Unanswered Prayers

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Prayer, for Christians it’s one of the most valuable tools we have. During prayer we communicate with our Lord and we let our requests be known unto God; but let’s be honest, we’ve all had prayers that have gone unanswered; why is that? Some will say “it just wasn’t God’s will”, others will say that God answers but it’s either “YES”, “NO”, or “WAIT” and sadly some just get upset with God and blame Him for not answering their prayer. What is the truth about unanswered prayer; why is it that many times we don’t receive what we prayed for when the Bible clearly says otherwise? "Ask, and it will be given to you” (Matt 7:7). How about this scripture, “If you ask anything in My name, I will do It” (John 14:14). Isn’t this the Word of God and aren’t these scriptures true? If indeed they’re true why aren’t you receiving what you prayed for every time? Sometimes we just don’t understand why we didn’t get our prayer answered, while other times we look at every other reason besides looking to ourselves.

To find the real truth as to why prayer does go unanswered we must first look at the Word of God itself. I hope we can all agree that the Word of God is true, (John 17:17) Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. God’s word is tried, (Psalm 18:30) As for God, his way is perfect: The word of Jehovah is tried. God’s word cannot be added to nor taken away, “whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it” (Ecclesiastes 3:14). We understand that God does not lie, “it is impossible for God to lie (Hebrew 6:18). Most importantly in understanding the real truth is this, the sum of Your word is truth” (Psalm 119:160). It’s the sum of God’s word and what the scriptures say completely, not just taking one or two verses and making those out to be the complete truth. In other words, all of the promises you hold God to in His word have “escape clauses” or conditions to them. Unless you understand what these conditions are and what’s expected of you by the Lord, then you’ll see many more of your prayers go unanswered. So let’s begin our journey to find the sum of God’s word and why we may not be getting our prayers answered like we’d expected.

Covenant People Only

The first thing we must understand is that throughout the Old Testament, God’s blessings were not for everybody, they were for God’s chosen people only. (Deut 14:2) For you are a holy people to the LORD your God, and the LORD has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. Yes, out of the whole face of the earth, God chose the descendants of Abraham for a people to Himself and no other. (Amos 3:2) You only have I known of all the families of the earth. So every blessing and every promise we see in the Old Testament wasn’t for any other people, any other nation except for His covenant people Israel. That’s why when Jesus came, it was only for the Old Testament covenant people of Israel and no one else. (Matthew 1:21) And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins. Jesus’ people were not the Gentiles, they were the Jews and the lost Israelite peoples; look what Jesus commanded His disciples before they went out. (Matthew 10:5) These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: “Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. (6) But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. This was because no other people had a covenant with God, therefore they were not entitled to God’s blessings. Look at Jesus’ response to a Gentile, a non-covenant person when He was asked to help cast a demon out of her daughter. (Matthew 15:22) And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.”… (24) But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (25) Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, help me!” (26) But He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs”. This doesn’t seem like a very compassionate response from Jesus but that’s only because she wasn’t an Israelite and not under God’s covenant or blessing; the Canaanite woman and her daughter didn’t have the legal right to be delivered. Now Jesus did go on to help this girl but only after she worshiped and professed her belief in Jesus. Only then did she have the legal right to have the demon cast out of her daughter.

Today it’s no different; unless you’re a covenant child of God you have no right to be healed, delivered, or any prayer answered. Every promise you see in both the Old and New Testament is not for just anybody, but only for covenant people. Who are these covenant people today? They are no longer the physical blood line Jews, but the believers in Jesus Christ. (Romans 2:28,29) For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly… but he is a Jew who is one inwardly… in the spirit not in the letter. No longer are God’s “chosen” people a physical race or nation, instead it’s the ones who are born again from above. Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). Yes, that’s how you become a covenant child of God; not in the flesh but in the spirit. By your faith in what Jesus did on the cross, you now have been justified by Christ’s blood. He exchanged your sinfulness for His righteousness (Rom 5:1,8,9); it’s no longer you that lives but Christ who lives in you (Gal 2:20). That’s the new covenant; it’s the righteousness of Christ in you that gives you the right to all the promises in both the Old and New Testaments. That’s the only way you are eligible to receive the promises in the Bible.

If you’re a non-believer or just a casual go to church every Sunday believer in Jesus Christ and have not received that “born again” spirit of Christ, then you have not entered into the new covenant with God and you are not eligible for all the promises you see in the Bible. Oh yes, the Lord may be merciful to you at times, “for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matt 5:45) but when it comes to answering your prayers consistently, it will not happen. The Lord our God must honor His Word and will not go against that Word. The curse that God set forth for disobeying His laws in Deuteronomy 28 still stands today, and without the blood of Christ taking away that curse, you’ll continually struggle. (Galatians 3:10) “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them” …(13) Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us. God’s Word says that you are cursed if you don’t obey every law in the Bible, that’s why it’s so important that you be saved. You must be a born again believer in Jesus Christ to get out from under the curse; only then will you enter into those promises and benefits spelled out in the scriptures; then and only then can you hope to get your prayers answered every time.

To summarize, if you’re not in covenant with the Lord you have no rights in which to receive the prayer in which you’ve asked for. “We know that God does not listen to sinners” (John 9:31). If you’re a born again believer in Jesus Christ, you have a covenant with the Lord and you have the first and most important building block to answered prayer. Let’s move on to the next thing that’ll keep you from receiving what you asked for in prayer?

Willful disobedience and unforgiveness

The easiest way to receive answers to your prayer is obeying the Lord. This will give you all the promises you see within the Scriptures. (1 John 3:21) Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. (22) And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. How do we walk without condemnation in our hearts? You simply follow what you know to be right according to the Word of God and obey what the Lord speaks to your heart. Do this and you’re keeping His commandments. As long as you’re doing as the Lord places on your heart and you’re not in willful sin, then you are pleasing in Lord’s sight. You then have the legal right to come before God the Father as holy and blameless because of Christ’s righteousness and His continual sacrifice for your unintentional sins. This is the good news, this is the Gospel that not only gives you eternal life but also gives you all the blessings of Christ and gives you your answered prayers. (Ephesians 1:3) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. What do these spiritual blessings and promises in Christ give you? Let’s provide just a few highlights: (Matthew 7:7) "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. (8) For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened (Mark 11:24). All things whatsoever ye pray and ask for, believe that ye received them, and ye shall have them (Romans 8:32). He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not also with him freely give us all things? (John 14:13) And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. (14) If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. Yes, God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in heaven and that’s why these promises are absolutely true for those who enter into them in righteousness and by faith. These are the promises from God that He will indeed answer our prayer.

