It Wasn't God's Fault!

Have you ever wondered why some prayers are seemingly not answered? Have you heard people say that, "Maybe God is using this trial to teach me a lesson"? Or, "Maybe God gave this sickness to teach humility". And, "Perhaps it's God's Sovereign Will not to heal in this case - He moves in mysterious ways"!

What all these and similar statements have in common is the idea that the people have done everything right, with abundant faith, no unbelief and perfect fervent prayer. Therefore the only reason left for failure is that God has put a block on things for some reason known to him and which we may discover in due time!

Now they wouldn't say this in so many words of course but analyse those reasons in the first paragraph yourself. At whose door does failure lie?

Interestingly these are all situations where people are expecting to 'see' the miracle before they will believe, but faith says believe the result before you see it!

Luk 17:14 When he (Jesus) saw them (ten lepers) he said to them, "Go and show yourselves to the priests." And as they went they were cleansed.

To go and show yourself to the priests you'd have to be cleansed of leprosy. But these lepers acted on what Jesus said in faith and it wasn't until they were on their way to see the priests that they were cleansed visibly! They believed before they were healed!

Now let's consider together some scenarios which may suggest to you that there could be other reasons which we should explore, if the situation of unanswered prayer arises, before saying, "Well it's all down to God, we've done our part!".

Now I'am not suggesting that by getting these things right we force God to heal someone or by our prayers do something else! Everything God does for us is according to His grace. But, He wants our lives and actions to be in harmony with His will for our life! And as we draw near to Him (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) our requests are manifest; things which God has already provided, in the spirit!

Eph 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms.

I believe the reality is that God wants us to know how to get the answers to our prayer's manifested into the physical realm sooner rather than later!

Before we get into these scenerios though I should perhaps state my agenda. I believe that "God is Good", that "He has plans to do us good" and that He has provided us with "every good gift" and "every spiritual blessing" that we might need in this life. HE's the one who's done his part! So because of this I believe we should look to see all that we need to do to receive the "YES" that God has already given us to prayers that are according to his will. So let's look at a few together.

Now please realise; These are not to be thought of as reasons to be down on ourselves, or to feel guilt, or feel condemned, but rather things we can learn to get better results in the future.

Reason 1. We have to do it; Not ask God to do it.

Let's look at Mark 11:22-24 and see how Christ explained that WE should command a miracle to happen.

Mar 11:22-24 Jesus said to them, "Have faith in God! I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

Here Jesus told his disciples how they personally could access the miracle working power of God as they advanced the kingdom. The original greek text in verse 22 actually says "Have the faith of God", not "Have faith in God". We are to have God's kind of faith which, "speaks and it is acomplished!" Now with God's kind of faith in us (we have the Holy Spirit in us) verses 23-24 make perfect sense. WE say to the mountain (representing whatever trial we may be facing), "Get out of here, and don't come back! In Jesus' name."

This was Paul's mistake when he was being persecuted by that 'thorn in his flesh'. He pleaded for God to take it away three time, until God had to point out to him that he had God's grace/power sufficient to do it himself!

We don't ask God to say.   We say!

Reason 2. We must not doubt.

This is brought out by Jesus in verse 23 above. We must not doubt in our hearts that it will happen. This is not the same as having faith. We can have faith and doubt, belief and unbelief, at the same time. Notice this earlier incident in Mark 9:22-24

Mar 9:22-24 The spirit has often thrown him into fire and into water to destroy him. But if you are able to do anything, have pity on us and help us!" Jesus said to him, "'If you are able?' Everything is possible for the person who believes!" With tears flowing, the child's father at once cried out, "I do believe! Help my unbelief!"

The father had belief and unbelief at the same time. You can believe God can do what you require but doubt that he actually will in your case. So you say "If you are able to help, have pity on me!" That is not how Jesus says we are to pray. When we are praying for healing or for favour based on God's promises we MUST NOT say "If God wills". God wants us well! God's promises are "YES" in Christ Jesus! Anything else is doubt. We must so know what God is REALLY like that we do not doubt him or his word. Let's be motivated to express the faith we have from Jesus Christ, and not doubt.

Reason 3. We must believe we already have the request.

Before moving on to another scripture we can bring out something else Jesus said here in the book of Mark, Chapter 11, verse 24.

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

Notice that Jesus himself says that we must believe we already have what we ask for, and then we will get it. It's already ours, but we have to manifest it in the physical world through our faith, like the ten lepers did in the book of Luke, Chapter 17, verse 14. You have to believe you have it before you can see it. Let's express that same kind of faith as those lepers, or even, like the Apostles Peter and Paul.

