Have you ever prayed for days, weeks, or even years at a time and still found yourself wondering, When is God going to answer this prayer?
When I pray, I really want my prayers to get answered. I know faith and patience and timing are all in the mix, but sooner or later, I need to hear from God because―let’s face it―there are some pretty outrageous promises in His Word, and if we’re not experiencing them for ourselves, we need to start asking why.
It could be one of the following three reasons.
1. You’re Unaware of God’s Will
John 15:7 says, “If you live in Me [abide vitally united to Me] and My words remain in you and continue to live in your hearts, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you.”
Well, I thought I knew that scripture up and down and then one day, I just got bold enough to ask God, “Why is this not working?”
It turned out there was a word in that scripture I hadn’t paid much attention to―abiding. It means “to live in, dwell in, and remain in.” When you have that kind of close relationship with God, you get to know His heart and you have a greater sense of the things you should pray for, and what His will truly is.
2. You’re Self-Sabotaging Your Prayers
For at least twenty-five years, I’ve been praying for God to move so that people would receive miraculous healings while attending my conferences or watching my TV program. For a long time, I just didn’t see it happening, but I was standing on Psalm 107:20, “He sends forth His word and heals them and rescues them from the pit and destruction.”
Now, I don’t remember how it all happened, but God began to show me that there’s a major connection between effective prayer and the words we speak out loud.
One scripture He showed me was Isaiah 58:9, “…Take away from your midst yokes of oppression [wherever you find them], the finger pointed in scorn [toward the oppressed or the godly], and every form of false, harsh, unjust, and wicked speaking.”
So, God’s saying it’s just as important to glorify Him through the words you speak when you’re not praying as it is when you are praying.
3. Your Love Walk Is Weak
I believe our mouth is such a major part of the love walk. I don’t think we really realize how much we can do for people by building them up with our words. We need to be even more careful not to say things that tear them down.
The Bible says the heart is deceitful above all else (see Jeremiah 17:9). We’re kind of desperate to believe we have a good heart, so in order to learn the truth about ourselves, we need to give our tongue a real close examination.
Do you remember the last time you went to the doctor and were asked to open your mouth and say, “Ahhhhh”? Well, it’s because the tongue tells a lot about your physical health. Likewise, the tongue tells us a lot about our spiritual health.
So if you’re not already in the habit of listening to yourself talk, I’m challenging you to start today.
The Antidote to Unanswered Prayer
Learning to abide in God, focusing on His heart and His desires, will bring you to a higher level of spiritual maturity and help you discover the amazing authority you have in prayer. Speaking in line with His Word can move mountains in the Spirit, and growing in your love walk opens up powerful opportunities to show others who God is.
I encourage you to search your heart in these three areas. As you do, I believe you will begin to experience a much more effective, fulfilling prayer life―and a closer, more intimate relationship with God. In His perfect timing and His way, He will always answer you.