Why Some Prayers Go Unanswered


Have you ever wondered why prayers go unanswered? A frequent response is, “God sometimes answers with, ‘No’ or ‘Wait.’” While yes, this is true, there could be other reasons for the seemingly silent response.

As you cry out to God and recall the hope you have in your Savior, you can’t help but wonder when God’s deliverance will come.

“Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice! Have mercy also upon me, and answer me. When You said, ‘Seek My face,’ my heart said to You, ‘Your face, Lord, I will seek.'”—Psalm 27:7-8

Time passes, and still no answer. Family relationships, finances, health—they are in decay as your prayer efforts continue. You come across this prayer in the Book of Psalms:

“I am weary with my groaning; all night I make my bed swim; I drench my couch with my tears. My eye wastes away because of grief; it grows old because of all my enemies. Depart from me, all you workers of iniquity; for the Lord has heard the voice of my weeping. The Lord has heard my supplication; the Lord will receive my prayer.”—Psalm 6:6-9 (emphasis added)

Have you noted how David approached God? Yes, there are elements of a battlefield, but don’t ignore the presence of a courtroom. God is placed as a righteous Judge.

In the next Psalm, David appeals to the Judge of all the Earth to execute His justice and to adjudicate David’s cause.

“Arise, O Lord, in Your anger; lift Yourself up because of the rage of my enemies; rise up for me to the judgment You have commanded! So the congregation of the peoples shall surround You; for their sakes, therefore, return on high. The Lord shall judge the peoples; judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness, and according to my integrity within me.”—Psalm 7:6-8

Do you see David’s approach? Is it different than yours?

Characteristics of David’s prayer that indicate the Courts of Heaven

  • David pleas for God’s righteous intercession.
    • “…rise up for me to the judgment You have commanded!”
  • David’s prayer for protection wasn’t selfish; it was for the sake of God’s people, and to fulfill God’s will for them to return to Him.
    • “…for their sakes, therefore, return on high.”
  • David declares his defense. He asks the Lord to judge Him. Because God’s Spirit dwells within you, you are declared righteous because of the blood of Christ.
    • “…judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness…”

 Are you praying in the Courts of Heaven?

Often Believers are taught in spiritual warfare to step into a battlefield of the spiritual realm—but what usually proceeds war? Formal discussions. You see, you need to discern where you are when you pray.

There is a protocol for the battlefield and a protocol for the courtroom. If you are using weapons of the battlefield in the courtroom, it is ineffective.

If you’ve been praying in the battlefield, but the adversary has a case against you in court, the approach is different.

When the enemy is resisting the growth of God’s Kingdom through you, it’s time to step into the courtroom of Heaven.

Jesus prayed about God’s will being done on Earth as it is in Heaven. To receive a breakthrough in broken relationships, finances, and health that will allow you to fulfill your God-ordained destiny, approach the Judge and ask Him to deal with your opposer justly, rendering a verdict on your behalf.

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“Teach Me How to Pray”

In Luke 11 and 18, the text states that Jesus was praying, and when He ceased, a disciple asked Him for instruction on prayer.

Humanity was created with a desire to seek God, though the enemy throws various distractions at us to deter our efforts. Obstacles get in the way of effective and constant prayer. Jesus knew we needed instruction and encouragement to pray without ceasing.

Jesus provided a model of prayer and addressed the 3 realms of prayer:

  1. God as Father.

“If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”—Luke 11:11-13

We, in our imperfections, give good gifts to our children. How much greater gifts will our Perfect Father give us?

  1. God as Friend.

“Which of you shall have a friend, and go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine has come to me on his journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and he will answer from within and say, ‘Do not trouble me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give to you’?  I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs.”—Luke 11:5-8

Jesus says here that if we can provide a need for a friend in the natural, how much more will our Friend and Savior provide our needs.

  1. God as Judge.

“Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart…Then the Lord said, ‘Hear what the unjust judge said. And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?’”—Luke 18:1, 6-8

Jesus brings up the third realm of prayer, a courtroom. Again, He points out a contrast. The unjust judge listened to the request and granted favor, though reluctantly. However, God loves to hear our prayers and looks for ways to show His mercy—He is on our side!

God is the Righteous Judge in the judicial system of Heaven and has already won the war. Once the accuser is silenced, and a verdict has been rendered on our behalf, we can advance. We can boldly take our stand on the battlefield and be used by God to advance His Kingdom.

“Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, ‘Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.’”—Revelation 12:10