Many Christians struggle with consistency in their prayer life, or they simply don’t pray because they were discouraged when they did and nothing happened.
By going to God only when we need something, we devalue prayer. Prayer is a means by which we get to know God.
Let’s examine why there are times when prayers are not answered.
1. Unforgiveness (Mark 11:25-26). If you harbor bitterness, offense or unforgiveness in your heart toward somebody, it will hinder your prayers. Jesus wants you to forgive them.
2. Unbelief (Jas. 1:6-7). When you pray, be careful to put your faith solely in God’s character. Remember that God hears you because He is a good Father who cares for His children.
3. Wrong Motive(s) (Jas. 4:3). If you are asking God for something but you have no peace concerning that request, you need to evaluate your motives. The parable of the prodigal son exemplifies how the quality of our requests to God can reveal the brokenness or pride hidden in our hearts.
4. Unconfessed Sin (Isa. 59:1-2). Sin weighs you down and hinders your connection with God. Ask God to examine your heart and reveal anything that does not please Him. Be quick to acknowledge your guilt and sin, ask for His forgiveness and repent.
5. Mistreating Your Spouse (1 Pet. 3:7). This verse applies to both husbands and wives. If you are continually and intentionally hurting your spouse, you need to repent. In Matthew 22:39 we are commanded to love our neighbors as ourselves, especially those close to us, like our spouses.
Prayer is not only petitioning God but also spending time with Him. He desires to hear from His children and wants to respond. I encourage you to keep praying, confessing, repenting and growing in holiness and righteousness before God so that He answers your prayers.
Vladimir Savchuk is the lead pastor of Hungry Generation Church and author of Break Free; Single, Ready to Mingle; and Fight Back. He is also a founder of a virtual online school. To download free e-books, sermon series and small-group study guides, go to vladimirsavchuk.com.