Why Prayers Sometimes Go Unanswered

Matthew 17:14-20

A State of Despair

14 And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying,

15 Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.

16 And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him.

The father had no doubt tried everything in the world to get his son the help that he needed, and to no avail. He at last tried the disciples who he had no doubt heard had performed many miracles in the name of Jesus Christ. He came in humility, kneeling down in prayer.

A lesson to those who desire a prayer answered, there needs to be a humility factor at the altar when we’re desiring the grace of God in any situation.

A State of Disbelief and Discouragement

17 Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.

Jesus spoke to those who doubted Who He was. Perhaps even the father who desired his son cured, doubted that it would happen. He brought him to Jesus as a last resort. Just as we do our prayers and desires. Or perhaps I speak for myself. I always attempt every man made effort to get a task done. I may half-heartedly bring it to Jesus requesting Him to help me get it done, believing that it is “I” who make the difference.

A State of Deliverance

18 And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.

It is never we who make the difference, but Christ through us. There’s a method to the mustard seed. It must be at first dead, then planted in the ground, fertilized and allowed to grow. Salvation is immediate. Spiritual growth takes time.

The child was cured that very hour. I have to wonder if “that very hour” wasn’t another 60 minute waiting period for the believers. It doesn’t say that his lunacy immediately stopped, it took a few minutes. God desires our patience when working a matter out.

A State of Devotion

19 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?

20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

21 Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.

Even the disciples weren’t above discouragement and doubt. This caused their inability to heal the child.  When Jesus said that “this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting” He was telling them that their devotion was lacking. They were continuing on in the way that they had been doing it, by commanding the demons and illnesses to leave the body. But this wasn’t just an ordinary demonic force, and there are times that we will face great trials of faith that will not only require our belief but a method in the mustard seed illustration. Prayer and fasting show a deep devotion to our relationship with the Lord.  It allows Him to see our level of commitment to His cause, and it’s rewarded with our ability to move unimaginable mountains. It’s then that we experience

A State of Devine Intervention!

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