Now if these are the blessings for following the Word of God, what happens if we are in willful disobedience to God’s Word; what happens when you deliberately sin; in other words you know better but you sin anyway? (Psalm 66:18) If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear. What secret sin do you have in your life that nobody knows except you and God? What is it that the Lord’s been dealing with you on; what is it in His Word that you’re ignoring? (John 9:31) We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him. God does not listen to sinners and only listens to those who follow and obey Him. Many Christians today seem to think that God’s grace covers and forgives all sin, but that’s not true. What sins are covered under the blood of Christ? Unintentional sin that’s neither premeditated nor willful; grace is for when you mess up but not for when you’re in willful rebellion. (Hebrews 10:27) For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, (27) but a certain fearful expectation of judgment. Even one intentional sin takes you out of covenant with the Father and you’re the one who has to pay for that sin. Because you’re paying for that sin and not Jesus, it could be very painful. What judgment are you enduring because of that willful sin; what unanswered prayer is there in your life that just doesn’t get answered? That willful sin is separating you from God and scripture says that the Lord does not hear you. Just look at King David, even though he repented of his willful sin with Bathsheba and was forgiven, look what his penalty was for that willful sin. (2 Samuel 12:9) Why have you despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in His sight? You have killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword; you have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the people of Ammon. (10) Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’ (11) Thus says the LORD: ‘Behold, I will raise up adversity against you from your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. (12) For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, before the sun.’” (13) So David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” And Nathan said to David, “The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die. (14) However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die.” If God made King David pay for his willful sin, do you think you too may have to pay for your willful sin and that no matter how hard you pray it away, it won’t be answered! Yes David did repent from the heart and he was forgiven, but the Lord made him pay for that willful sin. That is no different from us, if we have willful sin then we will have to suffer the consequences. God is waiting for you to quit blaming Him for not answering you and repent of your sin; only then can you begin to be healed and your prayers answered. (1 Peter 3:12) For the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers; but the face of the LORD is against those who do evil.

You may say, “I don’t have any willful sin that’s separating me from God”. That may be true but what about unforgiveness; is there anybody in your life that you haven’t forgiven? Who in your past has wronged you that you’re still upset about? (Matthew 6:14) For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. (15) But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. If there’s anyone at all in your life that you’re upset or bitter against, then you have unforgiveness in your heart. You cannot be angry at someone if you’ve truly forgiven them. If you’ve forgiven them from your heart then it’s impossible to still be angry at them. Who are you angry with; who is it that the Lord brings to your heart?

Unforgiveness is sinning with your will because you choose to harden your heart to be angry and that my friend is the most dangerous of all willful sin. If you’re not forgiving everyone from your heart, your father is not forgiving you of your sin and as we read earlier, “But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” and if you’re not forgiven, then you’re still a sinner and “we know that God does not listen to sinners”. How many sins can you have on your account and still go to heaven? With unforgiveness, not only will you not enter into heaven but it makes all the Bible promises regarding answered prayer null and void. Remember it’s only when you have the righteousness of Christ that you can come before the Father with boldness and “ask anything in My name, I will do it”. As long as you can come to the Lord with a clear conscience and without willful sin which includes unforgiveness, then by faith in Jesus, He’s cleansed you and you have the right to have whatever you’ve asked for in prayer.

(Hebrew 12:14,15) Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. (If you’re angry with another, you don’t have peace nor holiness) See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no "root of bitterness" springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled. Ask the Lord if there is any "root of bitterness" in you; ask Him to reveal to your heart anyone who you might be bitter with even if it was back from your childhood. As we mentioned earlier, you cannot be angry or bitter with a person without unforgiveness in your heart, and that bitterness will not only keep you from answered prayer but keep you from entering eternity with Jesus. (Mark 11:25) And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses." Only when you forgive those who may have wronged you are your sins forgiven, then the Lord will hear your prayer.

Do you have troubles or sickness that you cannot explain or just can’t seem to get rid of? Bitterness and unforgiveness are willful sins against the Lord! He’s put it in your heart that you must forgive and yet you willfully disobey Him. Maybe that unforgiveness has been in you so long that you don’t even hear the Lord’s voice or your conscience like you used to; your heart has been so hardened that you don’t even hear His still small voice anymore. Many who have that bitterness and unforgiveness in their heart don’t even realize that they’ve been turned over to the devil but they have. Yes you have read this correctly, the Lord turns us over to the devil in order to make us repent. Do you even believe that God would turn you over to the devil in order to save your soul? (1 Corinthians 5:1) It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you… (5) deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. Christians are turned over to Satan all the time, we just don’t realize it! Contrary to what most believe, Satan cannot come against you unless God gives him the right to, and it happens more than we think. (1 Timothy 1:20) Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I delivered unto Satan, that they might be taught not to blaspheme. Satan is used to bring us to a place of repentance, yet if we’d examine ourselves and our ways, instead of blaming God for that unanswered prayer, we’d find ourselves repenting and asking God to change our heart. We’d then receive our answered prayer in a very short time.

Do you remember the parable about the unmerciful servant where the Master forgave his huge debt that he could not pay and yet that same servant would not forgive his fellow servant of a very small debt? (Matthew 18:32) Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. (33) Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’ (34) And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him. (35) “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.” This is a promise of what our heavenly Father will do to you if you don’t forgive from your heart. Do you understand who the “torturers” are? It’s Satan and his demons; many Christians have been turned over to the devil and don’t even understand that they have. God must follow His word and if you haven’t completely forgiven everyone from your heart then you’ve already been turned over to the torturers (Satan’s demons). Do you have cancer, heart disease, diabetes, depression, arthritis, or mental illness? Whatever the trouble is, it’s coming from God and being administered by Satan. It’s God’s way of bringing you to a point so low that you finally repent and forgive from your heart. It’s either that your punishment is justified and you will never get well until you repent or the Lord is testing you, waiting on you to whip the devil to give Jesus the glory. If you don’t have any willful sin and you still have a sickness that comes upon you, then you can be sure that when you pray, you’ll have all the rights to God’s promises of answered prayers. Yet, even if we’ve forgiven everybody we can think of, we have the next scripture that can keep us from answered prayer.

