Do some of our prayers seem to go unanswered?
Many of us at one time or another have asked…. Why didn’t God heal me or heal the loved one
that I have been praying for? Why hasn’t God got me out of the financial problems that I’m
having? Why hasn’t God delivered me from the stress and depression that I’m struggling with?
Why hasn’t God answered my prayers!!!?
We have all had prayers answered. We know that God has taken care of us through the years.
He has supplied our needs and always been there for us so why do we struggle with getting
certain prayers answered. Let's take a look at some scriptures.
(Many of these scriptures are from the 2011 edition of the NIV bible for easier understanding)
We know that God has not changed.
Heb 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
There are many scriptures where Jesus told us he would do whatever we asked. So where is
Here are some topics that might be helpful:
1. First things First – Self Examination
2. Understanding what were battling
3. Do We Have Faith?
4. Doubt and unbelief
5. How should we pray?
6. Conditions for answered prayers.
7. Fully trusting in Jesus
8. Where does our sickness come from?
First things First – Self Examination
We need to check ourselves to make sure that we are living our lives according to God’s
word. Our relationship with God must be our first priority. We have to love God with all
of our heart, soul, mind and strength above all things.
Mar 12:30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul,
and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
Col 3:14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in
Col 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you
were called to peace. And be thankful.
We can’t live like the world or be a Sunday only christain and expect to get our prayers
Jesus said: John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
Does anything in the scriptures below apply to us?
Eph 4:31 (Amplified Ver) Let all bitterness and indignation and wrath (passion, rage, bad
temper) and resentment (anger, animosity) and quarreling (brawling, clamor,
contention) and slander (evil-speaking, abusive or blasphemous language) be
banished from you, with all malice (spite, ill will, or baseness of any kind).
(This scripture can also apply to bitterness, anger or resentment toward God because we
didn’t get what we prayed for or something bad happened and we blame God for it.We
really need to be careful that we don’t get a wrong attitude toward our Heavenly Father.)
Col 3:8 (Amplified Ver) But now put away and rid yourselves [completely] of all these
things: anger, rage, bad feeling toward others, curses and slander, and
foulmouthed abuse and shameful utterances from your lips!
2Co 12:20 (Amplified Ver) For I am fearful that somehow or other I may come and find you
not as I desire to find you, and that you may find me too not as you want to find
me--that perhaps there may be factions (quarreling), jealousy, temper (wrath,
intrigues, rivalry, divided loyalties), selfishness, whispering, gossip, arrogance
(self-assertion), and disorder among you.
Gal 5:19 (NIV Ver) The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and
debauchery (bad or immoral behavior that involves sex, drugs, alcohol, etc.);
Gal 5:20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition,
Gal 5:21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those
who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness,
Gal 5:23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
1Pe 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of
1Pe 1:16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
As Christians we expect certain things from God but sometimes we don’t get what we’re
expecting to get. Did you ever stop to think that God is expecting certain things from us.
Is God getting from us what he is expecting?
Let’s be honest with ourselves. Do we love Jesus like we used to or have we left our first love?
Let’s take a minute and think back to when we first became a Christian:
(1) Do you still have the desire to spend time with God like you once had?
Jas 4:8 tells us to draw near to God and He will draw near to us.
(2) Is bible reading and studying a “chore” – just something to mark off your “to do” list?
2 Tim 2:15 says in the KJV to: Study to shew thyself approved unto God.
(3) Has prayer become a burden or duty? Have your prayers become cold and dry? Is it just
something you know you should do but your heart is not in it? Do you pray the same thing
over and over again and are to the point that you could write it down and just read your
prayer to God? Jas 5:16 says: The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
(4) Do you have the joy and peace that you had when first got saved? Is the fire burning in your
heart like it used to? Do you really love God like you once did? Mar 12:30 says: And thou
shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind,
and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
(5) Are you more concerned about your physical health, well-being, and comfort than you are
about the well-being and condition of your soul? Mat 6:20 But store up for yourselves
treasures in heaven.
(6) Do you give more priority in doing the things you want to do instead of making the time to
do the things that God wants you to do? Mat 6:33 says: But seek first the kingdom of God
and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
(7) Do you display attitudes that you know are contrary to Scripture, but continue in them
anyway? Php 2:14 says: Do all things without complaining and disputing. 1Th 5:18
says: in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
There are many things that we can compare between now and when we first became a
Christian but the number one thing is: Do we truly love God with all of our heart, soul, mind
and strength or have we maybe become a little bit slothful or lukewarm.