Reason 3A. Faith without works is dead.

Following on from having the faith which believes that what has been asked for has been given, we have to act upon that belief. I thought it worth-while bringing out this point separately so it isn't missed. The lepers not only believed Jesus, they put forth the works which were needed to accompany the faith. They started out to show themselves to the priests before they saw the healing in their bodies.

When you ask for healing and you believe, you have to start to do those actions that go with being healed. When you have asked for a specific favour based on God's promises you must believe that you have received it, and start thanking God and praising Him and seeing how awesome the manifestation will be to others when they observe it(Mark 11:24). So we do the works of faith that follow prayer (i.e. go to see the priest; give thanks; do things which supply the seed that gives proof of our faith), which will grow into the harvest for which we are praying!

Reason 4. We must not fear what's before us.

Fear brings doubt into our minds that what we want will come to us, and doubt is the enemy of faith.

Rather, we must live in the love of God, as perfect love casts out fear.

One possibility why the disciples could not cast out the demon in the child brought to them in Mark, Chapter 9, could be because the demon was causing the boy to be dashed to the ground and convulsed. Seeing this could have made them fearful. If you've ever seen some of the reactions of people near to someone who suddenly has an epileptic attack then you will understand this. And if there's a demon involved as well! The disciples had successes before but this situation was not like the others and they had doubts and unbelief regarding sending this demon out.

We have to remember always that God loves us beyond measure. Holding on to that love, that perfect love, will cast out our fears. Satan and His demons have been defeated!

Colossians 2:15 And when he had disarmed the rulers and the authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in the cross.

We have to accept this of Jesus our Lord otherwize we will consider Satan and his demons and fallen angels all powerful and we will not pray in faith. Realize they have been defeated and you have been given authority over them, and your faith will soar and your prayers answered and Satan flee!

Reason 4A. We must not be Anxious.

A similar thought is that we must not be anxious or worry about what befalls us so that our prayers will not be hindered. Paul tells us in his letter to the Phiippians...

Phi 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Therefore we find that we must have peace in our hearts as we pray so that anxiety does not negate our faith.

Phil 4:7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Reason 5. We must be close to God.

To be able to have the faith and lack of unbelief that's required to drive out demons like the one in Mark, Chapter 9, Jesus said that we must be focussed on God through fasting and prayer. Then, when we are in this situation, our minds will be stayed on God rather that fearful of the antics brought about by the demon, or the negativity of people around, or of failure, etc.

Mar 9:28-29 And after He entered into a house, His disciples asked Him privately, "Why were we not able to cast it out?" So He said to them, "This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting."

Prayer and fasting doesn't help God to defeat the demon. Satan and all demons have already been defeated by Jesus. Jesus has ALL authority in Heaven and the Earth (Mat 28:18). Fasting & prayer bring you closer to God and his love. Then the faith YOU are able to exhibit is raised and the doubt and unbelief is reduced as you get to know and live more fully in God.

Reason 6. We must not have unbelief in hangers-on!

The unbelief of people in the neighbourhood where a sign or wonder is required affects the result for the worse. Jesus could not do many wonders in his home area because of their unbelief. When he was healing a blind man in Bethsaida he took him well away from anyone before commanding his healing.

Mar 8:22-26 Then He came to Bethsaida; and they brought a blind man to Him, and begged Him to touch him. And having taken the hand of the blind man, He led him outside the village, and having spit on his eyes, and having laid His hands on him, He asked him if he saw anything. (V.24) And when he looked up he said, "I see men like trees, walking." Then He put His hands on his eyes again and made him to look up. And he was restored and saw everyone clearly again. Then He sent him away to his house, saying, "Neither go into the village, nor tell anyone in the village."

Not only did He remove the man from his 'friends' before healing him but he told him to keep away from them for a while afterwards also! We should ask the Holy Spirit what hindrances there might be to someone receiving and keeping a miracle or healing or whatever and how to overcome them. Bring an atmosphere of healing and faith around the person for whom you are praying.

Reason 7. We must reduce doubt in the recipient.

There are three areas where faith is required for signs and wonders to take place. The person commanding the 'miracle'; the person receiving the 'miracle' and the people hanging around looking to see a 'miracle'.

If we continue to study Mark, Chapter 8, verses 22-26, we'll see that the man did not get full healing straight away. Because he was influenced by his neighbours his faith allowed for only a partial result. But Jesus could use this to build his faith as the man could see progress and thus have less doubt. Then with a second laying on of hands the man was fully healed. Jesus' faith was the same throughout but he allowed the Holy Spirit to guide him in how to remove the doubt of the blind man.

