I’m still reading Philip Yancey’s book “Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference?” While reading a section grappling with the question about whether or not it does any good to pray, a thought… a possibility about answered prayer… came to my mind I’d like to explore.
I suggest that God DOES answer many of our prayers, we just don’t recognize His answers! Have you ever prayed these prayers?
Example 1: “God please protect my children (Parents, me, whoever).” There is no way for us to know how many times one of God’s angels DID intervene and protect our children because by definition the thing which would have harmed them DIDN’T take place. Hmmm… an answered prayer!
Example 2: “God, please guide the doctor’s hands during the surgery.” There is no way for us to know how many times during surgeries or other procedures God directed the doctors hands or eyes or thoughts to something they otherwise would have missed that would have been catastrophic for our loved ones. Hmmm… an answered prayer!
Example 3: “God, please give us a safe trip.” There’s no way for us to know that the slow poke we got behind in our trip was God’s way of protecting us from a drunk driver along the way or the person who ran a stop sign or the one who sped through a red light that otherwise would have crashed into us. Hmmm… an answered prayer?
Example 4: “God, please bless me and my family.” Let’s see… Do you have a car? Do you have clothes? Do you have food? Do you have a family? Are you saved? Do you live in a free country? Do you have access to medical care? Do you have a computer? Are you able to read? Can you see? Can you hear? Did you wake up this morning? Do your lungs, heart, liver, and brain work? Did you sleep in a bed last night? Do you have a place to live? Are you in a country that has freedom of speech, religion, the press? (Pause) Hmmm… answered prayer?!
Example 5: “God, please direct my life and use me for Your glory.” Since I believe God is good… loves His children… and gives good gifts to those who ask Him, there are certain things that I must believe as a result of those truths and voicing that prayer. First… I trust that God IS directing my life in ways I cannot understand. Second… I trust that the things that happen in my life as a result of His direction ARE being used for His glory. Third… I trust that God IS active in my life and answering that prayer (Just because I don’t “see” the angels carrying out His will in my life doesn’t mean they aren’t there). Fourth… I trust that (even in my ignorance) God is being glorified. Hmmm… answered prayer!
Suggestion. Maybe God is MUCH more active in answering our prayers than we realize! Maybe… just maybe… we need to stop… see the prayers God has answered in our lives… and be thankful.
Prayer quote: “In prayer God gives us what we would have asked for if we knew everything He knows…”