Our prayers should be in alignment to God’s will and not having wrong motives. We need to be sensitive to the guidance and leadings of the Holy Spirit, as we read and study God’s word.
James 4:3 – You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.
1 John 5:14-15 – And this is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.
Sin in our life
Where there is unrepentant sin, the Lord will not hear us. Willfully disobeying God’s law, even our prayers become an abomination to Him. Adopting a lifestyle of sin and constantly transgressing against God. As God is holy, we ought to live holy lives.
Psalm 66:18 – If I regard wickedness in my heart, the Lord will not hear.
Proverbs 28:9 – He who turns away his ear from listening to the law, even his prayer is an abomination.
Isaiah 59:12-13 – For our transgressions are multiplied before Thee, and our sins testify against us; For our transgressions are with us, And we know our iniquities; transgressing and denying the Lord, and turning away from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving in and uttering from the heart lying words.
Doubts or unbelief is one of the reasons that cause unanswered prayers/or miracles to occur.
Hebrews 11:6 – And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
Mark 11:22-24 – And Jesus answered saying to them, “Have faith in God.
Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it shall be granted him. Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they shall be granted you.
Delay may be due to the devil withstanding the answers to our prayers. As such we need to persevere in prayer based on God’s word. Thus quoting of Scriptures gives us the legal right to claim what’s ours in God. His angels will act on our behalf and hearken to fulfil God’s word. (Read the book of Daniel)
Daniel 10:13-14 – But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia. “Now I have come to give you an understanding of what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision pertains to the days yet future.”
Oppressing the poor
When we ignore the cry of the needy, God will do likewise. Thus as we are blessed, we need to bless others.
Proverbs 21:13 – He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor will also cry himself and not be answered.
Psalm 109:16-17 – Because he did not remember to show lovingkindness, but persecuted the afflicted and needy man, and the despondent in heart, to put them to death. He also loved cursing, so it came to him; and he did not delight in blessing, so it was far from him.
God wants to change you
In the process of waiting, God may use this period to change our life – a renewed heart and a desire to draw close to Him. When we allow God to change our attitudes, behaviour the quicker the blessings will come. Take for example, Jacob – when he ‘wrestled’ with God, not only was he changed but got the desired blessings. Even his name was changed from Jacob to Israel.
Genesis 32:24- 28 – Then Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. And when he saw that he had not prevailed against him, he touched the socket of his thigh; so the socket of Jacob’s thigh was dislocated while he wrestled with him. Then he said, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking.” But he said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” So he said to him, What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” And he said, “Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel; for you have striven with God and with men and have prevailed.”
Bible Quotations are taken from NASB version