When I pray, it seems to me that my prayers do not pass over the ceiling. It is like I say a poem or I talk with myself. The prayers are a like a burden to me. I can not intercede for others, and if I pray three times a day, every time I have the same requests. I do not have peace when I pray, it is like I feel that God doesn’t listen to me. I do not know how to listen to the voice of God when I pray and I do not know how to be guided by the Holy Spirit. It seems to me that everything I do is not good. I have a great state of nerves and I do not know whether that is the reason why my prayers do not work or if my state of nerves is caused by the failure in prayer. I need a practical advice.
I will present some major reasons why one’s prayers can not be listened by God. Read carefully, and check your life of prayer in their light. God does not listen to prayers …
When you pray to be seen by men
Lord Jesus said:
When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. (Matthew 6:5-6)(NASB)
Although few people today are seeking to make their name through their religiosity, some try it. Do not be like them, because God says you will not have a reward other than the praise or words of men. If there is no other reward, it means that you will not receive a response to your prayer.
When you pray with mechanical repetition
Further, the Savior said:
And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. (Matthew 6:7-8)(NASB)
The Lord’s prayer was given as a model, an example, and some, without realizing its meaning are praying with it mechanically, transforming it into a meaningless repetition in the morning, noon, evening, night, in front of burning candles, without realizing the true meaning of the prayer and learn from it, just as they do with the prayer of Virgin Mary, Nectar, Anthony, etc.
When you pray without faith
At the beginning of the Epistle of James it is said:
But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. (James 1:5-8)(NASB)
The biblical text refers to prayer for wisdom, but the principle applies to any other need. God does not respond when people pray without faith.
When you pray with wrong motives
In the same Epistle of James it is written:
What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. (James 4:1-3)(NASB)
When people ask something from the Heavenly King by reasons of envy and evil to spend it on their pleasures, they do not receive response to their prayers, because God does not want their distress and does not give them things that will harm them. When a sick child asks things that will make him feel worse, a good father does not give him those things, because he loves him and does not want his evil.
When we do not confess our sins
In the last chapter of the Epistle of James it is said:
Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray. Is anyone cheerful? He is to sing praises. Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit. (James 5:13-18)(NASB)
If you are not transparent before God and men, if you are hiding the sins you have committed and do not want to recognize them to repent of them – do not expect your prayers to be listened.
When you are not faithful to the covenant
Marriage is a covenant entered into before God, who says:
You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered. (1 Peter 3:7)(NASB)
If you do not relate to your wife or husband as required by God, do not expect God to answer to your prayers.
When you do not live in obedience to the Word of God
Before his crucifixion, Jesus told his disciples:
If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. (John 15:7)(NASB)
True Christian remains in Jesus because the Holy Spirit dwells in him. For him it is a pleasure to fulfill the will of God and his prayer will be a miracle-working, because all he asks in prayer, will be according to this will of God and in harmony with the Bible.
What will you do and what will you change that your prayer may be listened by God?
Translated by Felicia Rotaru