Why Doesn’t God Answer My Prayer?

Why God even said “No” to Moses, Hannah, and Paul many others in their prayer requests.

Praying in Vain

Have you ever felt like your prayers are just bouncing off the ceiling? Does it feel like they just leave your mind void and return empty? In truth, God said no to several biblical heroes and heroines in the Bible. These include Moses, Hannah, Paul and even Jesus Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane, so if you can overcome these three major barriers to prayer, then your prayers will not only be heard by God, but they will be answered, however we must accept God’s answer if it is no, not yet, or there’s something better for you, so here are three reasons our prayers might fail.

Sin

Prayers, including our prayers of thanksgiving, go directly to heaven and are heard by the Father because of our access into the Holy of Holies made possible by Jesus Christ. Our prayers are described to God as a sweet savor, like incense, but more important than giving thanks is living in obedience because obedience is better than sacrifice (1 Sam 15:22), so sin may cause us from being heard by God, so even a ton of good works is useless when there is willful, unrepentant sin in our life. Sin can also make us feel unworthy to prayer, so ongoing, unconfessed sin inhibits prayers. If my children ask me for something and I know they are being disobedient during the time they’re asking, then I first address the issue of their disobedience before answering their request. Unless this is taken care of, their requests aren’t going to be fulfilled, and in a similar fashion, why would God reward us with answered prayer when we are sinning knowingly, and without repentance? The fact is, He won’t. Psalm 66:18 states that “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.” First, go to God and take care of that sin and confess it (1 John 1:9), and then, and only then, begin your prayer requests.

Selfishness

If you pray and the first and foremost words that come out of your mouth are “me,” and “I,” then this is obviously a prayer that is only concerned about self and not about others. If I only pray for my needs, my desires, my wants and my wishes, then I am the central focus of that pray, and God is under no obligation to answer it. In the Lord’s Prayer, which is really Jesus’ model prayer, He starts off with adoration and praise of God, by giving Him thanks, but Jesus also prays for God’s will to be done, so I must ask myself, “Are my prayers more about glorifying Jesus or about getting glory for myself…or getting things only for me?” What is my real intent? Am I more interest in what I want than in what God’s wants? For example, God wants us to share the Gospel, but if I am witnessing by slamming unbelievers, my motives are not sincere and in their best interests.

PrayingHandsTwo

Un-Forgiveness

I have caught myself praying as a hypocrite. What I mean is, I was praying but had not yet forgiven another person who I had an issue with. There I was, asking for God’s forgiveness, yet still holding on a grudge against someone else, but how can I ask God to forgive me when I am not forgiving others? It’s like me asking for your forgiveness, but I refuse to forgive you. A spirit of un-forgiveness can exist in many forms: jealousy, anger, revenge, grudges, gossiping, and avoidance. Jesus tells us what to do in a situation like this. He says, “So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift” (Matt 5:23-24). Imagine what this looks like to God: we want to be forgiven, yet refuse to forgive others. No wonder our prayers are blocked in such cases.

Moses 

Moses wanted to go into the Promised Land with Israel, but Moses was disobedient when God asked him to speak to the rock to provide water for Israel. Instead of speaking to the rock, Moses struck the rock twice with his staff (Num 20:11). The water still came out, but he directly disobeyed God, so Moses’ request to cross the River Jordan into the Promised Land was denied. Disobedience prevents prayers from being answers or it produces a no answer.

Hannah

Hannah desired more than anything to have a child. Her womb was barren. In fact the Lord was said to have closed Hannah’s womb (1 Sam 1:6). This occurred during the time of the judges when Israel had no king, and a time that the Bible describes as “every man did what was right in their own eyes, (Judges 21:25), so God’s answer to Hannah’s prayer for a child was delayed because God wanted so much more for Hannah and her soon-to-be-born son. She prayed so desperately and passionately that she even told God that He could use her child in His service, and maybe this was what God had been waiting for. Hannah would later have a child that would change the history of Israel and the world with the birth of Samuel. Samuel would later become a mighty prophet of God and he would anoint Israel’s first king, Saul, and later David, the greatest earthly King that Israel ever had. It would be through David’s seed that the Messiah would come, which is Jesus Christ. God delayed answering Hannah’s prayer, perhaps because God wanted to do more than Hannah was asking for. If God delays answering our prayer, perhaps it’s because He wants much more for us than we are even asking for.

Paul

Paul desperately wanted the thorn in his side to be removed, praying three times to God, however, God’s answer to Paul’s prayer was no. God knew that Paul might become prideful because of all the revelations he had seen, so God allowed that thorn to remain. Apparently Paul knew this was the reason, as he wrote, “a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited” (2 Cor 12:7). God intended that this thorn in the flesh would keep Paul humble and in need of God’s grace; and it did! Paul’s prayer for healing was answered with a decisive “No,” even though Paul prayed three times over it. God knew His greater plan must override that of Paul’s.

