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When Prayer Fails

When things begin to unravel or fail apart, I’m the kind of person that wants to know why.  Thus, as I experience long periods of unanswered prayers, I begin to meditate, ponder and reflect on possible explanations.  What I discovered are three main reasons why some of my past prayers have failed.

When you spread out your hands in prayer, I hide my eyes from you; even when you offer many prayers, I am not listening. Your hands are full of blood! – Isaiah 1:15

1. Confession without Contrition

There are times when individuals are sorry for sinful acts, but haven’t done anything to stop this from reoccurring.  In the days of the prophet Isaiah, some Jews began to offer sacrifices to the Lord without a contrite heart.  Thus, when people lifted up concerns to God before dealing with addictions, bad habits or wayward behavior, the Lord refused to listen.

However, if you do not obey the LORD your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come on you and overtake you, Deuteronomy 28:15.

2. Walking in Disobedience

The longer I live, the more I find myself in some sort of spiritual funk.  Time has a way of altering priorities which usually leaves God low on your list.  According to Moses, getting God’s attention is fairly simple.  Obey the Lord and carefully follow all of the commands. Unfortunately, most forget about the all, picking and choosing the passages in the Bible that they like and disregarding those that are cumbersome.  Subsequently, many wander away like a prodigal, bringing curses instead of blessings from heaven.

But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins, Matthew 6:15.

3. An Unforgiving Heart

While faith is a crucial element to seeing prayers fulfilled, refusing to forgive is like the kiss of death.  The concept of Reaping and Sowing directly applies to your heart.  Therefore, if you can’t let go, get over and move on, the Lord will not forgive you.  So if days, weeks, months or years go by without seeing any fruits of prayer, perhaps one of these three areas is preventing God’s power from being unleashed.  Whether its acts of contrition, making a U-Turn back to Jesus or finding the grace to forgive, may you be on your way to unlocking the barriers keeping you from seeing heaven come down to earth in the form of answers to prayer.

by Jay Mankus

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