20 Reasons Why Prayers Are Not Answered

20 reasons why prayers are not answered

Matthew 21:22:
And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

Prayer can be defined as making your request known to God and believing that He will hear you and grant you your request. Prayer can also be defined as communication to God about the issues of your life. As a believer,the place of prayer can never be overemphasized. Jesus speaking in Luke 18:1 , encouraged us to pray always and not faint. However, prayers can be very frustrating when we don’t receive answers to our prayers. Nobody wants to pray to a God that will not answer his/her prayers. Today we shall be looking at 20 reasons why prayers are not answered. This will help us understand not only how to pray, but how to receive answers to our prayers. Prayer becomes a fools labor, when we don’t know how to receive answers. Ecclessiastes 10:15.

The challenge with a lot of Christians is not prayer, we pray a lot, but our primary challenge is how to receive answers to our prayers. Many times we feel discouraged and think ourselves as fools for praying because we don’t receive answers to our prayers. The truth is this, our God is a loving God, who will always listen to His children and grant them their heart desires. Our God is not a prayer storing God, He is a prayer answering God. All we need to do is to understand the art of prayer. It takes understanding to make one outstanding in life. When you lack understanding about prayer, you will keep praying like the pharisees in the bible who never get answers to their prayers. As we explore these 20 reasons why prayers are not answered, you shall begin to see the steps you need to take to see your prayers answered. My prayer for you today is this, as you study this article today, your prayers shall begin to receive speedy answers in Jesus name. For more information on How To Pray, Click Here. Now let’s go into the business of today.


Reason 1: SIN:

Psalm 66:18: If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me

Sin is a primary reason why prayers are not answered. Now I want us to understand this concept. The bible said if i regard iniquity in my heart, not in my life. What does this mean? The bible made it clear that all have sinned and have fallen short of Gods glory, Romans 3:23. As far as sin is concerned,we are all guilty, but thank God for the perfect sacrifice of Christ that has saved us all unconditionally from sin and that has made us righteous before God. Through Christ, we are saved from sin and we are acceptable to God through his blood. Therefore man no longer has a sin problem. But this can only work for those who believe in the perfect sacrifice of Jesus. If you don’t accept jesus as your Lord and saviour, you are still in your sins, and iniquity still abides in your heart. When you pray, you cannot receive answers to your prayers. No sinner can get to God successfully in prayers, and a sinner is someone who rejects Christ as His Lord and saviour. The solution to these reason, is Salvation.

Reason 2: LACK OF FAITH:

Mark 11:23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.

Faith is absolute dependency on God. Without faith, its impossible for God to answer your prayers, Hebrews 11:6. God is not a magician, He is a God of faith, He operates in the realms of faith, for God to show up in your life,you must believe in Him. Many Christians pray to God without faith, they just pray and they walk away forgetting even what they prayed about. Faith is the key to answered prayers. You must believe that you are praying to a living God and you must expect answers from Him. Expectation is a evidence of faith. When you pray in faith,you will always have expectation that your prayers will be answered.


James 4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

Praying amiss is praying outside the will of God for your life. It is not everything that you want, is good for you. When we pray outside the plan of God for our lives, we will often hit the rocks. For instance, that your friend is studying to be a medical doctor does not mean that you too will jump into the study of medicine. When we discover Gods plan for our life, it helps us to channel our prayers accordingly. A lot of believers today pray about things just because they see others doing the same. Your friend just got married to a man from America, and you are now asking God in prayers to give you a Husband from America. Such prayers often goes unanswered, not because God is adamant, but because you are praying outside Gods plan??? for your life, you are praying amiss. Jesus Christ our Lord also prayed outside Gods plan for His life, when he asked God to take this cup from Him, but immediately He said again,” not my will but thy will be done” Matthew 26:39. The solution to this reason is to search the scriptures and discover Gods plan and purpose for your life and pray in line with that. Ask God to fulfill his plans and purpose for your life and you shall see speedy answers to your prayer.


2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Fear is the reverse of faith, while faith is believing in God, fear is believing in the devil or your circumstances. Fear is also faith, but faith in the wrong direction. What you fear, you believe in. When you pray with fear in your heart,God cannot answer you, because God only manifests himself in a faith filled environment. Child of God, do not let fear cripple the faith of God on your inside. No matter how tough your situation might be, you can overcome it by faith. Mark 9:23 tells us that ” If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him/her that believeth” . praying without faith is praying with fear and they only way to overcome fear is to believe the word of God more. You must learn to trust God more in prayers and you shall overcome.


Isaiah 43:26 Put me in remembrance: let us plead together: declare thou, that thou mayest be justified.

