WHY DO SOME PRAYERS GO UNANSWERED?
Often when Christian folk have received the very best of prayer and ministry, yet without any significant change or improvement, there can be other factors that need to be explored. It is generally appreciated that it would be inappropriate to blame or shame those receiving prayer for their “lack of faith!” “failure to read the Word”, “hidden sin” etc. if healing or a positive outcome was not forthcoming either immediately or in the short term!
It is interesting to consider how much personal credit we take if God answers our prayers! Hopefully none, giving Him all the credit! However if prayer does not produce the results we seek, how much sense of blame, shame or confusion do we carry? Frequently most of it! Why?
There can be reasons why the very best prayer support does not produce the outcomes we are seeking.
We want to explore in a brief overview, why it often appears that prayer seems to go unanswered.
THE INFLUENCE OF OUR WORLDVIEW
Every person is influenced by his or her own individual worldview, whether from a Christian perspective (Evangelical, Catholic, Calvinist, Armenian, Liberal, Mystical or Legalistic viewpoint), or from some other spiritual position. Other worldviews include:
- Magical, Mystical, Supernatural, Spiritist
- Occultic, Pagan, Wiccan, Shaman, Satanic
- Eastern Orthodox, Roman, Catholic, Evangelical, Liberal, Conservative, etc.
- Cultic; Jehovahs Witness, Morman, Moonies, etc.
- New Age, Holistic, Alternative Health
- Humanistic, Evolutionist, Atheistic, Agnostic, Materialistic
- Eastern Mysticism (TM, Taoist, Buddhist, Yogic, Reincarnation)
- Masonic, Druidic, Esoteric, Cultic
- Animist, Pantheistic, Polytheistic, Gnostic
- Islamic: Sunnis, Shi'ite, etc.
We all need to have an objective, absolute standard of truth that can provide a plumbline against which we can compare our own worldview. This absolute is the manufacturer’s handbook, the Holy Bible.
The apostle James, half-brother to Jesus, warns of four levels of wisdom, three of them negative! James 3:15 ESV "This wisdom comes not from above (Divine*), but is earthly(natural laws*), unspiritual (sensual*), demonic.” (of demonic origin*) *Author’s comment bracketed.
The apostle Paul warns "See to it that no one carries you off as spoil or makes you yourselves captive by his so-called philosophy and intellectualism and vain deceit (idle fancies and plain nonsense), following human tradition (men's ideas of the material rather than the spiritual world), just crude notions following the rudimentary and elemental teachings of the universe and disregarding [the teachings of] Christ (the Messiah).
For in Him the whole fullness of Deity (the Godhead) continues to dwell in bodily form [giving complete expression of the divine nature]" Colossians 2:8-9 Amplified Bible
People converting to and embracing the Christian faith and a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, have frequently embraced one or more of the preceding worldviews, together with its philosophies, associated practices and values. They will specifically need to address all Antichrist adherence and practice through confession, repentance and renunciation. While much of the work through and following conversion to Christ, results from the conviction by the Holy Spirit, nevertheless there is frequently a need to facilitate this process at a practical level. Releasing captives from entrapment to cultic beliefs and practices often requires some issues that are best addressed through specific teaching, personal counselling/ ministry and discipleship. Teaching, equipping, delegating and mobilisation of the members of the body of Christ is an obvious approach.
NEW AGE IN THE CHURCH?
Many have had, and may still be involved in aspects of Divination, Occultism, Cults, Christian and Eastern Mysticism, New Age practices, Freemasonry and Alternative and Holistic Health practices, without realising the conflicts and oppression that are precipitated or maintained through the Spiritual Doorways that have been left open. Having objects such as idols, masks, pagan artifacts, dream catchers, occult literature, heavy metal music, etc., within the home can provide an impediment to receiving answered prayer, and even leave a legacy of nightmares, psychic manifestations and spiritual oppression.
