Ever felt like your prayers were falling flat, never actually reaching God? If God is the good Father who knows how to give good gifts to His children (see Matt. 7:11), then why does it feel like He isn’t even listening sometimes? In this message, Dr. Stanley reveals what’s going on behind the scenes. And while we won’t ever see the full picture this side of heaven, we can trust that God always hears His children and is faithfully conforming us to the image of His Son. This message is Part 1 of the series: How to Talk With God – Volume 2 How to Talk With God – Volume 1 CD Series: https://store.intouch.org/purchase/ho…

Part 1: Unveiling The Hidden –    • Unveiling The Hidden – Radio Classic …   Part 2: Praying With Authority –    • Praying With Authority – Radio Classi…   Part 3: Praying And Fasting –    • Prayer And Fasting – Radio Classic – …   Part 4: A Prayer Burden –    • A Prayer Burden – Radio Classic – Dr….   Part 5: Answered Prayer –    • Answered Prayer – Radio Classic – Dr….   Part 6: When It’s Spiritual Warfare –    • When It’s Spiritual Warfare – Radio C…   How to Talk With God – Volume 2 CD Series: https://store.intouch.org/purchase/ho…

Part 1: Why Our Prayers Are Unanswered Part 2: How To Pray In The Will Of God – Releasing Soon Part 3: A Time To Stop Waiting In Prayer – Releasing Soon Part 4: The Power Of Your Prayer Life – Releasing Soon Part 5: Praying For Others – Releasing Soon Part 6: Praying Is Where The Action Is – Releasing Soon For more messages from Charles Stanley, including this week’s broadcast, go to https://intouch.org/tv

with a message from God’s word here’s
Stanley would you turn please to 1 Peter
chapter 3 I want us to read verses 1-7
and the title of this message why our
prayers are not answered in this
particular passage which really begins
to deal with the wife and husband
relationship the Lord says through Peter
he gives us an indication of one of the
reasons that our prayers lacking and are
hindered and the answers we’re looking
for do not come so beginning in 1 Peter
1 likewise ye wives be in subjection to
your own husbands that if any obey not
the word they also May without the word
be won by the conversation of the wife
that means the wife’s not to win her
husband necessarily by talking while
they behold your Chase conversation
couped with fear whose adorning let it
not be that out what adorning of plating
the hair and of wearing of gold and of
putting on of apparel but let it be the
hidden man of the heart in that which is
not corruptible even the ornament of a
Meek and quiet Spirit which is in the
sight of God of great praise for after
this manner in the old time the holy
women also who trusted in God adorned
themselves being in subjection under
their own
husbands even as Sarah obeyed Abraham
calling him Lord whose daughters you are
as long as You Do Dwell and are afraid
with any amazement now listen likewise
ye husbands dwell with them according
that is with your wife according to
knowledge giving honor unto the wife as
under the weaker vessel and is being HS
together of the grace of life in order
that your prayers be not hindered now
the word hindered here means to break up
to cut into or to put an obstacle in the
road so so what Peter is saying is this
one of the reasons for our prayers going
unanswered is in the home life there are
relationships that are not right and he
says that’s like cutting that electrical
cord right into two he says it’s like
putting up an obstacle in the road he
says it’s like breaking up the road so
that you cannot travel uh smoothly it is
a hindrance it is an obstacle to
answered prayer now if God answered all
of our prayers we would be in trouble if
he answered all of our prayers we
wouldn’t have to be concerned about the
fact that he does not what I’d like to
do is to give you two list of things
that you and I need to consider as to
why our prayers go and answered now we
said on one occasion that God does
answer all of our prayers he says yes no
and wait and that is true but I want us
to look at the reasons we do not see the
desires of our heart come to pass in the
area of answered prayer and all of us
have prayed at times and God did not do
what we asked him to do now you can say
anything you want to say about it but
the real truth comes down lord you
didn’t do it I told you to do that’s
really sort of what we feel about it so
I want us to deal with some very
practical things and the first area here
is this why God does not answer our
prayers that is appear to answer our
prayers when everything between us and
God’s right and I think there are two
different aspects of it sometimes
there’s a reason we don’t have our
prayers answered and the problem is with
us and uh sin in our heart or whatever
it might be but there is a reason or
given reasons why our prayers don’t come
to pass as we desire them and there’s
another cause for that so I want to give
you this first section here when
everything is right between you and God
why then even then are our prayers not
answered the way we want to see them
answer the first reason is this God
wants us to want him more than he wants
