Hello, and thank you for visiting my page to continue on to Part 2 - Prayer of my current project, God’s Not Dead: Proof of a Personal Creator. In Part 1, I took a look at the universe and how it was formed, and how the Word supported it. Now, I want to move on to prayer, to examine how our Father works in that regard, and attempt to answer for you a big question that comes up a lot from both believers and non-believers: Why don’t all prayers get answered immediately? Or some differently than how we prayed for them, with different timing and/or results? Many atheist point out the variations in prayer as proof God doesn’t exist. This is my attempt to answer that and show you God is definitely real and in control, and more.
For starters, I think we should examine James 4:3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. In the Epistle of James, in this particular section, the idea of how God feels about pride is being discussed, specifically how pride promotes strife. Wars, fights, lust and murder are almost always rooted in the desire for pleasure of some kind. Perhaps one of the most popular questions I see get thrown around is somewhere in the category of, “I prayed for a million dollars, why don’t I get it?”.
I firmly believe God considers all things. How would you change with a million dollars? Which lives would be impacted by this, positively and negatively? Which path will you NOT cross because of this, and who will you not interact with in life that He saw fit that maybe you did? What would you spend it on? How would your faith be impacted? The questions are endless, but God sees ALL things, He sees the entire universe and all facets of it, and we just can’t comprehend that entirely. The Word tells us that we must work to survive and thrive. Thessalonians 3:10 For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.
For example, if you see someone win big on the lotto or casino gambling, one thing I know for sure is the Word warns about gambling and certainly detests greed - it truly is luck that you won. This is not to say that God doesn’t bless people, or create instances to save people through our unwise decisions, or allow us to travel a beaten path to come to terms with something. His will shall always be done. He blesses good works, and His system allows the fruits of our labor to be either good or bad based on how we work and what we do, but it is clear the Bible is against greed. Let’s take a look at a few Scriptures regarding this:
1 Timothy 6:9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.
Luke 12:15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
Luke 16:13 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
Proverbs 28:22 Greedy people try to get rich quick but don’t realize they’re headed for poverty.
Going further into prayer, I feel we must realize that prayer is speaking with God, and up to God on how to answer it if a question is asked. The Bible teaches us that we are all His children. John 3:12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.
In knowing that, I think we can draw a better understanding of how prayer works, if we view ourselves as God’s children, which we are - we are His creation, made in His image. Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. If we are His children, then we can view Him as our Father, which we are in fact instructed to do so. Philippians 4:18 Now to our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.
This is similar to how a good parent interacts with their children. Let’s say, for example, you have 2 children, varying in age of 7 and 14. Both children drastically different ways of viewing the world. Communication is definitely different for both. With the 7 year old, the dad may communicate through toys, playing games, ect. With the 14 year old, that obviously changes, as they may have outgrown certain toys and games, and prefer more direct, verbal communication, and have different desires.
Now, there may be times when both the 7 year old and 14 year old ask their parent for the same thing, yet get different answers. Let’s say they are both in school, and they both ask to sleep over at a friend’s house on a school night. The parent may say no to both (a very likely scenario). Or, the parent may say no to the 7 year old because he is making mediocre grades and has not shown the ability to be able to sleep over at a friend’s house on a school night and still be productive in school the next day, BUT the parent may say yes to the 14 year old because he HAS shown the ability to be productive in school, making straight A’s, and has slept over at a friend’s house on a school night before with no issues. It does not mean the parent loves either child any more or less, rather, the parent is completely aware of the each child’s strengths and weaknesses, and not afraid to enact discipline and decisions as such.
1 Peter 5:1 The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed.
Proverbs 13:24 He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him promptly.
Hebrews 12:11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
Going further, I think two things we need to have in our prayers are persistence and purpose. God commands us to hold on to His promise in prayer tightly, and to not lose faith when things don’t go exactly how we thought they should in our mind. Luke 11:10 “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” Likewise, He wants us to ask everything of Him with purpose, and lean not on our own understanding:
Proverbs 3:5-6 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding ;6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
James 4:2 You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask.
To me, it is clear the Bible teaches us that our relationship with our children is similar to how God interacts with us. We are all individuals who have our own relationship with God. The Bible also teaches us that God has likes and dislikes as well. He knows us better than we know ourselves, and He knows what is best for us, because He can see the universe from beginning to end, all at once. In fact, He IS the beginning and the end: Revelation 22:13 "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end." God answers all prayers. He does what is best for us. He might say yes to some prayers and no to others. Sometimes, it might seem like He said no, but it is still in development, or something better is coming.
As believers, we know God is always there, and always in control, and does indeed answer our prayers according to what is best for us and the whole universe, and our Faith and constant living of a life pleasing to Him is what is best for us and most rewarding. Ultimately, it all comes down to our focus, and one thing I know for sure is keeping our focus on God and His Son, Jesus Christ, is the only way to get all that we truly want and need.
Thank you for reading today - the final part of this 3 part project is coming soon, in God’s Not Dead: Proof of a Personal Creator - Part 3: The Word