(Matthew 5:23) So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, (24) leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. (25) Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. (26) Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny. Look at this with your spiritual eyes; Jesus is not literally speaking of being thrown into a real prison but a spiritual one. Just like we had seen God turn the servant over to the torturers, we too will be handed over to the “guard” Satan in this parable, to be thrown in prison and as Jesus said, “you will never get out until you have paid the last penny”. Look at your unanswered prayer; have you been thrown into spiritual prison that you have not been able to get out of? Think back into your past, have you offended anyone where they would still be upset at you? (Psalm 139:23) Search me, O God, and know my heart: Try me, and know my thoughts; (24) And see if there be any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting. Before you pray and offer your praise and prayer to the Lord, we are to reconcile with our brother so that we’re not turned over to the “guard” (Satan) and put in prison (your unanswered prayer). We will not get our prayers answered when we’ve offended another; we’re causing them to sin by being angry at us and the Lord holds you accountable for that!

Much of our sicknesses and disease that comes upon us is from our sin. (Psalms 38:3) There is no soundness in my flesh because of your indignation; there is no health in my bones because of my sin. (4) For my iniquities have gone over my head; like a heavy burden, they are too heavy for me. How can we expect the Lord to hear our prayers when we have sins on our account that haven’t been paid for? We haven’t repented and therefore haven’t been cleansed by the blood of Christ? (Isaiah 59:2) Your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear. Sin will causes a separation between you and God and will cause your prayers to go unanswered.

What’s the remedy to sin and it’s result of unanswered prayer? It’s not only repentance but also confession of your sins. (Proverbs 28:13) He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy. Is this just talking about confessing your sins to God or is it confessing your sin to others? (Acts 19:18) Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices. It seems that in the early church they were not only confessing sins to God but also confessing and divulging their sins to one another. (James 5:14) Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: (15) and the prayer of faith shall save him that is sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, it shall be forgiven him. (16) Confess therefore your sins one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. What a powerful promise we see here; a direct promise that if we’re sick that we should be anointed with oil and we’ll be saved or made well from our sickness. Notice it goes on to say that we should confess our sins to one another and pray for each other so that we’ll be healed! It almost sounds like keeping our sins to ourselves will keep us from our healing. What is it about confessing your sins to one another that helps in the healing process? Could it be that it’s a very humbling process, divulging your sins to another? I can assure you that if we’d all make a practice of this, we’d think twice about committing that same sin again. Truly I believe it makes us more accountable and helps keep us on the path of 
righteousness and keeps us from repeating our sin. (John 5:14) Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, "See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you." Get that sin out and off your conscience by confessing it and then don’t repeat it. It’s so important that you don’t keep that sin in your heart because God won’t hear you. (Psalm 66:18) If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear.

Summarizing what we’ve learned so far is this: In order to receive answered prayer, you must be a covenant child of God, meaning a born again believer. You must have total forgiveness for everybody and must not be in any willful sin. If you have sin, confess your sin not only to God but to another trusted believer and you’ll have your prayers answered.

Maybe you’re reading this and you still cannot find a reason for your unanswered prayer. One of the biggest mistakes I see Christians making is blaming unanswered prayer on God instead of looking at themselves. They make comments such as, “I don’t know why God doesn’t answer my prayer”; “if it’s God’s will, then He will heal me”; “I’ve prayed and prayed and God still won’t answerer my prayer”; “God, why won’t you answer me”? Many times they just feel like the Lord has let them down; they feel like they’ve kept up their end of the bargain but God hasn’t quite kept up His end. (Romans 3:4) Let God be true but every man a liar. If you’re not receiving your answered prayer and you’re blaming the Lord in any manner whatsoever, then you’re lying to yourself and sinning against God! (Exodus 20:16) Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. By accusing God of not answering your prayer, aren’t you breaking the ninth commandment and bearing a false witness against God Himself? This is very serious and you must repent of it! God’s Word says, “All things whatsoever ye pray and ask for, believe that ye received them, and ye shall have them” (Mark 11:24). Is this promise true or is Jesus misleading us? How about when Jesus said, “Ask, and it will be given to you” isn’t this word from our Lord true? When He said, “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him” (Matthew 7:11)! This is another true promise from our Lord, so why would you ever not believe Him and consider your unanswered prayer to be God going against His own word? “If you ask anything in My name, I will do It” (John 14:14). Why would you not look to yourself and what scripture says in order to see why you haven’t received your prayer? Why would anyone dare question God for Him breaking His Word? That’s a sin and is very dangerous so repent if you’ve done this and ask the Lord to increase your faith. And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith” (Luke 17:5).

Here’s the truth of the matter, God’s word is tried and it is true; His Word does not return empty. (Isaiah 55:11) So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. If you have one truth from God’s word that says “If you ask anything in My name, I will do it” and another that says, “We know that God does not listen to sinners” (John 9:31). Which truth in the Word will come to pass? The conditional promise will always win out, if you don’t live up to the condition then you won’t get the promise. Just like if you promised your child that he can go to the movie and also promise that if he doesn’t clean his room he cannot go, which promise wins out if he doesn’t clean his room?

(James 4:3) You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. What are your motives in your unanswered prayer? Can you imagine a world where anybody who used the name of Jesus could get anything they asked for? People with wrong motives, sinners who were just after their own selfish desires would make complete chaos out of this world. Are you asking with the wrong motives and just for your pleasures? If so then that could be a reason for your unanswered prayer. Let’s look at another condition to answered prayer.

(1 Peter 3:7) Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. I would bet most men didn’t even realize that this could be the reason for their unanswered prayer; yet God’s Word will not return void and will keep some from getting their prayers answered if they don’t show honor and understanding to their wives.

