This is one of the most difficult questions asked by Christians. Some ask in anger, but in my experience when posed to me, it is asked in sadness. Something caught my attention recently, that prayers are not answered because we don’t believe God will respond or grant our request. We lack faith. This makes sense, because in my own prayer life there are times when the superficial and casual references I make when coming before God are weak. Perhaps there are times where I don’t believe God will answer.
In his book Bible Answers for Almost All Your Questions, Elmer Towns speaks clearly about questions that challenge Christians. In the following excerpt, Dr. Towns addresses unanswered prayer:
Sometimes it’s because we are asking for things that God has not promised to give us. God has not promised long life to every person, though a few people may live long. So, God may not answer your prayer for a long life. God may also not answer your prayer because you ask God to take away things that He doesn’t want removed. As an illustration, God promises trouble to every person (Job 5:7), so we should pray for wisdom in the midst of our troubles for how to solve them or live with them (James 1:5). But God may not answer your prayer to take away your troubles.
God does not answer prayers when you ask Him to go against His nature. God cannot erase history or make a square circle. God will not make a stone too heavy for Him to lift. A student taking a test cannot pray for an answer if he has not studied and the answer is not on his mind. God doesn’t communicate out of a vacuum.
Sometimes you don’t get your prayers answered because you quit praying too soon. Perhaps God began answering your prayer, but you did not continue asking, so you didn’t get an answer. At other times it is because we don’t have faith (Mark 11:24). Sometimes we don’t ask in Jesus’ name (John 14:14), don’t abide in the Word of God (John 15:7), or don’t pray according to His will (1 John 5:14-15).
Where am I weak in my prayer life and how can I go to God with confidence?
Take A Look
1 Chronicles 4:9,10