Articles for Edification

9 Reasons God Doesn’t Hear Our Prayers

The old hymn “Prayer Bells of Heaven” is a song about communicating with God. It uses the picture of a bell at the Lord’s right hand. When we are in need, we pray our prayers, and the little bell rings to get God’s attention to hear us. The other day when I was praying, I had a surprising thought about why prayers might go unanswered sometimes. I thought of prayers like a doorbell. If you have ever tried to get someone’s attention using a doorbell when the power is out, you know it doesn’t work. You can press the button until your finger is purple. But the people inside the house will still never know you are standing there (unless you call them or bang on the door).  Doorbells need power. They have to be connected. Some people have no connection to God and are ringing a dead bell.

1. God Doesn’t Hear Us When We Have Unconfessed Sin

Sin separates us from God. It’s that simple. It’s like slamming down a barrier in between us and God. The only thing that will open the gates again is repentance. This is why it is so very important to live a life characterized by self-examination and repentance for sins. That way, He can forgive us and cleanse us. Then He will hear our prayers.

  • Isaiah 59:2: “But your iniquities have separated you from your God;and your sins have hidden His face from you,so that He will not hear.”
  • Micah 3:4: “Then they will cry to the Lord, but He will not hear them; He will even hide His face from them at that time, because they have been evil in their deeds.”
  • Psalm 66:18-19: “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear but certainly God has heard me; He has attended to the voice of my prayer.”
  • Proverbs 28:9: “One who turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination.”
  • 1 John 3:22: “And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.”

2. God Doesn’t Hear Us When We Worship Idols or Put Other Things Before God

The Old Testament is full of idolatry as a major sin. It can be hard to relate to people who melt earrings to make golden calves. But modern idols are “alive” and well. It’s just that today, those idols are all based on self. Materialism, ego/pride, science/naturalism, self-indulgence, and works to name a few. When we put anything other than God on the throne of our hearts, it causes a barrier.

  • Ezekiel 14:7-8 “For anyone of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who dwell in Israel, who separates himself from Me and sets up his idols in his heart and puts before him what causes him to stumble into iniquity, then comes to a prophet to inquire of him concerning Me, I the Lord will answer him by Myself. I will set My face against that man and make him a sign and a proverb, and I will cut him off from the midst of My people. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.”
  • Galatians 5:4 “You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.

3. God Doesn’t Hear Us When There Is Unforgiveness

We must forgive to be forgiven. It is simply not okay for a Christian to have anything against anyone. We must choose to forgive and give those hard feelings to God for His disposal. We must live at peace with others in as much as it is within our power to do so. The parable of the unforgiving servant is a great illustration. It is ridiculous for us not to forgive others since God has forgiven us so much.

  • Mark 11:25 ““And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”
  • Matthew 5:23-24 “Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”

4. God Does Not Hear Us When We Lack Charity

The Bible says, “Give to those who ask you.” Although there are certainly exceptions, if we know that someone has a need and we have the ability to meet that need, it is up to us to help. After all, we are but stewards. Everything we have has been given to us. We must do good and share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased (Hebrews 13:16).

  • Proverbs 21:13 “Whoever shuts his ears to the cry of the poor will also cry himself and not be heard.”

5. God Does Not Hear Us When We Don’t Ask Correctly

When we ask for things for our own selfish pleasures, he will not hear us. Also, when we want things that are not in the will of God, He also doesn’t listen. When we make vain repetitions with words after words that never touch our hearts, He may not listen. But when we ask according to His will, with our hearts, and in His name, He will hear, and we will receive.

  • James 4:3: “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.”
  • Matthew 6:7:  “And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.”
  • 1 John 5:14 “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.”
  • John 16:23-24: “And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”

6. God Does Not Hear Us When We Ask in Unbelief

God won’t answer our prayers when we don’t believe He will do so. He hears us when we pray in belief that He is both listening and able to answer our prayers.

  • James 1:6-8: “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lordhe is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”
  • Matthew 21:22: “And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”
  • Mark 11:24: “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.

7. God Does Not Hear Us When We Are Disobedient

My pastor says “Do what you know God wants you to do. If you’re not sure, do what you think He wants you to do.” But when we know what God wants and deny giving it to Him for our own selfish motives, we are in rebellion to God, and that is sin.  We must submit to God always. Even when what He is asking is hard. Even when it puts us outside our comfort zone.

  • Zachariah 7:11-13: “But they refused to heed, shrugged their shoulders, and stopped their ears so that they could not hear. Yes, they made their hearts like flint, refusing to hear the law and the words which the Lord of hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets. Thus great wrath came from the Lord of hosts. Therefore it happened, that just as He proclaimed and they would not hear, so they called out and I would not listen,’ says the Lord of hosts.”
  • Proverbs 10:24: “The fear of the wicked will come upon him, and the desire of the righteous will be granted.”

8. God Does Not Hear Us When There Is Family Discord

Problems in a marriage can affect God’s willingness to hear our prayers. We must honor our partners so that our prayers may, in turn, be honored by God.

  • 1 Peter 3:7: “Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.”
  • Ephesians 5:22-24 “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.”

