Answers to Life's Questions
Why doesn't God answer my prayers sooner?
If God hears our requests and loves us so much that He sent His own Son, Jesus Christ, to die for us, then why does it appear to take Him so long to respond to some of our most urgent requests? Carefully consider the following ten reasons. The delay may be caused by:
1. Our disobedience
Our sin can prompt God to withhold His gracious hand (Ps. 81:10–12). When we disobey His commands and refuse to repent, He sometimes stops His ears from hearing our requests.
2. Our doubt
Without faith, no one who asks anything of God will receive what he requests (James 1:5–8). But with faith, all things are possible (Mark 9:23).
3. Our attempts at manipulation
If we try to control or manipulate God, we should not expect answers to our prayers (1 Sam. 13:9–14). He is the Master; we are the servants.
4. Wrong motivation
Neither self-centered requests nor those tinged with evil intent will receive an answer (James 4:3). God refuses to partner with our lusts or our schemes.
5. Oor lack of responsibility
God cannot be expected to compensate for a lazy or negligent person (Prov. 19:15). The Lord has His work to do; we have ours.
6. An illegitimate "need"
Is this thing you want really a need, or is it something that you have illegitimately come to expect? Often we have bigger eyes than stomachs (Jer. 45:1–5).
7. Rejecting God's method
Don't turn away a means of supply merely because it doesn't fit your expectations or criteria (see Joshua 6). A man named Naaman almost made this mistake—and it would have cost him his health (2 Kin. 5:8–14).
8. God's redirection
Sometimes God is in the process of redirecting us or preparing us for something new (see Gen. 37, 39–50). God loves to do fresh, exciting things with His people (Is. 43:19).
9. God's desire to teach us
God may want us to focus on our spiritual and eternal needs so that we will learn to trust Him in all things and for all things (Is. 48:18).
10. God's desire to bring us to repentance
God may want us to own up to our sin, confess it, and repent of it (see Luke 15:11–31).
And even when God delays His answers, He instructs us to keep on praying (Luke 18:1-8). Prayer is life's greatest time saver, even when it doesn't seem like it.
Pastor Charles Stanley