Man praying

When God doesn’t seem to be answering our prayers it can be hard. Sometimes, it’s downright awful. As a faithful Christian, you want to stay trusting in God. In these situations though, you might feel yourself asking the "why" questions. Is God still there? Is He listening to my tears?

Matthew 7:7, "Ask, and it will be given to you" and Isaiah 65:24 says "Before you call I will answer, while you are still speaking, I will hear." God is still there, but He might have a different plan than what you thought of. Here are the reasons why God doesn't always answer prayers, and how you can get past the anxiety that comes with it.

You are asking for the wrong things.

While God will provide for us, we only will be given things that are in line with Christian morals and values. 1 John 5:14-15 says "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of Him."

Praying “in accordance to His will” doesn’t mean that we pray for whatever want. We aren't going to automatically be given a convertible car because we asked for it. We should be asking God to grant us only things He would have us pray for.

It's not a part of God's plan for you.

Whether we realize it or not, God has an amazing, huge master plan that He is slowly unfolding. It might look incredibly different from His perspective than from ours. Sometimes, the things that we ask for, that we think are best for us, really aren’t the best for us at all. In these instances, God is saying "no" or "wait" not to be mean, but because He has a different plan for your life. With time, it will all make sense why God chose to act the way He did. It’s important for us as Christians to be patient and trust in Him.

You have the wrong motives.

God sometimes won't bless us because the things we are asking for are coming from a bad place. Do you want God to help you land a better job because you want to further your career and help your family, or because you want to gain power, success and greater wealth? James 4:3 says "When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures." When we treat God as if He is a living ATM, magic genie, or a supernatural vending machine, we aren't going to get what we want. He will only give us what is in accordance with His Will.

You are pushing yourself away from Him.

When we are going through hard times we sometimes turn away from our faith instead of leaning into it. When we stop confessing our sins, skip going to church, stop reading the Bible, and stop regularly talking to God then we lose the ability to connect with Him as well. With continued time, we eventually stop hearing Him like we once did.

Psalm 116:1-2 says “I love the Lord, for He heard my voice; He heard my cry for mercy. Because He turned His ear to me, I will call on Him as long as I live.” God is hearing your prayers, so don't turn your back on faith. Instead of pushing yourself away from the faith, try and get more involved in it. In the midst of what you’re facing, find simple things for which to praise God. Psalm 6 1:2 tells us that the best thing we can do in tough situations is call out to God, not push away from Him: "From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”

Furthermore, if we are doing things we should not be doing, and are disobeying Him, we cannot expect Him to answer our prayers. He cannot answer our prayers if we have sins in our lives that are unconfessed or if we are hanging on to cherished sins. This is not saying you can earn God’s favor to answer your prayers, it will always be Jesus’s blood that makes us worthy; but we do need to do our part if God is going to work in our lives.

He did answer, but you didn't listen.

It might be a bit of a hard pill to swallow, but most of the time God does answer us, we just aren't listening. Though you feel you've called Him over and over without any answer, He never stopped listening or speaking back to you. People often say God speaks in mysterious ways. This could be through another Christian you trust, a Bible passage, and the like. Listening is more than just being quiet, listening is about being present mentally.

Sometimes, the answer simply is no and that's that. We have to stop thinking is that no means an unanswered prayer. As much as we complain, pout, kick and scream we won’t always get what we want. As explained earlier, God's plan will overrule the desires you may have.

When you need something from God the best way to ask Him is through prayer. He can help you with all types of problems, from mental to physical. Sometimes, though, we have to understand that our prayers to Him won’t always get back the responses we were hoping for. There are many reasons why God might not answer your desires in the way you were hoping, but we can find comfort in knowing that He hasn’t actually left us and is preparing something grander than we could ever have imagined.

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