These are the answers to whether or not God answers prayer. Yes He does. No He doesnít. Maybe He does. I donít know. Iíd like to think He does. But sometimes Iím not so sure he does. But maybe He does.
I pray a lot. So maybe Iím not praying enough. Or praying the right way. Our God who art in HeavenÖ Not exactly like that. But I do pray. More like conversations, really.
Itís taken me awhile to write this but itís been a few months. On May 9th, my prayer was not answered. Shockingly not answered. And there is no rhyme or reason why my prayer request was not answered. Itís not like I bought a lottery ticket and was fervently praying the numbers were a jackpot.
At said time, I was out of the country. Costa Rica to be exact. A week or so prior, our cat, Tigger, was diagnosed with terminal cancer. We did not know how long Tigger had or exactly how far the cancer had progressed but we knew we did not have months. Weíve done this dance before. In fact, my cat and dog were taken exactly a year apart, so my prayer that the Lord save us from losing another one of our feline friends so quickly was already not answered!
But here was my prayer. It was very specific and certainly a most called for prayer. We did not know if it was time to put Tigger down. Our veterinarian told us as long as heís eating, he should be fine and thereís no reason to put him to sleep. So, for the four days leading up to my departure to Costa Rica I prayed that Tigger either eats or retreats.
And Tigger ate. Not like his former robust 24 pound self. But he ate and well, itís hard to express this if you didnít know Tigger but he certainly had a unique temperament. His meow changed significantly, and he was ever so precious. Not that he wasnít precious before, but he was known to take a bite out of someoneís hand for absolutely no reason.
Anyway, Tigger ate intermittently. I stressed and worried as I was not ready to lose him, but he ate. So, as we were prepared to actually have him put down the day of our departure we found no reason to do so. We hugged and kissed him goodbye knowing there was a chance heíd be gone by the time we got back. But I prayed and I finally, for the first time that I could remember I relaxed. Why? Because I prayed that either Tigger eats or doesnít eat. If he hadnít eaten we would have put him to sleep. But he ate and I stopped worrying about it because I felt God had answered my prayer.
So, he died while we were in Costa Rica on May. 9. Three months to the day we lost Sweetcheeks.
What a great answer to prayer.
Iíve also been unemployed for more than a year. For the second time. I keep praying, what do I do? Keep writing, which is something I enjoy doing and was paid for doing at one time? Or the fact that my career as a writer has been such a roller coaster and no one has ever honestly told me, ďYou know youíre a great writer. You should keep doing this. Your time will come.Ē Not one. Not one person has said anything REMOTELY close to that. When should I listen to the non-verbal cues?
Am I wasting my time, Lord? Sounds like a great movie title.
Author John Fischer says that sometimes God answers us with questions. In fact, he notes that there are nearly 300 question marks in the book of Job and when God finally talks to Job, his answers come in the form of more questions! Of the 288 questions Fischer counted, 78 of them are from God.
ďIt doesnít matter that we have more questions now than when we started,Ē Fischer says. ďIt matters that we see God, for in the seeing, we discover that the truest answer to all our questions is to worship Him.Ē
I donít think God answers prayer in any sort of fashion that weíd like to think he answers prayer. Perhaps then, Fischer has a point. When Kurt Warner thanked Jesus after winning the Super Bowl I wonder what he meant by that? Was he thanking Jesus for letting him win the Super Bowl or was he thanking Jesus for blessing him with the talent and opportunity to play the game of football?
I donít think Jesus answers Super Bowl prayers. Now, if Kurt had worked hard and prayed the Lord might open some doors for him to play, then perhaps those prayers were answered. But then, why doesnít He answer the prayers of other would-be football prayers? Donít you think Chad Pennington has prayed that his body would stop breaking every time heís tackled?
As Christians we are told to wait. Wait on Him. I understand that concept. God answers in His time. If I was a non-Christian Iíd have to say thatís the Christianís attempt at dismissing the fact that God doesnít really answer prayer. Given enough time, whatever youíre praying about is likely to come true, right? So, we are to rejoice after praying for something for 30 years and it finally comes true?
Iíve read people who have seen their prayers answered after years of prayer can see the reasoning why it took so long and they can see God in His infinite wisdom. But, Tigger dying while we were not there for him after I prayed specifically about it makes no sense to me. There is nothing I can think of as to why God could not have kept Tigger around for two more days. Why, why, why didnít God keep him around for two more days?
Two more days! Thatís all I needed was two more days. Today, my wife and I have a small hole in our hearts as we were not there for Tigger and we were not there to say Goodbye. Two daysÖ
Now what do you think this non-answer to prayer does to my confidence for future prayer needs?
And yet, another question. Fischer says questions leave us humbled but also believing. Believing because weíve seen God. InterestingÖ I found Fischerís quotes a day after I penned this and I wasnít even looking for them.
But I still donĎt get it. I donít understand it. It makes no sense. The only thing I have to show for is this article.