wants us to want objects of our
affection our desires for example when
you and I come to God In Prayer he
doesn’t want us asking him for something
over here whereby now why you have to
watch this whereby he gets sort of Lost
in the whole deal and the only thing
that matters is that our object our mind
is consumed with a thing or the desire
in our heart and you must see this in
the very beginning because here’s a
basic problem in most people’s
praying a primary reason our prayers is
not answered has to deal with our
attitude toward him and all the other
things I’m going to talk about we come
back to this one of the reasons the
prayer answer is withheld is because we
don’t want him we want what he has to
answer God has ordained that we want him
he’s loved us and he says he
predestinated us according to his will
he predestinated us to do what to be
conformed to his likeness if he’s in the
process of conform forming us to his
likeness he is not interested in
granting us desires of our heart when we
want to look around him on this side and
under him over here and over here we
don’t want him we want what he has to
offer God isn’t interested in answering
your prayers in mine to the neglect of
or the very idea of looking around him
and ignoring him to get what he wants us
to have so one of the reasons that is
when our heart is right as best we know
one of the reasons he withholds the
prayer is because he wants to refocus
our attention upon himself the second
thing is to teach us to trust him when
your heart is Right everything is right
and God still doesn’t come forth with
the answer what is the reason if God
gave you everything you wanted just
every time you want it what would happen
before long we would take him for
granted to the point we just say Lord um
you know what I want because I I’ve I’ve
asked for it the other day or what would
really happen is this we would we would
miss out on one of God God’s greatest
Blessings Now listen why does he
withhold the answer when your heart is
right and you know it’s God’s will if
you to have it why does he withhold it
because listen he wants the teachers to
trust him if he gives you everything you
want the moment you want it that’s not
trusting God but are you willing to
believe that God is going to keep his
word when there’s no evidence when it
seems as if the heavens of brasses he
says and the Earth is like iron and God
says I will supply your need and you do
have a need and you say Lord but the
need isn’t coming so what are you going
to do you’re going to say well there’s
no point in praying because after all
I’ve asked for a whole week and God
hasn’t supplied my need but you see if
we listen if you and I are trusting God
we are trusting in what God says in his
word so what does he do sometimes he
withholds the answer in order to do what
to teach us to trust to believe what he
said because he said it whether we have
any evidence or not now why does God do
that is is it because he wants to toy
around or tease us with answers or
withholding the blessing no he uses the
withholding of the answer in one
area like he does in giving for example
in giving that’s a means of teaching us
to trust him withholding the answer and
teaching us to persist to keep our focus
upon him not to go by our feelings not
to look around and see well God you’re
not doing anything but to look to him
and believe him on the basis of what he
said if we’re able to do that a given
area of answered prayer then other times
when God wants to wants the teach us to
trust him what are we doing in learning
to give and learning to trust him and to
keep holding on when there seems to be
no answer what are we doing but we are
building our faith God is building a
foundation of faith in us so that he can
teach us to look to him and believe him
and trust him for longer periods of time
when longer periods of time are
necessary for God to work into our life
those essential to get us ready for
answered prayer which brings me to the
third reason one of the reasons he
withholds the answer is because he is in
the process of preparing us for example
many of you single gals and fellas
you’ve been praying since you were 15 18
years of age the Lord send you a
marriage partner he still hasn’t done it
25 you’re saying my goodness what is God
waiting for I’ll tell you one reason
he’s probably waiting he’s probably
waiting to get you ready to get married
you say I’ve been ready since I was 21
that’s your opinion but not necessarily
his and often times I’ve discovered that
things that I had prayed for if God had
given them when I asked for them it
would have been too soon in my life
listen there’s some things it is the
will of God for us to have but sometimes
we want it before the time for example
your son or your daughter may want let’s
take a son for example every kid wants a
every son wants a pocket knife and a
flashlight and you don’t mind giving him
a flashlight but the pocket knife he’s
got to grow up a little bit until you
think he’s able to handle it there are
some blessings God wants you to have
it’s in his will for you to have them
he’s waiting for you spiritually to be
