Why Does God Not Answer My Prayers? (Article 18-19)
Why does God not give us everything we ask of Him? After all, Christ tells us “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them". (Mark 11:24) Is it because we don’t believe that we will receive what we ask for by way of faith? The answer may be yes; however, we must also consider that we sometimes don’t get everything we pray for due to it not being according to our loving Father’s will. In saying this, there are two concepts we need to note and understand when it comes to our faith and prayers. The concepts are what referring to "Our Father" and according to "His will" mean.
"Our Father". In the only prayer that Christ instructs to say, that being the “Lord’s Prayer” (Matthew 6:9-13), He tells us to begin the prayer with “Our Father…”. He does so because Christ wants us to see, under the New Covenant” God by way of His true nature - that being that God is not just our Creator, but also our Father. Why? Well think of what God intends all fathers should be to us as children. A good father loves, protects and provides for his those he loves. He disciplines and corrects us when we’re wrong, and wants the best for us. He wants us to be happy and to recognize, pursue and uphold only good things, and teaches us to live with purpose, always respecting and considering the needs of others over our own desires. It is from this understanding of what a father should mean can we begin to understand how we should see God. Finally, as we reflect on what a good father should be, we come to understand that a good father does not always let us have our way. A good father may show his love for us by not what he always gives us, but also what he decides to deny us. A good, thoughtful, and wise father knows that not everything we ask for is good for us - that what we ask for may harm us, even though we may not see it that way.
"According to His Will". God has a plan for every one of us. Many people go through life without ever thinking about it, but that doesn’t change the fact that God put us here for a purpose. We aren’t here by accident; we’re here because God put us here. And He put us here for a reason—so we could come to know Him in a personal way, and then live the way He wants us to live. This is the greatest discovery you will ever make: You were created to know God and to be His friend forever. God not only has a general purpose for each of us, but He also has a specific plan for each of our lives. God knows all about you, and He has a plan for you. That’s why you can pray and seek God’s will when you face decisions, and it is why you can know God is with you every moment of the day. The Bible says, “Teach me your way, O Lord; lead me in a straight path” (Psalm 27:11). Knowing God’s will can give you peace in the midst of suffering and everyday trials. When you are in constant fellowship with God, He will lead you in the fulfillment of His plan.
To Know God's Will, You Must Know God. To know God’s will, you must first know God Himself. You can do that by committing your life to Jesus Christ, who was God in human flesh. Christ came to earth to show us what God is like and save us from our sins, and once you accept Him into your heart, you are a child of God. You can know God’s specific will for your life. Our Heavenly Father wants every believer, by way of faith in Christ, to receive eternal salvation, and with it, become righteous and holy. He, by way of sacrificing His son, gave us a gift of love that is unparalleled since man's existence - a gift that was not earned or deserved, but rather a gift given based on our Heavenly Father's unconditional and eternal love for us. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works . . .”. (Ephesians 2:8-10). Therefore, who can do our Heavenly Father's will? Only believers in Jesus Christ can do His will.
Our Loving Father Shapes our Character. How a person lives their life is proof that he or she is a believer in Christ. Only those who believe in Jesus and are depending on Him for salvation will do the will of the Father. But notice, doing the will of God does not make a person a Christian and guarantee that he or she will go to heaven. That is backward thinking - Satan’s attempt to deceive us of the truth. The teaching of the New Testament is that only “believers” in Christ do good works. With this, we must make the important distinction that doing good works do not make us a believer. It is believing in and abiding in Christ that gives us the desire to do good works according to the Father’s will. Consequently, when Jesus said, “He who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter” are the missing words. He's describing the character of a Christian and not how to go to heaven.
Conclusion: So now let us return to the central points of this article. If we ask things of the Father, and do not receive, we must consider the possibility that the reason for His denial is that what we ask for is not according to His will. Our loving Father’s denial of our requests may not be the result of a lack of faith, but rather not allowing situations or happenings to occur that will lead us away from Christ, thus removing the opportunity to become closer to our Father. How we live our life is proof that we are a Christian: a believer and follower of Christ. The fact is that only those who believe in Jesus and are depending on Him for salvation will do our Father’s will. Our Father in heaven, knowing what is at stake, acts on those things that lead to our return to Him, and in the interim, bring us closer to Him. For there is no measure of good works or anything else that we can do by our own accord that will shape our character to please our Father. What pleases our Father is for us to believe and abide in the one He sent: Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. For His will, by way of the Son, is to draw us closer to Him and to be "One with Him" for eternity. If becoming "One with Him" is not the central intent of your prayers, we should give Him thanks for not granting us what we ask of Him.