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. Ivo says:

    Dear Lord
    You’re so great, the very source of our creation, please why after 5.5 years of unemployment, I am totally humiliated, humbled and also destroyed, I beg you to help me find a job, just a normal job, please GOD.

  2. Dale says:

    I still struggle from sins I committed years ago – the result of which is an $170,000 student loan debt that I desperately want to repay, so that my fellow man will not have to. I had a difficult marriage that ended in divorce that coincided with my law license being suspended. I have repented of my sins, was rebaptized in 2011 and have been leading small group studies at my church ever since. Since 2014 I have been an insurance agent, but have struggled mightily gaining traction, and I still live in the community where all of this happened. I want more than anything to “walk with a clear conscience before God and man” Acts 24:16 and I do not want to have to explain this at the Judgment Seat of Christ (II Cor 5:10, I Cor 3:11-15).

  3. Angel Love says:

    I need prayer for peace, love, happiness and financial stability and mental and physical health. I have never been truly happy, or at least I can’t remember. I am a very lonely woman with no true genuine friends. I want love and happiness. I just feel like giving up on God because non of my prayers have not been answered and I don’t know what to do or believe anymore. Sometimes I just feel like there is no true love out there and no God.

  4. Denise says:

    I have prayed to God for a long time, but he has not answered my prayer. We are in a financial situation. We need 250,000.00 for our bills that has piled up because of medical problems. No one can help us. Please pray we need some money right now. Thank you.

  5. Louise says:

    I am a teacher. I need prayers for me, my students and guidance for next year.

  6. Dan says:

    I struggle with temptation, but God won’t open the door to being intimate with my wife. Its been over 10 years. I don’t understand. How I rejoice in the wife of my youth, etc from Pro? I feel like walking away from her AND GOD!

    1. BGEA says:

      Hi Dan,

      We’re not sure of the specific temptation you’re struggling with but we will definitely pray for God to give you wisdom in this situation.

      We aren’t counselors and can’t tell you what to do in your relationships, but we can tell you that the most important thing to do is put God first in your life. Ask Him to take the reigns in every area of your life, from work to family to relationships. Proverbs 3:6 says, “In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make straight your paths.”

      When we put Him first, everything else falls into place. Take time to read the Bible each day; that’s God’s Word to us and it’s full of guidance. You might try reading 1 Proverb a day since that book is a book of wisdom.

      We also encourage you to pray regularly. Praying is just talking to God, and He knows you better than anyone.

      If you aren’t already involved in a local church, that’s a good move, too. A church is a place to grow with others who follow Christ. It’s a place to learn about God and how to live for Him, and it’s a place to find fellowship and serve the community.

      No matter what relationship you’re in, you will never find full satisfaction outside of Christ. Christ—and Christ alone—can meet our deepest needs.

      When we get that sinking feeling in the pit of our stomachs, it’s usually a sign that we’re doing something we shouldn’t or doing something that isn’t good for us. God wants what’s best for us and uses that intuition to help us get back on track.

      We are praying for you today and hope you will consider Proverbs 3:6 this coming week.

      Also, Focus on the Family ( has a staff of more than 20 licensed Christian counselors available to talk with you about the issues you’re facing in your marriage. To reach Focus on the Family’s counseling service by phone, you can call 1-800-232-6459. Please be prepared to leave your contact information for a counselor or chaplain to return a call to you as soon as possible.

  7. Gail says:

    I have prayed for my son to find a job for the last 2 yrs. My son believes in God
    and loves God. My son feels like he isn’t living, but just existing. No prayers have been answered…