We need to know what were battling.
Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against
powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual
wickedness in high places.
2Co 10:3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.
2Co 10:4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they
have divine power to demolish strongholds.
2Co 10:5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the
knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient
Jas 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Eph 4:27 Neither give place to the devil.
Eph 6:11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil's
Do We Have Faith?
We all have a certain amount of faith.
Rom 12:3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself
more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment,
in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.
Rom 10:17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard
through the word about Christ.
Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of
Remember faith must have works.
Jas 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
Jas 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without
thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
Life Application Commentary: Jas 2:18 This someone considers faith and good deeds to be
separate and alternate expressions of Christianity. “You do your deeds, I’ll have my faith, and
we’ll be religious in our own ways.” But the two cannot be separated without ceasing to be
alive. Faith lives in the action it generates; actions require faith to gain a particular meaning.
James responded with a challenge: “I can’t see your faith if you don’t have good deeds, but
I will show you my faith through my good deeds.” Faith cannot be demonstrated apart from
action. Faith is within us; it can only be seen by the actions it produces through us. Anyone can
profess faith, but only action shows its genuineness.
Heb 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him
must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
What are works? – Sometimes when we think about doing more works we think about
praying more, reading more, having more bible studies, visiting more, etc. While these works
are good there is more to works than just the physical labor. The scriptures tell us in Col 1:10
that we should be fruitful in every good work. So what are the different ways of bearing fruit
and having good works?
1. Fruit of the Spirit
Gal 5:22 – 23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
Eph 5:9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
2. Fruit of our lips
Heb 13:15 Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is,
the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.
3. Fruit of our labor
Php 1:21 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
Php 1:22 But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall
choose I cannot tell.
Doubt and unbelief
Overcome doubt and unbelief by meditating on God’s promise’s and not on the problem
Mat 17:16 I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him."
Mat 17:19 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?
Mat 17:20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If
ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove
hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto
Mat 17:21 Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.
Luk 17:5 And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.
Luk 17:6 And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this
sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it
should obey you.
Mar 9:24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I
believe; help thou mine unbelief.
Mat 14:29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked
on the water, to go to Jesus.
Mat 14:30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he
cried, saying, Lord, save me.
Mat 14:31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto
him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?
Jas 1:6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is
like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
Jas 1:7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.
How should we pray?
This scripture tells us that we must always pray in the name of Jesus.
Joh 14:6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the
Father except through me.
These scriptures tells us that we should be persistent and never give up.
Luk 11:5 And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at
midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves;
Luk 11:6 For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before
Luk 11:7 And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut,
and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee.
Luk 11:8 I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet
because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.
Life Application Commentary: Luk 11:7-8 The friend would not be happy to be interrupted
at this late hour, having already gone to bed. Jesus explained that although the friend might not
get up for the sake of the friendship, if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up.
Because of the persistence of the person knocking, the request will be answered.
Boldness in prayer overcomes the praying person’s apathy (Lack of emotion or feeling), not
God’s perceived insensitivity. To practice persistence changes the hearts and minds of those
praying, and it helps them understand and express the intensity of their need. Persistence in
prayer helps them recognize God’s work. By praying persistently, believers are not trying to get
a reluctant God to answer their prayers; instead, they are showing that they are very serious
about their request.
Luk 18:2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man:
Luk 18:3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of
Luk 18:4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear
not God, nor regard man;
Luk 18:5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual
coming she weary me.
Life Application Commentary: Luk 18:2-5 Jesus was not comparing God to this unjust and
contemptuous judge, as though he would treat believers in this manner. Instead, this story
shows that if even an evil man can be made to deal justly by a persistent woman, how much
more would God, who loves his people, care for their requests.
The scene pictures a judge who is godless and contemptuous. He should have been
championing those who needed justice, but when a widow came for help, he ignored her.
Widows and orphans were among the most vulnerable of all God’s people, and both Old
Testament prophets and New Testament apostles insisted that these needy people be properly
cared for. This woman had little hope of gaining the justice she sought, so she used the only
weapon she had—persistence. With nothing to lose, she made herself an irritant to the judge.
To get rid of her, he saw to it that she got justice.
Even Jesus prayed more than once for the blind man.
