In a previous article, I wrote about the confusion and betrayal I feel when God is silent in the midst of trouble. I wondered why God doesn’t answer some prayers and why he doesn’t answer all the time. I read Apostle James’ essay on how we do not receive answers when we pray amiss. But what is the reason when we pray for things within God’s will? Like healing. Like deliverance. What is the reason when we demonstrate faith, albeit as small as a mustard seed?
I do not like making excuses for God. He’s a big person. He can handle doubt and questioning souls. And he’s my father. So glib explanations don’t cut it in our relationship. I want to be able to have a conversation about unanswered prayers with God, even if he can’t give me reasons immediately. Recently, I began to understand some things.
God may not respond to prayers for which he has already provided answers.
In designing the world, God created sophisticated systems and structures. In exercising free will to adopt governments, mankind submitted to certain conditions and realities. When you are ill, good healthcare should step in, not a miracle. Miracles are exceptions and not the rule. Were God to heal a man with sickle cell, would he be considered unfair to not heal a man with cancer? What makes one man’s prayers more valid than the other’s? Perhaps half of the world’s problems may be traced to bad government – unemployment, insecurity, preventable diseases, poverty, abuse and so on. Perhaps we should hold our leaders responsible for these things, and not God.
God intervenes in the affairs of men through the church.
Perhaps the second half of the world’s problems may be attributed to a dysfunctional church. You know, I wanted to talk about families and homes. But the church becomes family when our nuclear or extended family is missing. The church (not just the institutions, but the individuals) is the hands and feet of God:
“And He put all things [in every realm] in subjection under Christ’s feet, and appointed Him as [supreme and authoritative] head over all things in the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills and completes all things in all [believers].” Ephesians 1:22-23 AMP
I like the Message translation:
“The church, you see, is not peripheral to the world; the world is peripheral to the church. The church is Christ’s body, in which he speaks and acts, by which he fills everything with his presence.”
If you are hungry, you should find food in the church. If you are unemployed, your brothers and sisters should be so passionate about helping you find a job. When you are in despair, the church should comfort you.
The church is “God” to the world. When people meet the church, they meet God. So when the church is absent, God is silent.
Interestingly, the things the church does for the world, are done on behalf of and in honour of Jesus:
“For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; I was naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me [with help and ministering care]; I was in prison, and you came to Me [ignoring personal danger].” Matthew 25:35-36 AMP
If you’re going through problems right now, please do something for me: make a list. Write down every single thing you’ve been praying about that God seems silent on. Beside each point, write down how many things could have been solved by a working country, even if you were an atheist. Then write down how many things could have been solved by a well networked church, that was as passionate about you, as friends and family members should be. Whatever is left on the list belongs to God. That is my well considered opinion.
My opinion does not abrogate the mercy, kindness and divine intervention of God. God is a Father. He loves us so much that he would bend the natural order of things to help us.God may not respond to prayers for which he has already provided answers. Click To Tweet God intervenes in the affairs of men through the church. Click To Tweet