able to handle the blessings so one of
the reasons you pray and does not come
is because he’s waiting to get you ready
then a fourth reason one of my most
favorite reasons for God withholding the
blessing is this he withholds what you
and I request in order to give us
something better than we ask for more
than you deserve more than you ask for
more than you expect one of the most
beautiful examples of that is Lazarus
suppose when Mary and Martha had called
out to Jesus and said Lazarus is sick
and to death please come and heal him
the Lord ignored him he he didn’t go he
waited till Lazarus die now you answer
this was it a greater blessing to have a
disease healed or to be raised right out
of the grave and you see what at first
seemed to be an awful awful uh
experience of death for Mary and Martha
turned that to to be a glorious
experience far greater watching their
brother come out of that grave out of
death unrobe him of the Grave clothes
and then again once again he is healthy
and strong and back at home a greater
blessing than they had asked for so
these four things often times are
reasons that God withholds the blessing
when it’s not the condition of your
heart it is God who has something
greater in mind now it’d be great if you
and I could say there the the only four
reasons that God doesn’t answer our
prayer but I want to give you seven more
right quickly all right get your pencil
out because these the things you and I
have to deal with and the first one we
just noticed here in 1 Peter chapter 3
he says that a man or woman’s prayers
are hindered when their home
relationships are not right now you
think about this for a moment how in the
world can you have fellowship with a
loving heavenly father who is forgiving
you and gracious to you and at the same
time you saying to your husband or wife
would you get off my back when you’re
building up resentment and indifference
when a son or a daughter having conflict
with their parents and the parents’
conflict with their sons and daughters
and their family heartaches and family
problems and resentment and bitterness
and indifference and in gratitude and
selfishness and costic words and
conversation of blaming all of these
things going on and then you after you
go through all that you get on your
knees and you say oh heavenly father I
want to tell you he says your prayers
are hindered because you see we can’t be
having constant conflict on a horizontal
level and expect God to answer our
prayers he says he’s not going to do it
and you see the reason
here that we think he will is because we
don’t understand the nature and the
character of God what did he say he said
I have predestinated you to be what
shaped and conformed into the likeness
of his son Jesus Christ the Reason God
will not answer our prayers when things
are not right in now heart if he did his
answered prayer when things are not
right would be his way of condoning our
Disobedience he’s not going to condone
Disobedience he hates Disobedience loves
the believer who’s Disobedience but he
hates the Disobedience because he knows
that disobedience is destroying God’s
wonderful super super beautiful purpose
for all of our lives so what does he do
he just closes the door of heaven and
locks it up until we get our family
situation right now somebody says well
but I’ve had family situations for a
long long time and God’s answered my
prayers no he
hasn’t you say I know he has no you
don’t you say I’m sure he has you can’t
prove it in the Bible you see here’s the
thing we forget other people are praying
for us number one God answers their
prayers and secondly it may be that
God’s just having Mercy on the other
members of your family and he’s doing
for them but it certainly isn’t because
you have prayed for the simple reason he
says if I regard iniquity in my heart
he’ll not hear me that is if I purpose
it in my heart if I aim to do sin if I
know it’s in my heart and I keep
hammering away at it he says God’s not
going to answer it you can’t go home on
Sunday and say to your wife listen why
did you burn the chicken after all we
were late going to church this morning
on and on and on on on you go and giving
her a hard time right in front of the
kids and then you say heavenly father I
want you to bless this meal I’m here to
tell you that is hypocrisy in God’s eyes
and you see we fall in the habits of
doing things and listen you know what
God say he says I he says he makes the
heavens like brass and the Earth like
iron which is his way of saying in
Deuteronomy I’m not listening to what
say one of the reasons the church is so
weak is there’s so much prayerlessness
and what I mean with that I don’t mean
that folks aren’t talking I mean God’s
listening that’s why it’s very important
that when there are difficulties and
heartaches in the home confessed each
other right then and then say honey I’m
sorry it’s not a question of who’s right
but I want you to forgive me and
apologize and then pray because you pray
that you sick and I’m going to do one
bit of good according to the word of God
if I regard an nior in my heart
resentment bitterness ugly attitudes
