Prayer is the key. The holy book – the bible, assures us that if we ask of God, we will receive. Reading this, you might be asking yourself, ‘Does it mean that this writer’s every prayer has been answered because I cannot say the same about me?’ Of course not. I doubt there is anybody who has not experienced an unanswered prayer before. What you should understand is that prayer is more than reeling out things you want God to do for you. There are several reasons why your prayers seem not to be getting an answer from God. Let us look at ten of them, shall we?
1. You pray without faith: You see, praying is one thing and having faith that your prayers will work is another ball game entirely. What does it say of you if you pray for something to happen, but cannot boldly proclaim that you know it will because you totally believe? How do you expect God to answer your prayers when you do not hundred percent believe He will?
2. You ask God for the wrong things: In 1st John chapter 5, God assures us that if we ask for anything according to His will, He hears us. The key words are ‘according to His will.’ This simply mean that if you make a request from your own perspective without seeking God’s face, you are not likely to have that request granted. God’s ways are different from our ways. Reeling off your wants and ending it with Jesus’s name is not always enough if you do not seek God’s face. Before you pray for something, ask God to guide you and show you how He wants you to proceed.
3. You are living in sin: Again, in the scripture; the book of John chapter 9 precisely, God says that He does not listen to sinners but the godly who do His will. You would not blame Him for saying that. I mean, how many people will do things or grant the request of someone who disobeys them? That’s right. Nobody does that. Before you go making those requests, ask God to create in you a clean heart. Ask for forgiveness with a contrite heart and the resolve not to go back to your sinful ways.
4. You have no relationship with God: We are all created by God but not everyone has a relationship with God. Prayer is not just words you say because you know how to talk. It is erroneous to think that once you make a request, God will speedily grant it because He said to ask, and we will receive. You have to have a relationship with God and put your trust in the righteousness of God before you can boldly make those requests and expect a favorable answer.
5. You are praying for the wrong reasons: God is not a magician and prayer is not a magic spell that you just utter carelessly for your own selfish gain. Remember that when Jesus taught us to pray, He said that God’s will has to be done on earth as is in heaven. This means that if God does not will something, it will not happen. For instance, praying to be rich so that you will intimidate people is not a prayer that God will likely answer.
6. You harbor unforgiveness in your heart: Mark 11:25 tells us why harboring unforgiveness can prevent our prayers from being answered. It says, ‘And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.’ See? You must forgive in other to be forgiven. Verse 26 goes on to say that if we do not forgive those who have trespassed against us, God will not forgive us either. So, you ought to do your part for God to do His part.
7. God is protecting you: Ever thought of this? You are probably so fixated on the fact that God did not answer your prayers, forgetting that he is all-knowing. Sometimes, we ask for things that if given to us, will destroy or lives or put us in harm’s way. What you interpret as an unanswered prayer might be God’s way of saying, ‘I am protecting you, my child.’
8. You are impatient: Like seeds that are planted and take time to bear fruits, prayer is a process. If you are looking a quick fix, then, you should evaluate your prayer life. When you pray, do so without ceasing. Wait upon the Lord without wavering. Hold on and hold out.
9. You are disobedient: God takes obedience very seriously. In fact, your tithes and offerings mean nothing to Him if you refuse to obey Him. God rejected Saul as king ‘simply’ because the latter went against His instructions. And Samuel’s statement to Saul still holds true to this day. Obedience is better than sacrifice. If you do not pay heed to God’s word, do not hold your breath waiting for answers to your prayers.
10. You are lazy: This is not rocket science. Heaven helps those who help themselves. A part of Thessalonians says that if any does not work, neither will he eat. If you think that manna will fall from heaven unto your lap while you sit around all day doing nothing, better think again. God dislikes slothfulness and will not answer a lazy person’s prayer.