Maybe God isn’t answering your prayer or prayers because you hold a grudge against someone who has hurt you. If you’ve not forgiven them, then you have an obstacle between you and God. Jesus once addressed this situation when He said “whenever you stand to pray, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses” (Mark 11:25), so “if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matt 6:15).
The psalmist nails this down nicely by writing, “If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened”(Psalm 66:18), because “If one turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination” (Prov 28:9). Even further, Isaiah wrote, “When you spread out your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not listen; your hands are full of blood” (Isaiah 1:15). This last verse was written to Judah, however, the same principle applies that if we are living in sin, God will not answer our prayers.
We’re Not F.A.T.
The acronym, “F.A.T” is among my favorites but it has nothing to do with a person’s weight. What this stands for is God isn’t looking for more religious people but people who are F.A.T. or are Faithful, Available, and Teachable. If you are faithful, then you’ll be available to be used by God. If you’re available, then you’ll be teachable, and if you’re teachable, then you’re obviously faithful. It’s all tied into your being faithful, making yourself available, and then being teachable, so if you’re not faithful, God will not answer your prayers.
Isn’t Good for Us
James tells us that “You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions” (James 4:3). I heard one man say that he was playing the lottery and praying to God to make him the winner so that he could help the poor in his community, but does God really need to use someone’s gambling winnings to help the poor? Doesn’t God own the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:1)? Why would he answer a prayer for someone trying to do something that He can do Himself? God may not answer our prayers if our heart’s not right with Him and we’re asking for the wrong reasons. God will not give us something that will hurt us.
God may not answer your prayer if you’re harboring a spirit of un-forgiveness against someone, or if you’re living in sin, and if you’re not being faithful, but also if it’s not good for us. God knows better than we do what we need and what we want is not always what we need. God knows the difference, even when we don’t.