God always answers prayer. Always. The problem is that we tend to only recognize answered prayer when we get the answer we want. We pray that a medical test turns out negative. We pray for funds to pay a bill. We pray for safety for a loved one. The minute we have that test result, or those unexpected funds, or word that the loved one arrived safely, we’re praising God and telling everyone that our prayer was answered.
Here’s the problem. Sometimes God says no. Sometimes the test is positive. Sometimes the bill comes due while the account is empty. Sometimes word comes that our loved one didn’t reach their destination.
Most of the time we suffer the natural consequences of the actions of people. A person chooses to drive drunk. Because of that choice someone dies. Could God have stepped in and miraculously changed the situation? Yes, but His answer was no.
I’m approaching the first Christmas without one of my dearest friends. I prayed and prayed for healing for her. God’s answer was no.
I don’t understand why He answers the way He does. What I do know is that when I get that answer I don’t like I have a choice. I can get angry. I can turn my back on Him and decide that if he’s not going to answer in the way I want I’ll simply ignore Him. Or, I can recognize that, no matter what, He is the one in charge. I can simply accept His answer and continue to love and serve Him.
God does answer prayer. The difficult thing is to accept the answer, even when we don’t like it.