why does god not answer my prayers
Do you ever feel like God isnÁt answering your prayers? á
I heard from someone last week who asked ÁHow long am I supposed to pray if God continues to ignore me? Á It might feel like God is ignoring you when He doesnÁt answer your prayers the way youÁre hoping. But Scripture offers us insights as to why God might appear to be silent. One verse that IÁve found most helpful in my own life Á when it comes to unanswered prayer Á is, in which the Psalmist said ÁNo good thing will [God] withhold from those who walk uprightly. Á I find three principles (and loads of encouragement) in this verse for why God might not be answering my prayer or yours. á 1. GodÁs idea of a Ágood thingÁ might be different than yours. You might be praying for a husband, a job youÁve been hoping for, or to win the lottery. Why would God not give you any or all of the three? Because even though you might feel itÁs good for you to be married, or to be working in a job you like, or to have more money, GodÁs opinion might differ. Just because something makes us happy doesnÁt mean itÁs good for us, eternally. And God has our eternal best in mind. á SEE ALSO: In Jesus said, ÁIf you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in give good gifts to those who ask him. Áá We want our children to be happy, but not at the expense of their health, and therefore we donÁt give them candy at every meal. We want them to hold down a good job, but we wonÁt do that job for them because learning responsibility and the consequences of a bad decision are more healthy and good for them in the long run. Trust that God, your Heavenly Father, knows what is best for you. And while you may be heartbroken at His Áno,Á He may very well be sparing you a bigger heartache down the road. á 2. God is waiting for you to be obedient. Scripture exhorts husbands to be considerate of their wives and treat them with respect so that their prayers arenÁt hindered ( ). And says Áno good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly. Á Are you walking uprightly? Is your life not only obedient, but surrendered to Him? If not, God may be withholding or refusing to acknowledge your prayers to get you back into line with His will and purposes. á SEE ALSO: 3. It isnÁt the right time.
God has three answers. Yes, no, and wait. Because He can see whatÁs eternally best for us, and He can also see whatÁs coming down the road (and we canÁt), trust His judgment. DonÁt second-guess Him. His timing is always better than yours. If you are walking uprightly and what youÁre asking for is truly a good thing then, according to, God is not withholding after all. It just isnÁt time. á 4. You arenÁt asking in faith. á How we pray is just as important as what we pray for. In ÁIf any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do. Á Furthermore, says, ÁAnd without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Á So ask in faith and without hesitation or doubting. God may be waiting for you to truly believe He can do what you are asking for. 5. God has something better for you than what you are asking for. á This is my favorite reason for why God says ÁnoÁ but we so often forget to consider it. Because He is good and knows whatÁs eternally best for us, and doesnÁt want us to settle, God sometimes says no or closes a door because He has something better for us that we havenÁt even thought to ask for. He is One who can do Áimmeasurably moreÁ than all we can ask or imagine ( ). Trust His timing. Trust His Áno. Á And trust His idea of what is eternally best for you. He really is a good father. á Cindi McMenamin helps women and couples deal with the struggles of life through her books, (more than 125,000 copies sold), and. For more on her 15 books, national speaking ministry, and free resources to strengthen your soul, or parenting, see her website:. Photo courtesy: Thinkstockphotos. com Publication date: November 16, 2016 Why doesn't God answer my prayers? How we reply to this complex question will very much depend on who is asking, and we need to be ready to admit that we don t have all the answers, while at the same time praying that God will draw close to the person and meet their needs.
A number of issues are raised by this question: 1. Who is the God we are Praying to? Today many people are taking time to explore spirituality and prayer. Our Jesus is very different to the gods worshipped by other world religions. What we think about who God is will determine whether we pray, how we pray and what we pray for. Are we ultimately able to trust this God? How would you describe Jesus to someone who wants to know more about the God to whom you pray? 2. What is Prayer? Prayer is essentially a conversation between us and God. Prayer is listening, talking, watching and waiting in the company of our Father. To seek his priorities for our needs, and the needs of those around us and of our world, we come as God s child to our Father in heaven through Jesus (Ephesians 2:18) with the help of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:3). 3. Living Selfishly is a Barrier to Seeing Prayers Answered Sometimes our prayers will not be answered if there is wrongdoing in our hearts. Our holy God is not able to answer our prayers if we are disobedient to what he may have asked us to do (1 John 3:21 22), if we have wrong motives in our asking (James 4:2 3) or if we haven t stopped to find out what is his will in a given situation. 4. Our View of Time is Different from God s View We have to learn to wait for God. Most of us find this hard. I believe God does answer prayer, but he does not always do so in the way that we want. He sees the bigger picture and he knows how it all fits together. I find the image of a tapestry helpful. When we look at the wrong side, it is hard to imagine that there is a picture in the making. Each thread is waiting its turn to be woven in. It is the same with our prayers. They each have their turn to be slotted in to make the picture complete. 5. God Communicates with us in Different Ways We need to be aware of how God speaks to us. It could be through reading Scripture, talking with other people, books, the media or day-to-day circumstances. We need to recognise His prompt, nudge and voice in our daily lives (John 10:27). Often he does speak, but we are too preoccupied or blinkered to hear or understand. 6. Answers to Prayer Vary God may answer very quickly, in a way that makes the answer very obvious. On other occasions it is not such an obvious 'yes', and we get a sense that we need to continue to wait for clear guidance (Matthew 7:7 8).
Sometimes an answer comes, but in a completely different way to what we are expecting. Then there are the times when it appears that we get nothing but a brick wall. And as we carry on with life, it is often only by looking back on a situation that we discover it was actually a 'no'. I remember Billy Graham s wife Ruth recounting the story of how she prayed and prayed for the man she thought she wanted to marry, and is today so grateful to God that he did not answer her prayer. For at that time she had not yet met Billy and realises what a disaster the other marriage might have been. Sometimes the answer appears to be a straight 'no'. Fiona Castle, speaking after the death of her husband Roy, said, 'I would never underestimate the value of prayer. I really believe that although perhaps prayer was not answered the way we would have liked to see it answered, I honestly believe that through the prayers of the faithful people who prayed for Roy, he was strong, he was faithful to the end. I believe that through prayer we were given opportunities to share our faith. ' We need to remember that God always has our best interests at heart even if the answer is not what we want to hear; that we will never understand the complete will of God in every situation. And sometimes there is no answer at all. In his book, Prayer: Does it Make any Difference? , Philip Yancey cites many times in the Bible when prayer was unanswered, such as King David praying for his son to live; Moses, Job, Jonah and Elijah all praying that they would die; Jesus disciples praying for deliverance; Paul praying for the removal of his 'thorn in the flesh'. God did not answer their requests, and we learn a lot from watching how they coped and how God always brought good out of those often desperate situations. The important thing is that we want to encourage anyone wrestling with this big question not to give up but to keep on talking both to God and their friends as they find a way through. 'Trust in the Lord with all your heart, do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will direct your paths' (Proverbs 3:5). For more information about the World Prayer Centre, visit. 2007 Jane Holloway
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