How Do You Know the Answer To Your Prayer Is No?

Jesus-the-Grain-Field-350-webby Rex Rouis

The other day, we were having a conversation about faith, prayer, and the things of God. During the discussion, one person made the following statement, “Sometimes God says no to our prayers.” I think they were trying to bring a measure of ‘balance’ to our talk of faith, and to remind us that God is sovereign and He has a will. The popular phrase usually goes like this, “God answers all prayer, sometimes yes and sometimes no.”

This made me think – ‘How do people know that the answer is no?’ How is it conveyed? Do they actually hear God say, “No?” I think not. Does He speak to their heart by a conviction or an inner witness that His will is otherwise? Again, no. What they mean is this – the answer did not come. They prayed and did not receive, so they assumed the answer was no.

It makes sense. We all know that God is not going to give us everything we pray for. Some things He answers yes, and to these we receive the answer, and to some things, He says no and nothing happens. I get it, it sounds good, except that it is not what the Bible says.

Nowhere does the Bible actually say that God answers prayer. People look at prayer and faith as being the same. They are not. There is a world of difference between the two. You can pray in faith and you can pray while not in faith. In other words, there is believing prayer and there is unbelieving prayer. The Bible says:

Therefore I say unto you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you. Mark 11:24 NASB

Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. Mark 11:24 KJV

The Bible says that ALL believing prayer WILL receive the believed result. It also implies that unbelieving prayer MAY NOT receive. There is always hope in God’s mercy.

So, God does answer all prayer, sometimes yes and sometimes no. Except that, you should know if He is going to answer your prayer when you pray and not later when you receive or don’t receive. What determines the answer is our believing. To the faith-filled believing prayer, God says, ‘Yes’ – all believing prayer, always. To the doubt filled unbelieving prayer, God says, ‘No.’ God responds to faith, and only to faith. He does not respond to needs or pain. If He did, He would be doing a terrible job as God, for the world is filled with needs and pain.

Nowhere does the Bible actually say that God answers prayer.
But You say, “What if you are believing for something that is not God’s will?” Great question; I believe that is impossible because faith and believing is based on the will of God. If the thing is not the will of God, then there is no way to actually have Bible faith for it. Faith, true Bible faith, is based on two things, first the promises in the word of God (God’s written will), and secondly, the spoken word (God’s personal confirmation) from Christ to us that creates the faith in our heart. Faith comes from God, so it is impossible to have it apart from the will of God. We may think that we are believing for it but in reality it is just mental ascent, a type of hope.

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the (spoken) word of Christ. Romans 10:17

The purpose of faith to bring the already sanctioned will of God into this world  – (through faith) thy will be done on earth as it is (already) in Heaven. It is our job to know the general will of God through the promises of God, and His specific will through His spoken word to us. Bible promises tell us what we can have (hope), and His spoken word tells us what we do have (faith). You don’t receive His word of faith until you have met the conditions of the promise. Once you have faith, you have the ‘sub-stance’ (reality) of the hope.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not (yet) seen. Hebrews 11:1

Jesus expected those around Him to have faith before they received, and it is the same today. He expects us to pray in faith. Faith is the deciding factor. Study the Word of God and read the articles on this site to learn how to receive faith, release faith, and walk in faith. The Bible says that OUR faith overcomes the world.

Faith comes from God, so it is impossible to have it apart from the will of God.


  1. How do you know if it’s a “no” answer or if He simply hasn’t answered yet? If I stop praying before He answers , will the prayer still be answered?

    1. 1 John 5: 14-15
      14 This is the confidence which we have [a]before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.
      Proverbs 15:29
      The Lord is far from the wicked, But He hears the prayer of the righteous.
      When the righteous pray God hears and when He hears He answers.

  2. There are so many examples of prayers without faith that have been answered positively and prayers with faith answered negatively or forever unanswered in the actual Bible that you need to junk this entire system and stop kidding yourself. Hezekiah prayed without faith. He was answered. Paul prayed for the thorn in his side to be gone. God answered in the negative. Jesus prayed for the cup of wrath to pass. He was not answered. Delete this article and start over. You have blasphemed providence.

    1. We pray not because there are certain cases in the negative. We pray in faith for Jesus told us to do so. We know that sometimes God delays, at other times He says no, but that doesn’t deter us from praying. You can better exit this group with your crappy attitude.

  3. Recently a girl who lives in a Christian orphanage (here in Bangalore, India) gave a testimony like this: I used to go to college wearing just one dress every day. Others used to wear new dresses regularly. I cried to God for a change of dress. And this is what she heard in her heart as the answer from God. “I have clothed you already: you are clothed with the My Spirit.”
    God answers in mysterious ways, right?

