There are many types of prayer and many reasons to pray. Often we pray for personal needs or for the needs of others. And, there are times when if what we have prayed for doesn’t go the way we have requested, we question why we pray at all. C. S. Lewis is one of the most well-known Christian writers. Below are three of his thoughts.
“If God had granted all the silly prayers I’ve made in my life, where should I be now?”
“When the opposite of your prayer occurs, your prayer hasn’t been ignored; it’s been considered & refused for your ultimate good.”
“Many people think their prayers are never answered because it is the answered ones they forget.”
Even great theologians have struggled with and proposed some thoughts to help us grapple with the question to why prayers of this type are or perhaps aren’t answered … at least in the way we believe they should be.
This issue came to my attention recently when I went to a doctor with my daughter. All the time she was being examined, I incessantly begged God to let her be all right. Over and over I prayed … then it hit me that what I was praying for was what I wanted and didn’t reflect my relationship to the God I was pleading with. My father’s voice from many years ago came to mind. He always said he ended his prayers with the words “Thy will be done.” This made me realize that I wasn’t trusting the God I profess to worship. Struck by the magnitude of this, my prayer changed to, “I trust you Lord with my daughter. I pray that she will be all right, but I also pray that your will be done.” At that point a deep peace came over me, and I waited much more quietly and patiently for her to come out of the doctor’s office. (Thankfully, she was going to be all right!) The lesson I learned, though, has come back to me over and over again. I learned I needed to trust the Lord. Things won’t always work out the way I may desperately want them to, and I may not understand the reason, but I know my God is steadfast and will be with me every step of my life. I am not alone, and when need be He will carry me through all I must face.