When occult and new age activity infiltrates the church, can we clearly discern the genuine from the counterfeit? Consider Hebrews 5:11-14.
"Concerning this we have much to say which is hard to explain, since you have become dull in your [spiritual] hearing and sluggish [even slothful in achieving spiritual insight].
For even though by this time you ought to be teaching others, you actually need someone to teach you over again the very first principles of God's Word. You have come to need milk, not solid food. For everyone who continues to feed on milk is obviously inexperienced and unskilled in the doctrine of righteousness (of conformity to the divine will in purpose, thought, and action), for he is a mere infant [not able to talk yet]! But solid food is for full-grown men, for those whose senses and mental faculties are trained by practice to discriminate and distinguish between what is morally good and noble and what is evil and contrary either to divine or human law."
ONE EVANGELICAL WORLD VIEW
Some evangelicals embrace the belief that sins and practices engaged in prior to commitment to Christ are somehow covered or ignored by God’s grace. The sins of divination, playing with Ouija boards, attending séances, pursuing horoscopes and all Occultic practices (and other particular sins), need to be specifically confessed, repented of, and the generational impact and legacies must to be broken, as it opens the person and their children, grandchildren, etc. to a psychic legacy. This is not “under the Blood” just because of ignorance, or was done prior to coming to Christ! When we come to Christ, we confess our sinfulness (missing the mark).
The work of sanctification is both immediate and progressive as the Holy Spirit brings conviction of specific sins, leading to confession and repentance. The door may have been opened by either our actions or those of our forebears, but only confession and repentance will break off the legacy and close the spiritual opening, bringing freedom. Break the road traffic code while interstate or overseas and try pleading immunity from the penalty either through ignorance, or “but I am a Christian now!” and see how much leniency is dispensed!
Some question the legitimacy of Christians receiving a spiritual legacy from their forebears following the work of Christ on the Cross! Even in the natural, we still pick up impediments and characteristics through our generational bloodlines which are passed through DNA and RNA, for example: shortsightedness, Muscular Dystrophy, sickle-celled anaemia, etc. Healing is in the Atonement, and people are not spontaneously healed on receiving Christ, but need to appropriate His truth in his or her own situation.
Likewise, generational immorality, perversity, lust, fear, idolatry, divination, all need to be acknowledged, and confessed as they are revealed or discerned.
Iniquity is what comes down onto me through the sins of my forebears. Sin comes through what I do through my own actions or inactions.
IMPARTATION BY LAYING ON OF HANDS.
Little is taught on the “Doctrine of Laying on of Hands” as mentioned in Hebrews 6:2 because there is a definite impartation and transference, both Godly, soulic* or ungodly, dependent on the spiritual orientation of the one who is touching the other. As an example, many chiropractors have a spiritual belief. e.g. Mormon, JW's, spiritist, Wiccan, New Age, Eastern Mysticism, Reiki, etc. This can also apply to masseurs, physiotherapists, etc. and naïve Christians often subject themselves to treatment without taking the simplest of precautions to spiritually protect themselves. This same negative impartation can be transferred through ministries that are living in immorality or apostate lives. *Note: An excellent reference is " The Latent Power of the Soul" by Watchman Nee.
It is important to expand on this point as it maybe considered controversial.
Paul declares "For God's gifts and His call are irrevocable. [He never withdraws them when once they are given, and He does not change His mind about those to whom He gives His grace or to whom He sends His call.] Romans 11:29 Amplified Bible.
Many Christians are unaware of this fact, that if a Minister, Pastor, leader, etc. who has a "gift of healing" through "laying on of hands" may start off soundly, but subtlety compromise their walk into immorality, sexual sin, pornography, financial misappropriation, etc. There may initially a gradual lapse or move from integrity, but never-the-less willfully, but at the same time apprehensively in case the "Anointing " or "Healing/Ministry gifting" lifts.
