In these few years of my Christian journey, I have come to discover that, although God is the God that answers prayers, it is not every prayer He answers. A lot of prayers goes unanswered because they do not meet God’s standard for answering prayers. Yes, there are certain types of prayers God does not answer.
What then is God’s standard for answering prayers?
- The prayer that God answers must be word-based. Most prayers are not answered because it contradicts the word of God. It has no basis in the word of God. It is not connected in any way to the Word of God. It is not backed by the word of God. The word of God condemns it.
- It must be faith-based, too. That is to say, it must be prayed based on faith, not doubts or fear, or unbelief. It must be the product of faith. It must spring out of faith in the heart.
A closer look at God’s Word will reveal to us that, some people prayed, but their prayers were not answered.
Take, for example, the prayer of Cain when he offered a sacrifice to God. He must have come to the Lord saying, “Oh God, here is my sacrifice to you. Accept it Lord, and bless me.” Did God accept it? Not at all. We are told in Gen.4.5 that, ” But unto Cain and to his offering he had not to respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.”
What about Elijah’s prayer for him to die? 1Kgs.19.4, “But he went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.” Did God answer it? No, He didn’t.
Now, let’s look at the types of prayers that God does not answer:
- Mistargetted Prayer
This type of prayer is any prayer you pray that misses God’s will for your life. For example, praying to become a president when it is not God’s will for you to become one will make the prayer go unanswered. It is praying amiss. Jas.4.3, “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”
- Dirty Prayer. This is when you are praying with sin in your life. Your sin makes the prayer ‘dirty’ in God’s sight. So, He can not hear nor answer it. Ps.66.18, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.”
- Unbelief Prayer. Why ask God to do something when you do not believe He can do it? God will not answer. Heb.11.6, “But without faith, it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
- Selfish prayer. This is a prayer that seeks something that will glorify yourself rather than God. John.14.13, “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” So, God answers prayer to glorify Himself. If it will not glorify Him, He will not answer.
- Wrong-motive Prayer. When you are God to do something for you with the wrong motive, He will not answer the prayer. “Oh God, give me prosperity!” Why? “So that my name will enter Guinness World Records.” God will not answer such a prayer.
- Carnal Prayer. When your prayer is majorly flesh-centered. A prayer to fulfill the carnal cravings or lusts of the flesh. It becomes carnal. A prayer that will not in any way help you to become spiritual, is carnal. God would not concern Himself with such prayers. Rom.8.7, “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” Prayers from such minds are carnal. They don’t please God.
- Self-destructive Prayer. This Is praying that God should kill you or let you die. He doesn’t answer such prayers. 1Kgs.19.4, “But he went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.”
- Flesh-inspired Prayer. When it is your flesh leading or inspiring you to pray instead of the spirit. Rom.8.8, “So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.”
- Non-fervent Prayer. It is the type of prayer you pray that is cold, lukewarm, and doesn’t move you. If your prayer doesn’t move you, how do you think it will move God to answer? Jas.5.16b, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” If the prayer is not fervent, it does not prevail.
- Disagreement prayer. This is the prayer you pray with someone without agreeing with him in your heart that God will answer. If you don’t agree with him or her, the prayer will not be answered. That means you are using your unbelief to fight against the prayer. Matt.18.19, “Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.”
- Comparison Prayer. When you are praying and comparing yourself with someone else, God will not answer. “Oh Lord, see that man has bought a car, I too must have one car. I am even better than him.” No, please. God will not answer. Such prayers are foolishness. God does not support foolishness. 2Cor.10.12, “For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves…but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.”
- Hypocritical Prayer. This kind of prayer is the type prayed by a hypocrite. God will not answer. It is praying for one thing and doing another thing. Praying for forgiveness and still sinning. It is praying to gain people’s attention. Matt.23.23, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!” God is against the hypocrite and his prayers!
- Doubtful Prayer. Praying and doubting if the prayer is answered or not will make your prayer not be answered. Or, doubting the willingness and power of God to answer will make God not answer. Jas.1.6, “But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.”
Having gone through this, check up and see if any of the above is your kind of prayer. Then, change your prayer type to the right one.
You need to repent of all those wrong prayers you have been praying so that God will begin to answer your prayers. And, you, on the other hand, will begin to enjoy answers to prayer.
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