5 Reasons Your Prayers Are NOT Answered

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Prayer is one of the most essential supernatural tools every human being has access to for enhancing the quality of life. Praying has multiple benefits. Universally, prayer calms and soothes us reducing anxiety and relieving stress. It provides peace and hope in something or someone “bigger than ourselves.” It’s a weapon Christians use to win in spiritual warfare. It’s through prayer that we connect and commune with our Abba Father, our Lord, and Savior. Prayer is absolutely powerful. 

When we pray in faith, believing we will receive what we ask for in prayer, God’s Word says we can have what we ask for, it will be ours (Mark 11:23,24) So….what’s the hold-up? Why haven’t you received what you are believing God to do or give you?

Here are 5 reasons why you may not be getting the results you are seeking from God when you pray.

  1. You don’t believe 
  2. You didn’t ask
  3. Your prayers were prejudicial
  4. Your prayers were laced with the wrong motives
  5. Your prayers were embedded with numerous lusts

These five reasons for not having your prayers answered are defined as prayers that are amiss! Amiss is found primarily in the New Testament and in the Greek, it has two names, atopos, meaning improper, hurtful, evil, prejudicial, and wrong. The second Greek word, kakos, means having wrong motives; to have it badly or to desire to destroy miserably.

Let’s analyze at least 5 Scriptural references that are associated with unanswered, amiss prayers.

1. “Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters. Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God. You must warn each other every day, while it is still “today,” so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God.” Hebrews3:12-13 NLT                                      

There’s a lot to unpack from this verse. An unbelieving heart is considered evil in the eyes of God. An evil unbelieving heart causes you to become vulnerable to the deceptive temptations of sin which will separate you from God. Extending prayers to God from a sinful place is like bouncing balls against walls, they will not be received by God.

2. “And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.” Hebrews 11:6 NLT. This verse connects so well with the previous verse. Your foundation for prayer must be based on believing that God exists. God is real. Disappointment in not having prayers answered when you expect them to be answered can cause you to doubt if God really is there. Well, He does exist.  You have to have a made-up mind to believe and receive Him, and you must pray honestly and pursue Him diligently fully convinced He is able and willing to grant your request. Your prayers will not be answered if you lack faith.

3. We must remember God examines the heart. Jeremiah 17:9-10 states “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.” NLT. You may pray one thing, but your heart is revealing something different. God looks at your heart because your true intentions reside there. Your prayers will remain unanswered if your heart reveals the wrong motives.

4. You cannot ignore your sins and expect God to still honor your prayer requests. “Yet if I had closed my eyes to my sin, the Lord God would have closed his ears to my prayer.” Psalms 66:18 TPT. It’s just that simple. Acknowledge your sins, seek forgiveness, repent (that means to turn from the sin and not revisit it), then make your request before God. He is holy and we are to be the same. We cannot disrespect God by approaching Him any way we like and think He will listen to us. It will not work.

5. “Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.” James 4:2-3KJV. The word lust is massive, meaning there isn’t just one way of understanding what is represented in this powerful, all-encompassing verse. This verse is the core of the message conveyed in this article.

The word lust means to intensely crave for, desire, covet, or set one’s heart upon. Covet means being jealous or eagerly desiring for something/ or someone. The New Testament identifies two types of lust, Concupiscence, and Lascivious (both found in the King James Version).

Concupiscence means:

-strong desire

-especially: sexual desire

-to lure or tempt one to sin.

Lascivious means:

-filled with or showing sexual desire; lewd, lustful 

-lascivious acts/thoughts

-to lure or tempt one to sin.

In James 4:2-3, lust can mean either of these. This portion of Scripture really drives home the significance of examining your approach to God when you pray. When you pray from an emotional trigger such as anger, envy, hatred, jealousy, or even lust, then everything that follows is contaminated and perversed. You become frustrated because you are praying but not getting anywhere with God. Examine your heart. Have you ever been so upset with someone or about a situation that you begin to pour out and replay everything that happened to you onto God and then just move on? You didn’t ask for anything but at that moment your emotions, desires, or whatever the circumstance may have been, would not have yielded the right outcome even if you did ask. God loves you so much that He will not entertain pointless, selfish, covetous prayers that will cause you false and temporary satisfaction, maybe, or cause great heartache and pain.

Let me say this again, God loves YOU! If you love Him, consider how you present yourself to Him. Worship Him, thank Him, and show Him how much you love and appreciate His love towards you. Ask Him whatever your heart desires, but here’s the caveat, 1 John 5:14,15, ” and this is the confidence that we have toward Him, that if we ask anything ACCORDING TO HIS WILL He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of Him. When we pray we absolutely should ask for what we desire, but it must be according to His will. The more you study His word and spend time listening, meditating, and communing with Him, the more you will know Him and what His will is for your life.

My prayer for you is that you develop an immeasurable rich, beautiful relationship with your Abba Father. He longs to do the same with you and you will see how your faithful God will answer your prayers. Trust Him. Amen!

4 thoughts on “AMISS!? 

  1. This is POWERFUL! This is POIGNANT! This is PRACTICAL! Straight from the Word. Thank you for taking the time to write it and for providing the scripture references. I will be sharing with my prayer partners and friends. Excellent job!

  2. This is a very timely message personally. I also think it is timely during a period where so many covet lifestyles due to the influx and diversity of images portrayed through social media. I love that you conclude stressing that our prayers must be according to his will. As we build a strong relationship with our father, we can understand the power in trusting the plan and promises to do “all things” in our favor so that we don’t have to lustful, selfish, or lamps prayers. Thank you for translating the word so we can grow in faith and power!

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