Sooner or later everybody will pray. But they will pray for different reasons and, of course, not to the same god
About 23 per cent of Australians pray regularly according to one survey. The stories of answered prayers strengthen faith in a dimension we cannot see and in a God we know is out there somewhere.
The contrast between seemingly answered prayer that pierces the heavens and the prayer that seems to stop dead at the church rafters has long puzzled believers.
God, according to Christian and Muslim doctrine, does intervene in human life. But not always according to the wishes of those who pray.
Why doesn’t praying always work? Sometimes we literally storm heaven with our prayers and heaven seems shut against them.
The simple answer would be that sometimes we ask for the wrong things.
A modern-day materialist’s prayer that swept across the internet goes like this: “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray my e-mail to keep. I pray my stocks are on the rise and that my therapist is wise. I pray my health club doesn’t close and that my Money Market always grows. And if I die before I wake, I pray my Lexus they won’t take.”
Some people think that prayer just means asking for material things, and if they don’t get exactly what they asked for, they think the whole thing is a fraud
Perhaps our prayers are always answered, but at a deeper level and only in time will we understand that answer.
C.S. Lewis once said that we will spend most of eternity thanking God for those prayers of ours that he seemingly didn’t answer.