In Part 1, we discussed several reasons why a prayer may seem to go unanswered. The reasons discussed were wavering faith, wrong motives, conflict in relationships, lack of generosity, and indifference.
Psalm 17:1-6 (NIV)
A prayer of David.
1 Hear me, Lord, my plea is just;
listen to my cry.
Hear my prayer—
it does not rise from deceitful lips.
2 Let my vindication come from you;
may your eyes see what is right.
3 Though you probe my heart,
though you examine me at night and test me,
you will find that I have planned no evil;
my mouth has not transgressed.
4 Though people tried to bribe me,
I have kept myself from the ways of the violent
through what your lips have commanded.
5 My steps have held to your paths;
my feet have not stumbled.
6 I call on you, my God, for you will answer me;
turn your ear to me and hear my prayer.
In this blog, I would like to consider some more possibilities as to why prayer may seem to go unanswered.
One of those is unconfessed sin. God promises to forgive us once we admit our action is wrong and turn away from it. He tells us that in the Bible:
1 John 1:9 (NIV)
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
But if our confession is mere lip service or we persist in ungodly ways, our petitions to God will likely go unanswered. An unrepentant heart always hinders our prayer life.
What about those times when our heart is right and what we ask God is in line with His will, but He still remains silent? Sometimes He waits because our longing for Him is in danger of being replaced by our own desire for something else. Certain petitions (such as a request for a spouse, baby, or a loved one’s healing) can generate strong emotions in us. Unless we are careful, these desires can divert our attention from God. God is not willing to share first place in our hearts with anyone or anything else. So sometimes He patiently waits for our focus to return to Him before He answers.
At other times, God uses delays to prepare us for future service or greater blessing. He could be protecting us from consequences we fail to see at the time, or He may want to strengthen our trust in Him. Strong faith means believing Him even in trials, persevering while awaiting an answer, and being confident that He always keeps promises.
Prayer is the communication link between us and our loving Father. Instead of letting “static” block His message to us, we need to confess and turn all know sin to Him. Then we’ll be able to hear God’s voice and obediently carry out whatever it is He is asking us to do. Also, keep in mind, if He does not answer your prayer right away, there is probably a good reason for it. Just be patient and know that God wants the very best for you, even when you don’t always want that for yourself.