Why does God not answer my prayer?


Why does my prayers seemingly go unanswered?

It is a question that many Christians ponder--"Why is God not answering my prayers?"

Firstly it is important to understand that our own will and desires are often quite different than God's will for us. While here on earth we cannot fully see or understand God's will, and so it is that we can often pray for something that is contrary to what God wills for us.

Yet, when we study the lives of the Saints, we can see how God gives us signs to discern His holy Will in our lives. The Saints show us how "man proposes, but God disposes". What this means is that when we unite our prayers with our actions for a specific intention, God will arrange things according to His holy will--whether it be in union with our desires and intentions, or not. In this way He always answers our prayers--just not always in the way we desire and hope for.

The reason for this? We must first begin by realizing that Jesus always does what is best for our souls, most particularly for the salvation of our souls, and He will not grant any prayer that will harm our souls, or the souls of those whom we pray for.

St Padre Pio once said that "every grace has to be paid for" and what he meant by this is that with great graces comes also great sufferings along with them. And if in our weakness we cannot handle great sacrifices or sufferings, or if great sufferings would draw us away from Jesus instead of closer to Him, then of course He will not grant the great grace(s) that we are asking for, because it is not beneficial for our souls. 

Jesus hears all of our prayers and He arranges things in our lives according to His holy will and what is best for our souls. And looking over our lives, if we are attentive we will see His actions in the small, little everyday things. He opens a door here, and He closes another door there--all for the good of our souls. 

Rarely in our lives will Jesus work extraordinary miracles or give us extraordinary graces, because we cannot handle the extraordinary sufferings or sacrifices that often accompany them. But He is always there alongside us, helping us, encouraging us and watching us, although we do not see Him and often we do not recognize His everyday graces and His action in our daily lives. 

And so this is why in the Gospel of Mark Jesus said: "For what good would it do a man to gain the whole world and yet forfeit his soul?"  If for example Jesus was to answer certain prayers and miraculously cure this person or that person for example, afterwards would the cured person be always grateful and strive with all of his/her heart to become a saint, or would they soon return to their former way of life after having being given such a extraordinary grace? 

And then too, as St Padre Pio once pointed out, such extraordinary graces such as miraculous cures etc. have to be "paid" for, because the majority of souls do not receive such extraordinary graces, so Divine justice normally demands such "payment" when miraculous graces are granted. This is why great miracles often surround the great Saints. Those about them may receive the miracles and extraordinary graces, but it is often the Saint that "pays" for them in great sufferings. Who then among us can handle and benefit from such extraordinary sufferings and sacrifices that would be required to obtain an extraordinary cure for example, all the while drawing closer to Jesus without complaint, and not turning away from Him in their pain and suffering? 

And so given these points, should we still wonder why Jesus does not grant our prayers that ask for extraordinary miracles and graces that often?

So it is that we must accept that Jesus knows and does only what is best for us, and we must trust and love Him for this. And if He seems to not answer our prayers for certain graces that we are asking for, it is because it is not what is best for our souls and our salvation, or the salvation of others that we are praying for.  

The free will that God has given us allows us to freely make choices in our lives, according to the intentions in our hearts.  Each day He sends us many graces, most of which seem very natural and go unnoticed.  Because of our free will, He veils not only His will for us, but also His presence is unseen by us, though He is always very near to us. A child will always on his best behavior when he sees that his parents are watching him. And this is why Jesus normally always hides Himself from us in our lives. He wants to see how we behave in our daily lives when we are not aware of His presence,  because it is then that we show Him what we are TRULY made of by our daily actions, that is, whether we love others out of love for Him, or not. And we must realise that He answers all of our prayers in the manner that is best for our souls and our salvation, according to His will for us. 

-Lord Jesus crucified, have mercy upon us. Most Blessed Virgin Mary, pray for us!



This is a great site. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes great suffering accompanies a prayer that seems to go unanswered; it might even seem we are punished, yet God does not punish us for our goodness. On the other hand, it takes great love to love God when our prayers are not answered as we like, but if we do, we love far more deeply than we realize and that loves benefits those around us. This is how saints are made.

Anonymous said...

Does this article on prayer have a primateur, or is it the opinion of the website owner?

Just wondering, because it seems to be written as authoritative fact.

But then, if everyone who professed to be a Christian was his/her own mini-pope, or mini-magisterium, well, we know the chaos that type of attitude has brought to the Christian church.

I am thinking that this article is simply the opinion of the website owner, is it not?

Glenn Dallaire said...

Hi Anonymous,
Thanks for your comments and concern.

I was thinking that when one reads the article it is apparent that it is not a theological treatise on spiritual doctrine or dogma, but is simply a reflection on prayer from insights gained in studying the lives of saints and mystics. No specific Church doctrines are brought forth or even mentioned in the article.

