Prayer... such a mystery. What is it? Is there a way to do it "right?" What prompts God to answer YES to some prayers, NO to others, and NOT YET to others?
If God didn't answer my impassioned prayers to heal Matthew's mind here on earth, was it my fault somehow? Was my faith not good enough? Not strong enough? Why does He heal this person, but not that one? How many times should I pray for the same thing? Does God get tired of me beating on Heaven's door over and over and over? What does it mean to pray in Jesus' name? What does it mean to "bind" and "loose" things in prayer? Is is possible to mess up when you pray?
So many questions!! So much that I still don't understand about prayer although I've been a Christian since I was 7 years old. So much that doesn't make sense after praying passionately, with tears, with supplication, with fervent belief, with faith, with hope, with expectancy, with thanksgiving. My prayers for my son's physical and mental healing to happen on earth did not happen the way that I expected. Now I'm left with a choice: can God be trusted or not? Should I pray as passionately and fervently the next time I'm faced with a massive life situation?
The answer to both is a resounding YES. God is God; I am not. I don't pretend to understand His ways or His dealings or His answers to prayer - that's why I'm the creation and He's the Creator. That doesn't mean that I don't seek to understand - it's ok to ask questions - but whether I get the answer I want or not, I still have to decide if I will honor Him as Sovereign Creator or not.
Two quotes give me direction - one from C.S. Lewis and one from God's Word. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 13:9 (KJV) that we "see through a glass darkly." So true - I can barely make out the shapes and colors and dimensions when I try to stare into eternity and see God's plan - the glass is murky and dim. But one day, verse 12 says, we will see face to face... ALL questions about prayer - and how and why and when and who - will make sense. C.S. Lewis says, "I know now, Lord, why you utter no answer. You are yourself the answer. Before your face questions die away."
So, my friends - my hurting, questioning, aching friends - let's be comforted by the certainty that one day all of our questions about unanswered prayers will be met with seeing God Himself face to face... and until then - keep praying. Keep believing. Keep trusting. Keep crying out with passionate, fervent, tenacious, audacious prayer to the God who listens and responds.