9. God Doesn’t Hear Us When We Don’t Ring the Bell

Finally, a working doorbell is only helpful if someone pushes the button. When we try to use worldly means to get the things we think we need and want, we can cause ourselves more harm than good. Instead, we should humble ourselves and ask God for His help.

  • James 4:2 “You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask.”

God DOES Hear Us When We Are Right With Him

God does listen to prayers from His children who are right with Him. He knows us, and we have a relationship with Him that opens the lines of communication. We believe in Him, trust Him, and spend our lives trying to please Him. The Bible is full of promises that God will hear us when we are in a right relationship with Him. 

  • John 15:7: “f you abide in Me, and My words abide in youyou will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.”
  • John 9:31: “Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him.”
  • Psalm 91:14-15 “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him.”
  • Psalm 145:18-20 “The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them. The LORD preserves all who love Him, but all the wicked He will destroy.
  • Jeremiah 29:11-12 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.”
  • Psalm 34:17: “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles.”
  • Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.

We Simply Must Be Connected to Be Heard

Like a doorbell that must have power, our prayers must have a connection to God in order to be heard. He doesn’t hear us when we are separated by things that displease Him, but when we are in good standing with God, He promises to hear us and grant those petitions that are in His will and good pleasure.

Do you like hymns? Check out Prayer Bells of Heaven. It’s on my YouTube channel playlist called Hymns With Hannah. Subscribe for hymns and old-time Southern Gospel.

If you like analogies, try Message in the Moisturizer: We Can Choose Change. It is an object lesson about changing for the better. Or, try The Waves of God’s Judgement and the Child of God. In it, we can see that the closer we are to God, the more protected we will be in times of trouble.

17 thoughts on “9 Reasons God Doesn’t Hear Our Prayers”

  1. Total horsetwaddle. God doesn’t hear you when you ________. So the creator of the universe is limited by what us ants do? Yet every asshole that breathes is swimming in wealth, I ask for a slice of bread meanwhile he’s burying some sociopath under a mountain of filet mignon? We are all living in his simulation/testing ground, it would be nice to know God is willing to help. It’s like dropping toddlers into a deep dangerous forest, and expecting them to survive. “Hey toddlers, i know you’re busy trying to survive, but don’t forget to follow those extra rules while I ignore you…” Maybe if I’m super lucky one day God will decide to hear me. It’s like having your little 3yr old nephew come to you because he’s been starving for days, comes to you crying from pain from hunger and you turn your back. I couldn’t imagine being that cold, but somehow God does it to me on the regular….

    1. I thought I was saved for 41 years. I believed, went to church, and prayed, but God was only a part of my life — a side dish to an already-full life. I had not submitted my whole life to Him. I had not BELIEVED to salvation because if you really believe, you have to hand over the keys. When I made a choice to live for Him completely, I made an appointment to prayerfully read the Bible every day and try to live the way it told me to live. I sought deliverance from the demons that had collected in me from years of living in sin and bitterness. I asked Him to give me His Holy Spirit, and when He did, my whole life changed. I no longer talked to the ceiling. I talked to Him, and He “talked” back though the Bible, circumstance, and His still small voice. Steve, if you want God to hear you, it has to be on His terms. Make a commitment to give Him your whole life, research Derek Prince deliverance on YouTube, and ask Him to give you His Holy Spirit. I will pray for you. Angela G

      1. I made a commitment to give God my entire life and then my life feel completely apart at the seems and for 4 years now I live in tears and sorrow of the likes you can’t imagine. Your deliverance is fake because Christians can’t have demons in them. You are just saved and thats why God is babying you. There will come a day of testing and then you will see where your faith lays.

    2. Hi Derek,
      Have you ever accepted Jesus as YOUR OWN PERSONAL SAVIOR?? Have you ever turned away from your sin ( repentance) and to Him? Have you ever found yourself CHANGING “from the inside out”??

      If not, then the single prayer He is waiting to hear from you is regarding the above. If you have refused to come to Him …. commonly because a person loves their sin MORE…. THEN WHAT IS WRITTEN HERE IS THE ABSOLUTE TRUTH!8 can tell you that by faith from reading the Bible, as well as experientially from my own life.

      If you HAVE done this, then please realize that He has one of 3 answers to those who are His :
      Yes. No. or Wait.

      Perhaps He’s waiting to give you something better than what you are asking for, but the time is not yet….?? Keep asking Him!

      The God of the Holy Bible (the ONLY God) is GOOD ALWAYS. He just doesn’t think like we do and sometimes, therefore, we don’t understand what happens in life. The Lord is also JUST. And justice requires PAYMENT for SIN.

      So the choice is yours :
      You can either PAY FOR YOUR OWN SINS on Judgement Day and live an eternity apart from God (in Hell) as many choose…… Or you can ACCEPT FOR YOURSELF what Jesus do lovingly did FOR YOU on the Cross. He paid your sin – debt so you could come to Him, live a quality life for Him here and then spend eternity with Him in Heaven.

      ➡️➡️CHOOSE WISELY⬅️⬅️ .

