Doesn’t the Church ask for peace in warring nations?
and the underlined is the catch.
If the request is in God’s will, it will be granted.
if the request is not in God’s will, it will not be granted.
God answers all prayers. He answers no for the former, and yes to the latter.
I guess you didn’t read the entire discussion…
(from a previous post)
*"So, what if someone in a state of grace, who does nothing but seek God’s will in all things and happily accepts his suffering without bitterness, asks for something in Jesus’ name? Then what?
Scripture says, it is God’s will that all be saved and come to the truth. Also, in scripture, we see that when Jesus was told someone may be healed “if he willed it,” he responded, “I do- be healed.”
So, what if we pray for someone’s salvation or for healing?*
If this person who does nothing but seek God’s will in all things prays for something, when the prayer is not answered the way the person wants it to be, the person, if he is sincere, will accept that as God’s will and not question the answer. He will understand the prayer was answered, but according to God’s will. If he does not accept this, then he has not been sincerely seeking the will of God, he has been praying for what he wants to be done according to his own will.
As for praying for salvation, God’s will is that all be saved. But He will not go against the free will of a person who does not wish to repent and be saved. That is an absolute–God will not force a person into repentance and salvation.
As for Jesus responding to the person asking for a healing, “I do will it”, that applies only to the person in that circumstance. That was not a general statement that every time someone asks Jesus for healing, it will happen. That is taking the scripture out of context. No where in the Scriptures does Jesus say He will always heal. In fact, He stated that some people cannot be healed because of their lack of faith.
If Jesus can submit to the Will of His Father to be tortured and crucified and die that we mere human beings may be saved, just who are we to get upset at God when what we pray for is not granted?
Yet we do, and then get angry and upset because our puny minds cannot fathom that God might just have a very good reason for not answering prayer the way we wanted, even if it’s many generations down the road.
You have already been given the answer to your original question a couple of times. The Scriptures should be read in context.
Thank you. I’m sorry if my comments sounded ungrateful. I appreciate all the responses.
So how can we observe the results of prayer?
I ask my neighbor to pray for me, as I am going on a job interview. My neighbor forgets to pray for me. I go on the interview and get the job. I must assume it was God’s will that I get that job. Would it have made any difference if someone prayed for me?
A friend is sick and her church asks the entire congregation to pray for her healing each week. She gets worse and dies. I must assume it was God’s will for her to get worse, suffer and die. What difference did those prayers make?
Joshua prayed that the sun would stand still so he had more time to fight and night was delayed. All those present witnessed the event. (Joshua 10)
Peter said “Silver and gold I have not but what I have I give to you- in the name of Jesus of Nazareth get up and walk!” and the man was healed. (Acts 3)
Are we wrong to be curious about prayer and how it works, or doesn’t work?
Context is important, certainly…
The context of John 14 is Jesus trying to comfort his friends before he suffers, telling them they should have peace and not be afraid because he will send the comforter, the Holy Spirit, to them and they may have confidence when they pray because he will do what they ask- he even repeats this promise twice.
How does the context negate the obvious implication of this promise?
Strange thing about events like the ones you mentioned, they all happened LONG LONG ago, as far as I know, things like that do not happen in modern times, but that begs the question of why it fine at one time but not today?
If God had to do all those things back then so people would have faith and believe in him, why does he think our times would be any different? Just imagine how long christianity would have lasted had Jesus never shown off any supernatural miracles!
God’s will is independent of our prayers, but our prayers cannot be independent of God’s will. God can make things happen without anyone praying for them. Our prayers must conform to God’s will or game over. That’s the catch.
Repeating this over and over will not clarify the mystery.
I (and several others) have acknowledged this point and proceeded to approach the issue or re-phrase the question to take this into account.
Church teaching affirms that, when in doubt, we can always know that sin is NOT God’s will. In other words, if you were discerning whether to be faithful to your spouse or cheat, you can assume God is not leading you to adultery.
So, what if I pray that the rapist on the loose might not rape again before he is caught but he rapes three more innocent girls. Was rape God’s will? Did my prayers help?
Are you going to remind me that my prayer must be according to God’s will?
God gave us free will which causes a lot of misery in this world. It’s the consequence of the fall of Adam and Eve, the misery, that is. God knows what you are going to choose with your free will and sometimes it is very evil–like the rapist. And while you pray that the rapist will NOT rape again and yet he did with three other innocent girls which is what he chose with his free will–one or all of those rapes might have resulted in the birth of a wonderful and good person who became the mother of five children who she raised as God loving, God fearing citizens who in turn produced a family of God loving and God fearing people.
God takes our free will choices that might not be good in any sense of our values and turns it into good… It’s not easy in this world, but most all the evil comes from people abusing their free will…IMHO. God won’t take back your free will but he will answer your prayers in possibly an unexpected way… HIS way.
Trust God to do GOOD!
I think anyone following this topic will be shocked at my next post. But, in the interest of honesty, I must share it…
As I stated in my initial post, my questions about various scriptures has come up as part of a recent period of doubt and struggle with my faith. As these doubts grew, I began to distance myself from certain devotional practices and even sacraments.
After a few months, I was staying away from the confessional and had completely stopped such practices as daily rosary and Liturgy of the Hours.
I even started to read about other religions, such as Hinduism and Buddhism. The work of Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens began to appeal to me too.
But as this discussion was underway, I began to feel the desire to pray the rosary again. I gave in and did so- once. The next day, I prayed two.
After several days, I began to desire confession. Despite a short list of lingering doubts, I started considering making an appointment. The other day, I thought to myself (or perhaps it wasn’t my voice): I still can’t go to confession, not only because of my doubts but because I really don’t have remorse over my sins the past few months.
Yesterday afternoon, after praying another rosary, I guess you might say I was given a sort of grace- I suddenly felt great remorse for my sins. I almost said aloud, “Well, there goes that excuse.”
I stopped at the rectory after work and went to confession.
I can’t say I have found answers to all of my questions but my faith, and peace, have returned.
I thought you (all) should know.
Thanks for the prayers.
Just occurred to me… when I returned to the Church after twenty years away, I came back in the month of May. And when I returned to the Church after a short time attending a protestant church, I came back in the month of May…
Maybe I need to meditate on the rosary promises, especially numbers 1 and 5?
Clearly the prayers did not help in this case.
So how does that answer your question about God’s will? It doesn’t. I can’t and don’t claim to read God’s mind.
I only know that we must carry our cross, and that we must follow God’s will.
We must carry our cross - suffering is REQUIRED. The “health and wealth” gospel doctrine is nonsense because it denies the fact we must carry our cross. Does God care about our temporal needs? I don’t know. I only feel the rough wood of the cross, not the comforts of temporal life. He does care about our souls and spiritual things. But temporal things? The jury is out.
We must follow God’s will - and that is for us to carry the cross. Not live in a mansion in luxury. Suffering is mandatory. Resistance is futile.
WOW! And just with your words and story and questions you don’t know how many lives you have touched. Al of us have questions and doubts… all of us have committed sin and evil. Pray and God will touch your life with good… just the good that YOU need to get you to heaven… God bless you over and over again! And it may not FEEL like good to you but Trust God, it is good and say Thank you! I’m still praying for you.
P.S. Yesterday we had a big scare and today we had to go to the doctor. I first thought, “Oh my God, I don’t know what is coming next…” and then I thought of my own words to you. Trust God, it will turn into something good. I’m praying and trusting. I’ll let you know if I ever find out what good it brings…