Why do my prayers get stuck?
I know it says in John 3:16 ‘”For God so LOVED the world”; I know Jeremiah wrote (31:3) “I have loved thee with an everlasting love.” – but my prayer life does not reflect that intimacy. Why i am not feeling it? What about that crisis i am in? What about that job, that relationship, that difficulty, that struggle? I pray and I get nothing
For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring – Isaiah 44:3 (KJV)
Read that verse above one more time. What kind of ground gets watered? The answer is thirsty ground; dry ground. Here then is one answer to Why Doesn’t God Hear Me? Am I hungry for His answers? Do I crave and yearn for His guidance? Not being ready receive His answers is reason enough we don’t hear when He calls. We must feel our need of help from Him. The heart must be ready to receive the influence of the Spirit. He cannot pour more into a cup that is already full of other things We must be ready to receive. We gotta get right with God and ready our hearts.
Another question to ask ourselves then is am i leading the double-life? Do I have two faces? To figure you can run your own game and not submit to the leading and vision of the Holy God. The Word is clear that if you are running your own game you are knee deep in the sin of Pride and it’s going to leave blood on your hands.
- There they cry out, but He does not answer because of the pride of evil men. Surely God will not listen to an empty cry, nor will the Almighty regard it – Job 35:12-13
- So when you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide My eyes from you; yes, even though you multiply prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are covered with blood. – Isaiah 1:15
Pride tells you it okay to live two lives – one for the public and one in private. But means a life of sin and if practiced continually – the Bible word is; iniquity. God can save you from this; He can hear you. However:
- Behold, the Lord’s hand is not so short that it cannot save; nor is His ear so dull that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear. – Isaiah 59:1-2
- If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me – Psalm 66:18
When God’s face is hidden from us, there should be no confusion about why. He remains facing us, but we have turned away from His face. His face is hidden when I turn my back on Him. I am the one who has moved as Friend Jeremiah terms it, I wander from God and have not kept my feet in check.
- Thus says the Lord to this people, “Even so they have loved to wander; they have not kept their feet in check. Therefore the Lord does not accept them; now He will remember their iniquity and call their sins to account. – Jeremiah 14:10
Notice that we are talking about an act of will here. Jeremiah calls us out. We wander when we live with our emotions in the lead. Emotional responses to the world are restless. They will command the mind and willpower to engage the body in degrading and immodest passions. The Jesus Path is for the Spirit to lead the willpower to intentionally control the mind.
- Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth – Colossians 3:1-2
We are to use the will to set the mind – to direct, discipline and restrain the emotions. This is an act of humility and submission to God without which our prayers become lifeless and unprofitable.
- If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. – 2 Chronicles 7:14
Why Doesn’t God Hear Me? Because we are not ready to receive. We got stuff going on – we are busy with the actions and activities so life. We obey our emotions; we surrender our will to selfish indulgence. We fail to read His word.
- He who turns away his ear from listening to the law, Even his prayer is an abomination – Proverbs 28:9
Some More to Chew On
Check out these two verses. They reflect the true state of affairs for the Believer who walks the Jesus Path.
- I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, ‘You are my servant’; I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand – Isaiah 41:9-10
- 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 – 1 John 5:14-15
So that doesn’t answer the question: Why Doesn’t God Hear Me? Another factor we need to evaluate in our living is we fail to recognize God’s answers; and so His answers go unheard; and so we give up in the asking – because His answers come in a different form or at a different time then we expect
We go into our prayers with preconceived ideas about how and when we want something to work out. Does God turn a deaf ear to our desperate pleas for healing, for finances or protection? When we pray we often equate the absence of our answers to God rejecting our requests. But He does answer our prayers. How to address this? First of all we must persevere in our prayers. Why would the writer of Hebrew instruct about endurance if the matter was one quickly resolved?
- For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised – Hebrews 10:36
We must understand that the timing of God’s answers should be viewed in relation to His concept of time. God does not measure time as we do. What seems forever to us – is not long for God
- But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day – 2 Peter 3:8
But see too, Jesus warns us that answers to our prayers are a marathon and not a sprint:
- Now Jesus told them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart – Luke 18:1
- To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven – Ecclesiastes 3:1
Yet another thing
Listen closely. Believers must understand that many of God’s answers are forthcoming and many will remain a mystery. But the common factor is found in the waiting.