Jesus

I think part of the reason Jesus prayed for this cup to pass is because it represented every heinous, wicked sin that humanity has ever sinned, and since Jesus is completely holy and without sin, it is contrary to His nature to take upon Himself the sins of the world, so I don’t believe it was the suffering of Calvary that Jesus dreaded…but bearing the sins of humanity, so he prayed three times saying, “Oh My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me, nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will” (Matt 26:39). Jesus repeated this prayer request three times, the other two in verse 42 and 44, however, Jesus’ request was secondary to His desire to follow the Father’s will. That’s how we should pray too.

Conclusion

When we have sin, this blocks our access to the Father’s throne. If we have not sinned but ask only for our own selves, and not for the will of God, then the answer may be no as well. When we still have un-forgiveness in our heart, this hinders our prayers, however, sometimes our prayers are delayed for a very good reason. What we ask for in prayer may not be what God wants for us. He knows better than we do and won’t answer a prayer with something He knows will hurt us. Besides, He may want something much, much greater than what we are asking for. For example, if we ask for a new job and don’t get it, He might have a job that is closer to our hearts desires. God knows best, so delayed pray might be “No,” “not yet,” or “wait for the best timing my child,” but it could also be, “I have something better for you.” God may have bigger plans for you than what you’re praying for. In fact, to glorify Jesus’ name, He may even give you something far greater…something that greatly surpasses even your own imagination.

About the Author

Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is a writer at Christian Quotes and also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.

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  • The book of Job begins, “In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil.” That story makes clear that it’s not just sin that’s the problem. We can be blameless and still not have our prayers answered (despite Jesus claiming, “Ask and you shall receive”).

  • Funny how God’s willingness to answer prayers is about the same as it would be if we prayed to a desk lamp or an old phone book. It rarely seems to cross any Christian’s mind that maybe God doesn’t answer prayers because he just isn’t there; and when he does answer prayers, maybe it’s because the desired result was likely anyway, or perhaps it was just luck.

    • Jonathan Garner

      Prayer: The Failed Hypothesis

  • pud

    “What we ask for in prayer may not be what God wants for us. He knows better than we do and won’t answer a prayer with something He knows will hurt us. Besides, He may want something much, much greater than what we are asking for. For example, if we ask for a new job and don’t get it, He might have a job that is closer to our hearts desires. God knows best, so delayed pray might be “No,” “not yet,” or “wait for the best timing my child,” but it could also be, “I have something better for you.”

    What about the starving child whose mother prays it doesn’t die? Or the child with cancer and the deluded parents begging your celestial dictator for help? Well, guess it’s just his ways not being our ways! bhwaa!! YOU ARE AN IDIOT!

    https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61PleeLOR1L._SY450_.jpg

    LOL!! This clearly is THE most infantile collection of absurdities you’ve ever written!

  • God cannot answer prayer, if he doesn’t exist. If God exists, does he answer prayer? What kind of a god is he/she/it if such a god exists? Maybe he/she/it doesn’t answer prayer. How many prayers go unanswered? Is this because god says wait, no, or I have something better for you? And, does prayer work any better than the lottery?

    As a devout Christian atheist, I do not believe in any intervening god. I am a Christian humanist, who sees some value in some of the ethical teachings of Jesus. If prayer helps some people to cope with life, who am I to disagree. The miracles of Jesus, answers to prayers, the existence of the devil and demons are most likely to be myths. If myth is an ancient literary device, why should the bible be devoid of this literary form?

    I believe that, if God exists then it is the “force” of compassion, healing mercy and loving kindness. By practising meditation, we can concentrate our minds on loving kindness. This helps heal mental and emotional wounds and is a greater answer than “prayer” to many of our problems.

    Of course, no one knows whether what is happening is purely happening in our minds and hearts, or whether there is an external, invisible being beyond ourselves that is operating on our hearts and minds.

  • forbol

    It’s rather scandalous what counts as good writing in Christian circles. lol

  • Tree Kangaroo

    Anyone who has raised children knows that you would be a horrible parent – a monster, in fact – if you granted their every request. God is a Father, not a genie in the bottle that we can call forth to fulfill our every ridiculous want.

    • pud

      Demonstrate that any “god” past or present ever existed or exists….try.

      • One Truth

        Very Simple. Its called your Conscience. Its the very voice of your Creator and everyone hears it. Obeying His voice……well, that’s ones choice.

