God is not a cosmic vending machine in which you put your prayer in the slot and the goodie you want drops into the tray at the bottom.
Don’t get me wrong. God delights in any prayer and he does want us to ask for our daily bread and for all our needs, but there is more to it than that.
The real puzzle is why God does not answer our prayers for good stuff. Let’s say you prayed that your marriage would stay together but it fell apart anyway. Why didn’t God answer that prayer?
Let’s say you prayed that your sister would be healed from cancer, but she died.
Let’s say you prayed for your grandchildren to be protected, but they had a bad accident and were permanently injured.
Why doesn’t God answer those prayers?
This is because most of the time–even when we’re asking for good things–we’re praying in the wrong way.
God can’t give the right answer if we ask the wrong question. If you say, “What color is square?” that’s a question that can’t be answered–even if you think it is a sensible question, it’s still not a question that can be answered, and this is the problem. We too often pray asking the wrong question or asking for the wrong thing–even if it really, really seems like the right thing to us.
This is because God has the big picture. He sees the whole thing and his perfect plan is for all of us to grow into the perfect and complete beings he has created us to be.
Therefore he knows how our lives and struggles fit into the whole plan. Continue Reading