If you scroll the realms of social media, somewhere along the way, on any given day you’ll see these words.
Most of the time, realistically about 99.9 percent of the time they will be followed by a joy-filled proclamation of healing and happiness. I hardly ever, never really, see a post about a newly diagnosed illness, or an accident, or any type of disappointment where these words are shared. No one ever writes, “Uncle Lester was hit by a truck. Our prayers have been answered!”
While I can’t imagine a scenario where Uncle Lester’s family would pray that he would get hit by a truck, be assured, even in crazy instances such as these God does answer prayer.
When we pray and we somehow bring ourselves to pray, “Thy will be done,” we admit an understanding that God’s will is sometimes painfully not even close to being in line with our own. But, when we pray and we can’t bring ourselves to say those words (believe me, this is me way too often!) God’s will is still done and our prayers are still answered. Understanding why He would choose for sin to have its way with us is tough, if not impossible, so we fill our human need for comprehension by just ignoring the thought that God might actually be saying, no, quite often really.
Oh be careful little mouths what you say. The happy, all is right with the world announcement that God answers prayers might make you feel better, but it leaves those who don’t get the answer they were looking for, lost. If he didn’t get the job, or their sister died anyway, or her car was totaled, maybe He hears everyone else’s prayers but just doesn’t care enough to listen to their own. It reaffirms for them the lies that the world is all too eager to shout down at them while they swim in the pit of despair. Your faith is weak! Our God is distant! You just don’t matter!
God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit answers prayer. His answers come in a variety of different forms, including “wait” and the just plain old emphatic, “NO!” And though those answers can be nothing short of devastating, they are answers just the same. And He is eager to give you strength and peace and hope even when the answer hits you like a punch in the gut.
He does love you.
He does hear you.
He does answer prayers.
Every. Single. One.