If you are looking for my blog titled, The Contemplative Catholic Convert, you are at the right spot.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

What if God Says, "No"?

And so I was thinking this morning, what if God says "No" to our prayers -- especially prayers we've prayed so fervently about, something we really, really, really want to see come to fruition?

What if God says, "No"?

Some I've known turned away from God -- first by degrees, and then in full. They might not have said it, but their hearts moved in the direction of: "If He's not willing to help me with this, then I don't want anything to do with Him." And so their passion for God cools. They stop attending Mass or church services on a regular basis. They stop praying more than a few words, and that only once in a while. They stop reading their Bible. They stop volunteering to help others. They grow inward instead of out.

In contrast, two examples from Scripture come to my mind over this question of "No." The first is Job, who said, "Though He answers none of my prayers. Yes, even if He kills me, I will still trust Him" (paraphrase of Job 13:15). And the second is from Hebrews 11 in which the faithfulness of God's saints is rehearsed: "All these died in faith, without receiving the promises . . . and all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, because God had provided something better for us . . . (Hebrews 11:13 and 39-40).

And if you read the next verse in Hebrews (chapter 12:1) we find the outcome of such faith, despite the "No" to their prayers.

What will we do when God says, "No" to our prayers?


Gary said...

It *seems* to me, in relation to the Divine, the Creator of the Universe, that to expect positive answers to every prayer is childish. Granted we are children of the Creator, but have we not learned that even our mortal parents denied some of our requests? My prayer, as I've mentioned to you privately, is to live within the Holy Mystery of God's will.

That sort of faith troubles me -- I suppose, "It is another test of faith ... " -- when I'm asked to pray for someone or something, and I suppose during those times, I pray that I can stand with that person as a friend in a quest for spiritual peace.

Richard Maffeo said...

I agree fully with your comment about the childishness of expecting God to answer yes to all our prayers. But in my experience, so many Christians have fallen for the serious lie that goes under titles such as, "Name it and claim it" that their poor understanding of God's love obscures the nature of that love.