        • pud

          LOL!! You infantile lunatics are a riot! Demonstrate the existence of ANY creator, that this “creator” whispers in your ear and that this “creator” is your particular invisible celestial make believe deity.

          You can say any nonsense you want but if you can’t show it, you don’t know it.

          Made up juvenile superstitious nonsense. Does the “devil” sit on your other shoulder? LOL

          • One Truth

            Where did your conscience come from and who speaks it into your heart?

          • pud

            I normally don’t argue with stupid people but I’ll humor you.

            The “heart” is a muscle that pumps blood.

            “Conscience” or “morality” the sense of right and wrong is taught mostly and is a product of culture. It didn’t come from your “god” who didn’t exist via your superstitious religious cult until a couple of thousand years ago vs. the several million years of human evolution

          • One Truth

            “I normally don’t argue with stupid people but I’ll humor you.
            The “heart” is a muscle that pumps blood.”

            Matthew 15:1-20 Notice verses 16-20. So….Just as the brain looks to be a simple mass of grey matter, there is more than meets the eye. You are not the Almighty Creator so I do not expect you to understand the invisible attributes of the human body, soul and spirit.

            ” “Conscience” or “morality” the sense of right and wrong is taught mostly and is a product of culture. It didn’t come from your “god” who didn’t exist until a couple of thousand years ago vs. the several million years of human evolution”

            Your a fool to even suggest such stupidity regarding the “Conscience” as being a thought that has been taught and indoctrinated into all individuals from beginning until now. That statement in itself is just plain childish.

            A couple thousand years ago? The earliest Old Testament writings date back nearly five thousand years.

            Evolution? You mean the ridiculous “Theory of evolution” which has already been debunked many times over through various scientific discoveries such as the law of bio Genesis and the law of thermodynamics?

            Life must be created for it is IMPOSSIBLE for life to evolve from non living matter. Absolutely Impossible and everyone knows it.

          • Mr. A

            “Evolution? You mean the ridiculous “Theory of evolution” which has already been debunked many times over through various scientific discoveries such as the law of bio Genesis and the law of thermodynamics?”
            http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB000.html
            http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CF/CF001.html

            But hey, in regards to the law of biogenesis, feel free to propose a tested mechanism that makes it impossible to go from non life to life. Be sure to back it up with experimental evidence, so that I can be sure it isn’t an assertion you came up with just to win an arguemnt. And before you ask, yes, creationists make such common arguments that we literally have a list of them and how to debunk them. The thermodynamics one in particular makes it clear you know nothing about the law itself or indeed how evolution works.

          • One Truth

            “- http://www.talkorigins.org/
            http://www.talkorigins.org/…”

            One should never accept the first answer that pops up on a Google search. Do some real research and don’t be so lazy. Seriously, you look like a fool posting that silly link.

            As to the rest of your reply, its simply meaningless chatter from an angry anti-christ. Am I shocked???

            The time is coming and you yourself will find out soon enough, trust me, God Will Not Be Mocked.

          • Mr. A

            Lol so in other words “You’re wrong but I won’t explain why your arguments fall flat, they just do somehow.” and then the rest of it is a vague threat Christains have been saying since the 1st century. Also a rant about how anti Christian I am, as if yours is the sole religion ppororting a creationist myth.

            Yes, that will convince me to change to Christianity for sure.

            Also I find it incredibly suspicious that you just posted two links to their homepage instead of thier two specific taking points like I posted originally.

            Finally let’s get one thing clear. I am not against Christianity. I’m not even against you (I don’t even know you). I am against two specific arguments you try to claim as evidence against Evolution.

            1. The law of Biogenesis disproves Evolution.
            2. The 2nd law of Thermodynamics disproves Evolution.

            That is all I am against. You have no right invoking the entire Christian tribe over this.

          • pud

            OH NO!!!! Believe in the loving “god” OR ELSE!!! Sick

          • One Truth

            Use all of the hyper drama you like, BUT…..you have a choice and God has given you that freedom to choose.

            Sick? What is Sick is to know that Jesus Christ allowed Himself to be beaten and crucified on a cross for your sins out of pure love for you and you despise Him for no reason other than your own selfishness to live life as you please while thumbing your nose at your Creator who loves you.

            John 3:16-21 & 3:31-36. Again, its your own decision.

          • pud

            You should be flogged for using the word “truth” in your name as you clearly have no clue about how to arrive at truth nor do you care.

            That your made up invisible celestial dictator would demand a human sacrifice is completely SICK on its face!

            That you are so warped, gullible and stupid so as to not see that your “god” sacrificed himself to himself to fix the problem he himself created is mind numbing

            That your make believe deity would demand you love and obey him under threat of eternal torture is SICK on its face!