We must do the same thing by asking Holy Spirit what hindrances there might be and how to overcome them - Then build up the faith the person can express, by removing their doubt.

Reason 8. We must not get in the way!

Looking once more at the recipient we can study another incident where Jesus healed a blind man. This is in Luke Chapter 18, verses 41-2.

Luk 18:35-42 Now it came to pass, as He was coming near Jericho, that a certain blind man sat alongside the road begging. And hearing a crowd traveling through the city, he asked what this was. And they reported to him that Jesus the Nazarene was passing by. And he shouted, saying, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!"

Then those who went before warned him that he should be quiet; but he cried out all the more, "Son of David, have pity on me!" And having stopped, Jesus commanded him to be brought to Him. And when he drew near, He asked him, saying, "What do you desire that I should do for you?" And he said, "Lord, that I may receive my sight." Then Jesus said to him, "Receive your sight; your faith has made you well."

As in the case of the woman with the issue of blood this man's faith was enough on it's own to make him well, so Jesus said 'Your' faith has made you well. There were no hindrances within the man. He just needed access to Jesus and he could receive his healing from Jesus through his own faith. If he had let those around him stop him from getting Jesus' attention he might have missed the opportunity to be healed at that time. Maybe in some cases we just have to show people how to access God's grace and get out of their way!

Reason 9. We must work with their expectations.

In this same area of asking the Holy Spirit what hindrances there might be to healing or some other miracle, we should consider the expectations of the recipient which could be a factor in the faith they exhibit.

In the examples that we've already studied above one blind man needed a salve/ointment to be put on his eye for healing to take place while another needed nothing more than Jesus' word. Some might conclude that the differences were because God works in mysterious ways but could it be that the expectations of the people were different while God remained the same? Did one person expect that the man of God would use some special ointment and having been told of this by Holy Spirit, Jesus did what would bring the man's faith level up to the point needful for healing?

If someone expects to be annointed with oil but the man of God only lays on his hands, is it possible that the person's faith level might not become enough (or his doubt level be too much) for healing to take place?

If a person expects that an annointed cloth would be used but only a laying on of hands takes place, is it possible that the person's faith level might not then become enough (or his doubt level be too much) for healing to take place?

Now they can have been told that the annointed cloth or olive oil is not of itself doing the healing and that it's God who heals but that does not mean that they "see it", since why then are cloths sent out or olive oil used! If they see that in the original text (Acts 19:11) regarding Paul, the cloths were actually small items of clothing that had contacted the body of Paul and had not otherwise been annointed, their faith in 'the cloth' itself may actually be increased!

Act 19:11 And God wrought extra-ordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even napkins or aprons were brought from his body and put upon the sick, and the diseases left them, and the wicked spirits went out.

Holy Spirit of course has no concept of distance being a barrier or any physical contact being necessary (See Mat 8:5-13 The healing of the Centurion's servant). As reported in Acts 19:11-12, it seems more to be a way they extended Paul's "Tallit/Hem of his garment/('wings' - Mal 4:2)" to sick people at a distance than sending the annointing through olive oil over a distance.

Now in most cases I'm sure these cloths, and oils, and salves have the proper desired effect for all the proper reasons. My point is simply that their existence or non-existence must change the dynamic of the situation and therefore will affect the faith and unbelief of the people involved. And maybe it would help to know their faith expectations through the Holy Spirit's guidance when we pray for them? Then we can get closer to having perfect results to prayer every time.

Reason 10. What you can put up with, you keep!

This is just an observation but I've seen that people will not ask for healing for those things that they can easily put up with. For another person that thing may be considered debilitating and they 'will' ask for it to be healed. I've even heard of someone going to a minister for healing and giving a long list of problems when asked. He then finished his statement off by saying, "But, if you could just fix my neck the others I can manage!" And so even when healing is asked for if the thinking is that they can live with some of it, the heart/faith may not be totally in step with the request.

1 Pet 2:24 who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness— by whose stripes you were healed.

The healing has been provided. It's on the shelf but if it's not picked up it will stay there!

Reason 11. You must discern the body of Jesus.

Paul tells us in 1 Cor 11:29-30 that by not discerning the body of the Lord some people were weak and sick and some had died. Not recognising that Jesus' body was beaten with stripes so that they were healed, some missed the importance of the beating and torture that Jesus voluntarily suffered for us and what the bread of communion represented.

1 Cor 11:29-30 A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing (separating, discriminating) the body of the Lord, eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep.

