If God Really Does Answer Every Prayer


#1

Why aren’t miracles common?

I would think that they would show up daily. Shouldn’t miraculous cures be common place? With the number of devout Catholics in the world, it seems strange that God’s works don’t spring forth like a gyser. It seems to suggest this in the Bible, anyway. Jesus often talks about people doing “greater things than these”. And by often I mean, “I’m sure I read it at least once.”

I once said that I would believe if I were to witness a miracle first hand, and the majority of responses that I got seem to suggest that it was completely unreasonable. It seems to me the most reasonable thing in the world. I wonder why no one else thinks so.


#2

He does - the answer isn’t always ‘yes, and I’ll do it in a miraculous way as well’. Of course sometimes it’s ‘no’ as well :o but always because he has different, and usually better, plans for us.

If I pray for a child and have one, or to pass an exam and do pass, there’s nothing miraculous about either eventuality, but would they be any less God’s doing?


#3

His answers are Yes, No and wait.

Often our prayers are not inaccordance with his will. Our goal is to discern his will,


#4

I would argue that miracle DO happen daily. Transubstantiation is a miracle. It happens every day in the Mass.
If you were to speak to doctors or other healthcare workers, you would hear of things that were seemingly impossible, yet DID happen.
Years before he died, my father’s foot became severely infected due to diabetes. We prayed fervently that the Lord would heal him. The doctor said that the next few days would be crucial in determining whether or not the infection would spread to the bone or begin the healing process - which would take several weeks.
The very next day upon removing the bandages to inspect the wound, the doctor exclaimed, "Oh my God!!"
My father was scared and asked, "What, doctor - what is it?"
The doctor told him, "It is almost completely healed!"
This is just one story of an everyday miracle.
Do miracles happen every day? I DO believe they do.


#5

I see. Doesn’t that stike you as slightly… meaningless?

I don’t mean to be rude, but why didn’t he just say, “You can pray for whatever you want, but God will do whatever He thinks best. And since we are on the subject, what God thinks is best will often suck very badly for you.”

You must agree that many people “just get” things that they don’t pray for. I mean, it’s not like us non-believers have nothing but sadness and misery in our lives. I have passed exams, and…
well, I’ve passed exams without praying to pass them. I have prayed for many, many, many things and not gotten them. I don’t know for sure, but I think I have actually had my desires come true more often without praying for them than when I did. Like I said, I could be wrong on that one. I certainly don’t think not praying is why I get what I want; I think I am more successful because I am older and wiser.

Why would God tell a person to pray, and then say “No” more often than not? Why would miracles be so hard to come by?


#6

Miracles are a lot more common than you might think. I witnessed a miraculous healing, although you would never have heard about it. It wasn’t on the news or written in an article, it isn’t a recognized miracle of the Church, but it still was a miracle. One thing I came to realize after three days of solid prayer was, that I was asking for the wrong thing. I was asking God to spare the life of my son, on the third day after his accident I broke down and cried, realizing I should be praying for His will to be done, not mine. That’s when I let my son go, into Gods hands, Gods response was to save my son. My eyes still get misty thinking about it even today15 years later. My son had seven injuries which, individually, should have been fatal. The doctors could not explain why the injuries combined had not killed him. After the third day, after I put my sons life into Gods hands, which in reality it always was, the healing began. His liver had been torn into three pieces, the ct scan, after the third day, showed it was healing itself, not miraculous in and of itself of course. His torn brain stem and brain swelling began to heal also, again , in and of itself not a miracle. His lungs which had both burst began to heal. The mid brain damage, which the doctors said would never heal, improved. The real miracle, his broken neck, clear on both of his first two CT scans, after 17 days showed no evidence of ever having been broken. His broken ribs also show no sign of ever having been broken. His massive internal injuries all cured, and not because of medical procedures.
The night of the accident the doctor told me, if I wanted to say good bye to my son, not to even to go to the bathroom, but to keep an eye on his blood pressure and when I saw it drop say my good bye. The doctors were so sure he would not survive the first night they gave almost no medical treatment except for an IV to keep him hydrated and put him on a respirator. After the third day they gave the second CT scan and about flipped, mainly because they had done nothing about his injuries, they could see the lawsuit. I could go on, but you get the picture.
I don’t think my experience is unusual, it happens every day. Just because you don’t hear about it doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen.


