God answering prayer..........How does God do it ? Does God do it?


This is in the context of the events in the Republic of Ireland and beyond in the last couple of months .

Millions have been praying that the voters in the Republic of Ireland would not vote to change the Constitution , a change which would allow the Government there to permit more abortions .

The voters did vote to change .

It leaves me pondering about prayer . From what happened it would seem that God did not answer those prayers .

About God answering prayer , I have been told many a time that God always answers prayer . God answers “Yes” or “Wait a while” or “No” .

At other times I have been told that God always answers prayer when the request is in line with God’s will .

The request that people say “No” to more abortion is in line with God’s will , but look what has happened .

I would like those who wish to share their thoughts about this . I am genuinely puzzled at the moment and would appreciate some enlightenment .


I discussed this with my spiritual director in our monthly meeting yesterday because I kind of felt in my bones that it would happen since Ireland has turned into just another Western European state, whatever they used to be when my ancestors left.

I settled on free will. God grants it(in the same manner of Mt. 19:8), our actions can hurt others(the problem of evil St. Thomas Aquinas wrote of), but God can bring good out of evil(as St. Paul wrote of in Rom 8:28); we will understand his ways at the general judgement.

At this point, all we can do is pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet for those who campaigned for it, used their status to advocate for it, and voted for it. We can also pray for the intercession of St. Patrick, St. Brigid of Kildare, and the Holy Innocents for the protection of the unborn Irish.


I would read Lecture 6, from the St. Thomas Aquinas’ commentary on John (ch. 16).



The explanation that comes to my mind is the difference between God’s active will and God’s permissive will, and this involves His allowing our free will, as mentioned above. God does not actively will the sin of abortion, but his permissive will lets us make bad choices. I have to admit, I don’t find this answer all that satisfactory. It seems to me that God, with infinite power and possibility, could have somehow worked out a better way, but I’m just a creature, not the Creator. We take it on faith that God can somehow bring good out of this, despite our actions to the contrary.


God might be testing the faithful by making the law go against them. He’s done it a million times, for example during every persecution.

God might be testing the faithful by saying No and seeing who jumps off the bandwagon.

God might be showing us the fruit of man’s sins, such as the Church in Ireland undermining itself through sin and scandal.

God might be telling us that law, which is of this world, is not the way to win this fight. Even if pro-life “won” this time, people would just try to change the law again next year.

God might be reminding us that prayer still isn’t a gumball machine when we’re praying for a moral outcome (I’m sure people also prayed that evil invaders wouldn’t invade in wars or that they wouldn’t get bombed etc and they didn’t get their wish necessarily).

There’s nothing to be baffled about. God said no this time. It’s our job to keep praying and doing good regardless.


Praying for a particular outcome seemed to me to be futile because the only way to accomplish it would be for God to interfere in the free will of the voters, which he could do but contradicts what so many people believe about free will.


Of course he answered.

His answer was “it is the time of darkness, and the sins of man are filling up the cup of God’s Wrath. These things must now come to pass. Fear not and do not lose heart. I have given this battle to satan, you already know who wins the war.”


Thanks , hymin .

I have read what you suggest .

This part would apply to me . Speaking of the conditions for good prayer it says ,“The fifth condition is that it be made with piety, that is, with humility: he will regard the prayer of the humble and will not despise their petitions (Ps 102:17); with confidence that it will be granted: let him ask in faith, with no doubting (Jas 1:6); and it should be made correctly: you ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly (Jas 4:3)”

Reflecting on my own prayer , I cannot honestly say that I prayed with confidence that it will be granted , with no doubting .

I didn’t .

While praying I was almost certain that the battle was lost . Looking at all the evidence I was all the time quite certain that the pro-life side would lose . I was really lacking in faith and confidence .

Piety and humility , I am in need of a great increase there .

That applies to me , but I don’t know about all the others who were praying .

Thank you again .

It has given me some enlightenment about myself at least .


The purity of what we offer of ourselves to God, has a considerable dependence on the culture, diocese, and the judgment of God. When we struggle to be more receptive to the grace of God, we are not only doing so for ourselves, we are also breaking through the environment in which we have our individual part. And so, it was not much you who are lacking, but our Church as well.

By implementing our patience, and abandonment to the will and judgment of God, we will reap the spiritual benefits. Despite what we lack.


Most of Europe has been brainwashed since the 1950’s. They have had the concept of social government constantly set before them as good and eroding the conservative moral minds of the masses. If junk ethics and morality are expounded long enough then the citizens will sway to those kinds of misconceptions. We are in a battle and the battleground is within the mind and souls of the newer, younger generation.
America-yes, us-we have been at war with these new concepts of good is bad and bad is opposit-really good and acceptable for years We can’t really simply pin it on the Irish, but must try to look at the whole social, economic an political picture. Don’t forget that we started this abortion mess with the Roe vs Wade rulings that have turned out to be based on bogus platforms, and now are trying to fix. Just pray and do what you can to repair great nations. It won’t be easy.


None of which I see as relevant to my OP .


Rob, this post was intended for another post and somehow crossed paths. This happens at times when my cursor gets moved when I am typing and it has happened before. Sorry.


God doesn’t decide whether to grant a prayer request based on the amount of confidence one has in him.
Rather, if one has confidence in God, then one accepts any answer God makes.


Actually Rob, in reviewing your post it is relevant to your post, but it may be more conceptional than the replies you are looking for.


I think you need to prayer a certain way to obtain graces. I don’t buy this God says yes or no stuff. Maybe the problem is a lack of mortification which goes along with prayer. There are many dispositions and then there is perserverance and faith and also humility and a bunch of other things that we need to have.


No problem . :smile:

It happens to us all .


Yes , all that is dealt with in the lihk above to Aquinas’ teaching given by hymin .


Oh sorry for repeating.


The Church walks the footsteps of Christ, journeying to the event when she is judged/confirmed by the Lord. This Church is my bride, welcome to the kingdom.

“He lifted up his voice from the earth in prophecy to blot out the wickedness of the nation.” (Sir 46:23) The Lord raises saints to bring the drama to the center who is Christ. Man by sinning drifts us away from this center. The life with the Eucharist, the pondering of the Rosary, and patience in the cross - found in the silence of the senses that brings the soul to order with the Eternal Word. (cf. R. Sarah, The Power of Silence, n.57)

Abandonment to the ‘sacrament of the present moment’ - presents the soul- her own subject that is narrow toward the center of the theo-drama that encompasses the ages: the Word making things new. By love of God and neighbor, we live out our duties and receive more duties. Realizing distinctly that God is a partner, separate and patient from which our will desires its own way to seek its goods. Solely, God wants our heart. A heart that loves Him alone (the Good only of which that may be known as Good), that can do so by loving creatures in his order, his drama.


God answers prayer all the time just not the way you want it

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