Why many are not receiving answers to prayer?

Question: “Why are so many not receiving answers to their prayers when they believing they are praying correctly?”

Bible Answers

While theologians could write many books regarding this question, the answer is actually quite clear in its directness. There are only four concepts that we need to grasp to understand why more prayers are not being answered. They are, is there anything God cannot do, will God answer by prayers, and if God wants to answer, then what’s stopping Him from answering? The last consideration is how to overcome those things that stop God?

1. There is nothing that God cannot do.

As we look at the billions of stars in the sky, to the millions of types of animals and insects on earth, down to the smallest of subatomic particle, we start to agree with Genesis 1, that God made them all.

God asked Abraham in Genesis 18:14, Is anything too hard for the LORD?

Jeremiah 32:17 states, Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee.

And the Lord said in Jeremiah 32:27, Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?

The first concept we want to get firmly lodged in our heart is that the God who made the universe and made you and me can do anything, including healing you and answering your prayers.

2. Will God answer my prayers?

If I believe that there is nothing God cannot do, then the only question left is will God answer my prayer of faith.

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you (Matthew 7:7).

Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven (Matthew 18:19).

And all things, whatsoever you shall ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive (Matthew 21:22).

Therefore I say unto you, What things soever you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them (Mark 11:24).

Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever you shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you (John 16:23).

And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us: And if we know that he hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him (1 John 5:14-15).

These and many other verses tell us clearly that God wants us to pray and that He wants to answer our prayers.

3. If it is God’s will to bless, then what is stopping Him?

If God can do anything and it is His will to bless us and answer our prayers, and God cannot lie (Numbers 23:19), then there is only one thing that can stop God from blessing us, us. We are stopping God by not fulfilling His conditions.

4. Overcoming what is stopping God’s blessings?

God has given us over 3,000 promises in His Word, but each promise contains conditions that we need to fulfill if we expect to receive God’s blessings.

What are these conditions that stop God’s promises?

1. A person must be a child of God. The only pray that God will normally hear from an unbeliever is a prayer of salvation. God does not answer the prayers of those that reject Him as their Lord and Savior.

Now we know that God hears not sinners: but if any man be a worshiper of God, and does his will, him he hears (John 9:31).

2. Must ask in Jesus’ name.

And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son (John 14:13).

3. We cannot expect the Lord to answer our prayers if we have unconfessed sin and unforgiveness in our lives.

If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear (Psalms 66:18).

But if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses (Matthew 6:15).

4. We cannot expect God to answer us when we are not obeying Him.

One who turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be an abomination (Proverbs 28:9).

But if we do obey, And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight (1 John 3:22).  Some common commandments of God include: Spending time with God, prayer, Bible study, telling other about Jesus, being a Christian example, attending church, confessing sin, tithing, and putting Christ first in your life.

5. We cannot expect God to answer prayer if we are not asking within His Will.

Pray with the right motives as selfish motives will not be blessed. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures (James 4:3). In most cases, we can know God’s will by knowing His Word. When you cannot find a verse to base your prayer on, ask God for His will. Our prayers should bring God glory.

When you do not know what to pray, look to the Holy Spirit. Likewise the Spirit also helps our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself makes intercession for us with groaning which cannot be uttered. And he that searches the hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because he makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God (Romans 8:26-27).

6.  To be heard of God, we must pray in faith.

And whatsoever you shall ask in prayer believing, you shall receive (Matthew 21:22). But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him (Hebrews 11:6). Without faith, we will not get our answers for it is impossible to please God without faith.  But what is faith? Faith comes by getting the Word into our heart (Romans 10:17) and faith is released by acting on the Word. Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). Faith then is acting upon the God’s Word. Faith believes the Word of God even when what we see with our eyes provides contrary information.

Many confuse hope for faith.

While many believe they have faith, they are believing intellectually, not with their heart. They believe that some day God will answer their prayer. But some day is future and relates to hope and hope is not faith. Faith believes in the “now” and believe Jesus already paid the price for their salvation, health, prosperity, and all their needs on the cross.

Another point of confusion is how long is now? Now may mean instantaneous or it may mean a much longer period of time, but it always means that God is working on our request now. Hope is not faith because hope always means later, and later, and later.  

But as for God, his way is perfect: The Lord’s Word is flawless (Psalms 18:30). His perfect way includes His perfect timing.


To receive from God, we need to back our prayers up with believing that 1.) There is nothing God cannot do, 2.) It is God’s will to bless us and answer our prayers, and that He will always answer us if 3.) We do not stop Him by our actions as listed above. By meeting God’s conditions of receiving, we receive God’s blessings.

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