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Biblical Reasons For Unanswered Prayers


Throughout my Christian walk of faith I learned a lot about unanswered prayers. In my life I personally remember God using unanswered prayers to make me more like Christ and to build spiritual growth. Some prayers he answered at the last minute to build my faith and trust in him.

My advice to you is to keep on praying. Sometimes we get discouraged becomes he doesn’t answer right away, but continually knock on his door. God knows what is best. Never lose hope and always seek God’s will and not your own.


1. Not God’s will: We must always seek God’s will. It’s all about him and the advancement of his kingdom not you.

1 John 5:14-15 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.

Matthew 6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.


2. Wrong motives and ungodly prayers.

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.

Proverbs 16:2  All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the LORD.

Proverbs 21:2 A person may think their own ways are right, but the LORD weighs the heart.


3. Unconfessed sin

Psalm 66:18 If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened;

Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.


4. Rebellion: Living a continuous life of sin.

Proverbs 28:9 If anyone turns a deaf ear to my instruction, even their prayers are detestable.

John 9:31 We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will.

Proverbs 15:29 The LORD is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous.

1 Peter 3:12 The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right, and his ears are open to their prayers. But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil.”


5. Closing your ears to the needy.

Proverbs 21:13 Whoever shuts their ears to the cry of the poor will also cry out and not be answered.


6. You are not having fellowship with the Lord. Your prayer life is non-existent and you never spend time in his word.

John 15:7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.


7. The Lord could be protecting you from danger that you do not see coming.

Psalm 121:7 The LORD will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life;

Psalm 91:10 no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent.


8. Doubting

James 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.

Matthew 21:22 You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it.”

Mark 11:24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.


9. God didn’t answer so you can grow humility.

James 4:10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

1 Peter 5:6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.


10. God didn’t answer because of your pride.

Proverbs 29:23 One’s pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.

James 4:6 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”


11. Hypocritical prayer for attention.

Matthew 6:5 “When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get.


12. Giving up: Just when you give up that is when God answers. You must persevere.

1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 6:9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Luke 18:1 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.


13. Lack of faith.

Hebrews 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.


14. You won’t forgive others.

Mark 11:25-26 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins

Matthew 6:14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.


15. Sometimes when God says no or not yet it is to bring greater glory to himself.

1 Corinthians 10:31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.


16. God is making you rely and trust in Him more.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.


17. Our awesome Lord is in control and God has something better for you.

Ephesians 3:20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,

Romans 8:28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.


18. You didn’t ask.

James 4:2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God.


19. Treating your spouse badly.

1 Peter 3:7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.


20. Not yet: We must wait for God’s timing.

Isaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-11 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. What do workers gain from their toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

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