Why some prayers are not answered
(God is not our private secretary)

Salamun alaykum brother, I write to you to ask for help and for you to tell me what should I do. In the last 15 years I was living a bad life. I committed many sins and I did not remember Allah much. I did not observe the Salat, and I was not a good Muslim. However, in the last 4 months I changed my ways, and I have always maintained my Salat, and I also spend time to read the Quran and be close to Allah.
My financial situation started to deteriorate quite badly in the last year. Now I observe my Salat and I ask Allah in every Salat to help me improve my finance and get me out of my debt, but Allah does not answer me. Allah said that He answers our prayers, but Allah has not answered me.
Please tell me why Allah has not answered me, and what can I do.


You have lived 15 wasted years away from God, indulging in sinful activities, and for a mere 4 months you have been remembering God, yet you expect God to immediately make you a priority and answer your prayers without delay?

Could it be that you only turned to God because your finances went down? Could it be that God wishes to test you further, and wishes to see you extend your track record beyond the 4 months before you ask and expect God to comply?

Indeed, we read in the Quran that God answers the prayers of those who call on Him:

And if My servants ask you about Me, I am near; I answer the caller's call if he calls upon Me. Therefore, they shall respond to Me and believe in Me so that they may be rightly guided.

However, we also read in the Quran that whatever we will cannot happen unless it coincides with God's will:

You will not unless God wills, the Lord of the worlds.

The words "My servants" in 2:186 are quite significant. They tell us that for God to answer our prayers, we must be totally devoted to Him. We must also know that prayers will only be answered when they coincide with God's will.
There will be times when our prayers are not answered. There are a number of good reasons for that:

1- God may not answer a prayer if it is not consistent with His infinite wisdom and perfect will.
2- God may not answer a prayer if it comes from someone who is not sincerely devoted to God but only remembers God when in serious trouble.
3- God may not answer a prayer if it comes from a person who generally shows lack of reverence to God.
4- God may not answer a prayer when the prayer is for worldly things that, if granted, may increase our sinfulness and wickedness.
5- God may not answer a prayer because the caller needs to be tested further.
6- God may not answer a prayer if the time is not right. If we were given what we asked for at that stage of our lives it would harm us, but if given at a later stage when we are ready to receive, it would do us good. God knows what we do not know.
7- God may not answer a prayer if the caller does not have complete faith and trust that it is God alone who is able to help and benefit him.
8- God may not answer a prayer in the way we anticipated, but in actual fact, God would have answered our prayer. This is because we often think good of something that is bad for us and vice versa.
From the information you gave, it seems you are a good candidate for reasons 2 and 5 above. You need to show more faith and show more patience, rather than think of God as your secretary who is waiting for you to press the button for Him to act without delay.
In the meantime, perhaps you should acquire the wisdom and sincerity of faith to amend your prayer to be:
Pray to God to align you with His will, rather than asking God to be aligned to yours.