what to do when your prayers are not getting answered

What to Do When Your Prayers Are Not Getting Answered

So, you’ve prayed and prayed, asking God for one or two things for such a long time. But it’s beginning to look as though God doesn’t give so much as a hoot about you because after each prayer, all you get are the crickets, and your prayers go unanswered.

You even top up your prayers with some acts of mercy, just so you can receive mercy too and maybe have your prayers answered. But still, no matter how long you cry and call out to God, it doesn’t seem like He cares enough to bother about your unanswered prayers.

And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: and if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

1 John 5:14-15 KJV

I know you’re like, ‘Yes, Meb. This is what God promised. But why am I not getting answers to my prayers?’

Relax. I’ll explain.

First, please understand that God is not an irresponsible Father and takes no delight in seeing His children suffer. His nature is love. So, no; He doesn’t sit in heaven scoffing and watching you cry to Him day and night with no intention to answer you. That’s not His nature. If He says He answers, then He indeed does.

Then, what do you do when your prayers are not getting answered?

First, Be Sure You Are In the Will Of God

If you are yet to believe in the sacrifice of Jesus, you have no right to talk to God. Harsh. But it’s the truth. You know why?

And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

John 14:13 KJV

Right about now, the only way one can approach God is in the name of Jesus. And anyone who has not believed in the name of Jesus has no right to the use of the power and authority in it to approach God. Unless you want to come in your name, which, of course, is already blemished by sin. The only prayer you are permitted to make as an unbeliever is the prayer of the sinner.

So, if your prayers are not getting answered, first check that you are one of God’s, that you have believed in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, and you are in the centre of God’s will.

Check That You Are Not Blindly Asking What God Has Already Provided

I once heard a young Christian lady praying in the lines of “God, make me righteous.” She prayed so passionately that if I could answer her at that point, I would give her all the righteousness I could gather.

But God is never going to answer that kind of prayer unless it comes from an unbeliever. In that case, God would answer the unbeliever by sending someone who would preach the gospel to them and get them saved. But for a believer, God will never answer the prayer of making you righteous. HE HAS ALREADY MADE YOU RIGHTEOUS. It’s something He has already completed by the sacrifice of Jesus, not a thing He has yet to do.

So, when it looks like God isn’t answering your prayers, be sure He hasn’t already done something about it. I actually feel it’s insulting to keep going to God for what has already been done. Imagine your child constantly crying and asking you to pay school fees you have already paid?

What, then, should you do if God has already done something, but it doesn’t look like you have it? In this case, you are to receive with thanksgiving and fine-tune your heart to accommodate the already-made provision. This is the process of mind renewal, which does not happen overnight.

Review the Last Instructions You Received from God

Sometimes, prayers go unanswered because there is an instruction or action you were given some time ago and have yet to obey. And until you obey that instruction, no new thing will happen.

So, what did God last say or ask you to do concerning that matter you’re praying for?

Even if you have obeyed that last instruction, you may still need to stay on it until God Himself brings a new one.

Check Your Heart

Why are you making that prayer?

To spend it on your lust or to glorify God?

Or will the answer to that prayer cause you to sin or depart from God?

Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

James 4:3 KJV

Know that God only answers prayers that are aligned with His will so that when you feel your prayers are going unanswered, you should check who or what that answer would likely glorify when it comes. If it’s not God, then it will most likely stay unanswered.

You Have to Receive

When you have checked all the boxes above and everything is right, but your answer isn’t forthcoming, God isn’t still at fault. You need to put in the work to see your prayers manifest.

The thing is, we live in a fallen world, and not everything around us is automatically set to align with and accommodate the will of God. So, sometimes, you need to believe against all odds to receive the answers to your prayer. It’s more like a radio transmission. You need to turn on and tune your radio to a station’s frequency before you can get reception from them.

Remember the popular story of Daniel when he prayed? Scriptures explain that from the first day he set himself to pray, his prayers were answered, but the manifestations were withheld by the prince of Persia. So, that you aren’t seeing the answer to your prayers doesn’t mean it hasn’t already been answered. God has answered. You only have to be persistent in receiving it. Don’t give up or lose hope; just receive those answers in faith.

Other times, the release of faith to receive the answers to your prayers will be against your own flesh (or the condition of your mind). When you have to battle your mind and experience to receive, the best thing to do is to keep building your faith by giving yourself to things that keep you trusting in God and His abilities. It is not the time to go lamenting to friends how God hasn’t answered your prayers. Instead, you want to constantly remind yourself of what God has said and done about that situation.

Be Sure That You Aren’t Putting God In A Box

If you find that your prayers are not getting answered, you want to ensure that you aren’t restricting the move of God. This one is so powerful and is especially applicable when you have a specific way you hope God would answer.

If, for example, you are asking God to meet a financial need, there are a dozen ways He can do that. He may not necessarily nudge someone to send you some money. He may simply send you a job opportunity where you have to put on those work overalls and get down to work. Just be sure you’re open to receiving God’s answers in whatever way they come, bearing in mind that God knows and has the best for you.

Be Grateful for The Prayers God Has Answered

Unanswered prayers can actually be a source of concern for anyone who has had to endure one. But I promise you, if you took the time to reflect on those prayers whose answers you’ve received and are already enjoying, you may not be as intensely bothered by the unanswered ones.

And isn’t it just amazing that being grateful for previously answered prayers will also remind you of God’s faithfulness and commitment to you? This can serve as a faith booster to help you better receive those answers.

Wait with A Joyful Attitude

God does not work according to our timing as humans. We are limited by time and a whole lot of other factors, but God isn’t. So, the time you believe would be best to get the answers to that prayer may not be the best time God would have you receive it. So, when you’ve exhausted all other options, wait. You’ll get the answer when the time is right.

Other times, God wants to see how intensely you want that answer, especially if you are asking something precious or critical to your life. And yet, other times, you really have to wait because you may not have built what it takes to sustain the answers to those prayers.

Nevertheless, the most important part of waiting for the answers to your prayers is not in the waiting itself but in the attitude with which you wait. God doesn’t take any pleasure in our suffering. Instead, He wants to use every opportunity to transform us into the image of His dear Son. So, in waiting for the answers to your prayers, ensure that you cooperate with God to birth His will in your life. See that you also build your faith and trust in God as you wait, and never lose your joy!


I hope you no longer get discouraged or start to doubt God when you do not get the answers to your prayers as you suppose. Instead, I hope you will do the needful and wait in thanksgiving.

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