The word of God is the only thing that abides forever,Matthew 24:35. Praying without the word of God backing your prayers, is protesting without knowing. It is the word of God that gives potency to your prayers. Just like in the court of law, you cannot plead your case without quoting relevant sections in the law book, the same way, you cannot see breakthrough in your prayer without quoting relevant scriptures from the bible. For instance, if you are believing God for the fruit of the womb , while you are praying, you remind God of His word in Genesis 21:1, Exodus 23:25-26. You challenge Him with His word and you will see The God of answered prayers in action. This is why prayer is not effective without adequate knowledge of the word of God. To be effective in prayers, you must spend time with the word so that you can discover strong reasons why your prayers must be answered.


Psalms 138:6 Though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off.

Pride is a very dangerous thing. Pride simply means overestimation of self. This is the reason why the devil is the devil today. The spirit of pride is an anti Christ spirit. No proud man can receive answers to His prayers. This is because, God is the one that resists the proud, 1 Peter 5:5-6. A good example is that of the pharisee and the publican or tax collector, in Luke 18:9-14. We see that the prayers of the pharisee was not answered because he was full of pride, but God answered and saved the publican. You must reject pride in your life if you want God to answer your prayers. You must ask God to break you and teach you to be humble, so that your prayers will be answered.


Hebrews 6:12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Patience is the fruit of the spirit, we need that virtue to see answers to our prayers. There is always a waiting period between when you pray and when you receive your answers. Just like every farmer must wait for harvest after sowing there seeds, you must also learn to wait for your prayer to be answered. Habakkuk 2:2-3, Tells us that Gods vision for us must come to pass, but we must wait for it. We must understand that God answers our prayers in processes,we must learn to walk through our own process. Some of the things you are praying for, God has already set the ball rolling for your answers, the process has started,but the reason why we don’t see answers is because we often give up before the end of our process. Prayers is like placing an order in an ecommerce store like Amazon, your order must be processed and shipped to your location,and these process can take some where between 24 hours to 3 months. That is the same with prayers,we must learn to wait for our answers. How do you wait? We wait in faith and great expectations.


Matthew 6:5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

Religious prayers are prayers that are prayed just for a show. In the days of Jesus, the Pharisees where very religious people, they thought they were close to God,but never knew the were very far from God. The love to pray in street corners and standing in the synagogues. They love it when people see them and applauds them. But that is all the get from God, the applauds of men. Prayer is not a religious exercise, it is the raw communication with God by faith and expecting instant answers. Religious prayers cannot be mixed with faith because of its canal and fleshly motives. The solution to this is be in the spirit always and seek God in spirit and in truth.


2 Corinthians 5:16 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.

Familiarity brings contempt. To be familiar with prayer means to see prayer as a routine engagement. For instance many believers do family devotions every morning, during the devotions, most of the prayers prayed are prayed with the mentality of familiarity. It doesn’t come from our hearts, we are only praying because we are Christians, not because we are spiritually hungry for a revival. You must not take any opportunity to pray lightly, because every opportunity to pray is an opportunity to create a change in your world. Don’t be familiar with prayers.


Matthew 6:7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

Vain repetition is going round circles in prayer. It means not being specific or going straight top the point. Vain repetition means saying a lot of things and yet meaning nothing in your prayers. They pharisees in those days because they wanted the people to see them as spiritual, they prayed for long hours just talking out of point. We must learn to be specific in our prayers.After giving God thanks, we must learn to go straight to the point and tell God what we need.


Matthew 17:20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

In this kingdom, you shall only have what you say, Mark 11:23. Many times when we pray,we ruin our prayers with negative confessions. What you say is what you will see. You cannot expect God to answer your breakthrough prayers when you always talk defeat. You cannot talk failure all the time and expect God to answer your prayers of success. Negative confession are poisonous to your prayers. Your confession must align with your prayers for God to answer you. Its important for you to know that, your life will always move in the direction of your mouth. If you talk failure you see failure, if you talk success, you see success. This is because life and death are in the power of the tongue Proverbs 18:21.


James 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

Irresponsibility in prayers is leaving everything about your life to God alone. Any faith that makes God absolutely responsible for everything in your life is an irresponsible faith. For your prayers to be answered, you must take actions of faith, Jesus always told the people He ministered to, “Your faith has made you whole” why is that? Because we have a role to play in our prayers. For instance if you are believing God for a miracle Job and you have prayed about it, you must go out to the streets and submit your job applications. You will never get a job by sitting down in the house all day watching movies. If you are praying for academics success, you must engage yourself also in effective study of your books ,because the Holy spirit will only remember you of what you have read about. That is responsibility, but when you pray and goto to sleep,your frustrations is bound to increase. Therefore, pray and take steps.