andrate ungrateful Spirit he says I’m
not going to hear
you and you see we’re the ones who think
we can parade around before a holy God
with all this junk in our heart and
think God’s going to hear everything
we’re saying because we’re who we are
God isn’t impressed by that at all he’s
not going to answer our
prayers second thing that you and I have
to deal with is just that an unforgiving
Spirit look if you will in MA in Matthew
6 and let me show you why that’s true in
Matthew 6 uh verse4 look at there for a
minute if you
will he says now when
um he says if you forgive men their
trespasses your heavenly father will
also forgive you he says but if you
forgive not men their trespasses neither
will your father forgive your trespasses
here’s what he’s saying he’s saying if
you have an unforgiving Spirit toward in
body let me explain what an unforgiving
spirit is because I’ve heard people say
well I have forgiven it let me tell you
something let me give you a little clue
here if you say you’re forgiven and use
either of these two words you haven’t
forgiven if you use
but if you say but I I’ve forgiven you
but forget it if you say I have forgiven
you if cancel it out for the simple
reason I can’t carry this in my heart
again against you and expect God to hear
me why let’s go back to what I said in
the very beginning what did he say he
predestinated us to do have big prayers
answered he predestinated us to be
shaped into his likeness what does he
got to do he’s got to crush that in
order to shape us into his likeness and
I’m not going to be able to walk around
with a big chunk of unforgiveness
harboring in my heart resentment toward
anybody with a critical spirit always
criticizing them and expect God to
answer my prayer
the third
reason and that is wrong motives if
you’ll notice in James turn there for
just a moment in James chapter
4 he puts it this way in verse three he
says you ask and receive not because you
ask aiss that is you ask in error that
you may consume it upon your lust that
is your motive is selfish not to glorify
God James 4:3 not to glorify God and
somebody says now wait a minute preacher
don’t don’t give me this glorified God
business because I don’t understand what
that means well let me explain to you in
essence when it comes to praying what do
we mean by asking God for something and
in a means by which he can be glorified
and this is what I mean by that because
there’s some things you and I ask for
that we don’t need we just like to have
it and God wants us to have it because
we’re his children and he says he loves
us he Delights to answer our prayer you
say all right now I happen to be asking
for something I don’t need and it’s
legitimate I believe God wants me to
have it but how can I glorify God in
this manner number one you can have you
can have a grateful Spirit toward God a
spirit of gratitude and of Thanksgiving
and you can praise him and express your
gratitude to him that that he gave it to
you not because you deserve it but
because he loves you and you recognizing
his love and praising him and honoring
him and you’re committing yourself to be
a good Steward to whatever that is he
gave you or whatever opportunity came
your way you’re committing yourself to
be a good Steward to him what do you do
you glorifying him because you’re going
to use that or take advantage of that
experience in a way that will do what
that will prove your gratitude and your
good stewardship over whatever God sends
your way and when we want something
listen when we want something in our
motivation is selfish here’s what we do
we say Lord this is what I want and you
see it all goes back to the same old
thing when I ignore him him which simply
means that all prayer ought to be what
centered God centered so when you and I
come to pray before we ever ask for
anything we want to be talking to him
about himself and praising him and
thanking him and acknowledging him and
committing ourselves to him all prayer
ought to be God centered and not things
centered the things are over here the
requests are over here but our heart and
life ought to be God centered and one of
the best checks on your prayer life is
after you begin you a prayer about 30
seconds stop and ask yourself now how
did I start this to begin with did I
start off praising the Lord and thanking
him and honoring him and just expressing
my gratitude to him or that I jump into
this thing and say Lord I want to send a
quick order straight through and I want
to bypass in a red tape red tape being
Lord I want to take the time just to
tell you that I just love you and am
grateful to you for all that you’re
doing for me every day you know what our
problem is we make simple little
in praying that it never never even
Dawns on us that a loving holy righteous
wonderful God and I want to say he’s
excited about answering our prayers and
we short circuit him time after time
another reason they don’t get answered
is because not that we don’t have faith
all of us have some Faith but we have
wavering Faith look if you will back in
James for a moment first chapter
remember what he says beginning in verse
5 he says if any man lack wisdom let him