- The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law – Deuteronomy 29:29
- For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what God hath prepared for him that waiteth for Him – Isaiah 64:4
Take Abraham for example.
- When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for Him to swear by, He swore by himself, saying, “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.” And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised – Hebrews 6:13-15
- Abram was age 75 when God promised to make him a great nation
- Abram was age 85 when God promised him a son.
- Abraham was 99 when God changed his name
- Abraham was 100 when Issac was born
Twenty-five years go by and Hebrews says Abraham “waited patiently.” Why Doesn’t God Hear Me? The answer is He does. But one answer is that we are too fidgety to wait.
Sadly enough, we are not real good at asking. We forget to ask, we assume God will work it out for us.
- If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him – Matthew 7:11
- Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God – Philippians 4:6
We have to ask. But then once we do it takes intentional diligence to keep our prayers in front of our minds and filtered through the Spirit. Notice how the above passage in Philippians continues:
- And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus – Philippians 4:78
Our hearts and minds need to be “kept” that we might not grow anxious and lose hope. Only the power of God can keep our hearts and minds. Only His Word.
- If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you – John 15:7
Time spent in the Word will make our wants and desires conform to God’s. This will result in our better keeping His commandments; which results in our receiving the answers we seek
- And whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight – 1 John 3:22
Three keys to a better prayer life
The first thing we must do is to acknowledge and submit to His Authority. God is God; not us.
- Know that the Lord Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture – Psalm 100:3
- For Thou dost exalt Thyself as Lord over all – 2 Chronicles 29:11
- Remember the former things long past, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’ – Isaiah 46:9-10
Secondly we must remember the single purpose for every prayer – there is only one as identified by Jesus Himself
- Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son – John 14:13
The glory of the Lord. That the Father may be glorified. That is the key to every prayer Believers utter. We must seek and promote His glory in everything we ask for.
Thirdly, we must Believe. Jesus walking with Martha to the tomb of Lazarus when He told her:
- Jesus said to Martha, “Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” John 11:40
Notice He does not ask her to have life changing, mountain-moving faith. He does not ask her for anything more than to simply belief. Do you believe God can make a difference in the situation that you are praying about? Then, as suggested by my first point, look for His glory. Christ says if you believe you will see the glory of the Lord. But we must look; we must keep our heads on a pivot and our eyes peeled. The Glory of the Lord is most likely not going to appear in the direction we expect.
Help my unbelief
How do we help our unbelief? What do we do to build our confidence and embolden our belief? The answer to get off the sidelines and get into the game. Follow this selection from Isaiah 62 – let it be a guide and blueprint for your prayer life!
- On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have appointed watchmen;
- Walls are defensive. God has appointed you and I to watch
- All day and all night they will never keep silent.
- What is missing from the word “all” ?
- Can you sense the persistence in this? Nothing must keep you silent – not circumstance, not doubt, not fear
- Your message to God will be heard
- You who remind the Lord, take no rest for yourselves;
- You are to remind the Lord that you need His protection
- You are to be tireless – take no rest for yourselves
- And give Him no rest
- Did you hear that?
- Give Him no rest – keep at Him – be tireless in your prayers
- Until when?
- Until He establishes And makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth –
- Until He establishes you – until He sets your feet on solid ground
- Until He paves the way for you out of your difficulties
- Give Him no rest
And yes the prayer is for Jerusalem – the place of His ultimate abode. But where is His Spirit today?
- Inside of you!
- Until He establishes and Makes you a praise
- Until He makes you a source of praise unto His name
Read this passage in its entirety:
- On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have appointed watchmen; All day and all night they will never keep silent. You who remind the Lord, take no rest for yourselves; And give Him no rest until He establishes And makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth. Your answer to prayer is found in your appointment, in your ordination, in your assignment as watchmen – keep watch! – Isaiah 62:6-7
Do not tire. And give no God no rest. This is the way of the prayer warrior! This is answer to Why Doesn’t God Hear Me? He does and He will respond. Don’t lose heart! Keep at it! Wear God out.
- In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and did not respect man. There was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying, ‘Give me legal protection from my opponent.’ For a while he was unwilling; but afterward he said to himself, ‘Even though I do not fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection, otherwise by continually coming she will wear me out.’” And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge *said; now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth? – Luke 18:3-7