4 Positive Roadblocks for Unanswered Prayer

4 Positive Roadblocks to Unanswered Prayer

Lord, are You listening? I needed an answer—yesterday. 

Unanswered prayer. God encourages His children to pray, but sometimes answers don’t come. Could there be a good reason for unanswered prayer?

Scripture gives several. Negative examples, we expect to find, but, surprisingly, several reasons pop up other than disobedience. Let’s take a look:

1. Timing:

Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. But the angel said to him: ‘Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John.’” Luke 1:11-13 NIV

Talk about a long time coming. In praying for the Messiah and for a child of his own, Zechariah had waited for decades. Do you think God’s timing and the spiritual fruit of patience might be linked?

2. Warfare:

“Then he [the angel] continued, ‘Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia.’” Daniel 10:12-13

God heard Daniel’s prayer and sent an immediate response, but did you catch how long God’s response took to arrive? Three weeks. Do angels battle over your answers from God? Don’t rule it out. Why is this a positive? Because if you weren’t making impact on the Kingdom, the enemy wouldn’t bother.

3. Growth:

“Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’” 2 Corinthians 12:7-9

How about the completely reasonable prayer for which God chooses not to move? In Paul’s case, God refused to intervene for a time to help Paul remain humble. Could your struggle be your training ground?

4. Testing:

“But he [God] knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.” Job 23:10

At a recent conference, Michael Todd, pastor of Transformation Church,  said, “No teacher talks during a test.” What a profound thought! Are you in a season of testing?

Here’s the truth:

  • You are known.
  • You are loved.
  • God hears you.
  • He works for your best.
  • Sometimes, God’s best stinks—temporarily.

So, pray through your list.

Make corrections if needed, but consider these positives.

And if you’re in for a long haul, remember His grace is sufficient.

Workout for the Week: Roadblocks

Memory Verse: Choose the verse above which best fits your circumstances.

Meditation Passage: Matthew 7:7-11

Do it: Keep praying.

Prayer Resources: Intercessory Prayer by Dutch Sheets


  1. Irene on February 13, 2019 at 5:22 am

    Thank you Gayle, as I’m meeting with people to pray, often this question of unanswered prayers come up. It’s handy to see it broken down to categories as you did, although my understanding is good, your method is more organized and helps me to recall each possibility.

    • Gayle Veitenheimer on February 14, 2019 at 6:26 pm

      Thanks for reading. I’m so glad you found it helpful! Any topics you would like me to touch on?

Leave a Comment

Join Gayle

Subscribe to get my latest content by email.

We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at any time.

Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.

Recent Posts