Can you find a reason yet for your unanswered prayer? If you can come before the Lord with a clean conscience, without willful sin on your account, you’re not blaming God, you’re not dishonoring your wife or asking for your prayer with the wrong motives, then you should have your prayer answered. Yet if there’s nothing that you’ve seen in this article that’s keeping you from getting your prayers answered and yet your prayer is still unanswered, then we need to continue to search the Word for the answer. Next we have one of the biggest reasons for unanswered prayer.

Doubt, unbelief and worry
As we continue to look at scripture for the reasons that our prayers go unanswered, we need to look no further than our own doubt and unbelief. Look what the apostle James says about asking of God. (James 1:5) … let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. (6) But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. (7) For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; (8) he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. How is this for a conditional promise? As much as we’re holding God responsible for His promise of answering our prayer, He is holding us responsible to keep our faith in what we’ve asked for without doubting, without being tossed back and forth between belief one day and unbelief the next. Look at your unanswered prayer; are you doubting that God is listening or that He will ever answer your prayer? If that’s the situation then you have your answer as to why your prayer isn’t answered. Do you have fear; are you frightful about the situation? That doubt you have is manifested by the fear within you and that will stop your prayer dead in its tracks. We’ll cover more about unbelief in just a bit but next we’ll cover the biggest Christian “cop-outs” that causes unbelief.

“If it’s God’s will”
This is the belief that only “if it’s God’s will” your prayer will be answered. This belief or should I say lack of belief is very harmful to your unanswered prayer; nowhere can we find scripture in the Bible that says it’s God’s will whether or not your prayers will be answered. When Jesus walked this earth, did He ever say that He would not heal because it was not His Father’s will to do so? No, here’s what we read in scripture about Jesus. (Matt 8:16) When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick. Later in chapter 12 of Matthew we see that “He healed them all” and certainly not the last example in scripture but the last one I’ll list here is in Luke 4:40 where it is said of Jesus, “He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them”. Was it the Lord’s will to answer their prayers? Yes, Jesus healed everyone who came to Him in faith and the one time Jesus was asked if it was His will, here’s what He said, (Matthew 8:2) A leper came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” (3) Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed. What the Father’s will is for you is for you to obey His Word by doing this you will be doing His will. As long as you’re doing this you have every right to have your prayer answered. Now if you’re praying and not believing you’ve received, “All things whatsoever ye pray and ask for, believe that ye received them, and ye shall have them”, and you’re believing if it’s God’s will you’ll receive, then you really don’t have faith for your prayer. It is true that it’s God’s will to give you the faith you need (Ephesians 2:8) For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, (9) not of works, lest anyone should boast. Yes faith in your prayer is a free gift from God and not of you “trying harder”. Yet it is up to you to believe God’s Word. You are supposed to hold fast to His Word, it’s a trial of your faith, “the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. (4) And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing (James 1:3,4).

You see, we don’t have to ask nor wonder if it’s “God’s will” to answer our prayers. (John 14:13) Whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. The Lord is stating what His will is by giving us these promises! (14) If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. He has already told us in His Word that it’s His will to answer your prayer! “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives… (Matt 7:7,8). Is this promise dependant on God’s will or your asking in faith? “Therefore I say unto you, All things whatsoever ye pray and ask for, believe that ye received them, and ye shall have them (Mark 11:24). Read this promise again and tell me, is it “God’s will” or your belief which brings this promise to pass? You’re not being fair to God nor honest with yourself when you always blame your unanswered prayer on God by saying “it just wasn’t God’s will”. If that’s your excuse, then the Word of God will prove you to be a liar because over and over, promise after promise we see that it’s our faith that causes us to receive! How do we get more faith? First ask the Lord and then read your Bible. (Romans 10:17) So belief cometh of hearing, and hearing by the word of God. So if you’re “passing the buck” to God and saying “if it’s your will God” you can forget about your prayer ever being answered. You must repent (change your mind) and start to believe God.

(Mark 9:22,23) "It has often thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!" (23) And Jesus said to him, " 'If You can?' All things are possible to him who believes." Yes, ALL THINGS are possible for those who believe, so if you’re still placing the responsibility on God and “His will” instead of yourself, then that’s nothing more than unbelief and a convenient excuse to take the blame off of you and onto God. Repent and believe the Word of God! The Word of God is the only thing that gives you the ability to believe. So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17). As you study and read the word of God, He will put more and more faith into your heart.

Another convenient excuse Christians have for unanswered prayer is that “with God it is either YES, NO or WAIT”. Is this really true or is this just one more man made doctrine that steals our faith? What scriptural reference can we find for “NO” or “WAIT” on the promises of God? If you’re obeying the Word and continuing to have faith, you cannot find a “NO” to your prayers! What you will find is this. (2 Cor 1:18) But as God is faithful, our word to you was not Yes and No. (19) For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you … was not Yes and No, but in Him was Yes. (20) For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen [Greek for Amen = trustworthy, sure, so be it!]. With God and all His promises, it’s always YES; not “No”, not “WAIT” but YES! We enter into that “YES” by faith. If you’re thinking your prayers may be “NO” or “WAIT” you have what the Bible calls “an evil heart of unbelief”. You’re denying what the word of God says and your prayers will continue to go unanswered. Yet, if you believe God is a “YES” God to all His promises, then you’ll believe that “If you ask anything in My name, I will do it” and your prayers will be answered. Now that doesn’t mean that God won’t test you, giving you a trial of your faith by making you wait, but He is seeing what’s in your heart and if you really do believe Him.