ask of God who gives to all men
liberally and abrath not and it should
be given to him but notice what he says
after that he says but let him ask in
what verse 6 let him ask in faith
nothing wavering for he that wavereth is
like the waves of the sea driven by the
winds and toss and then I want you to
notice the next verse because it is so
firm let not that man who has wavering
faith maybe he will maybe he won’t yes
he will no he won’t let not that man
think that he shall receive what
anything from God now listen to what he
says he says if you and I begin to pray
and ask the Lord to meet one of our
needs or desires of our
heart and we make the terrible mistake
watch this the
mistake is what we go by feeling and not
by faith I know God says he will but I
don’t quite feel that way I don’t see
anything happening when I look around I
just feel like oh I must have done
something wrong when I look at the word
of God that’s what God says I know
that’s what he wants to do but here I am
so I’m believing the word today and I’m
watching my feelings tomorrow believing
the word today and watching my feelings
tomor that is wavering he says let not
any man who’s wavering in his faith he
didn’t say he didn’t have any faith he
says your Faith’s wavering you weakening
you see you don’t see anything going on
looks like God’s giving the silent
treatment he doesn’t say anything you
don’t see anything happening you say
well Lord if you answering my prayer why
don’t I see anything because I ought to
be looking what not at what’s happening
but ought to be looking at him and at
his word and you
see this book keeps your faith anchored
and it matters not what kind of storm
may come your way when you’re asking the
Lord to meet some need in your life and
your circumstances don’t look like God’s
doing anything you keep looking at the
book he wants our praying to be god-
centered Christ centered Spirit centered
not thing circumstance trouble trial
heartache pain suffering centered he
wants it to be god- centered and you see
the problem is we get off on something
else centered and that becomes the
object for example let’s say that you’re
in pain and you’re suffering is it not
normal and natural think oh God I’m
hurting so bad Lord if you just knew how
bad I was hurting and oh Lord Oh Lord Oh
Lord Oh Lord you tell him all about
you’re not thinking about him now I
understand that I’ve been there just
like you have what I’m saying is the
mistakes we make are so subtle they’re
right beneath the surface you think but
man if you’re hurting you ought to pray
that’s right
but you see somehow when the mind and
the heart and the spirit get God
centered something happens and until it
does you’re just threatening painting
and moaning and groaning and having a
difficult time wavering Faith all of us
have faith when you say well if I just
had his faith I could get presented not
necessarily you don’t need his faith you
have your own faith and the way you
build your faith is not looking at
somebody else the way you build your
faith is getting in the word looking at
god making your request trusting him and
keep on looking to him regardless of the
circumstances all about you all right
the next reason one of the reasons that
we have prayers that left unanswered is
because we’re stingy now I hate to put
it in those terms but look if you will
in Proverbs 21 for a moment and that’s
just the word he uses so I figure if he
uses it that’s good enough for us
Proverbs chapter
21 and uh verse 13 listen to what he
says who so stoppeth his ears at the Cry
of the poor he also shall cry himself
but shall not be heard think about that
for a moment when that man cries the
Bible says he’ll not be heard now think
about this for a moment how could you
and I listening to somebody else have
needs to no not interested and turn a
death air absolutely totally in there
don’t want to hear and then we turn
around and say now Heavenly Father you
know my need and you see how absolutely
cont addicted that is to the whole
Christian Life we can’t turn a de air to
someone who’s in need because we don’t
have time or don’t want to be bothered
or are too selfish and then we want to
say now Lord you know all that I need
would you just pour out your blessings
upon me it won’t work friend let me tell
you something if you’re one of those
struggling people today and you keep on
struggling with whether you can give a
tithe or not I want to tell you
something I want you to think about this
with all of your heart and out of love I
tell you how in the world can you come
to God and ask him to give you you
anything when you’ve got his 10% in your
pocket you you’ve got last week’s tithee
unless you’ve already spent it you got
last week’s tithee in your pocketbook
because you couldn’t trust God with
listen one little copper Abraham Lincoln
penny one a little Penny out of a dime
you couldn’t trust him with it one a
little dime out of a dollar one little
dollar out of $10 bill you can’t trust
him with it and you’re going to come and
say oh God you know my needs and I know
that you can supply my needs and I’m
just trusting you for that know you you
