Why Is It So Hard to Trust God With Our Prayers?

Why Is It So Hard to Trust God With Our Prayers?

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A woman smiling and looking up while praying. We can trust God to answer our prayers.

If there is one thing that the Lord wants from us, it’s to pray. He wants to talk to us and to hear from us. His Will is for us to grow in Him and to build a strong relationship with Him. This is primarily done through prayer and reading His Word, the bible.

But it seems that there is a shortage of confidence when it comes to trusting God with our prayers. For some, there is no issue; but for many, we offer up a prayer and hardly expect an answer. It’s like we are saying, “Yeah, I send up prayers all the time, but God never answers them. But for the sake of doing what’s right, I’ll send up another.”

Related Post: Let The Promises Of God Be Your Strength And Encouragement

Although this is a common theme, this isn’t how God wants it. Prayer must be accompanied by faith, otherwise it probably will get lost in the wind. God wants our undivided hearts and attention, and more so, God wants us to know that He is capable and willing to answer our prayers. But He wants our belief in Him first. If we don’t believe God will answer, or that He isn’t capable of answering a difficult prayer, then it’s our own lack of faith that will limit Him.

I have written other articles that are similar in that we struggle with prayers not getting answered. I could probably write several more, too. This is because as we go through life, and we send prayers to God on a continual basis, we are sometimes left in wonder; wondering to the point of frustration if God even hears us. We have needs and wants, and sometimes, very difficult and painful situations. But it seems that only a few select prayers, if at all, ever get answered. This begs the question; why?

Although this article won’t perfectly answer everyone’s question as to why God isn’t answering their prayers, its aim is to offer hope and maybe to show what is first required of us before we can expect anything of God. We must put our hope in God for everything, not just Salvation, but we must also be willing to live for Him, too.

There are a couple of things about praying: first; we must pray sincerely and with faith that God will return the absolute best result. Secondly; we can’t have sin in our lives and expect God to fulfill our requests. And third, we must give the Lord time to work everything out in His perfect way. He might want us to have what we’re asking, but first, He might need to mold our character to be able to manage that thing.

Storming the Gates of Heaven: Prayer that Claims the Promises of God, by Anne Graham Lotz

Sin blocks the Lord from hearing and answering our prayers

Isaiah 59:1-2
“Listen! The LORD’s arm is not too weak to save you,
nor is his ear too deaf to hear you call.
It’s your sins that have cut you off from God.
Because of your sins, he has turned away
and will not listen anymore.”

As I mentioned, sin is a major blockage to prayers getting answered, as well as, our growth in God and spiritual maturity. With sin, it’s like we are dragging a weight that prevents God from lifting us out of the hole we’ve dug ourselves into.

We can be living in sin while trying to live for God, and the enemy can make us believe that this is okay. Satan knows this isn’t true, but he’s not about truth; he’s about deception. He knows that we can be saved and still sin, but he also knows that while living in sin, we prevent God’s blessings and help. This is just something I wanted to touch on here. This article isn’t about our sin, but I know that it’s a big reason prayers don’t get answered.

If you have known sin in your life, just understand that you may be hindering a better life for yourself; one that God wants to bless richly. The first thing to do to have a great relationship with God is to separate yourself from the world and devote yourself to God. If you want to hang on to both, you risk missing out on all that God has planned for you.

Breaking free from sin is difficult under our own power, but not when we do it under the power of the Holy Spirit in us. Also, when getting rid of sin, it’s very necessary to not see it as losing something. Instead, understand that sin leads to death, and the choice to walk with God leads to life and His protection.

If sin isn’t an issue in your life, then I encourage you to work on praying with faith. These Scriptures remind us that God wants to hear from us and that He is able to accomplish anything He desires. We only need to have a small amount of faith in Him that He will do something, but the faith part is necessary, or this too might be a major blockage to answered prayers.

If you need some inspiration on what or how to pray, these affordable resources by Stormie Omartian are a great place to start. To pray for your husband or How to pray for your adult kids.

5 verses to remind us that God hears us and is in control

If you have been praying and have been working to rid your life of sinful living, trust God to answer your prayers. Although I didn’t include any Scripture that tells us not to pray for selfish things, I did that because most of us already know that God isn’t about selfishness. He wants us to have stuff and He even puts desires in our hearts, but if all we care about is gain and promotion of ourselves, we can be sure that He will have other areas in our life He wants to work on first.

Otherwise, read through these verses and others like it in the bible to develop an understanding of the character of God. God is very competent to answer the easiest or the toughest prayer, but He does so in the most beneficial ways. What I have found is that God often answers my prayers, but just not always right away. Sometimes it takes a good amount of time.