When God looks deep into your heart does He see unwavering faith or does He see doubt and unbelief? (Matt 21:21) So Jesus answered and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done. (22) And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive”. This is a true but conditional promise from our Lord, and that condition is to not doubt. That unanswered prayer in your life is the mountain Jesus is speaking of and it’ll be “cast into the sea, it will be done”, if you have faith and “do not doubt”. Even Jesus couldn’t do much without faith. (Matthew 13:57) And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, a prophet is not without honor, save in his own country, and in his own house. (58) And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief. Unbelief is very serious to our Father; it’s what kept the children of Israel out of the Promised Land. God had promised Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and all their descendants a land flowing with “milk and honey”. God then did numerous signs and wonders to deliver His people out of the land of Egypt. Even after all the miracles He’d done for His children, what happened when they got to the edge of the Promised Land? They saw and they heard about the giants who inhabited the land in which God had promised them, and they were afraid because they did not believe God. They didn’t really trust that the Lord would really keep His promise and give them the land in which they had traveled to. Instead of believing that the Lord would protect them, they were afraid they’d be killed by the Giants which inhabited their Promised Land. What was the Lord’s response to His children’s unbelief? (Numbers 14:11) Then the LORD said to Moses: “How long will these people reject Me? And how long will they not believe Me, with all the signs which I have performed among them? (12) I will strike them with the pestilence and disinherit them, and I will make of you a nation greater and mightier than they”… (22) because all these men who have seen My glory and the signs which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have put Me to the test now these ten times, and have not heeded My voice, (23) they certainly shall not see the land of which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who rejected Me see it. (26) And the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, (27) “How long shall I bear with this evil congregation who complain against Me? I have heard the complaints which the children of Israel make against Me. (28) Say to them, ‘As I live,’ says the LORD, ‘just as you have spoken in My hearing, so I will do to you: (29) The carcasses of you who have complained against Me shall fall in this wilderness… God was so upset that He let His children wander in the desert until they died. Although this land was promised to God’s people, they never entered into it, and died in the wilderness. That promise from God did them not good did it? Sadly it’s no different today; we too have God’s Word that gives us many promises and blessings for healing and answered prayer, yet many times we don’t receive those promises because we don’t really, deep down in our hearts, believe God. (Hebrews 4:1) Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. The Israelite children had a promise of resting when they entered the Promised Land, very few made it. We too have a promise of rest by trusting in Jesus for all things, just like God’s Word says to do, yet very few of us really trust God’s Word to enter into that rest. (2) For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. The “good news” or the Gospel is not just eternal salvation; it’s salvation in any area you believe in, from Divine healing, protection and provision to total deliverance from sin. The good news for us is total rest in the Lord and knowing that He will provide for our every need; that’s our “Promised Land”, but like the Israelite children, we don’t believe God’s Word. Because of that unbelief, the promises throughout scripture don’t do us a bit of good, because those promises are not united by faith, and your prayers go unanswered. (3) For we who have believed do enter that rest… Yes, out of the estimated 1,000,000+ adults (600,000 men plus their wives) that escaped out of Egypt, only two adults entered into the Promised Land. They entered only because they believed God completely! Only two! Yes, those who died in the wilderness professed with their mouths they believed God, but when He tested them they proved that they really didn’t believe God after all. They proved by their actions they did not trust God. Verse 3 says that “we who have believed do enter that rest”. Are you one who believes completely and without doubt, ALL the promises within God’s Word? If so, you’ll enter the Lord’s rest and have your prayers answered every time.

Oh, I know it’s hard to believe the promises you see in the Bible because it requires you to walk by faith and not by what you see. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrew 11:1). In order to believe the promises of God you must be able to ignore what you see with your eyes and believe that God has already taken care of your obstacle; He’s already taken care of it because of His promise and your prayer. That’s why the Bibles says “the righteous shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17). That’s because the righteous trust the Lord and His Word, they know that God “calls the things that are not, as though they were” (Romans 4:17). Yes, as true believers we’re to walk by faith, “we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor 5:7) and that’s what makes us “believers” instead of “unbelievers”. If you’re a believer you’ll believe God and His promises above what you see. If you’re a believer, then no matter what you hear, you will trust God and His Word, you’ll trust that God will make a way! “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me (Jer 32:27)?

Now you might say, “I do believe God’s Word and I do have faith and I still haven’t had an answer to my prayer”. If you’re saying this, then you’re essentially calling God a liar and that His word isn’t true. Let’s do a little test to see if you really do believe God with all your heart or if you’re just offering “lip service” to the Lord. The first thing you should do is examine yourself and how you pray; as you look at your unanswered prayer do you find yourself continuing to ask the Lord for your request over and over and over? If so, then you really don’t have the faith that you confess. Scripture says, “All things whatsoever ye pray and ask for, believe that ye received them, and ye shall have them. How would you pray if you really believed that you’d already received what you asked from God? You probably wouldn’t continue to ask for your request over and over; you’d simply rest in the Lord knowing that He’d already answered. You’d then direct your prayers to thanking the Lord and praising Him for His faithfulness. That’s real faith; are you doing this? If not, then you really don’t believe like you confess. (Matt 15:8) These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. The only way God honors your faith is with your heart and not your mouth. God knows what’s in your heart and you cannot fool Him, you cannot pretend to have faith, nor can you say one thing while you’re doing another. God will prove what’s in your heart every time.

The next test for yourself is to look at your unanswered prayer in which you profess to have faith for, and then ask yourself “am I worried or anxious about it”. If you have any worry or any anxieties, then you don’t really have the faith you say you do. Worry is the exact opposite of faith, it’s doubt and it’s unbelief and we all know what scripture says about that. “Let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways” (James 1:7). When you truly have faith for your unanswered prayer, you’ll be thanking the Lord without anxiety or worry. This is what we must do with our anxiety. (1 Peter 5:6) Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, (7) casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. If you’re anxious or worried, ask the Lord to forgive you for your unbelief in Him and then start thanking Him for answering your prayer. True faith and worry cannot exist in the same heart, at the same time. Either you’ll have complete faith with no worry or you’ll have worry with no real faith, but they cannot exist together. What’s in your heart, worry or faith? Is this the reason for your unanswered prayer?

Moving to the next test let’s look at your speech; is what comes out of your mouth lining up with what the Bible says? If not, you will never receive what you prayed for. (Matthew 10:32) “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. (33) But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven. Now this scripture is not just speaking of confessing or denying Jesus Himself, the Greek word for confess is “homologeo” which means “to speak the same Word” or to “speak the same as”. Jesus is saying that if you speak the same as what the Word says before men, He will speak the same Word to His Father in heaven. In other words, if you’re agreeing with the promise in the Word of God, and speaking it to others, then Jesus will speak the same promise to the Father about you. When the Word of God says that “by His stripes you have been healed” then you must believe it and confess it to others that you’ve already been healed. Even though you may not see it in the physical yet, you must speak what the Word says, and the Word says you WERE HEALED at the cross. This is past tense and If you’re looking for your healing to take place in the future, then you’re not seeing with your spiritual eyes and your not walking by faith. In reality, you’re denying Jesus, you’re denying what the Word (Jesus) says and so Jesus will deny your prayer before His Father in heaven! Just as the children of God denied His Word and His promises when they faced the giants, God denied them from entering the Promised Land. If we deny our promises with what we speak, by not speaking faith, we will be denied our prayer.

