Posted by: thirstnomore | January 5, 2009

Unanswered Prayer

I mentioned briefly in my sermon that there are many reasons for unanswered prayer.  I used a metaphor as to how we see God.  We should see God as a perfect heavenly daddy.  A good dad tells us yes, no, and not yet.  A good dad does not give us everything, but still loves to give us good gifts.  Unanswered prayer is not because God is mad at us, but might be trying to teach us to be dependent on Him, or other purposes for God’s glory.

Here are some other reasons from scripture that our prayers might not be answered.  Take some time to reflect in your heart where these sins might be present:

Prayer is answered: 

  1. Through the grace of God (Isa. 30:19)
  2. Sometimes immediately (Isa. 65:24, Da 9:21, 10:12
  3. Sometimes after delay (Luke 18:7)
  4. Sometimes different from our desire (2 Cor. 12:8-9)
  5. Beyond expectation (Jer. 33:3, Eph. 3:20)

Prayer is received by those who:

  1. Seek God (Ps. 34:4)
  2. Seek God with all the heart (Jer. 29:12-13)
  3. Wait upon God (Ps. 40:1)
  4. Ask in the name of Christ (John 14:13)
  5. Fear God (Ps. 145:19)
  6. Keep God’s commandments (1 John 5:14)
  7. Humble themselves (2 Chronicles 7:14, Ps. 9:12)

Prayer might not be answered if:

  1. Ask amiss (Jas. 4:3)
  2. Regard iniquity in the heart (Ps. 66:18)
  3. Live in sin (Isa. 59:2, John 9:31)
  4. Offer unworthy service to God (Mal. 1:7-9)
  5. Forsake God (Jer. 14:10, 12)
  6. Are deaf to the cry of the poor (Pr. 21:13)
  7. Are idolaters (Jer. 11:11-14)
  8. Are hypocrites (Job 27:8-9)
  9. Are proud (Job 35:12-13)
  10. Cruelly oppress saints/church (Mic. 3:2-4)

There are many others, but take some time to reflect on these scriptures.  Please post any questions you may have related to prayer or any other things that come to mind for the series.



  1. OK – Jim and I were having a discussion about this blog and we had an interesting question come up. How do we balance between making sure that our hearts are in the right place vs. getting into a works place where we’re doing whatever so that God will answer our prayers? Meaning – if we look at the list as to why sometimes prayers aren’t answered, how do we make sure that we’re not getting into a works mentality while checking our hearts/attitudes? Make sense?

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