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God Does Answer All Prayers?



He answers-
-instantly or
-gradually or
-in His time.

His delays are not denials!

1. Why did my father die, even though we prayed for healing?
2. Why hasn’t God answered my prayer for a job?
3. Why am I still single, even though I pray daily for a believing spouse?

These types of questions have crossed the mind of every child of God who has prayed seemingly fruitless prayers. There are things we will never know in this lifetime.

Thankfully, the Bible does explain some of the reasons why our requests may go unanswered.


God desires to be first in our lives.
If we aren’t careful, we can start to see God as a means to an end. Our minds become consumed with the gift rather than the Giver. We tend to focus on our immediate needs and desires and forget what God is ultimately trying to do—conform us to His image (Col. 3:10). He will sometimes withhold the answer to our prayer if we need to regain our perspective.

The Father wants to grow our faith in Him.
When God waits to answer prayer, it’s in order to build our trust in Him. If we received everything we asked for right when we asked for it, there would be no faith involved. Without faith, it’s impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). God tests us to see if we still believe in Him when we have nothing tangible to grasp in our lives.

The Lord needs to prepare us to receive His best.
God knows we need to mature in some areas before we can fully enjoy His spiritual and material blessings (Eph. 1:3). For instance, many young people pray for a marriage partner, but God delays answering that prayer until He knows they’re ready.

God works on His time table.
I can look back on my life and see that if God had answered prayers according to my timing, I would have missed His best in every case. Sometimes He wants to give us something better: more than we asked for, expected or deserved. While it may seem like He’s not listening, He could simply be waiting to grant you something amazing.

Our relationships must be right.
If we are harboring anger, bitterness, or hate for others, how can we expect to fellowship with our heavenly Father? If there’s lingering conflict on an earthly level, specifically in our homes, then often, God will not answer prayers until the problems have been worked out (Matthew 6:14-15).

We must have pure motives.
We must take great care to make sure our prayers are not prompted by selfishness or greed, but are rooted in love and humility. Prayer should include thanksgiving and praise; it cannot just be “I want” and “I need.” Our prayers should be primarily about bringing glory to the Father and then about our needs.

God won’t bless unsteady faith.
When we are asking God to bless us, we have to truly believe that He will, or our prayers are pointless. James writes that those who are indecisive in their faith are like waves of the sea, tossed about with no control over themselves. After time in the Word, we should find ourselves strong in our faith and ready to go to God. Our Father doesn’t respond to wavering faith.

We should hunger for the Word.
God intends for us to have an appetite for His Word. When we become indifferent to the Word and its truths, God will not answer our prayers. Proverbs 28:9 declares, “If anyone turns a deaf ear to the law, even his prayers are detestable.” When our lives and prayers aren’t based on Scripture, we are likely to focus solely on our situation and our struggle, and our prayers will remain unanswered.

Selfishness hinders our prayers.
If we get so wrapped up in our needs and our wants that we forget to lift up those in need of prayer, then God will not answer our requests. Proverbs 21:13 says “He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor will also cry himself and not be answered.” We must remember that we have received freely, so freely we should give.

Unconfessed sin blocks answers to prayer.
Leaving sin in our lives is the same as disconnecting the line between us and God. Our sin separates us from God and causes Him to look away from us. It’s not that He cannot hear us when we have unconfessed sin, but that He will not. God will not move to answer our prayers until we confess that we have sinned and allow Him to cleanse us.

Now is the time to take each unanswered prayer to God and ask Him what is keeping Him from responding. Just like any good earthly father, our heavenly Father is willing to tell us why we can’t have certain things we ask for (James 4:2). He may point to unconfessed sins or refocus your attention on Him. Whatever the situation, don’t keep making excuses. In every circumstance, He is seeking to conform you to the image of His Son. As you keep this in mind, you’ll pray more in line with God’s will, and you’ll see more answered prayers.

~Charles Stanley


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