An example would be this; when someone asks how your sore back is, do you say, it really hurts but you have faith that the Lord is going to heal it (future tense)? If so, you’re not speaking the same word as Jesus because He says that it’s already done, “by whose stripes you were healed”. You’re disagreeing with the Word by saying it will be done. Because of this, Jesus is not speaking His healing word to the Father and your healing goes unanswered. You’re really no different than the Israelite children who didn’t believe God’s promise to enter their “promised land”. If on the other hand your response to how your back is feeling is that, “it’s healed, by the shed blood of Jesus it was healed at the cross, but tonight the devil is trying to steal that healing and I’m not accepting the pain and I rebuke Satan in the name of Jesus”. That my friend is confessing Jesus, that is speaking what the Word of God says and that is what gets your prayer answered. (Romans 10:10) For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. With your mouth you need to confess whatever you need salvation for; be it healing, provision or whatever your unanswered prayer is, you must confess it with your mouth. Scripture says that “Death and life are in the power of the tongue” and the Word of God does not lie. If you’re wondering why your prayers aren’t answered, examine what’s coming out of your mouth. If what comes out of your mouth lines up with the Word of God, your prayers WILL be answered! If what’s coming out of your mouth is contrary to the Word of God your prayers will go unanswered.

Are you having trouble in this area? Simply repent and change your mind, speak only what the Word of God says instead of what you see and feel. Some believe they’re not telling the truth when they speak what the Word of God says instead of what they see and feel. My advice is to rebuke the devil and he will flee! You’re never telling a lie by speaking what the Word says. You’re simply doing what God does and calling the things that are not as though they were. And that is the type of faith God will honor.

Moving onto the next test to see if you really believe God, we’ll look at your actions. Your actions will ALWAYS speak louder than your words. (James 2:14) What doth it profit, my brethren, if a man say he hath faith, but have not works? Can that faith save him? Just saying that you have faith won’t save you nor get your prayer answered; you must back your words with action. Let’s give some examples and then we can look at your unanswered prayer to see if your actions are lining up with where you “say” your faith is. Here are some examples of actions not lining up with your professed faith. You prayed for your children and profess you have left them in the Lord’s hands; yet you continue to worry and pray for them instead of resting in the Lord and thanking Him; did your actions line up with your faith? If you really believed the Lord answered your prayer wouldn’t you instead be comforted knowing your God is working in your children’s lives and watching over them? Your action that would line up with your faith would be to do nothing except rest in the Lord, thanking Him and believing God will do it. Next you prayed that the Lord would provide for the shortfall in your income, that He would provide a way for the bills to be paid. Instead of waiting on the Lord, and trusting that God would answer your prayer, you ask a friend to borrow money. By taking matters into your own hands, did your actions really line up with the faith you thought you had? No, you only had “mouth faith” and not real “heart faith”, your actions proved your faith and that proof was that you really had none for this prayer. Next you prayed for your pounding headache, soon afterwards you take Advil to alleviate the pain; did your actions line up with the faith you said you had? If you really believed God why would you have to take the Advil? Actions in this case meant doing nothing except resting and waiting on the Lord. Next you prayed for your sore foot and confess that the Lord has healed it, the doctor tells you to stay off it for two weeks, so you obey the doctor; did your actions line up with your professed faith? If you really believed the Word of God instead of your doctor, then you’d walk on your foot in faith, trusting your Father in heaven instead of trusting your doctor, after all we just read that by what Jesus did on the cross you were already healed, and “All things whatsoever ye pray and ask for, believe that ye received them, and ye shall have them. Believing the doctor before God will never get you healed consistently. Next you pray for the Lord to fix your car because money is tight, next week you’re taking a big trip, not wanting to break down on the road, you give in and pay the $400 for a mechanic to fix your car; did your actions line up with your faith? No, once again you only had “mouth faith” and not real “heart faith”. Your actions proved what faith you had. If you really trusted the Lord you’d put your life and safety into God’s hands, you’d drive your car out of town knowing that the Lord would get you there and back safe and sound; that’s what faith really is, it’s trusting God completely; even with your life! By you acting and doing yourself instead of waiting on and trusting in the Lord, your actions proved your lack of faith. Real faith for this prayer would have been doing nothing but trusting in God. Next you prayed for your high blood pressure to go down, yet you’re still taking your high blood pressure medication; do your actions line up with your faith? If you really believed for your healing and trusted God, what would your actions be? You’d have no problem throwing your high blood pressure medication in the garbage and put your complete trust in the Lord. (James 2:18) But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works…(20) But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? You can justify yourself all you want but the Lord sees right through your words and into your heart. Your actions are proving where your faith really is. Look again at your unanswered prayer; what are your actions telling the Lord? Are they speaking faith or are they speaking what the Bible calls double-mindedness? “For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways” (James 5:7).

It’s OK if the Lord hasn’t given you the faith like this in which to completely trust Him. Simply ask the Lord to change your heart, ask Him to give you the faith that you’re lacking; the disciples did and look what happened to them. (Luke 17:5) And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith”. The only way of increasing your faith is to ask the Lord for more faith, then as you read the Word of God He will grant your request. “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). We must continually remind ourselves that faith is a gift which cannot be earned by you “pulling up your bootstraps” and just trying harder… faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; (9) not of works, that no man should glory (Ephesians 2:8,9). Faith is that gift from God and you cannot do anything to increase except to ask the Lord for more faith and read the Word of God. Once you understand this, the sooner you’ll change your ways and trust in Him COMPLETELY. Then and only then you’ll start down the road to answered prayer.

