10 Reasons Why God Does Not Answer Our Prayers: Part I

During my first decade of vocational ministry I was asked this question so many times I decided to prepare some written answers. After searching the scriptures, I found nine reasons why God does not answer prayers. We all have opinions as to why God does and does not do certain things. These nine reasons are right from the text.


1. We ask with wrong motives:

Sometimes we petition with wrong motives. We may ask for things that are inspired by greed or jealousy. Before you ask, examine your requests to see if they are motivated by goodness and love.

“You do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives” James 4:3 NIV

2. That for which we have asked is not beneficial:

Sometimes we pray for things that are not good for us. How often have we asked for something and months (or even years) later we were thankful that God did not answer our request? He is able discern what is beneficial and what is not. Be encouraged that God works in our best interest.

“Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?  Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?  If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him” Matthew 9:7-11 NIV

3. We do not believe:

Sometimes we may pray half-hearted prayers with little or no passion. The Bible is clear: that which is not faith or belief, is sin. Therefore, when you ask, believe He is going to hear, consider, and act upon your prayer

“When he asks, he must believe and not doubt” James 1:6 NIV


4. We do not pray in His name:

Jesus repeatedly tells us to pray in His name. This does not mean that when we end our prayers we simply say, “…in Jesus name,  Amen”

There is much more to it.

To pray in someone else’s name is to pray in his or her character. Praying in Jesus’ name would be like praying for what He would pray for were he here.

“I will do whatever you ask in my name” John 13:14 NIV

5. We are not righteous:

“The prayer of a righteous man is powerful” James 5:17 NIV

Our own sin hinders our relationship with God. If a prayer of a righteous man is powerful, then a prayer of an unrighteous man has no power. Therefore, before asking for anything, get right with God through confession and repentance. Consider 1 John 1:9

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” NIV.

Here is Part II



  1. Thank you for this. God always knows how to get his message to me at the right time. I woke up and found your website via another site. Who knew when I got here that I would see this first. Now, I am heading over to read part 2.


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