Mar 8:23 So He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the town. And when He
had spit on his eyes and put His hands on him, He asked him if he saw anything.
Mar 8:24 And he looked up and said, "I see men like trees, walking."
Mar 8:25 Then He put His hands on his eyes again and made him look up. And he was
restored and saw everyone clearly.
Act 12:5 Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the
church unto God for him.
2Ti 1:3 I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did, as without
ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day,
1Th 3:9 For what thanks can we render to God for you, for all the joy with which we rejoice
for your sake before our God,
1Th 3:10 night and day praying exceedingly that we may see your face and perfect what is
lacking in your faith?
Php 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
1Th 5:17 pray continually,
1Th 5:18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
1Jn 5:14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything
according to his will, he hears us.
1Jn 5:15 And if we know that he hears us--whatever we ask--we know that we have what we
asked of him.
Some people will use the scriptures below to pray for something only once and not pray
that same prayer again. Jesus was talking to his disciples, not to the multitude. Please
read the commentaries below the scriptures.
Mar 11:23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be
thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart,
but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall
have whatsoever he saith.
Mar 11:24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have
received it, and it will be yours.
Mat 21:21 Jesus replied, "Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can
you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain,
'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done.
Mat 21:22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."
Life Application Commentary: The kind of prayer Jesus meant was not the unreasonable
wish to move a mountain of dirt and stone; instead, he was referring to prayers that the
disciples would need to faithfully pray as they faced mountains of opposition to their gospel
message in the years to come. Their prayers for the advancement of God’s Kingdom would
always be answered positively—in God’s timing.
Barnes Commentary: He adds an encouragement for them to pray, assuring them that they
should have all things which they asked. This promise was evidently a special one, given to
them in regard to working miracles. To them it was true, but it is manifest that we have no right
to apply this promise to ourselves. It was desired especially for the apostles; nor have we a
right to turn it from its original meaning. There are other promises in, abundance on which we
“may” rely in prayer, with confident assurance that our prayers will be heard.
Guzik Commentary: And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive: This
promise of God’s answer to the prayer made in faith is made to disciples, not to the multitude.
“Nor should we interpret Mar:11:24 to mean, ‘If you pray hard enough and really believe, God
is obligated to answer your prayer no matter what you ask.’ That kind of faith is not faith in
God; rather it is nothing but faith in faith, or faith in feelings.”
If we should only pray for something once then is that true for everything.
1. If we have a loved one that is lost should we only pray once for God to save them?
2. When Jesus taught the disciples the Lord’s prayer, does that mean they should only pray it
one time and that is all?
3. When Peter was in jail why was prayer made without ceasing until he got out?
4. In Mat: 8:22-25 didn’t Jesus himself pray twice for the blind man?
Conditions for answered prayers:
There are plenty of scriptures to assure us that God will answer our prayers but there are
1Jn 3:22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments,
and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
Jas 2:17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
Jas 2:18 But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without
deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.
Jas 2:19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that--
Jas 2:20 You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless?
Jas 2:26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.
Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must
believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
1Pe 3:12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their
prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil."
Joh 9:31 Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of
God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.
Joh 15:7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it
will be done for you.
Fully trusting in Jesus
1Pe 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
Joh 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I
unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Luk 12:25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?
Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to
them who are the called according to his purpose.
Does the devil cause sickness?
Col 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the
kingdom of his dear Son:
1Jn 3:8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning.
For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works
of the devil.
Joh 12:31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.
Act 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power
of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance
among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
Heb 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself
likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the
power of death, that is, the devil;
1Jn 5:18 We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God
keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.
1. Examine yourself to make sure that you have a pure heart and are doing the things that are
pleasing to God.
2. Know your battle. The devil attacks through your thoughts. Resist him and he will flee
from you. Remember to put on the whole armor of God.
3. We all have a measure of faith but doubt, unbelief, fear and disobedience will hinder it out.
4. Our relationship with God must be our number one priority. Search your heart. If anything
needs to be taken care of then get that settled first through sincere prayer.
5. Overcome doubt and unbelief by meditating on God’s promise’s and not on the problem.
6. Be persistent in prayer. Go boldly before God (Heb 4:16 ) but with a thankful heart giving
him praise for all the blessings you have already received. Never give up because God will
answer your prayer. Don’t get discouraged if your prayer is not answered when you think
it should. Have the patience to wait on God because he hears our prayers and knows
exactlywhen and how to answer it.