Jesus' blood was shed for our sins but his body was beaten for our healing. We are to recognise, discriminate, discern, separate the functions/effects of the two things.

Rom 5:9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.

The blood of Jesus justifies us. We are set right with God through the blood. But...

1Pet 2:24 (Jesus) who his own self bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live to righteousness; by whose stripes you were healed.

1Co 11:23-24 For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which he was betrayed took bread; And giving thanks, He broke it and said, "Take, eat; this is My body, which is broken for you; this do in remembrance of Me."

Therefore we should not underestimate the value of the sacrifice that Jesus made for us, to bring us forgiveness, redemption, deliverance, healing, wellness, wholeness and peace (shalom). Rather, we must have faith in that sacrifice. As Isaiah himself prophesied, "With his stripes we are healed". So for our self healing, when we take communion we should recognise that the bread represents the body of Jesus which was beaten with stripes to procure our healing.

Isa 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.

Reason 12. Do not doubt Holy Spirit's desire to help.

There is no time or era when the Holy Spirit is off duty for healing or otherwise helping the sons and daughters of men who keep faith in God.

We can see this illustrated when a lady from Canaan came and pleaded with Jesus for her daughter's deliverance from a demon. Reading Matthew, Chapter 15, verses 21-28, we see that it was not time for the gospel to be opened up to the gentiles, but the Holy Spirit uses the incident to teach us not to give up. Even if we don't know the reason for a delay (just as Daniel didn't, when his answer was delayed 21 days by a fallen angel!), if we stick with it we can see positive outcomes. God is good.

Mat 15:21-28 And Jesus went away from there and withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, "Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon." But he did not answer her a word.

(Even if the heavens seems as hard as brass - don't give up!)

And his disciples came and begged him, saying, "Send her away, for she is crying out after us." He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." But she came and knelt before him, saying, "Lord, help me."

(Even if you think you may not qualify - don't give up!)

And he answered, "It is not right to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs." She said, "Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table."

     Remember, when Jesus fed 5,000 men + women & children?
   After all Israelites were satisfied, there were 12 baskets left over!
(So, even if some say that God's supply is limited - don't give up!)

Then Jesus answered her, "O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire." And her daughter was healed instantly.

Perseverence, in line with, and standing on, the promises of God, opens the way for Holy Spirit to do signs and wonders and miracles through believers. The gospel has been fully opened up to the Gentile as well as to the Jew. And God is good to keep His promises to those who keep faith in Him! God is good all the time! So be a 'Daniel', don't give up!

Reason 13. The person you're praying for may not want what you think!

We all have people ask us to pray for a third person. Someone we may not know very well or otherwise we have not been able to speak to personally.

In any case we will all pray for the reported needs of others. This is good. We have to remember though that we don't have all the details and don't know what is in the mind of the person for whom we are praying. For instance, what if it's to do with healing but the person being prayed for is thinking that they'd rather die than carry on? Maybe because of age, or length of illness, or pain, or whatever.

Now if our prayers and the person we are praying for are at cross purposes, someone is not going to have what they pray for. Should God overide their mind so we'll feel good, or let them go to be with him! I'm assuming here that you believe, 'to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord'.

They may change their minds and then get healed but immediate healing may well not manifest if there is not agreement.

Reason 14. Others may be involved in your receiving what you pray for.

We don't always think of this but what we ask for may be dependent on other human beings for us to receive it, so God has to get the whole chain to align with his will, which is for your good.

What if you have asked for promotion and God of course wants you to have it because he's put the desire in your heart. But, the position he wants you to fill has an incumbent whom God has to re-position. Satan therefore has an access point to block what God wants for you if he can hinder their move.

So if you ask God for promotion, do you pray for the person above you, that they will find a better post to move into, or is it all about you? God may be waiting for you to 'do unto others as you would have others do unto you'. It's maybe not God who's blocking things - it could be you! You haven't prayed for Satan's roadblock ahead of your boss to be moved.

Where your requests to God have a dependence on other people for their manifestation, Satan could hinder your prayers by moving against them. Bear that in mind as you make your requests known to God. Think about it. Pray for the other person!

Reason 15. What you believe erroneously that God gave you, you keep!

Some people have been convinced that the sickness or disease that they have, has been given to them by God to teach them a lesson. This is most usually taken to be humility because it's allegedly what happened to the Apostle Paul, and God is supposedly having to deal with their problem of developing pride because of their greatness, in the same way.

As it happens Paul was not given a disease by God because he might otherwise have developed pride. The scriptures tell us that it's Satan (the devil) who brings disease and God (in the form of Jesus) who removed these diseases from people. See Article Paul's Thorn for a full explanation.

