Considering that I am not Christian perhaps people would be saying right now that I shouldn’t be answering this question. However, prayer is evident in all forms of religion, even the polytheistic versions of Paganism or ditheistic Wicca. So, I feel that I am adequate in responding to this, plus as a writer we should learn to branch out of our comfort zones.
I also have heard this question asked by people of all faiths and I feel that I have an answer that sometimes people forget. In any situation there are 3 answers that apply: yes, no and maybe. I heard on the TV show “Dawson’s Creek” when the Atheistic daughter, Jenn, asks her Grandmother a question similar to this, she replies, “God does answer all prayers, but sometimes the answer is no.”
I have learned in my practicing of paganism and “praying” to my Gods that sometimes they have a sense of humor, sometimes the answer is no, and sometimes the answer is not what you expected. Sometimes we overlook the fact that a prayer was answered and don’t realize it until later.
A prime example of a prayer being answered but not acknowledged that it was answered is that of my brother: He told me he wanted 3 desks, one for his home office, one for his daughter’s room and one for the computer room for everyone. But, with little finances he did not want to pay a lot. I won’t say he actually asked God for the desks, but it was still a want that he had. He ended up getting one from friends for free and then the 2nd was found on the side of the road. The 3rd desk, one that his wife really wanted, was for sale at a garage sale for $45.00. He said “no way.”
His belief was that he had gotten 2 desks for free, no way was he going to pay for a 3rd one when he knew God would provide and get him a 3rd one for free. To my thinking, he was “given” the 1st two for free so that he could pay for the 3rd one and still not have spent much money: 3 desks for a total of $45.00? Sounds like a good deal. But, he didn’t realize that his prayer had been answered and he denied the 3rd desk and still to this day has not gotten the 3rd desk.
An example of the Gods (or God, if you prefer) having a sense of humor happened to me. We wanted to plan a trip to Wisconsin from South Carolina. I wanted to make sure we had money for the trip so I did ask that if we were meant to go please help us financially. Lo and behold! I received $100.00 from a writing project I had done months ago that I had forgotten about and also didn’t even know if it was accepted. Then, we received a $200.00 voucher from a loan company we had dealt with previously. So, the money was coming in. The $100.00 was sent to my Pay Pal account, so I requested a check to be sent to my house (not having a bank account affiliated with Pay Pal at the time). They charge a fee for mailing a check, so I had $299.00 for my trip so far.
Driving to the convenience store I look up towards the skies and said “you couldn’t make it an even 300?” Being greedy at this point I buy a lottery ticket with a dollar of my own money hoping to win big and make my trip from good to awesome. I scratch off the ticket and won $1.00. Very funny. But I put the dollar into my vacation money and quit trying to be so greedy.
Everything in this life is a 50-50 shot. There is a 50% chance it will happen and a 50% chance that it won’t. So, yeah, prayers are answered all the time but we have to be aware of how they are answered. It is not always the way we think it will be and is not always the answer we wanted or expected. And sometimes the answer is no.