            It’s worse that some low IQ idiot like you “believes” in a Bronze Age moronic superstitious book without a shred of evidence to support a single nonsensical claim you make is mind numbing!

            You clearly are stupid…cheers!

          • One Truth

            “It’s worse that some low IQ idiot like you “believes” in a Bronze Age
            moronic superstitious book without a shred of evidence to support a
            single nonsensical claim you make is mind numbing!”

            Without evidence??? The Bible is The Most highly esteemed and most widely distributed History book in the world, museums and institutions hold a plethora of documented eyewitness accounts, scrolls, parchments, etc…

            The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, that at the time they were discovered, would be dated back to be over three thousand years old and matched the Old Testament in our bibles word for word.

            Out of over 100 prophecies in our Old Testament, just about every one of them concerning Jesus Christ have already come to pass from where He would be born, to where He would grow up, to how much He would be betrayed for and as to how He would be put to death in the greatest of detail, including being crucified on a cross which had not even been thought of yet and would not be used for hundreds of years.

            Lets not even get into how all of His disciples ( except Judas Iscariot of course ) , along with hundreds of other eyewitnesses at that time and thousands upon thousands of other followers for decades after allowed themselves and they’re entire families to be Martyred without even raising a fist.

            Yea, I’m stupid!?! But, I’m forgiven and I have inherited Eternal Salvation through Jesus Christ and the washing of His precious blood.

          • pud

            Hahhahahahahha! The only thing you’ve gotten right in that babble is that you’re stupid!

            There are NO eye witness accounts of ANYTHING! It’s a collection of stories ripped off from many previous religious cults and codified into a volume by the priests at the council of Nicea by a VOTE! They couldn’t even agree!

            There are NO prophecies whatsoever dummy as the “new” book was written after the “old” book to make the “old” book look valid! There are NO demonstrable prophecies whatsoever

            Name one eyewitness to anything…LOL! Your “paul” had psychotic visions! No one even knows who wrote the new testament! The names are MADE UP and they were all written up to 100 years after the made up story!

            Muslims martyr themselves all the time…proves NOTHING except how fucked up religion is

            Demonstrate that any character name of “jesus” ever existed….I challenge you to try

            You are a delusional lunatic nothing more

          • One Truth

            Eternity….It is a very long time.

          • pud

            Right! You better get right with Allah!!

      • Jean Camille

        You are still demanding “proof”?

        Once again, Father, God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, let Pud experience You in a way meaningful to him, in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth and to His glory.

        A comment: if ever you consider that God may exist, opportunities for self-harm might increase. Look out for reckless acts of bravado, drunk driving, unintended speeding, extra liquor on fishing or hunting trips. You may also experience sudden surges of hatred, explosive frustration, steely anger and a raging desire to hurt.

        One of my past questions you did not respond to: Who lied to you as a child? Ask yourself why you did not notice that question.

        • pud

          You people are so incredibly STUPID!

          “Proof” only exists in mathematics, logic and by definition. I demand EVIDENCE! of which you have NONE!

          Everyone lies…on average 12 times per day. You superstitious religious lunatics lie far more than that when you promote your ignorant cult to others especially children

          • Jean Camille

            So who lied to you?

    • Myles

      Seven million children starve to death every year. Does your god not hear their prayers or does it enjoy their suffering? Perhaps because they have no money, their prayers are worthless.
      Actually prayers are never answered because their is nobody listening.

      • Linguagroover

        Fifteen people an hour globally, of course many children, die of measles. Given that the disease agent is a (created? satanic? fallen?) virus and there is a human-invented vaccine, you would have thought that the omnipotent omniscient omnipresent benign creator deity complex Yahweh-Jeebus-Spookywoo would have eradicated it by now. Otherwise we’ll just have to wait until human political will to harness the science finishes measles off, as it seems to have done with smallpox. Sadly the Christian and other gods on offer since the dawn of humanity seem to be heartless and/or fucking deaf.

        • Pofarmer

          The evil, secular Red Cross last year helped vaccinate 178 million people against measles. It took money, not prayer.

          • Linguagroover

            Quite.

    • swbarnes2

      A good father would help his children if they were screaming in pain, about to die a preventable death. Your God doesn’t do that.

      Your God sits back and watches people die. Your God arranges for little children to die. Your own Bible lays out the details.

  • Maltnothops

    “Psalm 66:18 states that “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.”

    How do you know that the psalmist wasn’t mistaken?

  • Gregory Moonsamy

    I’ve been praying for along time for basic desires nothing has come yet? If you can live without it you can do without it

  • hisxmark

    Maybe the tooth fairy won’t leave money under your pillow. Maybe Santa Klaus won’t bring you a pony. Maybe the leprechaun won’t show you his pot of gold. And for the same reason, perhaps God won’t answer your prayer. Or maybe, just maybe, God isn’t as interested in what you want as he is in what you actually do. Hands that are raised to heaven aren’t accomplishing much of anything.

