It’s Easy to Doubt That God Hears Our Prayers

We’ve all had days when we wish that we were back in bed, before we even climb out of it. Not long ago, I faced a situation — not a major one, but not so minor that it wouldn’t add its weight of stress — that looked like it would be either A) very bad or B) not particularly good.

Ocean Breeze inspirational original oil painting of woman in white dress and with fabric on beach at sunset by Steve Henderson

We pray in all ways, at all times, for all things, and our Father always hears us — even when we’re afraid that He doesn’t. Ocean Breeze, original oil painting by Steve Henderson; licensed print at Great Big Canvas, iCanvasART, and Framed Canvas Art.

As I sat in the car, I prayed: “God. Get me through the next several hours. I’m tired; I have no strength, energy, wisdom, or creativity, and I really can’t add much more to my plate right now.”

And then it was time to enter the lion’s den.

Hours later, I emerged, not necessarily whistling — because I can’t whistle — but relieved, grateful, and even cheerful. Earlier in the car, when I was faced with the options of A or B, I had forgotten that God usually has an Option C. It’s the one that unfolds when we can’t see beyond this or that, and it happens so consistently, I wonder why I persist in seeing life as either/or.

It’s easy to doubt that God hears our prayers, but the faith we need to do so is one He is willing to give us. Please follow the link to Yes or No: Does God Hear Our Prayers? at Commonsense Christianity, BeliefNet to find an odd, but effective, encouragement God opened my eyes to quite recently.

The Misfit Christian Book by Carolyn Henderson at amazon.com Live Happily on Less book by Carolyn Henderson at amazon.com Grammar Despair paperback and digital book at Amazon.com by Carolyn Henderson Step by Step Watercolor Success digital DVD workshop by Steve Henderson at Amazon.com

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About This Woman Writes

Carolyn Henderson is the marketing manager of Steve Henderson Fine Art. In addition to her This Woman Writes blog, Carolyn writes a regular art column for FineArtNews, an online newsletter for artists and art collectors.
This entry was posted in Art, blogging, Christian, devotional, Encouragement, Faith, Family, home, Life, Lifestyle, ocean, painting, prayer, religion, spirituality and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to It’s Easy to Doubt That God Hears Our Prayers

  1. nonsupernaturalist says:

    “Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If in my name you ask me[a] for anything, I will do it.

    —Jesus of Nazareth

    Do you remember asking Jesus for the BIG stuff when you were a little kid? You asked Jesus to give you three ponies ( a black one, a brown one, and a white one) for Christmas. You asked Jesus to bring back your favorite GI Joe after he washed down the street drain in a storm. When your dog, Tippy, died you asked Jesus to bring him back from the dead. When you heard about all the starving children in the world, you prayed to Jesus to leave an envelope with one million bucks inside on your doorstep the next morning so you could feed all those starving kids.

    So why don’t you ask Jesus for the BIG stuff anymore? He said to ask for anything and he would do it!

    Answer: When we get a little older we realize that Jesus didn’t really mean what he said. What he meant to say was this,

    “If you ask anything in my name, I will do it…if…it is my will to do it. If it isn’t my will, I won’t.”

    So as we get older we stop asking Jesus for the big things, the hard things, because we have learned that Jesus never answers those prayers. Ok, maybe once in a great while Jesus answers a big or hard prayer but it is always something that could have happened by chance anyway, isn’t it? Even really rare things can happen by chance. But Jesus never resurrects Grandpa or Grandma from the dead, no matter how hard we pray, does he? Jesus never reattaches a severed limb from an amputee, does he?

    No, Jesus doesn’t answer those prayers. That is asking Jesus for just a little too much, isn’t it, dear Christian? That is why when you get older you only ask Jesus for the easy stuff: To bless your food. To give you a “nice day”. To keep your kids safe.

    And when it is time to go to bed at night, you get down on your knees by your bed and you ask Jesus to bless everyone in your life; you thank him for having let you and your children live one more day…and then you fall asleep into your pillow…to wake up in the morning…to repeat the same prayer…full of easy requests, so you don’t ask too much of Jesus…who promised to give you anything that you asked for.

    But, maybe you’re not asking Jesus for too much. Maybe the reason Jesus doesn’t answer the big or the hard prayer requests is because Jesus can’t hear you. Jesus can’t hear you…because Jesus is dead.

    Dear Christian: You are an adult now. Just as you stopped believing in imaginary beings called Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, it is time to stop believing in and praying to an ancient man/god who died 2,000 years ago. The “Virgin Birth”, the “Resurrection”, etc., are ancient folk tales. Jesus doesn’t answer your prayer requests any more than Santa and the Tooth Fairy answered your requests to them when you were a kid.

    It’s a silly superstition and nothing more, friend. The fact that Jesus doesn’t answer your “big” prayers is proof.

    • My friend, I hear you, and I understand your argument. I just don’t accept it.

      There is a passage in C.S. Lewis’s Silver Chair in which the wicked green witch is talking to Puddleglum, the Marshwiggle, and the two children, effectively making this same argument. Puddleglum’s response is classic, albeit of no sense to someone who doesn’t think like a marsh wiggle: “Maybe there is no sun, as you say. Maybe there is no Aslan, as you say, and it’s all a fairy tale. But I will take the fairy tale over the wretched, depressing world that you inhabit and offer as the alternative.”

      It is easy to lapse into cynicism. It is hard to fight for something better. But if there is no God, and the only hope we have is what men have to offer — in their business seminars, in their politics, in their corporate greed of taking, taking, taking from others — then we have no hope indeed.

      I stick with the Marsh Wiggle.

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