And then of course everyone is free to add their own reflections or thoughts here in the comments section, so feel free to do so if you would like.

Best wishes and may God bless you and your loved ones,
Glenn Dallaire

Anonymous said...

Try this one to the Blessed Mother:

O most beautiful Flower of Mt Carmel, fruitful vine, splendor of Heaven, Blessed Mother of the Son of God, Immaculate Virgin, assist me in this my necessity. O Star of the Sea, help me and show me herein you are my Mother.

O Holy Mary, Mother of God, Queen of Heaven and earth, I humbly beseech you from the bottom of my heart, to succor me in this my necessity, there are none that can withstand your power.

O show me herein you are my Mother.

Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us that have recourse to thee. (3 times)

Sweet Mother, I place this cause in your hands. (3 times) AMEN.

Anonymous said...

i love this site. they feed me with good stuffs

Anonymous said...

I think all prayers are answered, either yes, no, or wait. I love the Lord enough to accept which ever answer He gives me. But just like everyone else I would like things to go the way I think they should. But I also believe that if He said yes go everything I ask. I would really be in a mess most of the time. In His great wisdom Ill make my request known and leave the results in His hands. My life will go much better that way. I really like this site. Its a good way to share our thoughts and faith. I pray the Lord bless you all in ways that will leave you absolutely amazed.

Anonymous said...

I don't think all graces or prayers answered require a "price" of suffering or sacrfice. Many people have been cured at Lourdes or otherwise and they go on to live happy and productive lives, not seemingly blighted by suffering etc (as a price.) Also, when prayer is not answered it does not necessarily mean that it is not God's will to grant it. It can just mean that we have not prayed the right 'formula' of prayer for long enough, or have unconfessed sin on our soul. I read of one young girl who finally had her prayers for healing granted when she prayed her rosary to "The Queen of the Holy Rosary" - addressing Our Lady with this title which was so pleasing to her. This rosary itself was a very long version that would have been tiring for a sick person to say, so maybe that was the suffering required - who knows?

Anonymous said...

“If I, the unsearchable Wisdom, do not always grant thy petitions according to thy desire, I give thee something more profitable, for by reason of human frailty thou art unable to tell what is best for thee.”

– Jesus to St. Gertrude

God bless,


Anonymous said...

I am a Christian seeking deeper understanding of my faith. That being said, how about prayers for the salvation of loved ones that supposedly don't go answered (in the form of salvation for said loved one) before their death? Everything you've said in your post seems to hinge upon the idea of all answers pointing towards the ultimate salvation of those involved. But this explanation doesn't hold up in the scenario I've presented. Your thoughts would be appreciated. Thank you.

Glenn Dallaire said...

Hi Anonymous,
To reply to your excellent question, I would simply say that our Father in heaven desires and wills that every single person be with Him in heaven some day, and therefore He only wills (desires) what is good for us (our souls).

Yet, because of our free will (which is necessary for love) during our lifetimes we can freely choose to unite ourselves with God and His will for us, and obey His laws, or not.

The thing is, when it comes to others who have passed before us, we simply don't know their internal disposition towards God, especially at the moment of their death, and God's judgement concerning their soul afterwards. So a soul who would seem to us to be damned may through the infinite mercy of God, be saved. Such is the unfathomable Divine mercy of God.

Irregardless, the Catholic church teaches that no sincere prayer to God goes unanswered, that is "unused". So, a prayer for a soul who is damned would simply be applied to another person in need of God's mercy. This is what the Catholic church calls the "Communion of Saints" and it is the union between the souls here on earth, the souls in purgatory who are being purified, and the souls in heaven. So that a sincere prayer may not go wasted for an undeserving soul, God simply applies such prayers to another soul in need of His grace and mercy.

I hope this explanation may be of some help.

May God bless you and your loved ones,
Glenn Dallaire

Unknown said...


Eli Eli
lama sabachtani !
Is that what you think, My child ?
calm down, trust Me, don't be riled
I am always at your side,
don't forget, also for you I died.
The world makes a lot of noise
those who don't follow, it gladly destroys.
I work in silence to open the doors
I will provide you the perfect oars
to steer your boat in My direction
which will request a lot of circumspection.
For you I don't set exorbitant expectations
nor turn away when I see your frustrations
I never promised you life would be easy
more often than not it can be very cheesy.
Stay with Me, My child, don't ever leave Me
I hold you tight each time you want to flee
you are so much Mine, I need you, I need you
when it's difficult I pull you through.
I promised you the victory
which presently might seem contradictory
but know My child that GOD NEVER LIES
the way I will act will be a surprise.
Come rest at My Heart while My Love is mounting
and every hair on your head I have been counting.
Walk in My footsteps it's your only security
to continue your life in innocence and purity.
This world is heading for total destruction
'cause it surrendered to the evil one's seduction.
Offer Me all your doubts and hardships
and I will turn them into Divine Worships.
I wait for you, My daughter
to refresh your soul with My Salvation Water.