  • Linguagroover

    1. He doesn’t exist (the atheist position); 2. Yes, he got everything going then took a huge step back and obviously doesn’t give a rat’s arse (the deist position); or 3. Let’s invent some excuses for random perceived, utterly capricious behavio(u)r from a sky daddy who, despite all the evidence available to anybody rational, really really really does care. Honest… (the professional apologist position).

    • pud

      Only one of those makes $$$$$

      • Linguagroover

        Yep. It’s that difficult to understand. 🙂

  • rtgmath

    Hmmm. Okay, this question. Why doesn’t God answer the prayer of the starving child? Or of the child whose parent is abusing him or her? Or of the child stolen and sold into sexual slavery? Or of the parent who finds his factory closing because the owners are moving it overseas, and there are no jobs to be had, whose family faces ruin and desolation?

    You didn’t answer these questions, and they have nothing to do with the sin of the person praying, selfishness, or praying in vain. Can you answer?

    • Jack Wellman

      Since you must not believe in God, then how would you answer to the problem of suffering? Who is responsible if there is no God? Mankind! Why does mankind allow such suffering? They can fly to the ends of the solar system but not stop suffering.

      • Pofarmer

        Suffering is a problem for theists, not for athiests. No one is “responsible” for suffering, it’s a product of where and what we are.

      • Paula Okeefe

        Jesus entered into solidarity with our suffering. He asked us to pick up our crosses and follow.
        Furthermore, He did heal the sick, possessed, blind and more. And it happens today when the Holy spirit is asked surrounding us. I have seen toooo many unexplained miracles personally. God answers prayers and heals those He chooses. Doesn’t mean others are not important. If that were so, Jesus crucifixion would be unimportant.
        Surrender to His will brings deep peace and compassion for hurting humanity.
        Prayer has layers or levels of depth. Focus on your relationship with Him in prayer and let Him lead. Answers to prayer will happen and if no answer you will still be at peace.

        • Jack Wellman

          Excellent response Mr. Okeefe. Thank you sir.

      • rtgmath

        Wow. Such deflection. I guess you can’t answer and have only judgmentalism. Ask a question, Get accused of unbelief. And you call yourself a pastor?

        Sure, men do a lousy job alleviating suffering. But quite a few actually try, limited as we are by mortality and an inability to control catastrophic events.

        But God? He is supposed to be Good and Omnipotent. So why do the prayers of the innocent get ignored? Or why does He approve of the Suffering He is Responsible for? Because you are right. If God exists, then he is Responsible.

        So quit acting like a coward and answer the question.

        • One Truth

          First of all, Jack cannot answer your question and neither can anyone else here. Its a bogus question and you know it. You asked a question that blankets the entire planet and refers to scattered individuals that no one here knows because you have given no names, addresses or telephone numbers so that they might be asked if God HAS answered they’re prayers.

          Secondly, there are plenty of real live people out there who have true and inspiring stories concerning answers to your question. They completely fill the shelves of bookstores all over the world for anyone who cares to look for them and actually read them. And these are only from those who have chosen to write a book.

          It always amazes me how so many ‘so called’ atheists will spend so much of their precious time throwing smear at a God that they say they do not believe in. Smear that contains the sins of man such as murder, rape, robbery and starvation.

          God’s ears are open to anyone who cares to call on His name with a sincere heart and He certainly will and does answer their prayers when they seek healing and comfort. I know. I am one of them. He does not however answer to the likes of the proud, self righteous and arrogant individual who does not seek Him with sincerity and honesty from a believing heart.

          You sir are a wretched, sin filled man who has thus far found no place for repentance in your heart and will never be heard by God until you do so. Besides, it is your own conscience, or what little you still hear, that gives you your proof that God is alive and well, for your conscience is the very voice of God. Though He may not currently hear you because of your hardened heart and your lack of interest in Him, He certainly has spoken to your heart throughout your life in an attempt to draw you to the one and only Savior, Jesus Christ, who died for your sins on the cross. Therefore, your fate and destination lie in your own hands and where you end up when you leave this world will be of your own choosing.

          • rtgmath

            You, sir, are an idiot. You neither know me, nor an honest question. The fact that a very few people get help does not negate the fact that millions of children starve to death across the world, thousands of women are victims of domestic abuse — many actually murdered by their abusers. And uncountable multitudes of young people are sold into sexual slavery, including some in your town. The fact that these people exist — and they do — demonstrates that their prayers for deliverance are not being answered. For no one in those situations desires it.

