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“Unanswered Prayers”: The Most Common Reasons Why… 1 5/5 (1)

One of the greatest benefits afforded to every Christian is the privilege of answered prayers. In the Bible, Jesus made this tremendous promise, “And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive” (Matthew 21:22). However, despite the Lord’s willingness to answer prayer, it is obvious that some prayers are viewed by us as “unanswered”. Why is this? The following are the most common reasons why some prayers do not get results:

Lack of Fellowship with God and His Word – John 15:7
Unanswered prayers are sometimes a result of absence from fellowship with the Lord and His Word. Jesus promised that if we would remain in His fellowship, and allow His Word to remain in us, this would produce results in prayer.

Not Seeking to Please the Lord – 1 John 3:22
Answers to prayer come when we keep His commandments and please the Lord with our life. Keeping His commandments and pleasing the Lord is a product of our obedience to His Word. (James 2:20) Lack of love, bitterness, and unforgiveness is the root of many unanswered prayers, since faith works by love (Galatians 5:6).

Unconfessed Sin in One’s Life – 1 Peter 3:12
There is no doubt that sin will disrupt the flow of God’s blessings and answers to prayer. All acts of rebellion and disobedience to God is considered sin. Sins of “commission,” are those overt acts which are done in disobedience. However, sins of “omission,” are those things we don’t do in obedience, but know we should (James 4:17). The remedy for all sin is to confess it to God, forsake it, and ask Him to forgive you (1 John 1:9).

Improper Motives – James 4:3
Our motives in our prayer requests are of concern to the Lord. He wishes to help us in our time of need, but is not obligated to answer prayers which will merely feed our carnal, selfish appetites. Our motives and desires can be corrected by humbling ourselves, and drawing near to God (James 4:8-10).

Not Asking in God’s Will – 1 John 5:14-15
God will only answer those prayers that are in “His” will. When we ask anything that is in His will, we can have assurance that those requests are granted to us. God’s will is revealed through His Word.

Don’t Know How to Pray – Luke 11:1
Some lack effectiveness in prayer simply because they don’t know what the scriptures teach about prayer. Jesus gave His disciples an outline for prayer in Matthew 6:9-13. Take the time to study it. Other passages teach that prayer to be a private, intimate time with the Lord (Matthew 6:6); to be intermingled with praise and thanksgiving (Acts 16:25, Philippians 4:6). Times of fasting with prayer are beneficial to strengthen our faith and power in prayer (Acts 14:23, 1 Corinthians 7:5). Jesus often went to secluded places to spend prolonged periods in prayer (Luke 6:12, Matthew 4:2).

Lack of Faith – Hebrews 11:6
We cannot please God without faith. Prayer is not merely “begging” from God. It is “believing” God and His Word. Faith will come forth and grow as we devote our attention to the Word of God (Romans 10:17). Our faith can also be “built up,” by praying the Holy Spirit (Jude 1:20).

Misunderstanding of Faith – Mark 11:24
Jesus said that “when” you pray, you must believe that you “receive” your answer at that moment. The word, “receive” comes from the Greek word, LAMBANO, which means “to receive now” (present tense). He then says we will “have” them. “Have” comes from, ESOMAI, which means “to possess later” (future tense). So, when we pray we must believe in the finished results of our prayers, and we will eventually experience the tangible results sometime later.

Wavering Faith – James 1:6-7
There are those who allow every “wind” of feelings or circumstances to influence or discourage their faith. They rock back and forth, like the waves tossed about in the sea. One day they believe, but the next, they’re ready to waver in their faith cannot expect to receive “anything of the Lord.” Our faith must become stable, steadfast, and consistent to receive from God.

Lack of Perseverance – Galatians 6:9
Probably the greatest reason that some prayers go unanswered is because many give-up praying and believing before they receive their answer. As long as we have the promise of God’s Word, be patient and persistent. Keep believing and do not quit, no matter how long it takes! God has a “due season” when He will bring the answer to pass.

(Information from:

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“Exchanging Facts for Truth” by Darline Royer. Like 5/5 (1)

To the reader of this article I submit this thought. Facts can be replaced with truth!

In the pages of the Old Testament we find lessons for our ordinary days which sometimes turn turbulent. The apostle Paul shared these words regarding helps from history: “Now all these things happened unto them for an example: but they are written down for our instruction on whom the end of the ages has come” (I Corinthians 10:11, ESV). God desires we learn from the story of His people.

