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. Grace and peace are truely multipied unto us through the knowledge of the truth in the word …..praise God.

  2. Find me a single example under the covenant of Grace where Jesus said no. You’ll find out that not a single person was ever told no. Not one. You’ve been indoctrinated by Christianity into believing that God picks and chooses what he says yes to and what he says no to. Jesus taught the exact opposite. Pay attention. It’s your unbelief and not knowing the heart of God that makes you conclude he says no. Chances are you don’t even know what “prayer” or “ask” meant in Hebrew. Most people alive today don’t have a clue as to the heart of God and they wonder why they don’t receive anything.

      1. Author

        Chad – Sure, and of course you are putting us all in the same league as Paul, so we will think, “You never know, God might tell you no, after all, He did to Paul.” Yes, Paul did receive a ‘thorn in the flesh,’ but why did he get it and what was it?

        Paul was ‘caught up into Paradise’ on numerous occasions and ‘heard inexpressible words which a man is not permitted to speak.’ Are you doing this? Well, Paul goes on to say that ‘because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations … to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me…

        What was it, this messenger of Satan? I don’t exactly know, and nobody knows for sure. Don’t be so quick to throw this out to get us to question God’s faithfulness. Nobody knows all that goes on in the spirit realm – amongst the inexpressible things of Paradise. I doubt it was an actual physical sickness, but it could have been.

        I know of some faith healers in history that at the same time that they were walking in the power of God to heal others, they had to walk through significant things in their own bodies. Smith Wigglesworth was instrumental in the miraculous healing of many people, but he had to leave meetings for a moment to pass kidney stones. And he was known to raise the dead. I don’t understand it all, nobody does. Your faith WILL make you whole, every time. Rex

    1. Hey if you get this I would like to learn the heart of God I know I have a lot to learn

      1. Author

        Jermaine – Keep reading and meditating the Bible. Read it for what is says, not what you think it says, or what religion says that it says. We love you. Keep going. Rex

  3. Most Gracious and Eternal Heavenly Father, I pray that you will repair the friendship that I have with my guy friend Jovani and that you will help us to reach out to one another and reconnect and talk to each other soon. I pray that you will change his heart and allow him to reach out to me and be kind to me again. Please do this in your own time and in your own way. I need your help, Father. I won’t give up on you or my friend. We have not spoken in four almost five months, since 1 July 2017, when he stopped talking to me for no reason at all. I miss him and I look forward to seeing/talking to him again one day. I claim my renewed friendship in Jesus Christ blessed name, Amen.

  4. At the beginning of this year my husband and I were giving a burden to home school our girls. However we both work outside the home. I kept praying that God provide a way for me to stay home in order to to full fill this burden. It was impressed on me that we must take a leap of faith instead of waiting on him. Prove to him we will truly trust in him, that God will see us through. So we did. It hasn’t been easy but I kept holding on. During one of my mornings driving to work I was pour myself into prayer. That night I received a text for a powerful prayer warrior who has spoken into my life before. She said she had a word from God for me. (No mind you she had mentioned some of the things I said in my private prayer time with God). Basically it was said that God sees the desires of my heart and through him it shall be. I held on to that word. Still praying, still believing God would work in our finances and bless us so I am able to be at home with my children. Fast forward to Aug of this year. I fell and broke 2 bones in my ankle causing me to be on medical leave. I am now at home for a short time with our children. Now I know our God is NOT a God of tease and I truly believe he wouldn’t allow this short time for me to be at home if he isn’t going to make it permanent. However we are still waiting on the financial blessing. My FMLA is almost over as though my flesh is wondering, I am still holding on. How do I know this is all from God and not just my fleshing Hoping and picking straws at everything?

  5. Am I being faithless if I pray to God asking for something I desire and I am specific about it but I also add that God should give me the best as he deems fit. For instance in praying to get a job I told him the job and where I want it but I also told him to give me something that is the best for me as He sees best.
    please I need a reply.

  6. i was startled when i read your response to Skado’s comment. i wonder now if praying to God for specific someone to be my spouse in the future is the same thing. i just want to hear from you. thanks! the article is an eye-opener. i do not usually read comments but for some reasons i did this time. maybe because i need some clarifications, too. thanks again!


  8. SKADO, this is really a difficult area, that’s why so many of us get it wrong, we want what we think is right but really only Jesus knows who is best for us. I know that isn’t really any comfort to you but if you walk with Jesus with all your heart, he is faithful! My wife didn’t take to In the beginning may be because I wasn’t looking like I was supposed to to her, but maybe because she was tired, 36 years old very godly wanted God’s best, so she stretched and we got married in 27 years later because we were both committed to Jesus with all our heart we have a relationship that I wouldn’t trade for nothing, so as waiting is extremely difficult but being united with the wrong person is hell on earth, make sure that man you marry loves Jesus and obeys him with all their heart and then he can lead you both as one! Marriage is great if we are unselfish and live for the other person in Jesus otherwise be appreciative you’re not oppressed by a spouse!