            The question was an honest one. Were I not already a Christian (and I am), I would be mightily tempted to turn away from Christ by your answers. You are a reprehensible example of a believer, without compassion, without mercy, no desire to teach or to help, but only full of accusation.

            There are hard questions out there that need answering.

            Oh, and may I remind you of the words of the Lord Jesus? You shall be judged even as you judge others.

          • Jean Camille

            I responded to your post, but the bot decided it was spam.
            They never reinstate such comments. So, if you’d like to read it, please click my profile box.
            Cheers

          • One Truth

            “You, sir, are an idiot. You neither know me, nor an honest question.”

            I may not know you personally, but I most certainly know your type and whom you speak on behalf of.

            “The fact that a very few people get help does not negate the fact that millions of children starve to death across the world, thousands of women are victims of domestic abuse — many actually murdered by their abusers. And uncountable multitudes of young people are sold into sexual slavery, including some in your town.”

            Yes, we live in a sin filled world where people sin. This is very obvious to everyone.

            “The fact that these people exist — and they do — demonstrates that their prayers for deliverance are not being answered. For no one in those situations desires it.”

            The fact that these people exist Does Not demonstrate that they’re prayers are not being answered, for you do not know whether they have ever prayed or not, let alone whether they even believe in or want to believe in God.

            This is your own statement from your above post….”You didn’t answer these questions, and they have nothing to do with the
            sin of the person praying, selfishness, or praying in vain. Can you
            answer?”

            And of course you are wrong. God is not entitled to answer every single prayer from every single person on this earth regardless whether they are a faithless, godless, arrogant, self willed and unrepentant sin filled individual or not.

            “Were I not already a Christian (and I am)”

            Your not fooling anyone here. A Christian who denies that God hears or answers prayers, and does so on a public platform?

            These are your own words…..
            “But God? He is supposed to be Good and Omnipotent. So why do the prayers of the innocent get ignored? Or why does He approve of the Suffering He is Responsible for? Because you are right. If God exists, then he is Responsible.”

            So….you’re a Christian??? Not possible. You sir have shown yourself to be an unbeliever who has set out to destroy the hope of the faithful and you have shown this by your own words on this very blog….( Revelation 21:7-8 )

            A truly ‘Born Again’ Christian would never suggest such an outlandish accusation against God. To go to the Lord in prayer and question Him is one thing. To deny that God answers prayers and blame Him for the sins of the world is another.

            The true believer knows their God and has immersed themselves into a relationship with God through complete trust, hope and faith in Christ Jesus……( Hebrews 11:6 ) Why? because God lovingly reveals Himself to the faithful believer, not to the world. Not to a world that continually rejects Him through rejecting His Son, the Christ…..( John 14:13-24 ). Oh, God has revealed Himself to the world through creation by all that He has made, as well as by giving the world an opportunity and a capacity to love one another, but God reveals Himself in a much greater magnitude to the believer. Unfortunately, much of the world chooses to reject God and His love for them, thus following the enemy.

            “You are a reprehensible example of a believer, without compassion, without mercy, no desire to teach or to help, but only full of accusation”

            No sir. I am the example of what a true believer Should be doing. Speaking out against false teachers and liars who have chosen to work for the enemy by attempting to tear down the faith of the faithful and slander the very name of God Almighty. Its called a rebuke…( 2 Timothy 4:1-2 ) and you asked for it when you came onto a Christian blog and began ( without compassion and mercy might I add ) attacking believers out of your hatred toward God.

            Just because God may not have answered Your prayers ( And you have made it very obvious why He would not ), does not mean that He does not answer the prayers of His faithful children, and believe me, He knows who they are…( John 6:59-71 ).

            No desire to teach or help? The very believers whom you have attacked here with your faithless rhetoric, these are the ones who are being helped and taught. They will be taught what I am sure they already know. To stand firm in their faith, even under pressure and persecution from wolves…( Matthew 7:15-23 ).

            “There are hard questions out there that need answering.”

            Was that YOUR answer? That God does not hear or answer prayers? So Am I to believe that you are actually here to edify the body of Christ with your hopeful words of wisdom? Lifting them up with love and compassion?

            “Oh, and may I remind you of the words of the Lord Jesus? You shall be judged even as you judge others.”

            There is a huge difference between ‘Judging’ and ‘Admonishing’ and while many do not know the difference, I do.

          • Jean Camille

            Second Try
            “You, sir, are an idiot. You neither know me, nor an honest question.” I am glad to see it was an honest question, but it was hard to see your honest heart through your abrasive style, honestly 😉

            Yes, it is a hard question. I have given up on a tidy answer. Instead, I am seeking a perspective that allows me to be at peace with a messy world.

