What is Prayer?


Okay, we've cover the wrong ways to pray. Therefore, we know some of the reasons that a prayer might not be answered by Yahweh as we expect. However, there are other reasons than our own mistakes in prayer. Consider the following and think about times you may have felt Yahweh didn't answer your prayer, but the reason was not your fault.

Used the Wrong Way to Pray

Of course, the wrong way is the most common reason a prayer is not answered. Note the following examples.

Proverbs 1:29-31

29 For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of Yahweh:
30 They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.
31 Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.

Discussion Questions:

  1. In the example of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, what does this have to do with unanswered prayer?

  2. Can you think of any time when you prayed in a wrong way and your prayer was not answered?

YAHWEH Has Other Plans

Although we may truly desire something and also have the faith it will be answered, Yahweh may have a different plan altogether. If you pray for another person to fall in love with you, Yahweh may know that person's heart better than you and direct your heart to another. If apply for a job in several places, but pray for the one that is closest to home, He may want to have you work in another location because He plans for you to be in the right place to teach someone else the truth. We really don't know what all of His plans are, but we have no reason to be angry when His plans supercede our own.

1 Samuel 14:18-20

18 And Saul said unto Ahiah, Bring hither the ark of Elohim. For the ark of Elohim was at that time with the children of Israel.
19 And it came to pass, while Saul talked unto the priest, that the noise that was in the host of the Philistines went on and increased: and Saul said unto the priest, Withdraw thine hand.
20 And Saul and all the people that were with him assembled themselves, and they came to the battle: and, behold, every man's sword was against his fellow, and there was a very great discomfiture.

Daniel 3:16-18

16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.
17 If it be so, our Elohim whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.
18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy Elohims, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

Luke 22:39-44

39 And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him.
40 And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation.
41 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,
42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.
43 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.
44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

2 Corinthians 12:7-10

7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
8 For this thing I besought Yahweh thrice, that it might depart from me.
9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Messiah may rest upon me.
10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Messiah's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Even when Yahshua asked that the cup pass from him, his prayer was not answered. Why?

  2. Have you ever prayed for something and, in the end, found that you were better off not having that prayer answered?

Not Yet

Patience is a virtue... and a tough lesson for us to learn sometimes. However, Yahweh's answer may be “no”, it may be “yes”, and it might be “yes, but not now”.

Psalms 37:34

34 Wait on Yahweh, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.

Psalms 70:5

5 But I am poor and needy: make haste unto me, O Elohim: thou art my help and my deliverer; O Yahweh, make no tarrying.

Proverbs 13:12

12 Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What's the longest you've gone before a prayer was answered as you wanted?

  2. What prayers have you prayed lately that you thought might not be answered, but may in fact just be waiting for Yahweh?


Sometimes, we may pray the right way and in the right manner for the right things, but Yahweh has turned His ear from listening to us. Sometimes starting with asking for forgiveness will bend His ear back to hearing our prayers.

I Samuel 28:1-20

Psalms 56:9

9 When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for Elohim is for me.

Psalms 66:18-20

18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, Yahweh will not hear me:
19 But verily Elohim hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer.
20 Blessed be Elohim, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me.

Psalms 145:18-20

18 Yahweh is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth.
19 He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them.
20 Yahweh preserveth all them that love him: but all the wicked will he destroy.

Ezekiel 8:17-18

17 Then he said unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? for they have filled the land with violence, and have returned to provoke me to anger: and, lo, they put the branch to their nose.
18 Therefore will I also deal in fury: mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Could the sins of this nation prevent Yahweh from hearing our prayers for this nation?

  2. What sins might cause Yahweh to not listen to a prayer? Are there any that are worse than others?





Lesson Four – Unanswered Prayer Copyright ©2003-2017 – Congregation of YHWH (www.theCongregationOfYHWH.org)