#7

For starters, what we think sucks is no way to judge anything. Every three-year-old who doesn’t get chocolate for breakfast thinks it sucks and that their parents are the worst ever for not giving it to them. And in terms of long-range happiness, not to mention eternal happiness, we are all that three-year -old really.

Secondly - he basically did! Jesus’ own prayer in Gethsemane and the Father’s response is where we’re told - ‘if possible, take this cup of suffering away from me, nonethless not my will but yours be done’. That’s what we’re on this planet for.

And I’m sure Jesus thought his Passion ‘sucked’. But not only did he achieve great things for others, but also resurrection and eternal glory for himself by his obedience. And the same reward is offered to us.

Why would God tell a person to pray, and then say “No” more often than not? Why would miracles be so hard to come by?

Because, getting back to the theme of children, children don’t value things that are simply handed to them for the asking. If they have to work a little then it means more to them.


#8

Transubstantiation is a miracle. It happens every day in the Mass.

Again, no offence, but to an outside observer this looks a lot like the miracle of turning bread into bread. I know that the eucharist is a miracle to the eyes of over a billion people worldwide, but it isn’t really something that is all that accessible to the rest of us.

Very cool news about your father, by the way.

I’m not sure I’m really making the point about the rarity of miracles. If I jump off a ledge, I will fall every single time. I will never levitate, go straight up, or fly straight ahead. Gravity is very dependable that way. If I get enough exercise, get enough sleep, and eat the right food my health is usually pretty good. At least, it is enough of an improvement that I notice the difference when I am not doing those things.

When most people pray, do they notice a difference?

I didn’t. Not at all. I didn’t get what I asked for, usually, and I didn’t get something better, usually. I am not saying that my prayers were 100% unanswered… that would actually have been noticable difference.


#9

It is a tough thing to understand, isn’t it? But look at it this way, if God dished out miracles to every devout Catholic on earth then people would become Catholic because they needed a miracle or because they liked the power that they would have to call on God for a miracle…it would be a self-centered church.

On the contrary, Christ calls us to to deny ourself, pick up our cross and follow Him by faith. Then sometimes He blesses us with miracles, and under this type of relationship we find that these miracles humble us.

God bless you,

Kevin


#10

I think miracles happen everyday whether or not you see them.

My mother was dying. The doctors told her that her protein levels were too low to sustain life. She didn’t have very long. I was expecting my youngest son at the time; still in my first trimester. My mom wanted to see him born.

You don’t have to believe that it was a miracle but that was the word the doctor used when her protein levels went back up. Her diet didn’t change. Her medication didn’t change. Her vitamins didn’t change. Nothing changed but she went from having less than 1.0 to having more than 2.0… the difference between life and death.

My mom died 7 months later. That was a month after my son was born. Her prayers were answered, my friend. She got to be there at the hospital when he was born. She got to see him. She got to hold him. There was such joy in her eyes because God had given her the time she needed. When her time came, she surrendered to it with love in her heart; without fear and without regret.

Would you? There were people who witnessed the miracles of Jesus and still did not believe. The miracles were not enough.

I think most unbelievers would would rationalize it and try to find a scientific explanation. Perhaps they would blame it on hallucinogenics, mass hypnosis or the power of suggestion. Perhaps they would claim that it was a publicity stunt or special effects. I think that few, if any, would credit God.

If you want to see miracles, first you need to pray for faith.


#11

Are you looking for God in the miracles–in fact, in every thing–or are you looking for the miracles in hopes of ‘finding God?’

If you are looking for ‘miracles’ in order to justify a belief in God–good luck. It doesn’t work that way. Remember the rich man asking Abraham to ‘send Lazarus to tell my brothers so they don’t wind up here’; Abraham said, “they have Moses and the prophets, let them listen”. “Oh no, Father Abraham”, said the rich man, “but if somebody should rise from the dead, then they would listen.” “If they don’t believe in Moses and the prophets”, said Abraham, "they neither will they believe, even if someone should rise from the dead."

Somebody did rise from the dead. . .and still many will not believe. It wasn’t enough. “They” didn’t personally see it. They ask ‘for a sign’ and ignore the signs that have already occurred, and the ones occuring around them every day.

This planet. Air to breathe, water and soil to nourish food, the sun to warm, the people that we meet, the love we share with God and with each other. . .