            The world is not as we would like it and much of our distress comes from unmet expectations.

            Strictly logical and consistent materialists solve that distress by denying any meaning at all. A bullet in the head is equivalent to dying by a falling tree. Millions starving and dying are simply the detritus of ongoing evolution. If these are facts with no inner meaning, we can accept that as simple reality, and unemotionally try to avoid that fate ourselves. That is an expensive road to inner peace.

            We can accept the facts without the nihilism: “We live in a broken world; expect things to be broken.” That helps me live day to day.

            So how can a ‘good’ God allow it to stay broken like that? Why has He not answered our distress by now? I do not seek an answer but a response, one that makes no sense to a non-believer:

            I do not know the answer, but I do know God. If the problem was so bad that God had to allow His Son, Jesus, to go through such torment, then I can trust Him that the suffering we see was absolutely necessary to avoid something even worse. And why such a mess at all? I do not know, but it must have been the only way to get the perfect—and only worthwhile—outcome.

            Continued/

          • Jean Camille

            /Part 2
            Then I saw something terrifying about God, and what ‘good’ really means. If I hire a gardener, I do not pull weeds or sow plants for him. God put us here partly as caretakers of the planet. So we can mature as spiritual beings, God will not do our job for us.

            When the Biafran famine hit the news, the same papers told us that agricultural interests were dumping grain in the Gulf of Mexico to keep up grain prices. And the Nigerian military were blockading Biafra anyway. God gave the food. Our job was to distribute it and we refused. God did not take up the slack. He allowed us to see the dreadful consequences of our misdeeds.

            That is shocking but realistic. Have you ever seen people allowed to grow up protected from the consequences of their misdeeds? They are usually dreadful people.

            This is one simple example. God has given us authority we hardly ever use. He will not answer prayers that allow us to avoid our responsibilities, even if the failure kills us. That fact about God is terrifying.

            Do you want to see what happens when we do work with God and use the authority He gave us? Read Paula O’Keefe’s post, read it slowly and carefully.

  • candide

    God doesn’t answer prayer because he does not answer prayer. He is not. Just not.

  • swbarnes2

    I guess compared to the evangelicals’ favorite president, this article is a masterpiece of grammatically correct phrases that contain all their nouns and verbs, and carry out one thought across the course of a few sentences. (Doesn’t it embarrass you that you you and your kind put someone into the highest authority of our country who literally could not write this well no matter how hard he tried?)

    But it’s pretty appalling that this is what passes for intelligent thinking in evangelical circles. Always a thousand excuses for why God won’t say, cure the fatal cancer of a beloved and heavily prayed-over young minister. A kid who never does his chores always has an excuse, right? The kid thinks they sound convincing, but the adults are just embarrassed by the attempt to explain away the simplest answer.

    And gotta love how small the evangelical mind thinks about women. Yeah, God could not have made Hannah a poet, or a scholar, or a doctor, a judge, an artisan, or prophet. No, your God doesn’t dream that big for women. The best thing a woman can dream of is incubating a man who does one of those things. Well, if Hannah did pray to be able to do any of those things herself, you are right there with all the answers as to why that didn’t work out, I suppose.

  • Pofarmer

    If God has a divine plan for each
    of us, then he had a divine plan for Hitler too. It is when you stop to
    think about it deeply that the contradictions hit you.

    Now let’s imagine that you say a prayer in this sort of universe. What
    difference does it make? God has his plan, and that plan is running down
    its track like a freight train. If God has a plan, then everyone who
    died in the Holocaust died for a reason. They had to die, and each death
    had meaning. Therefore, Holocaust victims could pray all day, and they
    would still die. The idea of a “plan” makes the idea of a
    “prayer-answering relationship with God” a contradiction, doesn’t it?
    Yet Christians seem to attach themselves to both ideas, despite the
    irresolvable problem the two ideas create.

    Think about what God’s plan means for you personally. If the plan
    happens to say that you will get hit by a bus tomorrow, or that
    terrorists will blow you up, or that you will be shot in the head four
    times, then that’s what will happen. It would be the same with any
    disease. If you contract cancer this afternoon and die three months
    later, that is God’s plan for you. Praying to cure the cancer is a
    waste. God plans for you to die, so you will die. He has pre-programmed
    the exact time of your death. There is nothing you can do to change the
    plan — no amount of prayer will help — because your death will have
    meaning and your death will cause side-effects that are also part of the
    plan.

    http://godisimaginary.com/i6.htm

    • Jack Wellman

      God uses prayers as a means to achieve His planned purposes. Jesus told us to pray, saying, “Men ought to always pray.” Even if I don’t understand all the implications and intricancies, I am commanded to “pray always.” That is enough for me. Obidence preceeds understanding in many things. I don’t exactly know how the CPU does all things it does, but that’ doesn’t mean I never turn it on and use it.