If I am in a rush to get a prayer answered, I am often left disappointed. This isn’t because God couldn’t come through, but because God see’s the whole picture. Just because I feel like I’m going to die if He doesn’t answer this prayer, God knows that I surely won’t die, and that I’m just being dramatic. So, I am still learning to go to God in full confidence that He will answer my prayers in the best way and in the best timing. Then, instead of throwing my normal fit, I am working on being patient while expecting to see how He moves.

Here are five verses that help keep me going:

1 John 5:14-15

“And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.”

Having faith means believing in the unseen and invisible. We are given the Word of God so that we can take God for His Word. We can read through the bible and we can see that He is a God of truth and promise and fulfillment. Because of this, we can trust Him to be honest and we can trust His Word, too.

Before praying for something, be sure that this is something that will please Him. If you are confident that it would please Him, or be according to His Will, His desire, then you can be confident that He will answer in the best way.

Here are a few things that we know would please God: that a family member come to know Jesus; that we grow in faith and spiritual maturity; that our finances get in good standing and without debt; that we are fed and clothed and cared for; that we can use our skills to help advance the Kingdom of God; that our intimate relationship with our spouse be strong and fruitful; that we have a trusting and solid relationship with our children; that we are healthy; that He would protect our children and help them to make good decisions.

I could go on for many pages here. But for the sake of time, I won’t. The idea is, anything that is good and that promotes a strong relationship with family, friends, with God, or with other believers, we can be sure that God wants to see this come to pass. Also, anything to do with the upkeep of our homes, our vehicles, our health, our finances, our families, and anything else God has entrusted to us, we can be sure that God wants us to be good stewards of these things and that this is His Will.

If we are sure that He wants for these, too, then apart from asking Him for these, we only need to be faithfully expectant that He will deliver on these in the best way and in the right time.

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Sad woman, wondering if God has heard her prayers

Mark 11:24

“I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours.”

This isn’t a name it and claim it verse, nor is it a manifest anything verse. This verse is all about putting full faith in God that He will deliver on it. The faith portion is shown in the part where it says to believe that you’ve received it. When we pray for something that we believe is according to the Will of God, we can pray with the confidence that it’s as good as done. That’s what it’s saying here.

Unfortunately, there are many teachings in society that try to say that this means that anything you want, all you have to do is speak it out loud, believe it’s already yours, and that it must come to pass. The New Age religion likes to push this teaching. It’s also called law of attraction. It’s not of the Spirit of God and we must be very careful that we don’t treat God as an equal or as a magic lamp or Genie.

In the last section we talked about praying for things that line up with God’s desires. I’m not sure that a Ferrari or a mansion is the Will of God, and although it may be, again, I encourage you to study the character of God. If you follow the direction of God, and through good stewardship, repeatedly make excellent financial choices and multiply the money God gives you, then yes, God might be perfectly fine with you buying lavish items. But if the heart is only concerned in gaining wealth and power and popularity, we can be sure that this isn’t God’s Will.

So, if your faith is strong, but your intentions are all wrong, it’s very possible God won’t answer your prayers accordingly. Psalm 37:4 tells us to delight ourselves in the Lord and He will give us the desires of our heart. When we delight ourselves in the Lord, we are only concerned of doing what pleases Him. So, if we are only looking to do what pleases God, and if our prayers line up with this, then we can consider our prayers as good as done.

That’s what this verse is really saying.

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Jeremiah 32:27

“I am the LORD, the God of all the peoples of the world. Is anything too hard for me?”

How many people have not experienced the fullness of God in their life because they don’t feel like they can ask God for bigger things or things that will make their own lives more manageable? For some of us, we will ask for nearly anything under the sun and believe that God can and will give it to us, regardless of whether He will. But for some, it’s prayers of just enough.

God can move mountains for children of faith. If you have a mountain in your life; if you are facing divorce, if your child has an addiction or is suicidal, if your debt is too big, or any other host of mountainous problems, God is telling you in this verse that there is nothing that is too big for Him.

God is for His people. God is for family, for marriage, for good parenting, for good stewardship, and His Will is very well-intentioned for our children, too. After all, it’s our children who will carry on His Message to the next generations, right? Never stop trusting God to look after your children. Even when our kids rebel and go their own way, that’s when we are expected by God to move to prayer for them. We teach them to the best of our ability while we can, and when we can’t, we trust God to minister to them and remind them of what we’ve taught them.

The things that our children go through often become their testimonies later on. This doesn’t mean that we should encourage them to pack a bag and hit the road and see what will come of them, but instead, that we should spend as much time working with them teaching them values that line up with the character of God, and then when they do finally go on, to trust that God will keep them safe and bring them back to Himself, full circle.

2 Timothy 1:7

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”

An important lesson we must all learn is that it’s the devil who instills fear. This is not a God-given characteristic or trait that we were born with and must get used to. This is a spirit of Satan that attaches itself to us. The devil speaks a lie to us through our thoughts, and when we agree that the fearful thought makes sense, we take on that spirit of fear concerning that thing.

