Why Pray ~ A Search For An Answer
Why Pray? (2nd Answer)
Why Pray If The Prayers Aren't Always Answered?
RELIGIOUS TEACHER: Welcome. What can I do for you?
STUDENT: This girl in my school, her brother was diagnosed with cancer and was told that he had a few weeks to live; but then today, they found out that he's healthy and the tumor isn’t cancer.
RELIGIOUS TEACHER: Thank God!
STUDENT: And my whole school is like “…BLA, BLA, BLA that’s what prayer does BLA, BLA, BLA…”, and I just get so jealous and so angry. I was so mad. How can someone say “this is the power of prayer” when there are plenty of other people who die? You see, I lost my mother and uncle four years ago and I feel like my prayers aren’t good enough and apparently this girl has amazing prayers because God helps her.
RELIGIOUS TEACHER: I agree with you -- they should have been more considerate and realized the implication of the way they said it. But your question within itself is a very valid question. In other words you're asking: How can we believe that God is in control and sometimes chooses to listen to our prayers if so many other times prayers seem to go unanswered? After all, we don't know for sure why God does what He does. But we do at the same time believe that prayer does play a role -- though not always the only role. Let's put it in context. When we pray to God, obviously we want Him to do what we're asking Him to do, right?
RELIGIOUS TEACHER: Does that mean He has to do it?
RELIGIOUS TEACHER: Does the result -- whether He gives me what I'm asking for or not -- always depend on the nature of the prayer only, or can there be -- other things involved?
STUDENT: Other things.
RELIGIOUS TEACHER: But just because God chose not to listen to our prayers about one thing, and chose to listen about another, doesn't mean that the first prayers were better or stronger than the others. Sometimes there're other considerations or reasons, why God feels a particular soul needs to leave the world at a particular time.
STUDENT: Ok! So exactly! What’s the point of even praying for people? If god wants them to die, then they will. If He doesn't then they won’t die. I don’t get it.
RELIGIOUS TEACHER: Because the prayers do have power and sometimes they change a decree that has already been made. But sometimes they don't -- the prayers still aren't a waste. They still make things better and stronger for both the soul of the person praying and the one being prayed for. Let me put it a different way. Do you ever ask your father to give you something? Does he always give it to you?
STUDENT: Of course not.
RELIGIOUS TEACHER: Is that a reason not to ask? -- After all, what you are asking helps. Sometimes he gives it to you because you really should have it. Sometimes he gives it to you because you asked nicely and properly. And sometimes he doesn't because he has his reasons why not. But the asking still helps, right?
STUDENT: And sometimes it hurts...
RELIGIOUS TEACHER: There's no question about that. Your feelings come from who you are and your life experiences. You have every right to feel hurt. But you should also learn to recognize that people aren't trying to hurt you.
STUDENT: I really need to work on that.
RELIGIOUS TEACHER: We all do.
STUDENT: That’s probably true. Ok, thank you very much.
RELIGIOUS TEACHER: You’re welcome.