    1. But John, the Bible says God will give us the desires of our hearts…
      so why will; He give me otherwise?

  9. Thanks Rex, I believe you hit it on the head, Couldn’t have said it any better! I picture the measure of faith as a seed (like Jack and the beanstalk) we have to nurture that Seed, water that seed, Fertilized that seed, and that all comes by spending time with Jesus intimately in his word, developing a relationship And trust with him as the apostles did. Jesus used the term little faith, great faith, (according to your faith it shall be done unto you) (your faith has healed you) we can grow that Stalk by continually studying God’s word or we can stifle it and walk by the standards of the world and we all know the results of that (death). I believe it’s the exact same way Rex explained it, yes it’s a narrow and hard way as Jesus explained but if we are unwilling to die with him (flesh) (come out from the world and be ye separate) yes Sway It does get challenging at times, I know Jesus is faithful in his promises are true! When the 500 followers of Jesus heard his message and said this is too hard and they stop following him and he said to his 12 apostles doYou want to leave to? And they responded by saying there’s nowhere to go but you Jesus! We should all know this is true As we Spent time walking in the world. (Empty and Cruel!) The little pleasures it has are fleeting and deceptive! Be strong brothers and sisters trusting Jesus and his word, as his word said we won’t be disappointed!

  10. Gods will is that every of his child have faith. I totally disagree with you Van. Though faith comes from God, every child if God whether Prophet, Preist, Teacher, Pastor, Evangelist and members have all been given the measure of faith and what they do with it is what matters. Romans 12:3. Hezekiah had faith, he was only dealing with the judgement at that time. It was possible for him to take the judgement but he turned it by faith that sparked up a response from God. “Faith is the response of the human spirit to Gods word it to Gods judgement.

  11. I don’t necessarily believe this is the way it is….”Faith comes from God, so it is impossible to have it apart from the will of God.” It is possible to have faith outside of the will of God. I am sure you will think it is debatable. But two things to consider.
    1. Hezekiah’s had a mortal sickness. It was the will of God for him to die, however because of the prayer of faith God granted him more years. Hezekiah in those additional years went on to turn his back on God.
    2. Jesus in the Garden of Gesthemane had faith that the Father could deliver him “All things are possible unto thee, nevertheless not my will but thy will be done.”
    Faith does not always supersede the will of God, sometimes faith accepts the will of God for the greater good. Jesus did, but Hezekiah did not. both had faith that there circumstances could be changed, one accepted the will of God and many have found salvation, while the other turned into an troubled king.

  12. Thanks, Rex Rouis, I took it upon myself to look to see if I could find in the bible where it says “God answers prayer”. I had 10 of my friends looking also. We only found one legitimate place in Genesis 30 where it said “God answered Leah’s Prayer” AMP. I really enjoyed this lesson. It brought back all the things I taught before I took this sabbatical of mine to learn Ministry. Thanks for your article that have stirred up the firey gift of mine within me. I appreciate you.

    Mac Jones

    1. Author

      Mac – Thank you so much for your comments. And your desire to diligently search the Word to see if what was said is true. The Bible is clear and strong. The only thing able to confuse it is religion. We love you. Rex

  13. I believe I have a lot of faith and I pray every night . I believe God is listening to me but after all these years he never answered any of my prayers. Why is that? In all honesty I am not such a bad person .

    1. Author

      Franca – Do you know that you have specific faith for the thing you are believing for? Do you know for a fact that it is the will of God? Has God confirmed it in your heart? The Bible says to ‘examine yourself to see if you are in the faith.’ Sometimes we are in hope or mental ascent and not true faith. Read the articles by this man – Kenneth E. Hagin. We love you. Rex

  14. hi team
    I have been waiting for a long time to get an answer or a decision from God since January this year but up to now everything is vague and dark.
    does this mean no and the doors are closed?

    on the other hand, if God say no to my request, won’t he make it very clear from the very beginning and upright no since I asked my request?

    in my understanding he won’t say no after a long wait but he will either give me what I asked for or something close to it (a modified request).

    please pray a lot for me so he enlightens my way and remove any obscurity from my way.

  15. What if you’re praying for a specific man to love you? Will God grant you your wishes or will you have to patient until God delivers the man HE desires for you?

    1. Author

      Skado – Read your own question and tell me honestly what you think. You cannot pray that a specific person will do anything. Even if you know (think) he is the right one, you have to wait till he knows it. Then tell him afterward. Of course, you can always manipulate him into marrying you and then live in hell.

      Praying for someone to do your will is actually witchcraft. You can’t control a person’s will in God. That is the way of the Devil. You always pray to the Father in Jesus Name that He will send someone (of His choosing). We love you. Rex

    2. You see it is not wrong to desire someone and i believe if that man is right for you then God will answer with a yes but if he is wrong for you then no amount of pleading can change that because God cares about you more than you care about yourself he has the hairs on your head numbered thats how much attention he pays to you thus be patient and his will will be revealed to you but whatever the outcome do not let go of his hand and also interract with the guy if you havent get to know him as friends you might find your answer there

  16. Thank you for this. I was just having a conversation with a family member about this. Questioning unanswered prayers. The fact that we feel they are not sometimes answered. I am learning that it is all about our faith and believing that we have received which it sounds like we have to show Him through our actions that we believed we have received.

  17. This feels like a catch 22, if your faith is not solid and you doubt then how could just saying a prayer to God who only answers the ones who have faith and not doubt.

  18. I have faith, but it wavers sometimes and that drives me crazy because this is not what I want. I pray that God’s help me not to waver, because it is resulting in unanswered prayers.

  19. It does Sway, however please know that you will reap if you faint not.

  20. It does Sway, however unrstand that you’ll reap if you faint not.

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