For the next few days let’s look at some reasons why our prayers aren’t answered.
First, fallen angelic powers. For three weeks Daniel prayed and got no answer. Why? Because an evil force in the spiritual realm, ‘the Prince of Persia’, blocked it (see Daniel 10:13). So God assigned Michael, one of the archangels, to do battle with him. Twenty-one days later the struggle ended, and Daniel got his answer.
Paul says, ‘We are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world… against evil spirits in the heavenly places.’ (Ephesians 6:12 NLT) How powerful is the devil? Powerful enough to deceive you (see 2 Corinthians 4:4). Powerful enough to bring sickness (see Job 2:7). Powerful enough to oppose the righteous (see Zechariah 3:1). Powerful enough to devour you (see 1 Peter 5:8).
You ask, ‘What can I do to overcome him?’ After telling us we’re fighting against the forces of the unseen world, Paul says, ‘Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers.’ (Ephesians 6:18 NLT) The Christ who lives within you is stronger than the enemy you face. Jesus said, ‘When a strong man [like Satan] is fully armed and guards his palace, his possessions are safe—until someone even stronger attacks and overpowers him.’ (Luke 11:21–22 NLT) Satan is strong, but Jesus is ‘even stronger’.
John records: ‘The accuser of our brothers and sisters has been thrown down to earth—the one who accuses them before our God day and night. And they have defeated him by the Blood of the Lamb and by their testimony.’ (Revelation 12:10–11 NLT) Aren’t you glad?