Should there be an awareness of this "fruit of ministry" ceasing, the solution is to fall on one's face in repentance before the Lord seeking forgiveness and restitution of the "Gifting." When the anointing does not diminish or lift, it is presumed that it is accepted. Tragically the person is seduced, deceived and this allows spiritual defilement. When in turn they lay hands on others, the person may receive healing etc. but unwittingly receive an unwanted defiling transference from the aberrant ministry.
ERECT A SPIRITUAL FIREWALL
There is a simple solution. Before receiving laying on of hands, simply ask the Lord Jesus to " Protect me and filter out any unwanted soulic or spiritual transference that is not from You in Jesus name!"
Another excellent book to refer to is "True and False Prophets" by founder of World MAP, Pastor Don Bashham.
BOUND BY OUR ATTITUDES, VOWS AND OATHS
We as people are often taken captive by wounding that has occurred in the world and in the Church either to ourselves or those close to us who are wounded. We can become so scarred by the words and actions of others that we carry unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment, hatred, rage, desire for revenge or retaliation. We can make vows e.g. I can never forgive …. as long as I live for their actions! I will never trust another man/woman, policeman, church person, etc. Sometimes those attitudes and vows are internalised! “I can never forgive myself for being …” (e.g. so foolish, naïve, trusting, failing those who depended on me, etc.) God’s word declares “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear!” Psalm 66:18 Failure to obey God’s Word can be the reason for unanswered prayer! God may want to respond, but He is bound by His own word.
UNRESOLVED GRIEF, TRAUMA, DYSFUNCTION
There are other areas about which the Lord wants to educate the Body of Christ, in order to release those who are the product of what could be described as “normal dysfunctional homes”, as well as child and adult survivors of early childhood trauma.
Mental Health Professionals have identified the condition impacting those subjected to overwhelming trauma whether arising from war trauma, (known as shell shock or war neuroses), witnesses to accidents, terror, violence, genocide, atrocities, etc. as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. (PTSD)
One of the outcomes of PTSD is a condition called Dissociative Identity Disorder or DID. Dissociation is a coping mechanism, which might best be described as God’s circuit-breaker for the traumatised soul and the "Broken Hearted" Isaiah 61:1 and Luke 4:18.
The impact of unresolved grief is little understood, and can produce conditions such as chronic fatigue. Specific ministry can see wholeness restored.
When giving direction to his disciples immediately before his crucifixion, Jesus instructs them,
"I have still many things to say to you, but you are not able to bear them or to take them upon you or to grasp them now.
But when He, the Spirit of Truth (the Truth-giving Spirit) comes, He will guide you into all the Truth (the whole, full Truth). For He will not speak His own message [on His own authority]; but He will tell whatever He hears [from the Father; He will give the message that has been given to Him], and He will announce and declare to you the things that are to come [that will happen in the future]. He will honor and glorify Me, because He will take of (receive, draw upon) what is Mine and will reveal (declare, disclose, transmit) it to you. Everything that the Father has is Mine. That is what I meant when I said that He [the Spirit] will take the things that are Mine and will reveal (declare, disclose, transmit) it to you." John 16:12-15
God is continuing to equip His church, revealing keys on how to minister in the Spirit to those traumatised by overwhelming life experiences. Instruction and training to effect release for those bound by trauma is available from Watchman Ministries Inc.using a process called Isaiah 61 Restoration Ministry.
Various secretive organisations throughout the world, not only understand the condition called Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), but know how to exploit it through Trauma-based Mind Control. This is the subject of a separate brochure entitled “Hearing the Cries of the Traumatised Child”, available upon request.
God is giving to His Church, revelation and understanding why there have been impediments to seeing answers to prayer. Our worldview needs to line up with the Kingdom of God and the King, rather than being compromised by rational, cognitive, cultural, denominational or theological mindsets.
The matters discussed in this article are among a range of subjects of basic and advanced seminars available through Watchman Ministries Inc.