Sometimes I hear people complain about prayers that are “not answered”
Most of the time when people said this, they should have said “God didn’t answer me in the way I wanted Him to answer”
Like spoiled children they act as if they didn’t hear Him say ‘No’ or ‘Later”
God really is a loving Father, Who is willing to receive your prayers. But that does not mean He will grant you every request as we will see in the following verses.
It amazes me how often people see God as kind of a genie in a bottle, who is our slave, and has to do what we command.
Well if you are one of them I have a disappointment for you.
▪︎ God is nothing like a genie in a bottle,
▪︎ He is certainly not your servant
▪︎ And He absolutely does not have to do what you want.
You got it completely upside down.
Not He is to follow your commands, but you have to follow His commands.
As John 12:26 makes clear to us we can be His servants “If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him”.
Yes you may ask God for things in prayer, but know that instead of receiving you may also hear as answer a flat out NO, or a NOT YET.
Even apostle Paul received NO as an answer on his prayers as we can read in 2 Corinthians 12:7-9: “Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me A THORN IN THE FLESH, a messenger of Satan to TORMENT me – to keep me from exalting myself ⁸Concerning this I implored the Lord THREE TIMES that it might leave me. ⁹And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me”.
Sometimes you may ask something, that looks very good in your eyes; but God Who knows better than you do, says: NO that is not good for you. I want you to have something different, or something better.
Or sometimes you may also ask for something, that looks very good in your eyes; but it is not according God’s will. Then too the answer will be NO.
As disappointed as you may feel, you will have to submit to His will. His plans for you are always much better than that where you could have thought of in your wildest dreams.
1 John 5:14 tells us: “This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.”
An other reason God does not listen to your prayers is when you keep sinning or are determined to offend Him by your actions.
In Isaiah 1:15-17 we read: ¹⁵”So when you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide My eyes from you; Yes, even though you multiply prayers, I WILL NOT LISTEN. Your hands are covered with blood. ¹⁶”WASH YOURSELVES, make yourselves clean; REMOVE THE EVIL of your deeds from My sight. CEASE TO DO EVIL, ¹⁷LEARN TO DO GOOD; SEEK JUSTICE, REPROVE THE RUTHLESS, DEFEND THE ORPHAN, PLEAD FOR THE WIDOW.
Again an other thing is that God will protect His own.
In 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 we read of things that are very harmful to us ⁹Or do you not know that the UNRIGHTEOUS will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither FORNICATORS, nor IDOLATERS, nor ADULTERERS, nor EFFEMINATE, nor HOMOSEXUAL, ¹⁰nor THIEVES, nor the COVETOUS, nor DRUNKARDS, nor REVILED, nor SWINDLERS, will inherit the kingdom of God.
When you ask God in your prayers for something that endangers you of losing your rights to the inheritance of the Kingdom His answer will be NO.
Ask for a bigger house, car, bank account, etc. than your neighbors have, and it not asking for something that you really need, but for something you want based on greed.
God will say NO. And if you still get it; be careful, and wonder who was the one who gave it to you!
In James 4:2-4 we read an other warning why prayers get a negative response. ²You LUST and do not have; so you commit murder. You are ENVIOUS and cannot obtain; so you FIGHT and QUARREL. You do not have because you DO NOT ASK. ³You ask and do not receive, because you ASK WITH WRONG MOTIVES, so that you may spend it on your PLEASURES. ⁴You adulteresses, do you not know that FRIENDSHIP WITH THE WORLD IS HOSTILITY TOWARD GOD? Therefore whoever wishes to be a FRIEND OF THE WORLD makes himself an ENEMY OF GOD.