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Summary: Why are your prayers not getting answered? Scripture is very clear why...

Unanswered Prayers

Psalm 66:18

Have you ever had something on your mind, you pray and pray over it and nothing ever comes from it? That can get frustrating…

We say we pray and sometimes we even pray in earnest but for the life of us we can’t understand why God id NOT answering our prayers. I would say that the most popular question I have asked of me is “Why does God not answer my prayers?”

There can be any number of reasons why he doesn’t answer your prayer, some of which I will attempt to bring out by looking at different heroes of the faith. But before we begin looking at them let me tell you that the underlying reason is sin.

Sin in the heart of God’s child keeps God from answering many of your prayers. If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear. (Psalms 66:18)

Now, before we look at what the psalmist did say first look at what he did NOT say: He didn’t say that if I sin or have sinned that He will not answer me. For we are all sinners, sinners saved by the grace of God but still sinners.

The key to what he said was in the first part of this psalm. “If I regard iniquity in my heart…” I am a sinner saved by the grace of God BUT if I hold sin in my heart God will not hear my prayers.

• If I love sin,

• cherish sin,

• make an alibi for sin,

• give excuses for sin,

• cover sin up,

• so that it becomes a controversy between me and God,

THEN – God will not answer me when I call myself praying.

I will try to illustrate with some of God’s saints in the Bible. Men and women, who loved God, were people after His own heart but their prayers were not answered until they removed the sin which separated them from God. Because, if we let it, that sin will become a barrier.

I. Moses

A. Moses was a great man.

1. Look at his qualifications:

a) Leader,

b) Priest,

c) Prophet,

d) Law Giver.

2. Moses was a man prepared of God to do the task laid before him.

a) Moses prayed a prayer to be able to enter the Promised Land.

(1) God denied Moses’ request.

3. The reason was disobedience. (Numbers 20)

a) Moses disobeyed a direct command from God.

(1) God had commanded Moses to speak to the rock.

(a) Instead, Moses struck the rock with his staff.

(2) Then Moses took the credit for bringing forth the water.

(a) Notice how in verse 10 Moses said, "must we (referring to Moses and Aaron) bring you water out of this rock."

(b) Moses took credit for the miracle himself, instead of attributing it to God.

(3) But Moses did this in front of all the Israelites.

(a) Such a public example of direct disobedience could not go unpunished.

(b) Moses’ punishment was that he would not be allowed to enter the Promised Land.

B. Many are in the same boat this morning.

1. God has failed to answer our prayers because we have this same spirit of self-will, rebellion and disobedience.

2. I always found that if I obeyed my parents they would be more apt to hear me and reply in a positive manner.

a) But I first had to line my will up to theirs.

b) I had to surrender my will to theirs.

3. Parents today are so easy to do what their children want and we are spoiling them.

a) But without thinking we are hurting them spiritually.

b) They begin to think that God should give them because they ask.

c) They never understand that they must line up with God.

II. Abraham and Sarah.

A. Impatience will hinder your prayers.

1. Sarah and Abraham had prayed for a child.

a) God heard their prayer and promised Abraham that He would have a son.

(1) God didn’t move fast enough for them so they thought they would help Him out.

(2) Sara urged Abraham to have a child with her servant.

b) Heb 11:6 lets us know that, “… [God] is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”

2. God will not give us an answer until we learn to wait upon the Him.

a) God finally gave them a son in their old age.

b) Impatience in their hearts led to a delay in their prayers being answered.

B. Jesus Tells the story of a judge who finally granted to a widow her request because of her “pestering”.

1. Then he said, “Will not God grant justice to His elect who cry out to Him day and night? Will He delay [to help] them?” (Luke 18:7 - HCSB)

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