We continually see in the scriptures where the people who were healed by Jesus backed up their faith with actions. (Luke 17:12) And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, who stood afar off: (13) and they lifted up their voices, saying, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. (14) And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go and show yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, as they went, they were cleansed. Notice that these leapers were first healed as they went to show themselves to the priests. Back then you only showed yourself to the priest when you were “clean”, but they went at Jesus’ Word, even though they could still see that they weren’t yet healed. They were walking by faith and not by sight, “for we walk by faith, not by sight (2Cor 5:7). Would they’ve been healed if they looked at their leprosy and seeing that it was still there, questioned Jesus and decided not to show themselves to the priest? Isn’t that what we often times do when we don’t do as Jesus says in His Word?

Let’s look at another example how our actions must line up with our faith (John 9:1) Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth... (6)…He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. (7) And He said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam”. So he went and washed, and came back seeing. Only when he washed the mud out were his eyes healed; He believed Jesus’ word and acted on it. Are you acting on the Word of God? Are your actions showing your unbelief and your lack of complete trust in the Lord? (James 2:26) “Faith without works is dead”.

In a way, it may have been easier back then because Jesus simply told them something to do and they obeyed and were healed. Yet today Jesus has commanded us also, not in the physical but in the spiritual, with the Word of God. What if today our works or our actions meant doing nothing at all? Here’s what Jesus is commanding us today. “Do not be afraid; only believe” (Mark 5:36). Instead of “doing”, Jesus is now saying “rest” and just believe. “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mark 11:24). Instead of “doing” we’re now to rest in faith by agreeing together with the Word. “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven” (Matt 18:19). Jesus preached resting according to our belief; the more you believe the more you’ll trust in God and let Him do the work. (Matt 8:13) Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you.” And his servant was healed that same hour. How do you believe for your unanswered prayer? Do you believe that you must “do” something to save yourself… examples: take medications, go to the doctors, ask someone for help, take care of it yourself, fix it yourself, or do you simply do as Jesus says and rest, entering into that child-like faith that the Lord has already done it, “According to your faith let it be to you”. The Apostle Paul also spoke about that rest we as believers are supposed to enter into by faith. (Hebrews 4:3) For we who have believed do enter that rest… (9) There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. (10) For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. (11) Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. Paul is comparing us not trusting or resting in God’s promises to the disobedience of Moses and God’s people who were afraid to enter the Promised Land because the didn’t believe God.

Often times we look at the situation we’re in and instead of trusting in Jesus and His Word, we look at the situation and try to take care of it ourselves. Instead of walking by faith like the lepers we walk by sight. For us as humans the hardest thing to do is absolutely nothing; it’s difficult to deny what we see and feel and just rest in the Lord, doing nothing but believing God will take care of the situation, doing nothing but trusting and resting in God. This goes completely against our fleshly nature and is the opposite of what we are used to doing. Resting in that confidence of knowing it will be just fine because God promised, is the hardest thing for us to accept because it goes against what we’ve been taught and what we know in the flesh. From a child we have not been taught faith and trust in the Lord, instead we have been taught to work harder, to save ourselves by working harder or smarter. As a believer we’re to transform our minds to accept what the Word says. (Romans 12:2) And be not fashioned according to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, and ye may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God. The perfect will of God is to believe all of His Word and rest in His promises. God’s perfect will is to obey Him, trusting in Him for all things. That is resting in God and that is the kind of faith that God can use to answer prayers.

Even Moses was disciplined by the Lord because his actions proved that he didn’t believe God. Here is what the Lord commanded Moses. (Numbers 20:7) Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, (8) “Take the rod; you and your brother Aaron gather the congregation together. Speak to the rock before their eyes, and it will yield its water; thus you shall bring water for them out of the rock, and give drink to the congregation and their animals”. Notice what Moses did instead of speaking to the rock. (11) And Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock with his staff twice, and water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their livestock. (12) And the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "Because you did not believe in me, to uphold me as holy in the eyes of the people of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land that I have given them". God had commanded Moses to “speak to the rock” and because of his unbelief, Moses felt he needed to do more than just speak to the rock so he struck it twice with his staff. Moses proved by his actions that in his heart he really didn’t believe God and because of this unbelief, he never entered the Promised Land. Isn’t this what we do? Instead of believing God’s Word and just speaking to the “rock” or our problem, we feel we need to do something in order to help God along. We oftentimes think that praying, believing and just resting on the Lord is much to difficult for God to do. “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me (Jer 32:27)? We are to trust in the Lord, know that He is God and cast our worries on Him. (1 Peter 5:6,7) Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

Every day God proves what’s in our heart and if we really believe him or not, and our actions will always prove what the real truth is. What if we had complete trust in the Lord and His Word? (Romans 9:33) And he that believeth on him shall not be put to shame. We would know that the Lord would never put us to shame. We would know that there’s nothing that would prevail against us, “if God is for us, who is against us” (Romans 8:31)? We would understand that we’re blessed for trusting the Lord. (Psalm 40:4) Blessed is that man who makes the LORD his trust. Today it seems we feel that we’ll be cursed if we trust only in the Lord without seeking our own way to save ourselves. We feel that we’ll be harmed if we don’t “help God” in the circumstance at hand; be it doctors or medicine, most trust in these things before they trust in the Lord. Even Christians, if given a choice and they could only trust one and only one, they would trust in the doctor before they would stay home and pray, trusting in the Lord alone. What does God think about that lack of REAL trust we have in Him? What does God think when you’re afraid to just trust in Him and Him alone? No doctor, no medication, just the prayer of faith and resting in His promise.

By completely trusting God you’re submitting to Him, knowing that whatever happens God has your best interest in mind. We may not always understand God’s ways but we should trust Him with all of our heart, knowing that it will all turn out well for us. (Proverbs 3:5,6) Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. (6) In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. If we had complete trust in the Lord, we’d have faith that we’ll receive everything according to what God wants for us and not for what we think we need. We think we know best for what we need but here’s what God says. (Philippians 4:19) And my God shall supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Yes, God will supply every need; I repeat every need of yours according to what He wants for you, but often times we think we know better than God and try to fix the problem ourselves. If, we really trusted God we’d rest in Him and we would understand that with God there is nothing too difficult. (Genesis 18:14) Is anything too difficult for the LORD? We would know that ALL things are possible with our God if we just believe His Word. (Mark 9:23) All things are possible to him that believeth. If we would just believe our Lord and Savior, we’d always be filled with hope knowing that our prayer is just dependent on our belief; we would just rest from our works and call upon God. (Psalm 55:16,17) As for me, I will call upon God; And the Lord will save me. (17) Evening, and morning, and at noonday, will I complain, and moan; And he will hear my voice (22) Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he will sustain thee: He will never suffer the righteous to be moved. If we really believed these scriptures, what would our attitude for unanswered prayer really be? Wouldn’t you have faith that the Lord has already answered your prayer and that it’s just a matter of time before you see it manifested in your life?

