Why are some Prayers Answered and Some not?

Why are some Prayers Answered and Some not?

 Prayer 6
for UCB
3 min script

I have a friend that I worked with, who, when I was with him saw many answered prayers, particularly for sick people. But not everyone was healed.  I asked him one day, ‘why is it some are not healed and some are?’  I have never forgotten the answer, he said, ‘lots of people ask me why some are not healed, and do you know what my problem is?  Why is it that some are healed, why does God answer prayer?’  In other words he was saying he was as puzzled by the answers as much by the non-answers if you like.
Sometimes prayer can be dangerous, particularly answered prayer, because that puts us on the spot.  If you think about it, there are lots of times when God answered prayer in scripture that actually God didn’t want to answer. There isn’t time in such a brief chat to go into them in detail, but if you know a bit about scripture you can see them there.  For example, God did not want Israel to have a King, but they kept asking and in the end he answered their prayer, and then the problems came!  Then there was another King who God told, ‘put your house in order you are going to die.’  He begged God in prayer for more time, God answered his prayer but oh what problems his lengthened life gave to everybody else!  There are lots of other stories I could tell you from scripture that are like that, so be careful of nagging God for an answer, especially if God has said it’s not a good idea.
I have a little phrase that fits well with prayer, it goes like this, ‘God will not do what you can do, and if you want God to do what he can do then do what you can do and you will find that he will then do what only he can do.’  Now please don’t make that into some kind of doctrine as God might just do something that you haven’t even thought of.  I do often find people are praying for things that they could do themselves. For example, ‘Dear God please send my friend that small amount of money that he needs,’ when actually they have that money and maybe they should just give it them anyway and say ‘thank you God that you have given me money that I can now pass on to my friend.’
One of the stories from scripture that I think illustrates this well is the story of Nehemiah, he prays ‘oh God the walls of Jerusalem are broken down, it is such a shame, do something.’  He then goes in to see the King because he was the King’s cup-bearer, and the king gives him God’s answer, ‘why are you so miserable?’ he says to Nehemiah, a very bad thing for a cup-bearer to be, maybe the King’s wine was poisoned and he was not saying.  But obviously the King trusted Nehemiah, its good when people of the living God can be trusted.  Nehemiah told the king what he had been praying about and the King says, ‘okay, off you go and build the walls up, and I will supply the money and the materials.’  I bet that was not the answer that Nehemiah expected when he said the prayer.  I do find though that often God will say, ‘okay, heard your prayer, now get on with the answer and I am with you!’  Scary stuff praying isn’t it?
The thing is that God is with us, and I recon that he knows us better than we know ourselves and so when he tells us to be the answer or part of the answer then also we should know that he is not leaving us alone.  I remember when I left college to take charge of a church community, I said, ‘God I don’t mind where you would like me to go, but please, if you don’t mind, I don’t want to go to Ireland or London.’
After five years in the North of England the opportunity came for me to move to London, I wondered if God had forgotten my prayer, but I decided to go and have a look anyway, and then I decided to give it a try and so we moved to London.  I’ve been in London now for 36 years and can’t really imagine being anywhere else.  I just have this feeling that God knows me better than I know myself.  I am sure he was not forcing anything on me, but actually saying, ‘I know Adrian, if he just tries to do this with me he is going to enjoy it, I know he thinks he won’t but let’s just see shall we.’  And of course God is right.  Sure, praying can have that dangerous edge to it, when God says, ‘okay you have prayed,  now I want you to be the answer to that prayer, but I am with you and because I am with you nothing will be impossible to you, and you are going to really feel actual enjoyment doing it for me and with me.’
6 for UCB
Adrian Hawkes
W. 883
Editor A Brookes.

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5 Responses

  1. Living Stones says:

    love this Adrian if God had answered all my prayers then many things that have happened would not have happened eg being on bbc1 documentry and much more. Just the same that he has answererd many prayers I have prayed for but often taken us the difficult route for the answer.
    Would I have it any other way of course not, he knows best.
    Exciting lives we live but sometimes times can also be difficult so for the times God answers our prayers fantastic! and the times he doesn't well he knows best always has and always will.

  2. adrian2526 says:

    Not the whole story, but a vital part. Good blog Adrian.
    Keith Lannon

  3. adrian2526 says:

    Tracy Pereira Amazing not

  4. adrian2526 says:

    Keith Lannon Two things!
    In answer to "What is the whole story?" I think what you say is flawless, and I would add that the normal Christian prayer life (as taught in the Bible) is not the "normal" prayer life of"normal" Christians. Expressed in a nutshell I think that there are more absolutes in Christ's prescribed heart and attitude of prayer than we teach. More prayer should be about speaking to problems rather than asking God to deal with them. Less mentioning of "if it be your will" and a greater definition of what God has promised. If it's promised i.e: if one finds a promise that covers their situation, the Bible says "every promise that God ever made is "yes" and "Amen" in Christ" (2 Corinthians 1 verse 20). I think the whole life and attitude of Christ was a full frontal violent attack on the status quo of what is normally considered "a nice Christian life". Once all that stuff has been aired I think we have a larger storye. I still wouldn't say it's the whole story.
    2 minutes ago · Like

  5. Daryl says:

    From Daryl Martin: Well done again Adrian. I like the implied challenge when you remind us that we might be asking God to do what we should be doing ourselves. I guess that when we engage with God in prayer we then commit to being part of the solution. I have been asking God about a situation for a while, and I can see him asking me to do the very thing I've said I won't. Goodbye credibility. Oh well, onwards and upwards.