What About Unanswered Prayer?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

“If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:” (Psalm 66:18 KJV).

Unanswered prayer is a popular topic. Why are some prayers “unanswered?”

Read Isaiah 59:1,2: “Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: but your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.”

Using the above verses, denominationalists say that if we have unconfessed sin, God does not hear our prayers (or He refuses to answer them). Of course, these religionists are not “rightly dividing the word of truth” like 2 Timothy 2:15 instructs.

Before we claim a Bible passage as ours, we need to notice to whom is the passage written. Psalm 66:18 and Isaiah 59:1,2 are not written to us in the Dispensation of Grace. They are God’s message to the nation Israel. God made a covenant with Israel—if Israel refused to listen to Him, He judged them in chastisement (in this case, unanswered prayer). Israel had to perform and obey if they wanted God’s blessings. That was their agreement with God in the Old (Mosaic) Covenant (see Deuteronomy 28).

It would make no sense to steal Israel’s passages (like Isaiah 59:1,2 and Psalm 66:18), because God dealt with Israel under law whereas He deals with us under grace (Romans 6:14,15). We are NOT in Israel’s works-religion (performance-based acceptance) system.

God judging us for unconfessed sin? If we have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour, we have perfect righteousness. How can God impute sin to us when we are in His Son (Romans 4:6-8; 2 Corinthians 5:19)? As Christians, we can boldly come to God our Father in prayer. He hears all our prayers.

So, why do we not always get our prayers answered how we want? Evidently, we are trying to get God to do something He is not doing today (like asking Him for the promises He gave Israel and never promised us). Unanswered prayer is the result of us not praying in accordance with Paul’s epistles.