Why Aren't My Prayers Answered?

Sam Petitfils

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.”  I John 5:14

We all struggle with this question, “Why doesn’t God answer my prayers?”  But sometimes God has good reasons. Consider:

1. He might have something better for you.
We think we know what we want, but perhaps our wise God knows better.  I think that if we were honest with ourselves, we all would be depressed if God had given us everything we ever asked for.

2. God might grant you your very request, but at the very best time.
Just because we think we need something right now does not mean that God concurs with our request.  That doesn’t mean He will deny our request.  In fact, He may have led us to pray for it!  God anointed David king, but David did not ascend the throne for many years.  God wanted to prepare him, just as God wants to prepare us.

3. Your prayers may not agree with His perfect will.
The verse above tells us this:  “If we ask anything according to His will. . .” Just because we ask something from God doesn’t mean it was His will.  If what we asked of God was not His will, we should not even want it.

4. God may want to teach us things before He answers us.
God may have every intention of granting our request, but we might not be ready for it.  It may be that we need to learn some valuable lessons first, or grow in our faith.  Jacob waited many years for the wife of his choosing, and Joseph waited a couple of years in jail to be vindicated.  But God blessed both of them in the end.

5. God may want to stretch us, and call out to Him even more.
Delay is not denial.  Read carefully Luke 18:1-8.  The widow persisted in asking a judge for justice, but the judge would not hear of it.  But because of her insistence, He finally granted her request.  Similarly, God may want to train us to pray and trust during times of waiting.  He won’t leave us destitute, and He won’t turn our prayers away.  He may want us to seek Him even more.

Sometimes we don’t know why God doesn’t answer our prayer; it’s a real mystery.  But this calls for trust.  If we have faithfully submitted our requests to God, we can leave it with Him, and His wise counsel.  However He chooses to answer, we know that He has designed it for our good (Romans 8:28).

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