In II Chronicles 17-22 we find the story of Jehoshaphat, fourth king of Judah, which would have been told to the children of Israel returning from Captivity. They needed to understand their history and how God had dealt with their predecessors. Their lesson can be our lesson.

The Lord was with Jehoshaphat because he followed the ways of his father David before him (17:3). In our daily walk, whose ways do we follow? Jehoshaphat sought God and walked in His commandments, and not after the actions of Israel (17:4). Are we seeking God and heeding His Word? The Bible declares that the Lord established the kingdom under his leadership (17:5). His story reminds us that obedience to God provides firm footing for life’s circumstances. Along with his personal devotion to God, he appointed Levites and priests to teach the people God’s Word. (17:8-9). Without continual biblical learning each of us will be influenced to follow the cultural trends of secular society.

Second Chronicles 18 tells the story of a negative season of Jehoshaphat’s reign. Through a marriage relationship, he allied himself with wicked King Ahab and was asked to go to war with Ahab. Hearing the word of 400 prophets predicting victory, Jehoshaphat seemingly felt uncertain and asked for yet another prophet of the Lord.Ultimately the prophet Micaiah predicted defeat, contrary to the voice of the lying prophets. Ahab then went to on to battle where he died. When Jehoshaphat returned from the battle, a seer met him and reprimanded him for helping the wicked (19:2) but commended him that he had prepared his heart to seek God (19:3).

Many voices and advertisements in our society entice us to follow the trends of the world to find acceptance. However, any lifestyle choice, void of God’s favor, brings only disappointment. Though Jehoshaphat followed a wrong path for a season and faced negative consequences, he prepared his heart to seek God. At that juncture he took action to bring reforms in Judah (19:4-11).

Now we come to the story of II Chronicles 20 where we exchange facts for truth. On an ordinary day, after Jehoshaphat had recuperated from his errors and had set his heart to seek the Lord, he received word of impeding danger. “There cometh a great multitude against thee from behind the sea” (20:2). How often does it happen, just when we think all is well, we get bombarded by alarming circumstances such as health issues, family trouble, financial crises, or spiritual depression. Each morning we have no knowledge of what the day may hold. A morning of peace can unexpectedly erupt in an afternoon of turmoil.

Psalm 105:4 states the principle Jehoshaphat followed: “Seek the Lord, and his strength: seek his face evermore [continually]”. On hearing the startling news, Jehoshaphat feared, sought the Lord, and proclaimed a fast (20:3). He believed the facts; he recognized the desperate situation. Before becoming paralyzed with fear, he turned his mind to the Lord. Before stating his plea for help, the king extolled the majesty, power and might of the Lord (20:6-9). Jehoshaphat understood the facts: They faced an advancing enemy. The king admitted they had no power against this great multitude; nor did they know what to do except turn their eyes on God (20:16). When we are faced with calamities, how do we order our prayers? Our needs first or an acknowledgement of God’s greatness?

In his desperation, King Jehoshaphat looked beyond the facts and placed his trust in the God who could deliver. In his prayer he expressed TRUTH in mentioning God’s power and deliverance in their past. He looked beyond the facts of their desperate situation to emphasize the truth of God’s miraculous power.

THE FACT IS: Some life situations have no answers or resolution.
THE TRUTH IS: “With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).
The people’s action of believing TRUTH over FACTS brought victory. They had a word from the Lord through Jahaziel, the Levite: “Thus saith the LORD unto you, be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s (20:15).

The people rose early in the morning, believed in their God, and faced the enemy with singing. As they stood still, praising the Lord for His holiness and mercy, the enemy destroyed themselves (20:23-24), and the people of Judah took home the spoils (20:25). In the face of facts, they heard the truth: “Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you” (20:17).
FACT: Any ordinary day could be interrupted with an insurmountable problem.

TRUTH: “He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we can ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us” (Ephesians 3:20).
When faced with life’s problems, it is good to remember history, reflecting on the person and character of the God we serve. When He intervenes with His wisdom and power, we need to follow Jehoshaphat’s example. He led the people from the battlefield back into Jerusalem to the house of the LORD with joy, rejoicing with psalteries, harps and trumpets (20:27-28). We need to rejoice personally and in the presence of God and His people when He has intervened on our behalf.

Darline Royer resides in Yuba City, California. She has taught in Bible colleges in the U.S. and overseas and served with her late husband as a missionary to Kenya and Uganda. She remains active in the teaching ministry and writing .

(From: PURE Newsletter – UPCI Ladies Ministries

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