Many years ago, while living in California, I had a close friend (let’s call her Carrie) with whom I partied on a regular basis. One distinct thing I remember about Carrie was that she always seemed to be on a super-high whenever we went out. Flighty. Talkative. At the time, I just accepted it as part of her personality. It wasn’t until after I had moved away and we had drifted apart that I put two and two together. She was snorting cocaine! I know, I know. How could I miss it? Well, let’s just say I was young and innocent. Besides, the point I’m making is that this girl was definitely wild and crazy!
Awhile back, I got a Friend request from Carrie on Facebook. Come to find out, she’s “gotten religion” over the years. She doesn’t post very often, but when she does, it’s nearly always requests for prayer. Mostly related to her health … and her friends respond.
This week, she wrote a rather sad posting. Apparently, she has been told she has lung cancer and possibly bone cancer. But, as she put it, she’s fooled “that old Devil” because “all of this has only made me stronger, much stronger.” She then asked, once again, for prayers – and once again, her friends have responded.
Now I ask you, if God is real, if God is a healer, if God loves, if God answers prayer … then why is Carrie now diagnosed with CANCER! Why haven’t the “fervent prayers” for her health availed much (James 5:16)? Why has it come to this? The bible says:
“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, he hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” (I John 5:14)
When I was a Christian, I was given innumerable reasons why God didn’t always answer prayer. Often, the above scripture was quoted, saying it must not be “God’s will.” Of course, I swallowed these reasons whole because this is what I wanted to believe. I mean, after all, we’re talking about GOD here. But down deep inside, it just didn’t make sense. If God said he was going to answer our prayers (Matthew 7:7; 21:22, Luke 11:10), then why didn’t “He”?
Why doesn’t God answer prayer? Could it possibly be that “God” doesn’t really exist? Or is “He” just being fickle?