It’s not enough. We didn’t ‘personally’ see it made for ‘us’. So we ask for a sign.


#12

I didn’t. Not at all. I didn’t get what I asked for, usually, and I didn’t get something better, usually. I am not saying that my prayers were 100% unanswered… that would actually have been noticable difference.

How do you really know, though, what the result would have been had you not prayed? If you’d left it alone?

Perhaps if I pray and jump off a ledge I’ll still fall, but if we’re stupid enough to jump why should God not let us fall? That’s what’s called praying for the wrong thing - something contrary to his will.

And just maybe even so He will pity me and I won’t break any bones or snap my neck.

Or maybe God will answer my prayer by giving me the wisdom to see how stupid it would be to jump in the first place! Or the wisdom to learn not to jump again.

How do you know that EVERY good thing you receive isn’t the result of your prayer - even if it’s only the grace to make the best of a bad situation when you find yourself in one.


#13

I agree, sometimes God says ‘no’. I mean, how many people have asked to win the lottery? :slight_smile:

Sometimes He says ‘yes’, even for meaningless stuff that seem like a big deal at the time–once the lock on the family car was broken because one of my siblings was playing with it, Dad was furious, becuase it would cost money and we didn’t have money at the time. Well, I prayed the Rosary secretly, the sibling prayed the Rosary secretly as well, and when Mom came downstairs to tell us it was fixed (we were “hiding”) she caught us both praying. (there’s a divider between our rooms). So, stupid reason, but a very nice miracle still.

Sometimes He says ‘wait’. My mom, after she had two kids, prayed and prayed for more. But she didn’t get any. Times became bad, neither of my parents could find one well paying jobs, had to hold down a series of small jobs to keep the small house. Then they got a call from Boys Town, so we moved to a whole 'nother state. Boys Town accepts only couples with up to two kids. If Mom had more, they wouldn’t have been able to get the life-changing job, which led us to better and better jobs. And after barely 6 months in the new place, she got pregnant. Now she’s the mother of 6 living and one child of grace.

So, I guess my point is, sometimes God’s will isn’t our will, though we hope it will be. The reason for this is that God knows the future, and will help us to the future. Short term stuff is always painful. Long term stuff always works out for the better. We just have to learn to be patient and wait. :slight_smile:


#14

Like any good Father, you don’t give your kids everything they want–they do not know what is good for themselves. Our Father answers our prayers in the way most conducive to our salvation and the salvation of others–often times that answer is “no.”


#15

When most people pray, do they notice a difference?

I didn’t. Not at all. I didn’t get what I asked for, usually, and I didn’t get something better, usually. I am not saying that my prayers were 100% unanswered… that would actually have been noticable difference.

I’m not sure that prayer is rubbing the lamp that will make the “God genie” grant us our wishes. It seems from your query (forgive me if I misread it) that to you, prayer consists solely of asking for something and then expecting a response. Certainly one part of prayer is supplication (we’re told, after all, to pray for our daily bread), but the first and foremost role of prayer should be thanksgiving and communion with God.


#16

Sometimes we don’t see a miracle when it happens. Sometimes we don’t hear an answer that’s already been given. Miracles don’t have to shake the world to be miraculous - some are very small and personal. Sometimes we don’t know one when it’s right in front of our eyes.

Also, as many have already stated, sometimes we don’t get the answer we want (such as “no”), but that does not mean the prayer has been unanswered.


#17

This reasoning led me to agnosticism. I realized that following this line of thought, there was no way to know if it was just a coincidince when my prayers seemed to be answered or if it was “God’s will”. It would seem that praying to a milk jug is the same as praying to a milk jug:

youtube.com/watch?v=jk6ILZAaAMI

Yes, I’m aware that the reasoning in the video isn’t flawless, but it does force one to consider some questions. Namely, how can I know that my prayers have any effect? There was a study in the news several months ago where some researched determined that sick patients who were prayed for didn’t do any better than the ones who were not prayed for. Yes, one could come up with various rationalizations as to why the study failed to show that prayer is any good, but the question remains, “how can I know that my prayers make any difference?”

If my prayers have no effect, and God doesn’t communicate with me when I pray, how can I know God really exists? Hence, my current inclinations towards agnosticism.


#18

Someone is praying for you.


#19

Wow, this gave me chills.
Praise be to GOD!! :slight_smile:


#20

Thanks be to God. :slight_smile:


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.