Reasons prayers are not answered

1524848_10151925510973460_1359905029_nI can’t list all the reasons prayers are not answered here in this short blog post, but I will list a few.

God has the following answers to your prayers:

  1. Yes
  2. Wait
  3. No – which means God has something better for you than what you prayed for.

Here are some common reasons prayers are not answered.

Weak prayers

Most of us pray weak prayers, not the kind of prayers Jesus taught us to pray. Jesus taught all his followers to say the prayer in a commanding way, such as the apostles prayed in Acts 3:6 “In the name of Jesus, get up and walk!” Acts 14:10, Paul told a lame man “Stand up on your feet!” At that, the man jumped up and began to walk. This is a very important point. Jesus often prayed this way. He was modeling for us the correct way to pray.

In the Old and New Testament, everyone who got answers to prayer spoke the prayer out loud. In Matthew 17:20 Jesus said “If you have faith…you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.”

Notice Jesus said “you will say.” You will speak it out loud.

The prayer is not prayed in faith.

When Jesus healed a woman, he told the woman who had been bleeding “Your faith has healed you.” Matthew 9:22. Why did he say it was her faith that healed her? It is because he was emphasizing the power of faith. Over two dozen times Jesus says that the key to answered prayer is faith. See Matthew 9:22, 9:29, 17:20, 7:8, 21:22; Mark 9:23, 11:24, Luke 8:50, 18:1 and John 14:14, 15:7, 16:23. See verses See also James 1: 6 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. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.

Wrong motives

James 4:2 You do not have because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

Someone might ask for a gun to kill their enemy, but that is the wrong motive and God almost certainly will not answer it.

How to strengthen your faith

Memorize Bible verses on faith and say them out loud twice a day or more. Saying them out loud is more powerful than thinking them silently.

Be grateful to God. Your gratitude makes your faith stronger. That is not just my idea, many experts on faith say this is true. Also, secular psychologists say that gratitude is a powerful attitude that brings good things into your life.

Imagine the prayer is answered. See it answered in your mind. This is another thing that psychologists say is important for achieving goals. Olympic athletes do this. They visualize going through their routine perfectly and then standing on the gold medal platform to receive their gold medal.

Think about how happy you will feel when you receive the answer to your prayer. Your emotions are good indicators of your faith. Any negative emotion shows a lack of faith and any positive emotion shows strong faith. For example, if you pray for finances and you still worry about how you will pay your bills, that is not faith. Feeling peaceful about the money coming in to pay the bills as you believe for abundance, is strong faith. The fruits of the spirit (Galatians 5:22) are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. These all strengthen your faith and indicate strong faith.

Pray once and then thank God for the answer, don’t beg by repeating the same request over and over. That shows lack of faith. Asking God, “Why aren’t you answering my prayer?!” shows lack of faith. Thanking God that the answer is coming, that it is already answered but the result is not seen yet show strong faith. Example: “Thank you God that you have given me the money to pay my bills.” Unfortunately, it sometimes takes time for the answer to come to us.

More about faith

My book, The Amazing Power of Prayer explains more of this. since the book is not edited well, I am selling it for a low price. Once it is edited, the price will go up. 100% of the profits from my book go to the Street Kids Project. Buy it here The paperback with proper editing will be available soon.


  1. Wow, your first two points really reverberate with me. I mean praying out loud seems a little funny since praying is thought to be a personal conversation between you and God, but really when you say things out loud, you tend to believe it, and that, along with your faith often result in success. Thank you for your post. Sometimes even though conceptually you know things, it takes a reminder or a “rediscovery” to follow them.

  2. Well I am so grateful that God did not answer all of my prayers- even those I prayed with deep faith and with fervor – because as you note – when he says NO, or wait, it is always because He has something better in store – and our ways are not his ways – and so when we pray according to his will!

    anyhow, nice post, even though a few things you noted don’t sit right with me – especially the part about needing more “faith” – I think I know what you are trying to say, but this is….welll

    and then my teen son would challenge you on this part because this is his pet peeve is to forget that prayer is talking to God – and – when you note, pray weak prayers” – ulgh – well we have to be careful how we define “prayer” – it is talking to God – And then there are different types of prayer…

    also, people are at different places with their faith, their relationship with God – and in their prayer life – and so that must be considered when anyone addresses this layered topic.

    • Thanks very much for your reply. I’m so glad you told me what you don’t agree with.

      I agree that some prayers are just talking to God, but the kinds of prayers the followers of Jesus prayed for healing were not just talking to God. They were a command that sickness leave the body of the person they were talking to. Jesus said these kinds of prayers in addition to just talking to God. Jesus also commanded demons to leave people and he sure wasn’t talking to God. “In Jesus name be healed!” –when the apostles said this they were not talking to God, God didn’t need healing.

      I have seen many miracles and heard of many more and I find that most of the time that people get miracles, they pray like the followers of Jesus in the Bible. Not like “Lord, if you are willing, will you heal this person?” If you are content with the answers to your prayers and don’t want more, no need to change.

      Why do you think Jesus said “your faith has healed you?”

      I understand why you mentioned not agreeing with me on “faith,” i felt that same way most of my life until I did a word study on the words “faith,” “believe'” “ask,” etc. Please look at the following verses and notice what Jesus is saying about faith: See verses (paste it in a URL or click on the link)

      God bless you.

      • thanks again for your reply – my point was that this area is layered and is not absolute and so we have to be careful how we say this or that – have to be very careful in our wording and how we reference verses – – and as you know, 🙂 – we have to rightly divide the word of God – and some is meant for doctrine, some history, etc.

        anyhow, this is the LAST I will share on this – best wishes in all that you do –

        • Hi – just one more follow up- I hope that did not come out as cold – and I really do wish you well in your endeavors with blogging, books sales, inspiring others, and all that it is that you do. Peace to you….

          • No, you did not seem cold, actually I am very glad you left a message to tell me what you thought. I know that many people disagree with this because very few people have been raised to pray this way. We can certainly agree to disagree and still be friends.

            The way I interpret the verses are new to many people, new to me in fact. I have seen so many miracles I really feel God is telling me to pass on what I learned. God bless

  3. I believe that people who live the fruits of the spirit are the answers to prayer, rather than God Himself answering prayer. God is the source of all that is good, so all credit goes back to Him anyway. God uses people to bless people.

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