This brings us to our final stop in discovering why we might have unanswered prayer. The Lord will try us and test us to see if we really believe His Word. God has done this throughout the scriptures. (Deut 8:2) The LORD your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not… The Lord tested His children to see by their actions what was in their heart; doesn’t He do the same to us when we’re waiting for our prayer to manifest? (Deut 13:2) For the LORD your God is testing you, to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. We must learn to see our unanswered prayer for what it really is, a test of what’s in your heart. Notice James says that we should rejoice in these trials. (James 1:2) Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, (3) for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. (4) And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. As believers we should understand that the testing and trials we go through are designed to grow our faith. By going through these trials and seeing how the Lord delivered you, it will help you to draw from these past experiences so that we have hope and we have faith for our next prayer. The Lord is showing us how to endure trials so that we can learn to trust Him in future trials. As the scripture says “the testing of your faith produces steadfastness” the Greek word for steadfastness means “cheerful endurance, patience, waiting” and that’s what makes you more and more like Christ. That’s if you don’t let the trial destroy you because of unbelief like the children of Israel who died in the wilderness.

(1 Peter 4:12) Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you. Is your “unanswered prayer” part of your fiery trial in which the Lord is testing you right now? How are you doing with your test? If not so good, then simply repent and start to believe and trust the Lord, because “without faith it is impossible to be well-pleasing unto him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that seek after him (Hebrews 11:6). We must trust in His promises which we see in the Word, after all “it is impossible for God to lie” (Hebrew 6:18). So believe every promise you see in the Word. Believe it because God spoke it and if you believe it, then it will surly come to pass!

(1 Peter 1:6) In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, (7) so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Again the Lord shows us that the proof of our faith comes through testing and trials in our lives. Like gold refined in the fire, each time we’re heated in the fiery trial we’re in, more and more impurities are burned out of us until we’re pure and more precious than the purest gold to Jesus.

Can you imagine if the Lord actually gave you everything you asked for in prayer immediately? We would be like spoiled little children and the first time God didn’t answer you right away, you’d wonder what happened and where God was; you’d begin to doubt if He was still there or if He was listening to your prayers. (2 Chron 32:31) God withdrew from him, in order to test him, that He might know all that was in his heart. When God tests you and it seems like He’s not listening to you or to your “unanswered prayer”, what’s He finding in your heart; doubt and questioning on why God won’t answer your prayer, or is He finding trust and patience in your heart? (Proverbs 17:3) The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, But the LORD tests the hearts. You may only be in the refining pot or you may be in what seems like a very hot furnace, but God will test your heart and reveal any impurities such as doubt or unbelief.

(Psalm 37:5) Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act. (6) He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, And your justice as the noonday. (7) Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret … What God honors is your patience and your trust in Him. With you trusting Him enough to wait on the Him, the Lord promises to act on your behalf. Just take comfort knowing that that He is God and “with men it is impossible, but not with God: for all things are possible with God” (Mark 10:27). Look at your “unanswered prayer” and know that if you have faith, then God can take care of it as long as you put your trust in His Word. (Jeremiah 32:27) "Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?" Nothing is too difficult for God if we just believe in Him. Scripture tells us to hold tight to our hope and waver not. (Hebrews 10:23) Let us hold fast the confession of our hope that it waver not; for he is faithful that promised. If you want the Lord to be faithful to your prayer then stop wavering and just rest in the Lord, knowing that He is faithful who promised to answer your prayer. God said, “they that wait for Me shall not be put to shame” (Isaiah 49:23). Believe God; deep down trust in Him and wait for Him to answer your prayer because He will not put you to shame!

Now as we come to the conclusion about unanswered prayer, have you found the reason for yours? I would suggest you take many of these scriptures and read them over and pray on it and the Lord will reveal the truth on why you have unanswered prayer. If you can honestly answer the following questions correctly then you’re on your way to a wonderful victory in answered prayer.

1. Are you a born again believer? (Yes)

2. Is there any willful sin in your life? (No)

3. Is there any unforgiveness or bitterness toward anybody in your past? (No)

4. Is there any sin that you must confess to others? (No)

5. Is there anyone that comes to mind that you’ve offended that may have something against you in which you haven’t gone and apologized or asked them to forgive you? (No)

6. Are you blaming God or are you disappointed at Him for not answering your prayer? (No)

7. Husbands are your prayers being hindered because you’re harsh and not treating your wife with value? Wives are you showing respect and are you in submission to your husbands as unto the Lord? (Yes)

8. Are you asking with wrong motives to spend them on your pleasures? (No)

9. Do you have any doubt or unbelief in your prayers? (No)

10. Instead of asking over and over are you thanking the Lord for your prayer request? (Yes)

11. Does your speech line up with what you see or what the Word of God says? (Word of God)

12. Do your actions line up with the Word of God and what you profess with your mouth? (Yes) Are you acting on your faith? (Yes)

13. Are you walking by trust and faith in what the Word of God says instead of by what you see with your eyes? (Yes)

14. Can you rest in the Lord and do nothing, knowing God will act on your behalf? (Yes) 

15. As God tests and tries your heart, is He finding trust instead of doubt? (Yes)

16. Are you waiting patiently on the Lord instead of wavering back and forth in faith? (Yes)

I hope this has been a blessing to you and helps you to understand just a little more of what the Lord expects from us as children of God. The question we must all ask is “Am I living the way God says, according to the Bible in order to get my prayers answered”? If not repent and start over… if you are living the best you know according to the Bible then have faith for the promise that Jesus made to us. (Matthew 21:22) And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. God will surly do this! Amen

God bless,

Mark, a servant of the Lord, www.HeavensHelpers.org 

Questions/Feedback - email me: mark@heavenshelpers.org