Believe it or not, just because you aren't hearing anything from God, it doesn't mean he isn't answering. Often, silence is the best answer God can give because it shows God trusts you to make decisions yourself, or because getting what you ask would actually hurt you.

However, there are instances where God may just not be answering your prayers. God does not ignore or reject us but He is invested in teaching us. This even means teaching us how to pray. So sometimes when it feels like God isn't answering our prayers, there are things we may be doing that are preventing Him from responding.

You are unwilling to act

Sometimes we pray for things, get no response and blame it on God. However, He might not be hearing our prayer because we aren't willing to act.

Much like you wouldn't buy your friend an ice cream cone if you knew she was planning on throwing it in the garbage, God isn't going to answer your prayer if you are unwilling to act on the response He gives you.

If you are not intending to act on the answer or blessing God grants you, He may not be hearing your prayer. Evaluate if you are really willing to do what he says - even if it's not what you want.

Your prayers are all about you

Recently, a friend and I were discussing how frustrating it can be when we feel like we are doing all the things that normally connect us to God but we don't feel close to Him. We decided we may not feel any response from God during these times because we are acting selfishly. For example, when I didn't feel like God was responding to my prayers, I wasn't going to church thinking of how I could help other worshipers. As I tested out this hypothesis, I discovered that there was truth in it. The more I focused on other people, the more I was able to connect with God.

This isn't actually surprising. God's purpose is to help His children. Jesus sacrificed His own life and endured pain to suffer for sins He never committed. His focus is always on others. As we turn our focus on other people, we become more like God which draws us closer to Him.

In John 17:9, Jesus prays: 'I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.'

If you are not praying for others, God may not be hearing your prayers.

You never say thank you

Do you thank God for the blessings He gives you even when you don't ask for them? Do you thank Him for answering your prayers?

If you aren't daily thanking God for the blessings that He gives you, He may not be hearing your prayers.

You are asking the wrong question

If you are praying for a blessing, and it isn't coming, try changing the question. While praying, meditate and look for what God wants you to ask.

For a long time, I prayed to be in a relationship. It continually didn't happen. So I tried to ask something that God would be willing to give me. As I prayed, I considered different things I could ask for. I realized it had been a while since I had gone on consistent dates with the same guy. I asked God to help me go on 5 dates with one person; the confidence I felt asking this was confirmation that God approved of my plea. Two days after I asked God for this, I began going out with a man I was interested in. We went on 5 dates before I realized I wasn't interested in continuing to pursue the relationship. This showed me that in order for my prayers to be heard, I need to use prayer to align my will with God.

You don't pray with God's will

Sometimes we may believe that it's possible to change God's will through prayer. We hope that by praying long enough or hard enough He will give us a new job, a child, a relationship. While there are some blessings that God is willing to grant if we only ask for them, it's not possible to convince God that what we want is better than what He wants for us. So if we are trying to change God's will through prayer, He may not be hearing it.

In 1 John 5:14, John writes, "And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us." Be assured that God will hear your prayer if you ask for His will.

You should use prayer to help your desires and God's desires come into harmony. Sincerely ask Him to help you recongize and desire His will.

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