Today I want to share about what to do when your prayers seem unanswered, and I want to put the emphasis on the fact that your prayers "seem" to be unanswered. The truth is that God always, always answers any pray that is prayed according to His Word in faith. In 1 John 5:14‑15 it says, "And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him." That is a lot of confidence. God always answers prayer, but it doesn't always look like it's answered. Matthew 7:7‑8 says, "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened." Those verses are saying that God does answer prayer. Yet every one of us can think of a time in our lives when we asked for something that we believed was a right thing, a good thing, not totally selfish or outside of God's will, yet we didn't see the answer.
God's Word says to ask, and it will be given to you; but our experience says we asked, and it wasn't given to us. Which is true? The answer may surprise you, but the truth is that probably both are true. Most people think, Now, wait a minute, God's Word says He will answer, and I didn't see it happen. John 4:24 says, "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." God operates in the spiritual realm to answer our prayers, but it takes faith on our part to manifest. Faith is what takes things from the spiritual world and moves them into the physical world. This is basically what Hebrews 11:1 says: "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." It didn't say faith is the evidence of things that don't exist. They do exist, but they are not in the seen, physical world but in the unseen, spiritual realm. Faith reaches over into the spiritual realm and draws those things into the physical world.
It's like a radio signal. Radio and television stations are broadcasting constantly. You can be in a room where you can't see or hear the signals, but that doesn't mean they aren't there. You have to turn a radio on and tune it to the frequency you want to hear.
Then the radio pulls those signals out of a realm you can't perceive and rebroadcasts them in a realm where you can hear them with your human ear. God answers our prayers in a similar way: He gives things in the spiritual realm, and by faith, you have to reach out and bring them into the physical world. The physical and spiritual worlds move parallel to each other. God moves and answers your prayer, but you may never see it manifest in the physical unless you let faith bridge the gap between the unseen spiritual realm and the physical world we live in.
For example, Daniel, a man of God, was praying and asking God to give him a revelation. For the sake of time, I'll summarize the story. The Lord sent the angel, Gabriel, to appear to Daniel and answer his prayer. Daniel 9:22‑23 says, "And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding. At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth; and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision." Here is the point: Gabriel said that at the beginning of Daniel' s prayer, the commandment from God came for him to bring the answer. If you read how long it took to bring the answer, it was about three minutes, a three-minute lag time between God's command and the physical manifestation.
We make a lot of suppositions that if God is really God and something is His will, it just happens like the snap of a finger; but that's not true. In this instance, God gave the command, and it took approximately three minutes for Gabriel to cover that distance. I don't have all the reasons for this, and it's really not essential. The point I'm trying to make is that from the time God gave the command, there was a lag time of approximately three minutes before it was manifest. Now if that was the longest we had to believe for an answer to prayer, most of us could probably hold on, but it's not always that way.
In Daniel 10 we find the same man praying another prayer, and this time it took three weeks for the answer to come. Many people who read this would say, "Why did God answer one of Daniel' s prayers in three minutes and the next prayer in three weeks?" Daniel 10:11‑12 says, "And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling. Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words." This shows that God commanded the messenger from the very first day of Daniel' s prayer. It took three weeks for that answer to manifest, but God is faithful.
Scripture that says He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).
If you put chapters 9 and 10 together, I believe God answered both prayers instantly. One took three minutes and the other took three weeks, but God wasn't the variable. Here's the point: God answers our prayers. He does things, but there are a lot of variables that can happen between the time He answers prayers and you see the answers manifest. You have to believe; faith has to reach into the spiritual realm and bring the answer into the physical realm. So faith is one of the critical ingredients.
Also, you can see in verse 13 of Daniel, chapter 10, "But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia." This isn't talking about a physical person but a demonic hindrance. Satan is another variable in the process. Sometimes God answers our prayers, but Satan hinders them through other people. For instance, if you're believing for finances, God isn't going to give you money personally. He's not going to counterfeit United States currency or any other currency of this world. He's not going to make money, rain it down from heaven, and put it in your pocket. Luke 6:38 says, "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give unto your bosom." God will move and answer your prayer, but it's going to come through people. Some people are bound by greed, and if they are angry with you or you're doing things to offend them, Satan can hinder the manifestation of your prayer through them. When you're praying, especially for finances, you need to recognize that other people may be a part of your financial miracle, and you may have to pray for them.
God is faithful. He has never failed to answer any prayer that was based on His Word and prayed in faith. He always gives, but you may not see the manifestation, depending on other variables. I pray this will help you to build your faith and let you know that God always answers your prayers.
- Read Matthew 7:7‑8."7Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened." - Matthew 7:7‑8What can we expect from God if we ask?Answer
- Read Matthew 7:7‑8."7Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened." - Matthew 7:7‑8If we seek God, what can we expect?Answer
- Read Matthew 7:7‑8."7Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened." - Matthew 7:7‑8What can we expect to happen if we knock?Answer
- Read John 10:35."If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken." - John 10:35Will God give anything less than what His Word has promised?Answer
- Read James 4:1‑3."1From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? 2Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. 3Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts." - James 4:1‑3Why were these people hindered from receiving from God?Answer
- Read 1 Peter 3:7."Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered." - 1 Peter 3:7If you are mistreating your mate, what will be the result in your prayer life?Answer
- Read 1 John 5:14‑15."14And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: 15And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him." - 1 John 5:14‑15What is a key to have your prayers answered?Answer
- Read Mark 11:24."Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them." - Mark 11:24When you pray, what are you to do?Answer