      • pud

        LOL…Doesn’t take much for you ya gullible old fool. “Obidience precedes understanding”….The perfect definition of dictatorship

      • Pofarmer

        God uses prayers as a means to achieve His planned purposes.

        That doesn’t even make sense, in this context. God’s planned purposes are going to happen regardless. Praying isn’t going to change that.

        Jesus told us to pray, saying, “Men ought to always pray.” Even if I
        don’t understand all the implications and intricancies, I am commanded
        to “pray always.”

        Honestly. Meh. This is circular reasoning.

        Obedience precedes understanding in many things. I don’t exactly know
        how the CPU does all things it does, but that’ doesn’t mean I never turn
        it on and use it.

        That’s actually the point in reverse. No one seems to no how “prayer works”. And every actual indication is that it doesn’t. “Answered prayers” are indistinguishable from chance. PLUS, in the presence of an omniscient, omnipotent God, prayers are pointless. Is your prayer going to change a perfect God’s perfect plan? Doubtful. This is prayer used as a pacifier.

  • Satanic_Panic

    Silly nonsense.

  • SeeingClearly

    Is it possible that there’s just no one there to “answer your prayers”? That is the single most probable reason…given the fact that there is absolutely no scientific evidence for a supernatural force controlling any part of our universe, let alone looking into our lives and listening to our thoughts.

    • Jack Wellman

      What percentage of the universe have we explored? What percentages is yet unknown to us? The scientific community has an infintely large amount of the universe yet to explore to be dogmaticabout your statement that there is no proof. That perspective is a bit arrogant in attributing that much credit to mankind.

      • SeeingClearly

        Jack, You religionists assert that “god” is omnipresent–everywhere. We are here. Therefore, per you folks, he is here…every day in every way. Yet…science cannot find any evidence of this. Anyway, I am not the one asserting the presence of an indiscernible supernatural being; you are. The burden of scientific proof rests on you. Until science can find it…we have no reason to believe it exists.

        • Lindsay –

          we do have a reason to believe so because the best things cannot be proven or seen physically, they are felt and seen in action on a deeper level

          • SeeingClearly

            Lindsey, If those “best things” you speak of are real, and YOU can feel and see them “on a deeper level,” why can’t science detect them? I think that is because they are not real, but you have been told, probably since you were a small child, as I was, that they are real and that if you JUST believed in them enough, they would be “real” for you. You have now convinced yourself that “they” are real…but, in your thoughtful and realistic moments, you know that they are not. If they were, they would be detectible and reproducible. That is reality…which is where this universe exists, not in some mythological dream world.

          • Jack Wellman

            Since you are so convinced God does not exist, why do you go to so much trouble bringing others down because they do believe? Why have issues with someone you don’t even believe exists? Interesting.

          • SeeingClearly

            It isn’t just me who is not convinced that any god exists; it is all of the scientific community. Stop your ad hominem attacks and just answer my question: if there is a supernatural force you call god at work, why can science not detect it or any of its qualities?

  • Lindsay –

    Or it’s not the time for the prayer to be answered, but it will happen at the right time. Or God has an even better plan for you that you cannot even imagine compared to what you are asking for. Or God is testing your faith for your benefit etc etc, we don’t always have to pin blame on people for their ‘being bad’ being the reason this and that

    • Jack Wellman

      True. Thank you Lindsay.

  • Jean Camille

    There is another reason God does not answer some prayers: He wants us to mature through the work He gives us.

    When we hire a gardener, we do not pull weeds for him. God created us to take charge of life on earth (Gen 1:26-28). He will not do that job for us.

    Jesus calmed the storm (Mat. 8:23-27), and He said we will do greater things (John 14:12). Even angels are here to help us (Heb. 1:14).

    We are to exercise authority over material and living things (Mark 11:22-24; Luke 17:6), and that extends to spiritual authority (Mark 17:14-20). He has ordained that our moral authority will apply in heaven also (Mat.18:15-19).

    Our main task is making disciples in godly power (Mark 16:14-19). If God’s power is not obvious in our lives, perhaps we should ask, “God, are You waiting for me to do something?”

  • Mika Nomi

    truth be told you have no idea why i just pray for god to forgive me after i ran away from him for 6 years i basically fell away and i think god doesn’t want anything to do with my anymore like said in Hebrews 6:4 people really should stop trying to figure out why god is silent because they just don’t know nobody knows but god

  • Satanic_Panic

    Because ‘god’ doesn’t exist.