Unanswered Prayer? Doubt or Faith.

Why are some prayers answered, but some are not? The Bible promises in Matthew 21:22, “And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” James 1:6-8 states, “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7) For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord 8) he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

  • Do you doubt God answers prayer?  If yes, then ask God to show you the painful memory of disappointment that is causing you to doubt.  Read chapter five of my book called, 5–Finding Painful Memories and Healing Issues.
  • Are you disappointed because of unanswered prayers? If yes, then ask God to show you what His best is for you and accept His sovereign will for you. Next, mentally submit your plans and requests to God and trust He has a good purpose for your life in His timing. Many of King David’s Psalms reveal his disappointment and submission to God’s sovereignty in his life.  See my post called Know Your Purpose? .
  • Do you feel you are not worthy, and that God does not love you?  This unhealthy belief is from a painful memory, so let God reveal it and heal it. To understand how this works, read my book on my website.
    • Even if you don’t feel God cares, the truth is, He does. 1Peter 5:7 says, “casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” And when you commit your problems to God in faith, you will have peace. Believe that “He causes all things to work together for good, for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).  Do you believe?

Reason Five: Do you doubt God in any way?

First, what is faith?

Hebrews 11:1 states, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” And Romans 8:24 tells us that “For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?” Faith believes God will do what He has promised, so I pray the promises of God over situations in my life.

Matthew 9:29Then he touched their eyes, saying, ‘According to your faith, be it done to you.’” This verse is most concerning because what we receive will be according to our faith. So, if we have a little faith then we will get a little.  This reminds me of the story in 2Kings 4 of the widow who met Elisha and asked him how she can pay her debt. When he asked her what she had, she said she only had a jar of oil.  He told her to gather as many empty vessels from her neighbor as she could. Then pour the oil she had into those empty vessels. She could have doubted that such a thing can be done, but according to her faith she gathered all the empty vessels she could find. Then she filled every vessel from that one jar of oil. The oil stopped when all the vessels were filled. Now, if she only got a few jars, then that was all the oil she would get. It is the same with our faith. The moral of the story is that faith requires absolute obedience to experience answers to prayer.

Matthew 14:31Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’” Jesus said this to Peter when he obeyed Jesus and got out of the boat amid the storm and walked on the water.  He was doing great until he took his eyes off Jesus and looked at the waves.  When he realized what he was doing, he doubted and began to sink.  The moral of the story, keep your eyes on Jesus, not your circumstances.

Matthew 16:8But Jesus, aware of this, said, ‘O you of little faith, why are you discussing among yourselves the fact that you have no bread?’” The disciples witnessed Jesus taking five loves of bread and two fish to feed 5000 people, then seven loaves to feed 4000 people. In this verse, the disciples were concerned about not bringing food with them for the journey. Did they forget how Jesus multiplied the food he had to feed thousands of people? The moral of the story; Jesus will do miracles to provide what you need according to your faith.

Matthew 17:20He said to them, ‘Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.’” In this story, the disciples could not cast out a demon from a young boy.  When Jesus cast the demon out, the disciples asked Him why they could not.  Now, Jesus does not mean to move a literal mountain, otherwise there would be no mountains.  The mountains represent the impossible things in our lives. 

For example, I needed a place to live after my first-husband was throwing me and the children out of our home.  I prayed for weeks for God to show me where to go.  But I did not have a job and could not afford to rent, though I began an alterations business to at least put food on the table for me and my children.  I went to a banker in my church and he said I could not get a mortgage because my income was so low and I did not have a steady income.  I continued to pray, and then God, yes, God did a miracle. The banker from my church called me and said he found a small bank in another county who will give me a small mortgage.  WOW!!! I could buy a fixer-upper house and God increased my business so I could pay the mortgage and all my other expenses, plus fix the house up.  The moral of the story; God still does miracles to meet our needs.

Mark 5:34And he said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your disease.’” The story behind this verse is of a woman who went to every physician and they could not help her.  Her only hope was for Jesus to heal her, so by faith, she approached Jesus through the crowd that was around Him so she could touch His garment. Jesus felt power leave Him, so He turned to see who had touched Him, she confessed that she touched Him. Her faith brought the healing she hoped for. The moral of the story; faith connects to the power of God. Why are many not healed when they pray by faith and believe God will heal them? Read, How the Devil Causes Trouble and my other posts on why prayers are not answered.

When you doubt, you are not trusting God.

Are you consumed by worry or anger? When we worry and are angry, we doubt God can help us. Our emotions become like the waves of the sea described in James 1:6 because our negative thoughts act as the wind to whip-up our emotions. When we worry, we are fearing the worst will happen and we are not trusting in God.  Don’t expect He will help you if you are not asking and trusting Him.  Philippians 4:6-7 states, “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7) And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Anger demands justice and retribution for an unfair wrong done against you.  God will patiently wait for you to turn the issue to Him before He acts on your behalf.

Proverbs 3:5-10 explains how to trust God.

5) Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding

            Does your heart reflect trust?

6) In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths

            Do you acknowledge Him in all your plans?

7) Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and turn away from evil. 8) It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones

            Are you humble? Do you fear God and repent when you sin and do evil?

9) Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; 10) then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine

            Do you tithe?

Conclusion

The greater your faith, the greater the miracles.  The greater the doubt, the more you worry and become angry. Faith looks to God in hope and expects Him to provide excellent things.  Doubt looks to the distressing circumstances and sees no hope that things can be better.  God is waiting for us to come to Him in faith and receive the good things He has for us.

RELATED POSTS:

15 Promises We Can Trust God to Keep

Pt. 2: Why You Can and Cannot Trust God? 

Unanswered Prayer? Why?

Unanswered Prayer—Are You Connected?

Unanswered Prayer—Are You Presentable?

Author: Joyce Holzman Hanscom

I teach incarcerated women in the county jail how to discover a new reality for their lives. Discovering a new reality is achieved when you heal emotions from painful memories and transform negative heart issues. When negative issues are transformed by truth, then you can love from a pure heart and make wise decisions.

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