Act 10:38 God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, and he went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, because God was with him.

But those who believe 'they' have their disease because of God, won't fight against this attack by satan and won't exhibit the faith to remove it.

There is though a simple way to understand the difference between the things God does and the things Satan does and thus know what is from God and what to have faith to fight against because it's from Satan.

God - Good!     Satan - Bad!

As with us, God had given Paul the authority to speak against his problems and remove them, but he did not realise it at the start and God had to let him know what we learn for ourselves from Mark 11:22-24. WE have to say to the mountain, "be removed and cast into the sea!" We are not to ask God to remove the mountain! In other words,....

We tell the mountain about God; we don't tell God about the mountain!

Reason 16. Do not harbour Envy, Bitterness and Unforgiveness.

Any time we hold on to slights or damage, done to us by others and allow bitterness to build up as we do not forgive, we allow sickness and weakness to have access to our bodies and make an inroad into our lives for Satan to attack us.

Prov 14:30 A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.

2 Cor 2:10-11, But anyone whom you forgive anything, I forgive also; for indeed what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, I did it for your sakes in the presence of Christ, so that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes.

Envy itself can bring physical problems and unforgiveness leaves us open to Satan's attacks, so we must check ourselves that we do not cause our own physical trials and then following on over time create wrong spiritual strongholds to build up in our minds which will have to be torn down before we can be healed.

Forgive as you have already been forgiven by God [Col 3:13].
Owe nothing to any one except to love him/her in Christ [Rom 13:8].

Reason 17. Wrong Motives .

When we ask God to grant our requests we must realise that God is not in the business of gratifying or satisfying our lusts. Our motives must be in accordance with His will; and we can find out what His will is by reading His word.

Jas 4:3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend it in gratifying your lusts.

Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all the other stuff you need will be added unto you. This does not mean minimalist since you are heir to the blessings of Abraham, but it does mean that you should be asking to enhance God's glory not your own lusts.

In fact God has already supplied all things that we need in the spirit; in the heavenlies. What we do with our faith is appropriate what God has already provided 2000 years ago. And, since He has not supplied us with things just to massage your lusts, praying for these will have no effect. They're simply not there to be picked up, it's not that God said NO to these selfish prayers. He wasn't even involved!

Reason 18. Hardness of Heart.

This reason is put at the end so hopefully it will be remembered. It's the one reason that may be most misunderstood because it's meaning is perhaps conter-intuitive!

You see 'hardness of heart' is not rebellion against God as one might at first think. Hardness of heart, put simply, is relating more easily to the natural world that to God's supernatural world.

Mar 6:49-52 But when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed that it was a ghost, and cried out; for they all saw Him and were terrified. But immediately He spoke with them and said to them, “Take courage; it is I, do not be afraid.” Then He got into the boat with them, and the wind stopped; and they were utterly astonished, for they had not gained any insight from the incident of the loaves, but their heart was hardened.

Here we find that the disciples of Jesus, not rebellious people, even after having seen and taken part in the multiplying of the loaves and fishes, were more inclined to believe in the physical than in the supernatural power of God, and Holy Spirit calls this 'hardness of heart'.

This attitude will have the effect that we will not expect supernatural help every time we pray. It's the attitude that responds to God's promises and His supernatural actions with , "That's too good to be true!" or "I can't believe that!". That 'hardness of heart' reduces the faith we exhibit.

* * * *

These are some of the reasons why healing or another blessing may not come immediately and which are nothing to do with "God's Sovereign Will", which is a red herring. Pray for God to show you where the REAL roadblock is located! God loves us. God's will is to carry out great plans through us; to do us good and not evil; and give us a great future. God wants you to prosper and be in health!

When we ask and do not receive, we need to examine ourselves and question why our prayers are being hindered. Are we asking selfishly? Have we turned away from God, harbored unforgiveness in our hearts or ignored sin in our lives? Or have we allowed dishonour to come into our family life? Were we walking in doubt or unbelief? These and other questions based on the thoughts above can lead us back to believing the Word of God and acting on it according to God's will for our lives.

Now as I said earlier, we learn these things from God's word, not to force God's arm to act, but to get our lives aligned with His will for us and our actions in line with what Jesus wants to do through us!

Remember;     God - Good!     Satan - Bad!

And not just that;     God is Good all the time!


How Should Christians Pray? Click Here.
Paul's Thorn In The Flesh. Click Here.
It's In The Spirit Click Here.
Speak The Oracles Of God. Click Here.
God's Sovereignty and Our Healing. Click Here.

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