are not you see that is
hypocrisy a man who says I’m trusting
God to meet my needs and who won’t trust
God listen he’s not you’re not trusting
the church you’re trusting God so when I
give my money which belongs to God to
the to the Lord Jesus Christ through the
fellowship I have to trust him to take
care of that you see when you and I are
giving we’re giving it to the Lord God
Almighty doesn’t mean we’re not going to
have any problem listen we want enough
problems to give God the privilege to
show us he still in business with us
somebody says I don’t want into
well you’ll have to wait till you either
die or get raptured one of the two
because you’re going to have them but
you see you don’t want a life without
testings in
problems these are God’s opportunities
to prove himself but if you and I are
stingy and tight with God’s money I want
to tell you he says when this Fell’s in
need and the world is in need and there
is a need to be met and and you turn to
death a and say I can’t afford it I
don’t want to do it I don’t believe in
it I can’t support that he says then
when you cry you’re going to get brass
heavens and iron Earth it’s just going
to Ricochet and back and forth but
you’re not going to get your prayer
answered then he says the problem of an
indifference to God’s word look if you
will in Proverbs chapter 28 and this
little verse right here may have uh
slipped through somebody else’s mind and
heart you may never thought about this
that being indifferent to the word of
indifference uh chapter 28 and uh verse
9 of that chapter he says he that
turneth away his ear from hearing the
law even his prayer shall be an
Abomination you know what he’s saying he
says my friend when you live listen
watch this when you live with a closed
book you also
live with a closed Heaven God is not
going to answer the prayers of people
who live with a closed book he says if
we turn away from the book God will not
hear and answer our
prayers so that’s why I believe that
God’s people ought to be in the book and
sometime you going to read things you
don’t understand and sometimes you’re
going to be in such a big hurry you say
what difference does it make if I read
it I wouldn’t understand it or if I read
it I have to read it in such a big hurry
that I just can’t I can’t get anything
out of it I’ll tell you something I’ve
learned it’s best to read it even if you
only have time for one verse even even
if it’s just a little something to keep
in touch with the word of God there’s
something Supernatural about that the
seventh and last reason the one that you
probably would suspect above all the
rest that is unconfessed Sin unconfessed
Sin short circum it he says if I regard
iniquity in my heart he’ll not hear me
that is if I aim to do it in Isaiah
chapter 59 look there for just a moment
please Isaiah
59 and I want you to notice how he
States this he says
the Lord’s hand verse one is not
shortened listen the Lord’s hand is not
shortened his ears are not heavy that he
cannot hear your iniquities have
separated between you and your God your
sins have hid his face from you that he
will not hear not that he cannot hear he
will not hear if I have unconfessed
unrepented of sin that I refuse to give
up listen watch this if I’ve got
something in my life that I’m not
willing to give up I want to show you
something God’s not going to put a
spiritual Crow bar into your life and
open it up you know what he’s going to
do he’s just going to wait and you can
pray and pray and pray and pray and pray
and God’s still watching you and as long
as you’ve got it he’s not going to
answer what happens is he has to watch
you voluntarily open your own heart and
give him what you ought not have in your
life in the first place the moment you
will to take
that open it up to him what does he do
he takes that out of your life and what
does he do he always gives you something
super great much better than you had
friend if you’re going to pray you don’t
want to waste your time talking to God
who’s not
listening I want to ask you one last
question quickly what is there in your
life worth more to you than a
relationship with God who will provide
you everything you’ll ever need whenever
you need it the desires of your heart
according to his will what do you hold
on to and you possess more valuable than
that father we take so many things for
granted we become so careless in our
life we tend to treat you like we treat
each other like Others May treat us we
rationalize so many things we excuse so
many things when you’ve given us very
clear indication in the word that you
love us more than any preacher could
express that you just love to answer our
prayers but you will not violate your
own laws to give us something that will
end up being a detriment to us if you
give it to us when we’re living in
sin I thank you this morning for loving
us and for forgiving us of our sins and
pray today in jesus’ name that each one
of us may be honest enough to check out
our prayer Life by those two lists to
see why is it when I pray the heavens
seem to be like brass and the Earth like
iron and this I ask in Jesus name and
for his sake