When God doesn’t seem to answer prayer
How do we handle it when God doesn’t answer prayer the way we want Him to or when we pray for someone to be healed and they die?
I know I’ve been there.
In fact, being there recently is why I posted this REAL look at how I reconcile God answering prayers His way and not my way.
I’ve lived long enough to know that life is not really about what I want when I want it. The truth of the matter is most of the time I don’t even know what I want and definitely don’t know what I need. For example, I may have wanted to remain in a relationship that wasn’t good for me, but God remove me from it and it was in my best interest.
Hypothetically speaking, I could pray for someone to do one thing or experience another but the wisdom of Heaven knows that answering my request would be detrimental to that person or to the plans the Lord has for someone else.
Who am I to question the wisdom of the Creator of the universe?
How I reconciled my own loss.
Often I think of my brother who passed away. For most of my life, he lived a very rough existence. The almost magnetic lure of street life appealed to him as it does so many young African-American men. He didn’t sell drugs, but he drank and lived the “partying” life young people like to do.
This being so, one of the things I often worried about was someone hurting him out there.
Like many women of my culture, I often dreaded a heart-wrenching phone call alerting me he had been shot or injured. He wasn’t very street smart and I worried about the friends he chose to hang with as well.
An emotional prison…
Dread is such a horrible state of being.
It’s like living with a 10000-pound anchor on your back 24 hours a day.
You’re carrying the weight of it all of the time.
Whether you’re driving to work, or hanging out with friends, the weight of the sense of fear presses down on every part of your being.
It weighs you down. in route to you of life’s simplicities and joy. It’s so hard to truly be free to enjoy one’s life when one is always scared of what may happen in the next moment.
That’s the sort of burden I had for my brother.
He was so precious to me.
This is the brother I grew up with.
Of all my siblings, he was the closest to me in age. The rest were so much older, folks thought they were my dad.
But, this brother, we experienced many of the same childhood memories together.
Do you remember Saturday morning cartoons airing?
Anyhow, on Saturday mornings, we watched cartoons together while eating big bowls of soggy sugar-filled cereal.
While I love all of my brothers, this one was particularly close to me.
Can you see why I worried about him often?
The dreaded call I worried about eventually came.
One day in my early twenties, I did get a dismaying call. My sweet brother had collapsed from a heart attack.
He had always had health problems and some of his habits – like smoking didn’t help I’m sure.
I exchanged the weight of fear for the weight of grief and despair. I loved him very much.
One day while thinking about him, strange gratitude came over me.
To be clear, if I had my choice, I definitely would want him here with me. However, there was some small comfort in knowing no one took his life away in violence. For that, I thanked God and found a degree of peace with my loss. Praise and worship replaced some of the sadness.
This will sound very strange to some people.
But, I am so glad he left the earth in the way that he did – gently end peacefully.
I often wonder if he had lived longer would a worse fate have found him?
Could his departure …at that time and in that way…have been a sign of Grace and protection?
What if God knew that the enemy had horrible plans for my brother and he decided “No! You will not do that to him!” Instead, the Lord took him in the sweetest way He could.
I know this is all supposition. The musings of a woman who still feels the pangs of sorrow and loss to this very day.
Why, Lord, Why?
Isn’t it funny how we often want to understand why things happened?
Clearly, my theory is not definite or certain. Yet, it gives me some peace in knowing that God is in control.
He has a plan and He ALWAYS has a strategy. He does the things He does for reasons we would likely NEVER be able to comprehend on this side of heaven.
On the other hand, I think we could understand some of the things He does. However, we’re just not privy to that information. It’s not for us to know. This is where faith comes in.
We trust God and know that He has our best interests at heart.
Back to the subject of this blog post– I prayed; she died.
After I prayed God would heal the child, and she passed away, I can’t be angry at God.
He knows so much more than I know and His ways are so much higher than mine.
Who knows what could have been in store for that child’s life?
What if God’s “no” and taking her was His greatest blessings to her? I don’t know. No one knows but Him.
As for me, I declare I will trust the sovereignty of the Lord Jesus Christ to the best of my ability.
Sometimes it takes me a while to get to the place of authentic, comprehensive trust.
That’s okay, though. He is long-suffering and patient toward me. He can handle my questions.
In the end, His judgments are sure and so are his decisions.
He knows exactly what He’s doing and He’s always up to something good in our lives – even when we cannot begin to understand it.
With that, even when I’m disappointed, I really want and trust God’s decisions.
I dealt with this too when my neighbor died. Check it out.
I still miss my neighbor, Jean.
Watch my video message on this subject: https://youtu.be/IE8YlXirL1k