Fearful thoughts can be completely disabling to our success and achievement according to God’s Will for us. Yes, God is more powerful then Satan, but if we give Satan power in our lives by living in sin or entertaining his destructive thoughts, then we take the power away from God. We can’t have fear and faith at the same time. We might think we can, but one must give way to the other.

If we recall the story of when Jesus came walking on the water, and Peter called out to Him and Jesus told him to come to Him, Peter climbed out of the boat and started walking on the water. As long as Peter kept his focus on Jesus, he had faith and stayed on top of the water. But as soon as he looked away from Jesus and to the crashing waves and wind all around him, he developed fear and started to sink.

When we put and keep our focus on God through the hardest times of our lives, or even when we are trusting Him for something, our faith will remain strong and we will soon realise whatever it is we’ve prayed for. However, if we pray a prayer, and then start worrying that it won’t happen, our faith then gives way to that fear, and then what we fear is what tends to come to us.

When going through your day and praying to God, trust Him that He will do what you are praying for. Regardless of what lies Satan tries to tell you through thoughts, ignore him. Rebuke the devil and send him away in the Name of Jesus.

Remember that when you live for God, you have the power of God in you. This means that you have His Spirit in you, and one of the nine Fruits of the Spirit is faithfulness (Galatians 5:22-23). This means, you have the same spirit of faithfulness in you as God does. The same faith that raised Jesus from the grave is in you right now. When you pray for something that pleases the Lord, consider it done.

Isaiah 55:11

“It is the same with my word.
I send it out, and it always produces fruit.
It will accomplish all I want it to,
and it will prosper everywhere I send it.”

I included this verse because the bible is God’s written word. Everything that He has said in the bible is true. There is nothing in there that was only for those guys way in the past. Yes, it might’ve been spoken to them originally, but the promise is as true for them as it is for any of God’s children. The bible tells us that God has no favorites (Romans 2:11). This means, what He does for one follower, He will surely do for another.

Now, not everything that is fitting for one individual is fitting for another, and God knows what is fitting for each of us. If we pray for something that seems fitting for us, but God see’s that it isn’t, He will give us a suitable replacement. It’s God’s Will for His children to prosper in life. I think Adrian Rogers explains this well, here, where he says “I have good news: God wants you to prosper. I’m not talking about the “prosperity gospel”—a uniquely American false teaching— but God’s desire for you to have true prosperity. The prosperity He wants for you is financial and fiscal responsibility and blessing.”

So, when we read the promises in the bible, we can be sure that God is speaking to us. We can also be sure that if He said it, He’ll do it. We might look at the bible and see that there are many things going on in society that don’t line up with His teaching, but everything God has said will come to pass. God’s timing isn’t the same as ours.

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If you are hurting or are sick or are lonely or are scared, read the Scriptures that focus on these things. Believe that they are true for you, because they are. If God say’s that He will heal you, believe Him. He may heal you on earth and He may choose to heal you ultimately by bringing you home to heaven. If God say’s that He wants you to have a family and be fruitful, then trust Him on it and keep praying.

There is absolutely nothing that God can’t or won’t do if it pleases Him. If you are living in surrender and obedience to God, then expect blessing. It’s coming in God’s timing.

Conclusion

I want to encourage as many people as possible to pray and to trust God. Even if you have sin in your life, still pray. But also, ask God to reveal the sin to you and help you out of it. We can’t get out of sin under our own power, but only under the power of the Holy Spirit. With our willingness and submission to God, He can move mountains for us.

Consider your prayers before you pray; would this please God? Is this completely selfish – does this benefit only me or also my family? Could I picture Jesus praying for this?

If you believe that your prayer will be in line with God’s desires for your life, then pray with confidence. For my household, we have debt and have been praying for God to help us out of that. We understand that God isn’t likely to send a man with a briefcase of money to our door in a big lump sum, but instead, that He will provide the extra funds to help chip away at the debt. We understand that as long as we are faithful to practice good financial stewardship going forward, God will continue to faithfully provide us with the means of paying off the debt.

God’s timing isn’t the same as our timing. But, if you are willing to hold firm to your trust in God that He will answer your prayer, and remain joyful throughout and until, then you will see God move in your life in ways that may seem impossible. One way to remain joyful is to sing praises and worship God while we are waiting, and of course continue after we receive our answer too.

And, finally, there are going to be things that God simply won’t give us an answer for in life, or things that we don’t understand. We must understand that God is wise and sovereign in all things, even though we may never get understanding on it. This too is when we must trust that God is doing what is best and make a choice to keep our hope and faith and love in Him.

If you don’t have a relationship with Jesus, you can follow this link (Prayer for Salvation) to find out how. Also, if you need prayer for your life or your family, feel free to fill out a private prayer request in the provided prayer box in this article. My wife and I would love to pray for you.

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Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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