Prayer is always one important means of obtaining divine favour. Perhaps some of our prayers have sometimes been answered immediately and at other times, our prayers have not been answered at all. As christians, we expect God to listen to our prayers with constant attention and favour.

There is power in prayer and for us to experience the power of prayer we should recognise and be aware of God's actual presence in any place we offer our prayers.

James deals with the power of prayers and advises christians to resort to prayers at different times and situation like trials, difficulties and happiness.

'Is any one of you suffering? Let him pray. Is any cheerful? Let him sing praises. Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the lord, and the prayer of faith will save the sick man and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sin, he will be forgiven'.

From this, We can see that prayers is privilege from God and is appropriate to trial. Through prayer, God can remove our source of sorrow and grant us with happiness. Again, in time of sickness, James advised that we need the aid of others to lead our thoughts and to aids us in our devotion.

James encouraged christians on the following; confession of sin and the need for intercession for others, in order that one maybe healed. This restoration of health can be seen from two perspective, physical and spiritual.

James used the example of Elijah encounter with Ahab, to portray the effectiveness of the prayer of a righteous man when he declared "The prayer of a righteous man has great effects".

Causes Of Unanswered Prayer



Sin/Unrighteousness
If we are in a state of sin or unrighteousness, we have then broken the good relationship between us and God. If we are not walking with God always we cannot expect that he will grant our request. God cannot answer our prayer when we are strangers to Him. This then implies that we do not abide with him, we are not constantly by him and not in fellowship with him and therefore may never receive what we asked for.


Lack Of Faith
This is a situation where we doubt the ability of God to answer our prayer. Without steadfastness which leads to perfection, the necessary bond with the perfect God is broken and therefore leads to unanswered prayers.


Lack Of Good Spirit Or Cheerfulness
God may not answer our prayers when we are cheerless or full of anxieties devoid of praise and a thankful heart. It is really God's plan to grant our prayers but because of our human weakness we may make selfish request and God will not grant our request.


Lack Of Forgiving Spirit
This is a situation when we do not forgive others and harbour hatred, envy, malice and jealousy. If we do not forgive others, we should not expect to win favour from God. Invariably, we should not really expect our prayers to be powerful. We should therefore be innocent and have clean hearts before we pray.


Lack Off Purpose And Direction
God cannot grant a prayer that lack purpose or direction or a request that is vague. When praying we should explain to God, the nature of our difficulties and how we feel.
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