Why doesn’t God hear us when we pray?
These are a few pointers I have picked up about reasons why at times our prayers seem to get no further than the ceiling!
What is our motivation? Is it a good reason to be asking for whatever? James 4 v 3 says that when we ask in prayer with wrong motives we do not receive what we ask for.
Are we knowingly disobeying God? Isaiah 59 v 2 tells of how sin prevents God from hearing us.
Are we asking for the right thing? Is it in line with what the Bible teaches?
Has the answer come but we have not recognised it as it is not what we expected?
Remember sometimes God’s answer is “No” but then there is something better. Sometimes His answer is “Not yet”.
How long should we keep praying for something before accepting that God’s answer is “No”?
Paul prayed for something 3 times (2 Corinthians 12 v 8) then he realised what God’s answer was. But I am sure that those 3 times of prayer were undoubtedly more intense than just asking on 3 separate occasions.
My own personal experience is that if I very specifically prayed for something (possibly for someone’s healing) 3 times, then if there is no change after 3 such prayers, I start to question exactly what is happening and look deeper.
For my own personal prayer requests I have found 2 things immensely helpful:
● Firstly a prayer journal, in which I note any specific requests and also what I feel God is saying (which must always be tested against the Bible’s teaching)
● Then for really knotty prayer requests I will write out the prayer – possibly modelling it on a great prayer in the Bible (Abraham Genesis 18; Daniel in Daniel 9). I will write out what I want to say and the reasons it is a good idea, then I will commit to pray that prayer every day for a month or possibly 40 days. As you pray you begin to see things from God’s perspective and after maybe a week I would expect that the wording of the prayer would need to be altered.
Remember: Prayer is more about us letting God show us His thoughts than about us trying to make God change His mind!
The most important or life-changing prayer is the prayer of someone asking the Lord to come and be a part of their life something along the lines of:
Father God I realise I simply cannot live up to Your standards of holiness and goodness. I need Your help Lord Jesus Christ, I thank You that You died to pay the penalty for all the wrong I have done and thought. I want to invite You to be a part of my life. Please release Your personality, Your Holy Spirit in my life and start to change me to become the person You want me to be. Amen.