some “prayer blockers”.
You may say: I know God hears me and I’ve done all that I’m supposed to do. I try to live right. I treat people right. I go to church. I pray all the time and still—nothing. “Why haven’t my prayers been answered?”
Remember, all prayers are answered. But, sometimes the answer is no. Here are just a few reasons why God sometimes says no…
1. It’s not God’s will. In other words, you’re asking for something that interferes with a person’s destiny. For example, the night before Jesus was to be crucified, he prayed” “…Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.” (Luke 22:42-43) God’s answer was no. Jesus’ destiny was to die for the sins of mankind. But God did hear and answer Jesus’ prayer. Instead of preventing the suffering he had to go through, God sent an angel to strengthen him.
Hebrews 10:5-7, The Living Bible
“That is why Christ said as he came into the world, “O God, the blood of bulls and goats cannot satisfy you, so you have made ready this body of mine for me to lay as a sacrifice upon your altar. You were not satisfied with the animal sacrifices, slain and burnt before you as offerings for sin. Then I said, ‘See, I have come to do your will, to lay down my life, just as the Scriptures said that I would.’”
2. Asking amiss. God doesn’t grant requests based on wrong motives. For example, if you’re praying to marry someone else’s husband, that’s adultery. If you’re praying and asking God to make someone (who is single) want to marry you, that’s witchcraft (manipulation that interferes with a person’s free will). God will not answer those prayers.
James 4:2-3, New Living Translation
“You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it.And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.”
3. Asking without faith. If you speak doubt over the situation you just prayed for, that’s a sign that you don’t believe God hears you and wants to help you.
- Hebrews 11:6, King James Version
“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
- James 1:6-7, King James Version
“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.”
4. Praying when unforgiveness or sin is present in your life. God will forgive you if you admit your faults. But if you’re too proud to confess your sins to God, he cannot forgive you; and your prayers will go unanswered. Also, God will not forgive you, if you refuse to forgive others; and your prayers will go unanswered.
- Mark 11:24-25, The Living Bible
“Listen to me! You can pray for anything, and if you believe, you have it; it’s yours! But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive you your sins too.”
- Luke 18:9-14, The Living Bible
Then he told this story to some who boasted of their virtue and scorned everyone else:“Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a proud, self-righteous Pharisee, and the other a cheating tax collector. The proud Pharisee ‘prayed’ this prayer: ‘Thank God, I am not a sinner like everyone else, especially like that tax collector over there! For I never cheat, I don’t commit adultery, I go without food twice a week, and I give to God a tenth of everything I earn.’ “But the corrupt tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed, but beat upon his chest in sorrow, exclaiming, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner.’ I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home forgiven! For the proud shall be humbled, but the humble shall be honored.”
5. Not God’s timing. The answer is yes, but not now. This requires faith and patience. God has heard your prayers and your request has been granted. But you must wait on God’s perfect timing.
- The Lord did reverse the suffering of Job. He received double for everything he lost through tragedy.
- Abraham did have a son with his wife Sarah (who was barren). He had to wait until he was 100 years old, but he received the promise.
- David did become King. But, he had to wait about 20 years before he was made king over all of Israel and Judah. The prophet Samuel anointed him as the next king when he was just a boy (sources say he was somewhere between 10 to 15 years old).
- Joseph’s dream did come to pass. He was exalted to a high position and all of his family bowed down before him. But not before he was sold into slavery and wrongfully thrown into prison.
More than likely, you’ve eliminated all the “prayer blockers” above and you are waiting on God’s perfect timing. Be encouraged, your patience will be rewarded.
Luke 18:7-8, The Living Bible
“Don’t you think that God will surely give justice to his people who plead with him day and night? Yes! He will answer them quickly! But the question is: When I, the Messiah, return, how many will I find who have faith and are praying*?”