A man prays before a church service at Mt. Calvery Missionary Baptist Church on Hilton Head Island. Gullah religious beliefs are derived from Christianity but their style of worship reflects their African heritage. --- Image by © Pete Marovich/Corbis
In today’s Personal Struggle Series [#PSSeries], we’re dealing with unanswered prayers or situation refusing to change after prayer.
I’m sure at a time or the other we have all been in this situation where we were praying about a situation or a need and no answer seems to be coming forth as we see no visible or significant change.
Of course, you know about prayer and the fact that God answers prayers that is why you prayed about it.
I had to learn this in a hard way, by experience. Over a period of time, I was asking God for something and no answer/change was forthcoming, it was almost tending towards depression courtesy of other pressures around that situation until I learnt what I will be sharing now.
Before then, this is why we can take the point and accept it as the truth.
1. God is ever/eternally loving and merciful, the bible says that His love endures forever, His love is eternal, it never quits.
So God loves you in the midst of that situation, and that leads to the next point.
2. He is working out the best for you. He is working for your good.

Rom 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[i] have been called according to his purpose.

It is also important to state biblical reasons why your prayers might go unattended to by God, because no prayer heard by God ever leaves the person praying empty-handed, if not receiving what you asked for, God will use it to strengthen your faith and trust in Him…
So here are the reasons why God probably didn’t hear your prayer.
1. Sin or State of your heart
The very first thing you must check when there seems to be a delay in having your prayers answered is the state of your heart. Is there an unrepented sin?

Psalm 66:18 – If I had cherished iniquity (Sin) in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.

2 Chronicles 7:14 – if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

Proverbs 15:8 – The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but the prayer of the upright is acceptable to him.

Mark 12:40 – who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation

Also part of the state of the heart is asking if there is Enmity in our heart and unforgiveness to your spouse or to other people. Because Jesus expressly stated that if there is

Matt 5: 23 “So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.”

2. Wrong Motives
James 4:3 “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures (or passions)
Another major reason God will not hear your prayer is when the motive for asking is not consistent with godly or scriptural doctrine or the thing you are asking for is for a wrong reason. A very popular example is people that ask for things to show off or oppress their mates.
3. Doubt
But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does. – James 1:6-8
Without faith it is impossible to please God, without faith, you won’t believe that He is able to do what He promised.
4. Hypocrisy

Mark 12:40 – who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”

To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. Luke 18: 9-14

I’m sure this story perfectly illustrates this point. You have to come to God humble, understanding we owe our access to Him, and Him answering our prayers to Grace, nothing but His grace.
After you have ensured that all f the above is checked/satisfied, what do you do when the situation doesn’t change?
You have to realise that every of God’s promises and answers to our prayers come with a timing, a timing that is determined by God based on wisdom that is higher than your wisdom.
He determines the perfect time to when He knows you need it best, not when you think it’s best for you to have that answer.
So PATIENCE is a very important component that must go alongside your prayers.
A lot of people had to wait for a long period of time to receive what God promised them, we have Abraham; waited 25yrs for Isaac, David; 23 years to finally be crowned King after he has been anointed, and even Zachariah and Elizabeth, the bible said that when the angel came to announce that Elizabeth will be pregnant, He said ” “Don’t be afraid, Zechariah! God has heard your prayer. Your wife, Elizabeth, will give you a son,…“How can I be sure this will happen? I’m an old man now, and my wife is also well along in years. Then the angel said,… It was he (God) who sent me to bring you this good news! …For my words will certainly be fulfilled at the proper time.(at their appointed time.)  Luke 1
Every answer to prayers, every of God’s promise has an appointed time, which I believe is better than our own desired time. I’m sure Zachariah and Elizabeth wouldn’t have wanted just any child other than John the Baptist at that at that “delayed time” as against just any child if they had the chance of choosing.
Can our prayers be stopped like it happened to Daniel? I don’t think so because unlike Daniel’s time. We pray in the name of Jesus, a name that comes with an authority they can’t withhold or stop.
It might just not be time, be patient. God is every loving, ever caring, plotting your best from that situation. So the peace you have among the storm. Among that situation shouldn’t come from receiving the answer, but in God who loves you perfectly and who is ever faithful and trustworthy.
So your faith should be based in God and not in the answered prayers.

* * *

See you tomorrow by 12 Noon for an answer to another of life tough issues and someone’s Personal Struggle. Remeber to send in your questions.

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About author


Tolulope Oludapo is a young Christian who lends his voice through the media by sharing practical wisdom for everyday living in the most experiential and simplified fashion. This has fetched him the direct followership of over 30,000 users on his blog, A blog he founded. He loves to write on varying subjects that affect life, faith, relationship...everyday living.
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