Prayer is not always the answer


My wife and I have been trying to have a child lately. We haven’t had much success over the last few months, but already her mother who is a pentecostal bible thumping Christian is calling on her to pray and submit to God. Sadly I think my wife listens to her too much.

I find the attitude that these Christians have towards everything to be quite irrational. To suggest that the reason something is not working for you in life is because of your lack of faith is just not sensible. Furthermore, they are very quick to push their own brand of faith on you every chance they get especially when things go wrong.

It just amazes me how much they will equate their faith with a persons economy or lack of suffering.

This doesn’t have to apply to the situation I have just described. These Christians will do just about anything to make you think that you are in the wrong (as a catholic) each time something does not go your way.

It is really hard to argue against someone praying, but to think that when things are not going your way that it is because God is calling you to repent is just unfounded.

I mean who are they to say, “you have to do this or you have to do that” My wifes mother is doing this all the time and I think it is completely wrong. Is it not true that only God can say such a thing? But of course these crazy Christians of their ilk will often claim that God speaks to them. It really is a viscous circular argument.


I know many non-Catholic Christians. A lot of what you said about them could also be said about some of us. As much as we don’t understand their ways, they don’t understand many of our ‘rules’. Prayer is a very good thing and never the wrong thing. Praying to God to ask him for help with a problem or difficulty also requires work on our part too. God want us to seek help - as in medical help.

I am praying you guys brother!


A really good friend of mine is penecostal, and im very close to their family. My mom is best friends with her mom of 25 years. I know what you mean. They take faith into everything. I know they say you should, but I personally think its dangerous. Just to say that god will protect you from everything? I mean god gave you the power to protect yourself and use your own brain. Sure you need to have faith, but you also need to do things yourself too, like god intended. I would never walk across a high-way saying that ‘faith will save me’. thats insane, see what i mean? I should know better. God gave me a brain to use.

Anyways, see a doctor about this. I see so many couples going years without having a kid. What about all the other kids in this world who need families? Thought about them? I understand wanting kids of your own, but by the time those babies reach adult hood, you will have already accepted that they ARE your own. :wink:


When my husband and I were dealing with infertility (well, first began… we’re still infertile!) a co-worker of mine who was a former Catholic and had turned to a fundamentalist church began to berate me for my “lack of faith” and said that if I truly had faith, I wouldn’t be infertile.

When we finally did become parents (via the miracle of adoption), she still insisted that I could have had “my own” baby if I just had faith that God would answer my prayers. I told her He DID answer my prayers–I prayed that HIS will be done, not mine… just as Jesus prayed. She didn’t like that answer.

I always liked what Mother Angelica said about God’s answers to prayers: He either answers “Yes”, “No” or “Wait”. Sometimes, what seems to be “No” turns out to be “Wait”, with the ultimate answer being “Yes”. But we have to be patient and realize that God answers in His own time, when it is best for us.


The unfortunate thing is when things do go badly it becomes a horrible crisis of faith. It is not all people who are of the Pentacostal persuasion. My best friend from high school is Pentacostal and there is some overlap - she actually allows me to teach her kids some things - where there is not overlap I don’t to avoid confusion. When they are older and can understand if they come to me for a Catholic view - she has already to me she would rather they come to me than some other Catholics she knows in her family because she feels i will give the correct answer and not my interpetation of it. All that being said - study up on redemptive suffering. God bless you and I am sorry to hear of your troubles.


what your mother in law is proposing is a form of presumption-- the name it and claim it theology presumes to know the mind of God— or worse still, presumes to impose their own will on God. their ‘faithfulness’ is supposedly evidenced in their ability to manipulate the outcome of things.

isnt that how the catholic prays too?

and if that’s not the best way to pray, how is?

many catholics fall prey to some shade of prosperity theology – the name it and claim it sort of prayer.

when we add to every prayer, just like Jesus did in his agony, “not my will but thine be done” we pray as Jesus taught us, unceasingly, with confidence thaT God’s perfect, loving will be done.


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