Your Jesus, Your Lord and Savior who loves you more than you can imagine.
Rita Biesemans June 17th 2013

Anonymous said...

Whilst this has some value I think it is somewhat wide of the mark.

If someone has undergone great suffering then the promise is for great graces to follow - this takes the form of crucifixion followed by resurrection or desolation followed by consolation in Jesuit-speak.

God speaks to us and gives signal graces especially if we pray the rosary. God promises each person a life (including on earth) better than anything we could organise ourselves (see Jeremiah et al) if we align ourselves to His will.

That implies following these prompts. Yes it also requires suffering which varies from person to person including the type of suffering but most of us are not called to be the kind of great saints that have gone before us like Padre Pio who have suffered enormously. i.e We will not all be Pio's or Pauls or Peters or Gemmas.

For some, this means spiritual suffering - such as long months of prayer with no answer.

It is a bit melancholy and probably fatalist to say that people miss out on living the life of their dreams because they can't handle suffering.

So whilst suffering is involved, more often it's because they miss the signals from God and get off the path of His will.

Unknown said...

The bible says let our requests be known. I believe there NO greater prayer than that for the salvation of others especially your loved ones.Christ himself is said to intercess to the father on our behalf.If you have a heart to see persons saved than you have a heart after God.I know my parents prayed constantly that I maybe saved and died well before it's fruition. But I'm now sitting here replying that prayers big or small make a Hugh difference when Gods involved.Go figure? Lol

Anonymous said...

So what you are saying is that God wants me to be poor, not ever get a job, or use any talents he has given me? I've prayed for a job and got nothing. So Gods answer for me to be able to provide for myself is no. Why praise a God who won't provide?

Glenn Dallaire said...

No, I wouldn't say that at all! I would say that God will open the necessary doors when the time and circumstances are right, according to His holy will. Meantime keep doing your part--applying to jobs, sending out resume's etc and keep praying and you will see that God will open the doors in His own time.
"Act as if everything depends on you, but trust as if everything depends on God".

May God guide and help you in your job search.
Glenn Dallaire

Anonymous said...

I don't agree with this article. God does not require great suffering for extraordinary graces or healings. Plenty of people have been healed and did not suffer greatly afterwards. Plenty of them live happily and normally. Usually they did not become saints either. This is a great website but please don't spread wrong ideas like this. Or Atleast say this could be wrong and it's just your opinion. Virgin Mary did not say pray the rosary and I will grant your request with great suffering. nor did Jesus say pray the chaplet and I will save souls and answer your intentions but you must pay the price.

Although We must suffer in our lives. God is still merciful he does not request we must pay him back for everything exactly in the amount he gave us. That would be impossible and not like a merciful God.

memme said...

I do not know what to say but i think God hates me. I try so hard to work hard and follow his teachings but my prayers are not answered. I have been praying to have a baby for 6 years, going to fertility clinics but i have still not conceived. i am in and out of work most of the time. Contracts expiring or being retrenchments. and during all this time i have been praying, doing my rosary every day. Since i started working i have been helping my parents to pay for my two brothers and sister's university fees. i still pay fees for my cousin whose parents died. I Really do not know, does God exist? or maybe am not one of the chosen one?

Glenn Dallaire said...

Hi Memme,
Thanks for your comments. Of course God does not "hate" you! Trials, sufferings, sacrifices and tribulations are simply part and parcel with this life, and we don't get heaven until we actually get heaven. Meantime in this life we will often be beset with hardships and struggles, but God is always there "behind the veil" inspiring and guiding us along, opening doors of opportunities here, and closing doors there, watching to see what our responses will be to these various events in our lives. Will we choose to do good, or evil? Will we be a person of kindness, generosity and love? As children, we were always on our best behavior when we saw that our parents were watching, but did not our true selves and behavior choices come out when our parents seem not to be watching? And so it is with God. He remains behind the veil watching and encouraging us while we work out in this life who we really and truly are amidst all the triumphs and trials in our lives.

Best wishes Memme and may God bless you and your loves ones,
Glenn Dallaire

Unknown said...

We have to be prepared to suffer for a request we make to God? REALLY? That's not the God I've been taught.
Parents, friends etc.make gifts, forgive people and do many extraordinary things with NO strings attached. And these are HUMANS we're talking about. But a loving and merciful God requires suffering for a favor? Not sure who you'reGod is, but their's nothing extraordinary about making someone always pay for something.What kind of 'gift' is that?
I wholeheartedly Disagree with the blog about why God doesn't answer prayer . Wholeheartedly. What an unloving, ungenerous thing that is.