By Anna Komaromi
Sometimes when I pray, I wonder if God will answer me. Many people worry that He doesn’t even hear them. But in Scripture, we are reminded to “Ask and it shall be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7-8). Jesus promises us in the Gospels that He will always hear our prayers. If that’s true, then why do we often pray without seeing results?
Well, Jesus did promise that he would hear our prayers, but He didn’t promise that He’d always give us what we ask of Him. That’s where the crux of the matter is. So frequently, we pray for certain things that we want or think we need, but then we don’t get them. We think “maybe I’m not praying hard enough” or “maybe I’m a bad person and God doesn’t want to listen to my prayers.” The truth is though, that God hears every single prayer that we pray, and He even knows what we will ask for, before we ask. However He is so loving, that He desires the best for us, and sometimes what we ask of Him isn’t the best thing for us—even when it seems like it is.
Here’s an example: Last week, I went to work and throughout my morning, I prayed asking God to grant that work would be slow so that I’d be able to leave early, and have time to go to Adoration and get several things done. This didn’t seem like an extravagant request and I was even going to give some of that time to God in prayer. Well, as the morning went on things were very slow, and it looked like I’d be able to leave as I had wanted to—everything was panning out just great! But, then, about 10 minutes before I was going to try to leave early, things got busy and I ended up staying later than I usually would, and didn’t have much time to get anything done that evening.
In this situation, it would have been so easy to get angry with God and to assume that He didn’t hear my prayer-which was such a simple request. But, I know that He allowed things to go differently than I had hoped to help me grow, and so that I’d learn to let go of my own selfish desires. Sometimes, God allows things to happen the opposite of the way we’ve prayed for them to in order to make us better people, or to give us an opportunity for growing in humility. There are even times when it seems that He doesn’t care about us, because our intentions and desires are pure yet He isn’t granting our prayers—but He sees things from the context of eternity—which is very different from our point of view.
Don’t ever become discouraged though, when your prayers don’t seem to be doing any good, because God does hear them, and will bring the most good out of them that He can, even if it doesn’t seem like it. Never give up praying!
Have you heard the Garth Brooks song “Unanswered Prayers”? It illustrates my point pretty well: http://vimeo.com/17239912