3. Why does God not answer our prayers sometimes?



Here are the possible reasons.

● Because we have not prayed God in faith, that is, believing. To pray in faith is absolutely necessary in order to receive from God what we have asked of Him. Jesus said: “And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive” (Matthew 21:22 – NKJV), and James said: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 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. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways” (James 1:5-8). Faith is being sure of what we hope for (Hebrews 11:1), therefore when we pray to God we must believe that we receive the things we asked Him (Mark 11:24).

● Because we refuse to keep the Lord’s commandments and we take pleasure in unrighteousness and hypocrisy, so God does not hear our prayers. Wisdom says: “One who turns away his hear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination” (Proverbs 28:9 – NKJV) and “whoever shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, will also cry himself and not be heard” (Proverbs 21:13 – NKJV). Jesus said that if we abide in Him and His words abide in us, God will give us whatever we ask of Him (John 15:7), and to abide in Him means to keep His commandments, as it is written in the first epistle of John: “He who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him” (1 John 3:24 – NKJV). Therefore, if we obey God, our prayers will be answered, as it is written: “Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight” (1 John 3:21-22 – NKJV).

● Because we have pleaded with God concerning something which is not according to His will for us: we have prayed in faith, we keep His commandments, but God does not want to answer our prayer. Two biblical examples of a prayer not answered for this reason.

Moses pleaded with God to permit him to enter the promised land, but God did not grant his plea (because some time before, at the water of Meribah, God told Moses and Aaron that He would not allow them to enter the land of Canaan because they did not believe Him). Here are the words of Moses: “And I besought the LORD at that time, saying, O Lord GOD, thou hast begun to shew thy servant thy greatness, and thy mighty hand: for what God is there in heaven or in earth, that can do according to thy works, and according to thy might? I pray thee, let me go over, and see the good land that is beyond Jordan, that goodly mountain, and Lebanon. But the LORD was wroth with me for your sakes, and would not hear me: and the LORD said unto me, Let it suffice thee; speak no more unto me of this matter. Get thee up into the top of Pisgah, and lift up thine eyes westward, and northward, and southward, and eastward, and behold it with thine eyes: for thou shalt not go over this Jordan. But charge Joshua, and encourage him, and strengthen him: for he shall go over before this people, and he shall cause them to inherit the land which thou shalt see” (Deuteronomy 3:23-28).

Paul pleaded with God to take away from him the messenger of Satan that God had given him to torment him so that Paul might not become conceited because of the surpassingly great revelations he had received from God, but God did not grant his plea. Here is what Paul wrote: “For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Corinthians 12:8-9).

Let us remember always the following words of John: “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him” (1 John 5:14-15).

● Because His time has not yet come. For we must keep in mind that God answers when He wills, and not when we will. To confirm this, I remind you of the following incident which happened to Jeremiah the prophet after Jerusalem was destroyed by the Chaldean army: “Then all the captains of the forces, and Johanan the son of Kareah, and Jezaniah the son of Hoshaiah, and all the people from the least even unto the greatest, came near, And said unto Jeremiah the prophet, Let, we beseech thee, our supplication be accepted before thee, and pray for us unto the LORD thy God, even for all this remnant; (for we are left but a few of many, as thine eyes do behold us:) That the LORD thy God may shew us the way wherein we may walk, and the thing that we may do. Then Jeremiah the prophet said unto them, I have heard you; behold, I will pray unto the LORD your God according to your words; and it shall come to pass, that whatsoever thing the LORD shall answer you, I will declare it unto you; I will keep nothing back from you. Then they said to Jeremiah, The LORD be a true and faithful witness between us, if we do not even according to all things for the which the LORD thy God shall send thee to us. Whether it be good, or whether it be evil, we will obey the voice of the LORD our God, to whom we send thee; that it may be well with us, when we obey the voice of the LORD our God. And it came to pass after ten days, that the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah” (Jeremiah 42:1-7). Notice that, although Jeremiah begin to pray for the people immediately, God’s answer came after ten days. However, sometimes God’s answer may come even after 10 years.