Does God Answer Prayer?

Does God Answer Prayer?

Recently my husband was speaking to somebody whose wife had a cancer diagnosis and asked him how his wife was doing.

This man replied that his wife was doing really well and had returned to work. He finished off with the statement “God answers prayer.

That kind of took our breath away. Not the fact that his wife is doing well – we are very happy about that.

It’s him telling us that all of this happened because God answers prayer.

Do people think that we didn’t pray for Leah to be healed?

Do they think that our prayers weren’t good enough?

Or was it just a throwaway comment, expressing his faith in God and not in any way meant to undermine ours?

Once I had calmed down, I reasoned that the last explanation is the most likely.

We’ve encountered many and varied responses from people of faith to the fact of Leah’s death.

One leader in a church that I occasionally go to, informed me a few months after Leah died, that she had died because of “lack of faith”.

He then quoted the Bible verse

Mark 6:5 NLT
And because of their unbelief, he couldn’t do any miracles among them except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them.”

You see, for some people, the illness and death of a child doesn’t fit into their neat “I’ve got all the answers” theology.

Even before Leah became ill, I never liked the idea of confining God to a denominational box.

In my opinion, God is way bigger than our pet doctrines and statements of belief.

Yes, I do believe in belonging to a local church and getting involved in the body of Christ.

The Bible says in Hebrews 10:25 GW

We should not stop gathering together with other believers, as some of you are doing. Instead, we must continue to encourage each other even more as we see the day of the Lord coming.

It’s just that I don’t like the idea that any one denomination has got exclusive rights to God.

I think that God is way bigger than the boxes that we sometimes try to squeeze Him into.

For the record, I do believe that God answers prayer. I continue to pray regularly for many people who are unwell.

I don’t know why some people get better and others die.

I don’t believe that Leah died because of “lack of faith”.

Leah herself certainly did not lack faith.

There were hundreds of churches and thousands of Christians praying and believing for Leah to be healed.

However, God isn’t like a genie in a lamp. It isn’t as simple as us just telling God what we want and then abracadabra – we want it, so we’ve got it.

The Bible says in Isaiah 55:8-9 NKJV

image

There are some things in this life that are always going to be a mystery.

Advertisements

9 thoughts on “Does God Answer Prayer?

  1. I get soooo mad when I hear people saying things like this to a bereaved parent!
    Your post is spot on, God cannot be manipulated but many times, people find it easier to believe that as the alternative leaves them bewildered…
    Hugs to you.xx

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Gods ways are not our ways, yes we Pray with faith, but in that Prayer we leave it for God to answer as it is part of his plan. Sometimes things happen which we would rather not, but God is much bigger than our thoughts. It may be Leahs witness or your witness as a family which brings glory to God. Christians are not exempt from tough times and these are used to draw us closer to God, our witness how we react etc. Your comments in respect of denominations I agree 100%, we are part of a universal Church, we have may have differences but as long as the Fundamentals are in keeping we should work together. I finding it frustrating when a new Church is planted just down the road from a good but struggling Church, as Christians we should support each other not add confusion

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Phil, I think that it may have been while attending the same church as yourself in the mid ’80s that I first heard a little phrase which I really love: “in essentials purity, in non-essentials liberty and in all things charity.”

      Like

  3. Do people forget Jesus gave his life up at 33,,,And where was Lazarus faith when he was graveyard dead,,,,religion has no place judging.and the ministers need to be careful what comes out of their mouth as they will be judged more than us mere mortals,,,Vicky don’t listen to them you were wonderful and did everything humanly and supernaturally possible ,God was with you and Horace every step of the way,,so rejoice sister, you and Leah shone in the darkest. Of places,may we all take a leaf out of your book,,,blessings from heaven on you all.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It simply takes my breath away when people say such hurtful and insensitive things that church leader said to you! I’m guessing that one day he will personally encounter a scripture he has long assumed meant one thing only to find his interpretation completely insufficient. I’m not glorying in the idea of a cosmic slap-down (for lack of a better term) but I think every sincere believer’s faith eventually gets tested. It’s generally a good thing. This theology about God’s answers to prayer always being good from a worldly perspective just doesn’t hold up. What parent, and doesn’t God call Himself Father, always gives their child that which they sincerely want or even begs for? The level of desire doesn’t necessarily equate to being of benefit for the child. And because our thoughts and ways are not completely holy, we are frequently not spiritually mature enough to always ask for the thing that is in our best spiritual interest – and I believe that’s where our prayer requests often fall short. Not only that, the idea that a positive answer to prayer is the only answer God gives when confronted with a sincere request is not biblical. Consider King David’s fasting and prayer over the child he and Bathsheba conceived. Of course, then we get into the idea that sin caused the death of that child, but that isn’t always the case either. Consider Christ’s response to his disciples question, “Who sinned this man or his parents that he was born blind?” Christ’s answer was neither; it happened so the works of God could be displayed in him.” See John 9:1-3. Who’s to say Leah’s death hasn’t displayed the works of God through your life, Victoria, or that of your husband, your children, etc., in the aftermath of Leah’s death or even in her life as cancer took her life from her and the Angels carried her before the very throne of God. We need to re-evaluate or thinking if we believe God always answers prayer with a yes, my child, as if He exists merely to respond to our beck and call. We need to re-evaluate our theology of God’s goodness if it doesn’t match up to our personal definition of what good is. I may have prayers I refuse to voice or begrudgingly offer our of the fear of deferred hope, but that’s because I know God is not a cosmic genie here to grant me my wishes. He has far greater plans for each one of His children than that. Maybe one day I will no longer hesitate to pray for important things. Maybe by then I will have learned not to grasp for worldly goodness above things of spiritual value – and maybe not. Deep wounds change people and I have been wounded deeply. Maybe a hesitant prayer that acknowledges God’s right and authority to answer my requests according to His will and with the greatest spiritual blessing in mind even if it means I will suffer in this world is the request most pleasing to God. He knows what such a request costs His disciple. And biblically we are told both that we will have trouble in this world and that every believer in Christ will share in His sufferings, so it’s crazy to believe that Christianity somehow coats a believer in Teflon and that the worlds problems can’t and won’t touch them. That’s just blatantly unscriptural!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s