  4. I felt strongly to post this after reading some of what was written because God can answer “no” in your spirit.
    In the gospels and many other books in the Bible it talks about asking and receiving and what that actually looks like. We have to have faith in what we ask for that he will answer. Yes, he does say “no” and will give other answers to, not just in silence. Let this be an encouragement to everyone to increase your faith by reading his word, being in worship and having a relationship with his Holy Spirit. It also says the Holy Spirit was sent to “help” us, he is our helper. He is sensitive and wants to be welcomed. I did actually get a very clear “no, this is not the time” for what I was seeking him on in my spirit or shall I say his holy spirit living in me. Get alone go to your secret place with the Lord he wants to answer you, it may not be what you want to hear but he WILL give you a clear answer, seek wisdom always “wear her around your neck”. If we are clouded with the worlds surroundings because we are in it then we will get distracted from Gods truths. We need to be rooted and have good soil for all seeds to fall on! God will reveal himself to you if you ask him to. As a father , a friend, a comforter , a counselor etc. The bottom line, we NEED to get alone with him and turn the world and our brains off in that moment…. When you do it’s amazing. If you need help getting started a friend of mine has a podcast called encountering Jesus by Patty Sadallah to walk you through and get you started!

  5. In my search for the truth and to grow in God, I’ve found these answers (I believe to be spiritual explanations) to questions I’ve had in my search for understanding of what has seemed to be unanswered prayer. I hoping it sheds light for you as it has me.

    “When you hear teaching from God’s Word concerning healing, deliverance, prosperity, or anything else Jesus provided in the atonement, your faith is strengthened to receive. Once you know you’ve already got it (in the spiritual realm), manifestation (in the physical realm) comes swiftly. As your knowledge and understanding of something increases from the Word, you can release your faith and see it manifest more quickly”.
    “When ministering healing, you need to realize that the person you’re praying for plays a large role in whether or not they receive”. “You can’t take responsibility for them, but you can be a positive part of the process”. (This is what I’m attempting to do by passing this information along to you). “Even Jesus couldn’t override someone else’s unbelief. (Mark 6:5,6.).
    “Faith works by knowledge of the Word. When you ask and believe, the power is instantly released. If you don’t see it manifest, it’s not God who hasn’t given. Either you haven’t yet received, or there’s a demonic obstacle preventing the manifestation. God is faithful! Believe it and never move off of it”!
    “You’ll never see God’s miraculous power on a consistent basis if you give up and start saying, Well, there are exceptions. Maybe God makes some sick to teach them something. Perhaps He wants some to suffer. They probably haven’t been good enough, fasted enough, and so forth.”
    “God’s Word is absolutely true; it never fluctuates or varies. Never compromise on the truth of God’s unwavering faithfulness. It’s your fault! I’m not trying to condemn you (the writer isn’t trying to condemn you, and neither am I by passing this along) but to bless, inform, and instruct you. If God’s faithfulness is in question, then all of us are in trouble.”
    I’ve taken these excerpts from “A Better Way to Pray” written by Andrew Wommack

  6. Very good response! I agree! But, it’s a mystery right. No thank you and for that reason I’m out.

    1. It is difficult, waiting for answers to prayer. There is urgency and we need these answers now. We have concern for someone or something……….there is no time to lose! Hurry, it could be too late if you don’t answer!
      If we don’t receive the answer in “our expected time frame” we could chock it off to “well God must not think it’s as important as I do” or something like that.
      The author of this website has compiled this information found here and written many articles on this site by following his heart for God. I’m thankful for his efforts in trying to help the many searching for answers in their journey of life. As believers in God and our search of Him in this journey, we run into many obstacles.
      This is life. We need answers!
      There are many articles here, good information to read and gain knowledge from. The author of this site has gathered these articles and compiled them for our benefit because they are the topics, we need these answers for in this journey of life. These articles can be helpful tools to help us discover God and His Word, and His promises, concerning us. There are first steps involved in this journey with God. The building blocks for this foundation are important. Start at square one.

  7. Hello,

    After reading your article on “How Do You Know The Answer To Your Prayer Is No?”, I have to comment.

    The answers to Prayer is Yes, No, or Wait. The thing is that though, I have never received any of these answers. God is completely silent. It might just be me, but silence isn’t an actual answer. It’s the complete opposite of an answer. Even a No answer would be appreciated. An actual answer. Not the endless silence I get from God. I gave myself to God through Jesus about 42 years ago, and still haven’t received even one answer from God. Silence prevails. Hope, Faith, and Trust are in rare supply these decades later.

    1. Ken
      The man who whose has put together this website is my friend. He is a true friend. I’ve never met him personally, but I love him. I love him because he has followed his heart for God and put together a site of information for those who are seeking direction, answers to questions. There are many, many topics of information to be found here. Don’t stop at just one topic of discussion and give up on hope of finding answers you are looking for. There are probably three or four more renderings to give you more to feed on and help your understanding. God’s promise is that if you search for Him with all your heart, you will find Him. The Spirit of God (if you are born again) lives inside of you and that born again spirit knows all things. You need to press on and press in to discover that truth. Don’t give up. Don’t let satan steal those planted seeds of God’s Word. Water them, nourish them.

    2. You won’t hear or read yes or no but you simply see that what you’re praying will be realized. If it happens it’s a yes answer if it doesn’t it’s a no answer.

    3. Brother Mark,
      I can sense your pain. May the good Lord heal you bless you and give sufficiency in all things. May you be restored fully that you could again behold the beauty of God.
      Father, in this painful moment in the life of our brother Mark restore him perfectly.. Give him according to his need and testore him spiritually and mentally. In Jesus name I pray.

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