Why Does God Answer No to Some Prayers?
The Bible tells us that God answers prayer, and yet we don't always get what we pray for. Why not?
Even when you ask [God for what you want], you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong.
"Why Aren't My Prayers Answered?"
The Bible tells us that God answers prayer, and yet we don't always get what we pray for. God answers in many ways, and this series will discuss some of those ways.
Check Your Heart
Today’s passage from James 4 tells us that God knows when our motives are right or wrong, even when we don’t. Psalm 66:18 says, “If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.”
When figuring out why a computer or other device does not work, the first question should always be, “Is it plugged in?”
In the same way, in our prayer life, the first thing we must do is make sure we are “plugged in” -- intimately connected with God, and inviting Him to examine our heart. This is why Jesus said, “But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!” (John 15:7)
God Knows What’s Good for Us
The God Who created all things is not obligated to answer "yes" to every prayer. God’s Word says that “The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right” (Psalm 84:11). If He says “No,” it’s because He knows that what we’re asking for is not good for us at the time.
It’s About God’s Glory
And Jesus told His followers, “You can ask for anything in My Name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father” (John 14:13).
Jesus’ purpose in answering prayer is to bring glory to our wonderful Father, God! So when our main purpose in prayer is God’s glory, we can pray with extra confidence.
Later, in one of his letters, the Apostle John added: “He hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases Him” (1 John 5:14). We should love the Lord so much that we can submit our wants to His will.
God’s Good Plan
Do you love God? Do you strive to walk in His ways? Then know that “God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). Do not be afraid to “come boldly to the throne of our gracious God” (Hebrews 4:16) with your request -- as long as you believe a “yes” will bring glory to God. But if God answers your prayer with a "no," work on submitting your wants to His will, so He can teach you to seek and ask for things that are part of His good plan for you. Do you already feel you are walking in His will but are not receiving the answer to your prayers? Next week, we’ll talk about the many ways God might answer us, and why.
Pray this week:
God will purify your heart and the motives for your requests.
God says 'no' to your requests if they are not in His will for your life, or when they do not fit into His bigger plan. Do you trust Him enough to be satified with a 'no' answer to your request? Is something going on in your life that you're having a hard time with? Share with us anonymously and someone will respond to you.