      1. I can prove he listens if I could load a mother has a terminal illness. Sis and I made the decision to move her and pop closer to family. The day of I was in prayer for her all day asking that she wouldn’t suffer and take her home peacefully. On my way home there was a beautiful sunset. When I arrived home I grabbed a camera to record the sunset. As I did the clouds collected with a void. That void manifested gold then a huge stream of purple from the heavens , thru the sun and down to earth manifested. I dropped to my knees and started balling.all I could say over and over was thank you and I love you. Doc said she could pass any day..that was 6 months ago. She’s doing well to this day. Anyone want to see to believe? Even if I showed you would you even change your mind or go in denial what is seen? He’s here alright and watching ALL OF US closely. Don’t take a chance. It’s not worth your eternity if things go south in your book of life

      2. What a beautiful testimony! Thank you so much for sharing! I would love to see your video, so I am going to try to email you. God bless you and your family!

    3. Your title is incorrect: The correct title should be “9 Reasons God Doesn’t Hear My Prayers.
      It is incorrect is because your experience with God is personal. So you are telling me that on the day of judgement, God will judge me for you personnel sins. The answer is a BIG FAT NO. Each person’s relationship with God is personal. The primary reason your prayers are not answered is because of sin. Read 2 Cron. 7:14, Jer. 29:11-12, Job 22: 27-28, Psalms 102-17, Matt. 5: 44-45.
      Go search the scripture diligently with a pure heart and you shall find the truth of the Lord that shall set you free, from your unbelief.

  2. I sure hope you don’t have any sort of ministry. I bet you violate every one of those God doesn’t hear us rules and yet you think God hears you. Im so sick of hypocrites. Why don’t you try reading the book of Job or better yet explain to me why Jesus said My God why have you forsaken me. Jesus died for a reason and it was because we can’t live by the law because its impossible for man to do. The Holy Spirit is the only help we have in abiding by Gods rules not the flesh. When we are under great testing like Job and suffer great loss, miisery, suffering and sorrow we are to busy crying and in tears to be out there constantly sinning as you suggest.

  3. My prayer has not been answered in 40 years even though I hoped, prayed and went to church. Now I think the only thing left to do is call it quits. Nothing else I can do. I’m over the broken heart and pointless waiting on prayers that are never answered.

    1. I don’t know what your prayer is or why God hasn’t answered in the way you were hoping, but I wondered if you have completely submitted to God. I’m not saying you haven’t, but I know that I was a “Christian” for 41 years (going to church and praying) before I actually met God. He didn’t truly reveal Himself and really start answering my prayers until I went “all in” and made a plan to read the Bible every day and try to live what the Bible said. I “asked Jesus into my heart,” but I had never “given my life” until He came for me and pointed that out. If you are medically able to fast, try fasting and asking Him to reveal to you if there is anything hindering your prayers being answered. Whatever you do, don’t give up! God is real, and He is really coming back soon. I will pray for you!

    2. I feel the same way. I screwed up royally and10 years later was incarcerated and lost everyone and everything. Although, I don’t want to treat God as my personal vending machine, I have prayed that He would send me someone to replace what I lost with my ex-wife of 20 years. I prayed for a decent place to live and a good job. I don’t want a hand out or government assistance. I want to work for a living. But society has rejected me and it seems God is continuing to punish me by not answering my prayers. I know He is real. I know that Jesus sacrifice is real and it covers my sins. Anything less would diminish the completeness of his saving work of dying on the cross. So I’m left with contemplating that I’m either too sinful to be blessed or God doesn’t want to answer my prayers. My life situatuion has upset me so much that I have contemplated taking my own life. Who in their right mind would want to live in a world like this? I’m at the point where I have asked God to end my life and He seems to ignore those prayers as well.

      1. Have you heard of Derek Prince? He has a series about blessings and curses. Please check it out. When God saved me almost 11 years ago, I felt led to go through a lot of deliverance. I went through all his videos about deliverance and the one about blessings and curses. Please check them out. I’m praying for you!

      2. My beloved brother may you kindly pray this prayer. Lord Jesus I am a sinner, forgive me of my sins, come into my heart and be my Lord and Savior. Satan I renounce you, out of my life, you no longer have any authority or power over my life because Jesus is my Lord and Savior. In the name of Jesus, I command you spirit of death, spirit of disappointment, spirit of forgiveness, spirit of hearted, and all other unclean spirits out of my life now and forever in Jesus Name. I thank you Jesus for setting me free from the strong hold of all evil spirits. Thank you Jesus for redeeming me and from this day I shall serve all the rest of the days of my life by the power of your righteousness and true holiness by your “Divine Love” Amen.

    3. Sean I am not sure what you are praying for, maybe lost family a wayward child. My Pastor gave a message not long ago on our motive for our prayer, does it to bring glory to God, to truly see the lost saved. I also have been praying for loved ones, a wayward child, I cant say I dont get discouraged but I always go to the word of God to encourage myself. Remember if it is individuals you are praying for it may be God is working but they are rejecting him. Dont give up, dont let satan tell you the same lies he started in the garden of eden. Praying for you

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