• April 11, 2021

5 Top Things Prayer Cannot Do, But You Should

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5 Crucial Questions For A Productive Life

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Shares     Life is short. The best part of life is to enjoy it to the fullest doing what you love and be efficient at it. Answering …


One of the faith-sapping Christian experiences is an unanswered prayer. If you’ve been in Christ for some time you would’ve had your own dose of lack of result or testimony to your prayer request. You are off your spiritual balance, discourage and tempted to feel God has forgotten you or shut His ears to your prayers.
What then could have hindered prayer from getting the timely result?

1.      Sin: 
I know we were forgiven at salvation, but most times some seemingly harmless attitudes can clog or close our pipe for answered prayer.
Perhaps, the fact that they are insignificant compare to those we confessed at salvation made it crept unnoticed into our relationship as yeast works through flour secretly. This includes doubt and faithlessness. Remember the Israelite at the point of entering the Promised Land.
 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.  James 5:16NIV
 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.  Matt 6:14-15 NIV
Unforgiveness from the statement of Jesus insulates our relationship with the father, hence, our prayer is unanswered He said if we do not forgive others God will not forgive us and that turns us to a sinner as you know that prayer of a sinner is an abomination before God. Another sin is doubt or anxiety brings tomorrow’s problem to today so much so that we cannot see an answer as the new problem is place in the front as a barrier. Matt 6:25-34 Jesus called it an attitude of unbelievers. Fear is another sin that takes believers’ face from God to looking at his problem, proving God is incapable and He {God} allows you to have the result of your unbelief. The Israelite lost out at the verge of entering the Promised Land because of fear and anxiety.
At another time lack of concentration do rob us of getting our prayers through to God. You will agree with me that most of us at one time or the other wandered away on our knees while praying. When that persists, it shows you are not really ready to meet with God and surely such prayer cannot be answered.
2.    When our prayer differs from His will:
 And this is the confidence (the assurance, the privilege of boldness) which we have in Him: [we are sure] that if we ask anything (make any request) according to His will (in agreement with His own plan), He listens to and hears us. 1 John 5:14AMP
 It is God prerogative to answer prayer or not. Prayer that gets God’s attention and an answer are those which are in accordance with His will for us at any given time according to His timetable. Jesus realizes this and he quickly added to His prayer as He prepares His journey to the cross “Not my will, but your will be done’’. Most times believers expect God to answer every self-centered and short-sighted prayer. How do you explain a ten years old child who desires a car for his birthday celebration? You are sure he will be disappointed. Peter’s prayer is that Jesus would not go to the cross; God’s plan for world’s salvation is hinged on His death on the cross. We should know that the reason for answering our prayers is for God to get glory though we enjoy some benefits also.
This often neglected barrier to answered prayer is our motive. God accuses the Israelite leader of placing their god in their heart when they approach Him for counsel. Any prayer request with the wrong motive that will not glorify God will not be answered James 4:3. Every gift from God in term of money, children, wisdom, and sound health are meant to glorify God. A look at Gehazi’s will reveal to us that his inability to bring the dead child of the Shunammite woman will not be unconnected with ego, self-aggrandizement and the quest for personal glory as demonstrated in his dealing with Namaan.
3.    When God has a better plan:
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jer 29:11NIV. If only we understood God has our best at heart, we will not fret when the answer to our prayers are delayed. Though Joseph was the beloved of his father and God, he has to endure several denials to his dreams including the butler that forgot him for God’s better plan to be fulfilled. God never avert the pain of the cross for a greater glory for Jesus. Jesus never turned up to heal Lazarus so that greater glory may be given to God john 11:14-15
God will not answer our request now if what we are currently desiring of Him is the least in His plan for us. When He does a thing, it must be whoa! When God answers late, He answers better. God chose not to prevent the three Hebrew boys from been thrown into the fire so he could get greater glory and promote his children Daniel 3:13-30
4.    When the solution is already with us:
Not all needs and problems require prayers. Some need our action or steps because the solution has been provided by God already. Before exerting your energy or prayer, fasting and deliverance, you should check inward for a solution or else you will conclude that God never answers your prayer. When Jesus brought back to life the daughter of Jairus, He commanded them to give her something to eat. The girl is probably malnourished. Someone who broke down because he over-worked does not need prayer or drugs but to take a break and rest to restore his health back. One gift already at the disposal of every Christian is the wisdom and spirit of God. The miracle of the widow of the son of prophet already had her miracle of financial breakthrough oil unknowingly with her 2 King 4:1-7. A story was told of a Christian brother who fainted severally. The Pastors and some prayer warriors gathered to pray for him. After agonizing prayer, binding the devil, speaking in tongue and casting out the spirit of the death, one of them noticed the pale face of the brother, he stopped the prayer and asked the brother if he had eaten, his response shocked them; he has not eaten for three days. The prayer was stopped and the food was given to him. The demon or spirit of death ignorantly so-called disappeared immediately. God will not do what He has given us the capacity to do.
The solution to crossing the red sea is already with Moses as reflected in God’s question to Moses. Exod 14:15. Elisha had given a prophecy and God had played His part. What remain is for the lepers to take action on their faith to go to the Syrians camp and the king and his people to act on the statement of the lepers as a confirmation of the prophet’s word
5.    The activities of the devil:
 A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.John 10:10 TM. At times unanswered prayer is not unconnected with the Devil. Daniel prayed and God released the answer but it took Angel Michael’s intervention to get the answer down to him because the prince of Persia hindered the reply. Just as a break in the telephone line will prevent you from effective communication. Satan could also taper with your prayer line to hinder your answer. Know for sure that anytime you want to cross to your land of greatness, success and breakthrough Satan will show up.   
Let us go across to the other side of the lake.” So they started out. 23 As they were sailing, Jesus fell asleep. Suddenly a strong wind blew down on the lake, and the boat began to fill with water so that they were all in great danger. Luke 8:22-23 GNT
    6 When it is not God’s time:   
2 O Lord, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save!   Hab 1: 2 KJV
This is the period of quick fixed of this and that. It is a microwave generation when we want everything delivered in split seconds. Unfortunately, God has a way and time of doing his thing. Though scientifically we have altered several things to fulfill our bidding but at least failed in making God do something before the due time. Whenever we cut corners to get a result we end up cutting our life short just as making a woman delivered before her due date. God told Jeremiah and the exile in Babylon to plant a vineyard, get married and pray for their captor because their due day of deliverance is seventy years Jer 29:5-10. The undoing of Abraham Gen 16:1-6 and Saul 1 Sam 13:8-14 was their failure to follow Gods’ timetable. At his own appointed time, He answers Abraham and Hannah at his own time
A story was told of a king who sent his son to lead the nation’s army to battle. At a point, the young prince felt overwhelmed by the strong opposition of the enemy and casualty suffered on his side. He, therefore, sent a message home for reinforcement. But the king instead sends the following message “I am not an inexperienced soldier as not to know when you needed a reinforcement, and I am not an uncaring father as not to send it”. The young prince summoned courage pushed the enemy back and eventually won the battle.
Unanswered prayers are not because God is no longer answering prayers or stop to be a loving father or allowed his children suffer untold hardship in their journey of life. Our shortsightedness about His capacity and human weakness shortchanged us from getting the best from our prayer investment


I am joseph Akinrinola. A pastor, teacher, author, freelance, and incurable learner. I share as I learn insightful ideas that make up a total being physically, spiritually, and emotionally especially, about young people.

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