“Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:”
There are times when it seems as if God isn’t listening to your prayer. The verse above makes this clear when it says that the LORD’s ear is not “heavy, that it cannot hear.” There are times when you wonder if God is listening. God is listening, but there are reasons as to why He chooses not to answer your prayers. There are several reasons throughout the Scriptures that I want to share with you as to why there are times when God chooses not to answer your prayers.
First, sin always keeps prayers from being answered. Psalm 66:18 says, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:” Isaiah 59:2 says, “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.” Sin will keep your prayers from being answered. Sin is like a wall that keeps God from hearing your prayers. When you feel like God is not listening to your prayers, the first action you should take is to search your heart to see if there is sin in your life that is hindering your prayers from being answered.
Second, there are times when your prayer isn’t answered because it will hurt another person. Deuteronomy 23:5 says about Balaam’s prayer not being answered, “Nevertheless the LORD thy God would not hearken unto Balaam; but the LORD thy God turned the curse into a blessing unto thee, because the LORD thy God loved thee.” There are going to be times when your prayer is going to hurt another believer. You must understand that God looks at your prayers through how they impact His world, and not by how they impact your world. There are times that your prayers will hinder God’s greater plan; therefore, He hears your prayer, but He won’t answer it.
Third, there are times when God doesn’t answer your prayer because He is removing a hindrance to a greater answer. In Job 30, Job lamented that God wasn’t listening to his prayer, but you see later in the Book of Job that God was waiting to help sanctify Job so that He could bless in a greater way in Job 42. There will be times when God withholds an answer to your prayer because He is trying to remove something that will keep you from having a greater answer. God loves you and wants the best for you, and sometimes He knows that if you remove one thing from your life that He can bless you more than what you are actually asking.
Fourth, there are times when God doesn’t answer your prayer so He can grow your faith. In Jeremiah 42, God didn’t answer Jeremiah’s prayer because He was trying to grow his faith. God knows that the greater your faith becomes, the greater He can use you; therefore, He may withhold an answer to your prayer so that He can grow your faith. My friend, let God’s time of silence grow your faith in Him instead of letting the silence cause you to become frustrated with Him. God has your best interest at stake; therefore, you must let the silence grow your faith in God’s providential hand.
Fifth, there are times when God doesn’t answer your prayer because the answer doesn’t fit His timing. God’s timing is perfect. You must trust that God always hears your prayer, but it’s just the timing as to why He chooses not to answer it. God always hears your prayer, but there will be times when your timing and God’s timing don’t match. Always trust God’s timing because His timing is always right.