By   •   June 1, 2004   •   Topics:


Why doesn’t God seem to answer my prayers?


So often we are inclined to think that the only answer God can give our prayers is “yes.” We need to remember that “no” is an answer also. “No” is certainly an answer of love on the part of our Heavenly Father when we ask Him for things which are not really for our good or for His glory. God does not always give us what we want; He gives us what we need. Just as a good parent does not grant all the requests of his child, God does not answer every request in the way we desire.

When we think of “unanswered” prayer, it may be that we do not understand the way in which God responds to our requests. He may not grant an immediate answer, and sometimes our prayers are answered in a way that we fail to recognize. We pray for prosperity, and sometimes financial stress is given. But our souls are made stronger for the test. We pray for health, and affliction is given, and we are better able to sympathize with those in affliction. God makes no mistakes, though at times we may question His wisdom.

Our motive for making a request to God must be pure. If your prayer is self-centered, concerned with the gratification of your own desires, God cannot, in faithfulness, grant your requests. James 4:3 says, “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”

Perhaps you are praying for a person close to you, and you have not seen any changes. God can work through your prayers to soften a heart or to bring about circumstances to draw those for whom you are praying closer to Him. However, God has given man a free will. If your prayers are not always answered as you expect, it is not because God is not working in the situation. It may be that the person for whom you are praying has not yet responded to God’s call. You must not permit yourself to give in to despair. You should, however, continue in prayer, knowing that the Lord is more concerned for them than you are and that it is His will to help them; read 1 Timothy 2:4, 2 Peter 3:9, and 1 John 5:14-15.

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  1. Robert says:

    I have read the comments given and have heard them before. I have lost my home, need a job and continue to constantly apply. I have three children and my kids mother who I am divorced from continues to alienate the children from me. I pray for her and all of us. My cries for help have fallen on deaf ears even from my church. I am an older adult and there is age discrimination in the work force. I pray all the time for forgiveness and his help. I am at the point of giving up. I understand and respect the plight of so many who are displaced, poor and without hope. I went to a Billy Graham crusade when I was young. I truly need help and the prayers of anyone who hears me and sees the pain I am in. I love my children even though they show anger

  2. Taylor says:

    I pray…lots! In fact I pray all during the day. I never know if I’m
    Hearing God., I’ve been praying about a few things lately and don’t ever seem to have a clear answer. It says in the bible you have not because you ask not. I ask believe but still don’t have clarity. It’s frustrating when I try and seek the lord and his guidance but still feel lost in situations. It says he can do exceedingly abundant things but when? I don’t need to understand. I don’t. But, it’s tough when you do the right things by seeking him and praying but I still feel lost.

  3. Anthony says:

    I’ve prayed and prayed for a better life I’m 15 me and my mom going through a whole bunch of stuff and still when I prayed Nothing good happens I just don’t know what to do

    1. BGEA says:

      We are so sorry to hear that you and your mother are going through hard times. Peace still is possible in the midst of trials. Please consider talking with a member of our staff to learn how you can have peace with God. Visit

      We are praying for you.

  4. Jamie says:

    I prayed for a better paying job, keep getting the same email, “going with someone else.”. To the point that I’m not asking for ‘his’ help anymore. He doesn’t listen.

    1. John G. says:

      Learn to trust God with what God has already given you. Be grateful for what God has already done.

      Maybe God has not given you what you ask for because it may not be what’s best for you right now. As difficult as it may sound, maybe God has answered, “No.” But yet if this is the case, I stand in agreement that God’s grace is sufficient for you.

      Whatever the circumstances, just know that God is able. God’s delay is not denial. What God has for you is for you!

  5. Aileen says:

    Writing from Kenya-E/Africa. Single mum, jobless, orphan, very desperate. Have prayed & prayed for employment to sustain my 5yr old son & I; the closet I get is job interview after another but no placement. I’m now thinking of suicide, actually have some pesticide ready for ‘that day’. Why is God allowing this to happen, if He doesnt want us to suffer?

    1. Julie says:

      Aileen, please continue to pray and I know times are rough and sometimes ideas go thru your head like suicide but please do not even consider. Please try to get some help locally and I will pray for you.

    2. Loosh says:

      If we have faith and sincerely trust God, we will not be concerned as to whether the answer is “wait” or the answer is “no” or “yes.” We must just trust, and wait and see if God in His timing will see fit to answer as we have requested, or perhaps He has something better in mind for us. Remember your prayer should end with “Not my will, Lord, but Your will.” (Luke 22:42). “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:5,6.

  6. doug says:

    My wife divorced me about 6 months ago after 32 years of marriage. I pray for her heart to be tendered and to come back to her marriage. I prayed throughout the divorce proceedings that she would have a change of heart but it never came. Never happened. Now I am losing faith that she will ever return. How can it not be in God’s will for to return to her marriage? Yes, I want it for myself too but it seems that my desires are the same as God’s will. I don’t get it and just wish I could get over the whole thing and not want her anymore.

    1. Lance says:

      God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
      . Keep pressing on don’t give up. Stay in prayer I am also praying for you and your family. Lord strengthen Doug, in the midst of this difficult time. I pray for your peace upon HIM, Stay Strong in HIS Strength, Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
      Hebrews 4:16

    2. Linda thomas says:

      I find myself in a similar situation as you. I’ve prayed and cried and I’ve asked God to bring my husband back. I’ve finally come to the conclusion that God doesn’t desire that for me so I’m trying to move on. Some days are worst than others, but I have the faith that God is working out everything in my favor because I am a good person, and I don’t believe that He will allow me to hurt for the rest of my life.

    3. Loosh says:

      Doug my heart goes out to you but I was once heartbroken. Please allow me to say to you that you should ask God to help you through this battle. You can’t make someone want to be with you but perhaps there’s a wife out there for you that God sees fit. But allow yourself to heal and don’t be afraid to ask the Heavenly to heal you while you wish your ex wife a bright and prosperous future ahead. Forgive and let go and let God.

  7. jacqui Brown says:

    I really needed to hear/read the enclosed. I was in despair this morning filled with fear that he GOD would not answer my prayers, or why?