What exactly does the Bible say about prayer? From what I have read, Jesus was not speaking to everyone when He said that one can ask anything in His name and He will do it. No, He was speaking to his Disciples. He is also clear that one must have the word within Him and be following it with all his heart before God will answer their prayer.
I have never met a Christian that follows Jesus Christ’s teaching completely however, for they all have flashy houses and a myriad of possessions they refuse to sell. In an amazing act of arrogance and corruption, they will claim that Jesus didn’t literally mean to sell everything. Sure, because that is convenient isn’t it?
These very same people will go around making up lies involving answered prayer or angelic interactions and claim that their trivial, shallow prayers were answered. Never mind the desperate prayer of the parent losing their child to cancer in Hospital. Never mind the child that has just been run over by a car and manages to tell his mother through the blood rising in his throat that he doesn’t want to die… Before dying from his injuries. Never mind the desperate plea of the man married 50 years who is losing his wife and wishes to join her but goes on to linger alone for another miserable, hopeless Decade or Two…
I work with a rather simple man, not too bright but very good natured. He is a ‘Pentecostal’ Christian (yes, the mentally impaired ones who dance and shake and spew gibberish while wagging their tongues). He believes everything he is told in his congregation. He does not rant or shake himself, but he believes it is legitimate when others do it (as if God would take the time to cause people to do this). Anyway he recently lost his key to the work site we are both employed at, we spent roughly 45 minutes searching high and low for this key, all the while he was clearly very concerned (losing this key would result in all the locks it opens to have to be changed and the one at fault receiving a nice fine). Finally he finds the key in a bin he was using and begins exclaiming that he prayed to God to find the key and God answered his prayer. Never mind he just got lucky, never mind the time we spent searching… It was God. Of course it was… Because the key was found. Had it not been found, God’s name would never have been mentioned at all…
I like this man, but I became very angry with him after this, I held it back but still waved his claims off by saying he got lucky, that God was busy in Children’s hospitals NOT answering their parent’s pleas to heal them instead… He laughed and said he knew I was going to say that, because he knows how I think. Fair enough. But how can someone truly be so thoughtless? How can he believe his TRIVIAL, PETTY prayer was answered while countless people suffer actual tragedies and receive no aid from God?
Regardless of what science, philosophy, mathematics and plain logic may state on the existence of God. Regardless of the fact I actually accept the existence of God myself on an intellectual level. I, and any other rational person, cannot believe that God answers our prayers. Of course He doesn’t! Just take a walk in the real World and see for yourself! The evidence is clear, the verdict is in… God does NOT answer our prayers.
I maintain that one of Two things is occurring (perhaps both at once). The first is that none of us are worthy of having our prayers answered, and the second is that the Bible must be being misinterpreted.
Any circumstance where a person’s prayer is actually answered can be explained away by luck or simple circumstance. A series of everyday events that occasionally lead to a nice conclusion. For example, for a long time I believed that I met my wife through the power of God. That in my darkest moment (so far) I was introduced to a beautiful woman who changed my life and gave me purpose again. But the fact is, she and I met through a mutual friend who mingled in both our circles. By chance, she happened to see a post on social media that I had taken part in and she became curious enough about me to ask this friend who I was.
Was this all guided by a God seeking to improve my life and deliver me from the jaws of death (I was suicidal at the time)? Was God helping me through something I could not handle alone any longer? A struggle I was about to lose? Of course it is possible! But how arrogant and even SICK must I be to accept that my wretched self was given attention and delivered from my woes when innocent children are dying daily in the most unjust ways imaginable?
Nay… God does NOT answer our prayers.