Does God Answer Prayers?
At the end of October it will be the eleventh anniversary of my sister, Dottie’s death. She died at the age of 58—much too soon. Sometimes, I forget she’s gone, and I think about picking up the phone to call her to tell her something, or to ask her a question.
The time of illness before she passed was very difficult for our whole family. The last month of her life, I stayed at her house to care for her two-year-old granddaughter, Vanessa, so that her daughter could stay at the hospital with her.
Many prayers went up to God for the healing of my sister from friends and family. Dottie loved God, and it was evident in her life as a servant of His. We both made decisions to trust Christ at the same church service. She was not only my physical sister, but my “sister in the Lord.”
We wondered why God didn’t answer our prayers. Sometimes I didn’t know how to pray, and I got on my knees and just looked up to God and cried. I am certain that at those times the Spirit of God prayed for me. Scriptures tell us in Romans 8:26-27 (LB), that the Holy Spirit prays for us –“with such feeling that it cannot be expressed in words.”
In verse Romans 8:28 – we find these words – “And we know that all that happens to us is working for our good if we love God and are fitting into His plan.”
When it became evident that she was not getting better and was experiencing much suffering, I asked the Lord to take her home. On the other hand, her daughters and husband were praying that God would spare her.
A couple of days before she died, she said to her daughter: “You are keeping me from going to heaven.”
At that point, I believe the family’s prayers changed to: “May Your will be done Lord. Do whatever is best for Dottie.” It is difficult to pray this type of prayer. But, when you know the person has peace with God, it is a bit easier to release them into His care.
Why does God not always answer our prayers the way we desire? It is because He knows what is best. He knows our end from our beginning. God’s word tells us that “Our days are numbered.” We can only see a minute part of His plan for our lives—for the rest of that plan, He wants us to have faith and trust in Him.
God does answer our prayers, as we pray in accordance with His will. The answer can be “yes, no, or wait.”
Prayer: Lord, give us faith to trust you with our lives and the lives of those we love. Amen
Blessings, Jan Sady