2 Thessalonians 3:10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.

There is no future for a lazy person in the kingdom, no matter how prayerful you are. A lot of lazy Christians everywhere thinking that prayers will help them. You see some believers spending all there weeks in church praying, instead of going out to look for work opportunities. The truth is this, prayer is not a substitute for work. Prayer can enhance your effectiveness, prayer can give you access to the top,but hard work and commitment will keep you there. A lot of Christians pray to get admission to the University and when they finally get there, the become too lazy to study. Laziness is a spiritual cancer and you must resist it in your life today.


Ephesians 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

Anger, bitterness,malice, in forgiveness are all products of strife and all these are spiritual poisons to your prayers life. When your heart is bitter towards someone, when your heart is full of hatred and unforgiveness, you cannot flow on the altar of prayer. I understand that some people have offended you, some have even betrayed you but think about how we offend God daily as Christians, yet for Christ sake He forgives us. Ask the Lord to heal your heart and wash away the pain so that you can move on with your life. When your heart is free of Strife,your prayers shall be answered.


Daniel 10:12 Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. 10:13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.

Hindering spirits are territorial spirits that controls a given territory. This spirits can attempt to resist our prayers, that is why we must be persistent in prayers. As long as we don’t give up on our prayer altar, we will surely overcome these forces. Daniel was praying for his nation and the demon of Persia opposed his prayers for 21 days,but daniel never gave up, he continued to pray untill God sent an arch angel Michael to subdue the enemy. Persistence in prayers will always lead to answers to prayers.


Psalms 11:3 If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?

Foundational problems are very serious problems. Your foundation is your roots, and until you deal with it, you may continue to struggle in life. Many believers where born into families that are under strange demonic oppression. Even after they are born again, though there spirit is saved but through the flesh they are still trapped in this demonic cage. Take for instance there are some families that suffer from late marriage, it runs in the family, its an evil pattern, even after you are born again, you have to violently separate yourself by force in order to enjoy victory in life. Dealing with foundational problems is attacking your problems from the source. Jabez knew that his problems started with his birth name, the same with Jacob. No matter what you pray for, until you deal with your foundation, you may keep struggling.
How do you deal with your foundation, simple, through prayer and fasting. For more on that please read this article on dealing with evil foundation.


Matthew 15:8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.

Selfishness is praying with the wrong motive. God searches the heart of man and He knows why we do what we do. When you pray with the wrong motive, you don’t receive answers to your prayers. For instance praying against someone just because they don’t agree with you is a wrong prayer, which will not be answered. We must pray for the right reasons in order to get answers.


Matthew 13:22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.

When you allow the cares of these world weigh you down, you cannot receive answers to your prayers. Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:33 that we should seek just His kingdom and His righteousness and all other things will be added to us. Worry can never solve your problems, but prayers can. We must learn to cast all our burdens to the Lord and he shall care for us. As long as we hold our peace, God will continue to fight for us. Ask God for the grace to put your trust in Him and Him alone.


Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

Gratitude is a catalyst for answered prayers, when we thank Him for what He has done, we see more of His goodness in our lives. As a matter of fact, every prayers starts and ends with thanksgiving. Whatever you are not grateful for you will most likely lose. Ingratitude will always lead to unanswered prayers. Thanksgiving is the only solution ingratitude.


Deuteronomy 28:13 And the LORD shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the LORD thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them:

God has ordained every believer to be the head only and not the tail. We are ordained to be envied and not to be pitied. A self pity mentality cannot lead to answered prayers. God cannot be moved by your tears, He is only moved by your faith. As long as you see yourself as a person to be pitied,you cannot have enough faith to receive answers to your prayers. But you must rise up from the dust and tell the devil enough is enough. You must confront your circumstances in prayers and see the Lord answer you speedily in Jesus name.


I believe you are blessed by this article, these are some of the common reasons why many of our prayers are not answered. But when we begin to understand how to overcome all these reasons, we see our prayer life improve form glory to glory. I can tell you with authority that when I pray, God hears and He answers me. I have prayed my way out of countless situations in life. You too can have the same testimony. I pray that these 20 reasons why prayers are not answered will end your failures in prayers in Jesus name. Be blessed.



  1. Thank you sir for this teaching. I discovered this page 3days ago and I have been blessed. I’m in a fasting program this page has help discover many things and the powerful prayer points which I have been using . Thank you again.

  2. Oh my!!! What a fantastic expoundment of the Word. May a times we have failed in our prayers simply because we do the Don’ts of answered prayers,but from today I will put into consideration the 20 points. Amen,am blessed

  3. It isn’t true that God answers prayer only to believers. Belief comes for some because their prayer is answered in spite of doubt in God or His existence. Some people are in great desperation, and cry out for help. God does not ignore true distress, otherwise His goodness would be limited. It is not.
    For some faith comes after a long journey of agnostism.


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