Prayers and Answers to Prayers

It seems that a LOT of people, including Christians, have a number of misconceptions regarding Prayers and Answers to Prayers. Here are some thoughts on these subjects.

When people say, "Jesus didn't answer when I called Him", I think it's just us being sort of egotistical. Oh, HE heard you. And, He may have even answered you, but possibly in some way that you are not yet capable of comprehending. We tend to have the approach "I want ice cream, with the expected response being either yes or no that we get ice cream." This assumes that we know and understand the right questions and requests and the "correct" responses to them. What if Yogurt, or a salad, unexpectedly appeared in your possession? Would you recognize that as a "healthier" response to your request? Doubtful! We're just not too smart, sometimes!

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I actually think that there is a more common situation. When we demand that ice cream, a far more insightful parent (or God) might realize that this "child" needs to learn Patience. I can see the possibility where the ice cream might be INTENTIONALLY withheld (for a while) in order to allow a larger lesson to be learned. Good parents sometimes do such things. In our limited (child-like?) minds, we might not see the "Patience" lesson being present, because WE WANT ICE CREAM! We humans tend to have a lot of self-centered thoughts, and I think that God sometimes finds ways to allow us to have "learning opportunities". He knows that we have a LOT to learn! Now, this doesn't mean that you will actually LEARN patience from such an experience! You were just given the OPPORTUNITY to do so! Most kids/people probably wouldn't, but some would. Most of us tend to react by starting whining and crying about being neglected and ignored, etc. My parents are MEAN! Jesus doesn't care about me! See what I mean? We Pray for some thing, often fairly short-sighted. God's response is FAR better than we could ever have hoped! He has chosen to give us an opportunity to learn a personal "skill" that can become a permanent part of who we are. We asked for ice cream. We were GIVEN the opportunity to become better human beings! What an Awesome God we have! He overlooks the shallowness of our request and presented us with something incalculably better!

Why Evil Exists

Please consider expanding on this idea regarding us polluting the planet, hurting each other, lying, cheating, stealing, etc. I am sure God is displeased with such things. He certainly has the capability of instantly solving all of them. But what would we have learned? That we could do absolutely anything, without the slightest negative consequence to ourselves, because our Loving God would always take care of everything! Nope! I think that He knows that we often have to learn things the "hard way". Just like the "ice cream" demand, we have much larger lessons to learn, and such lessons must be learned individually. God would NEVER treat us in such a way as to encourage us to become ignorant of the consequences of our actions. But He is so intelligent that He knows that sometimes, only "tough love" really gets through! Our God, Who Loves us so totally, must sometimes watch us fail, individually and collectively. A parent must watch a child fall off a bicycle while first learning to ride, WITHOUT HELPING. That parent probably suffers as much as the child when the fall occurs. Imagine the agony that God and Jesus must go through due to all the terrible things we do, to each other, to Their planet, even to Their Church. It's almost amazing that They still Love us!

It is my hope that these various comments have given you things to think about. Many subjects have been touched on. If you ever expect me (or any other human) to give absolute answers to life's many questions, I cannot. I can give guidance, as suggested above. That's all.

This presentation was first placed on the Internet in March 2000.

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Pastor Carl
A Christ Walk Church