I was reading the DOK Province VII newsletter that came in the post this week, and came across an article about prayer, which got me to thinking about something I hear quite often. It is a question or statement that comes from the mouths of Christians and non-Christians alike. But it has a very simple answer.
Does God answer prayers?
Of course he does. God answers each and every prayer we send to Him. I think of Garth Brooks when I hear this question, how "some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers." But the truth is the He does answer prayers, it just so happens that oftentimes His answer is "No." We may not hear a booming voice from heaven or see a clear sign in our alphabet soup, but then of course He works in mysterious and subtle ways.
When I was a child, I used to pray that God would send me a daddy. My parents had divorced when I was three and I rarely saw my father. I didn't necessarily want God to unite my parents together as my father was an abusive and seriously disturbed individual, but I still wanted a daddy. My mom had a romantic interest or two when I was growing up, but they never lasted long. In fact, the only male influence in my young life was my younger first cousin. I was disappointed for years that God wasn't going to answer my prayers, and that I'd never get a daddy. It was only after I turned my life around in college, was baptized, and began a lifelong journey to know Christ that I realized He had been giving me His answer the whole time.
I didn't need a daddy, I needed a Father. Surely a daddy would have been very beneficial to me, but more than anything else I needed a Father that would forgive my sins if I only came to Him. Perhaps growing up without a daddy strengthened my resolve to never let my own children (whenever God blesses me with such ^_^) grow up without a daddy. So to answer the question, God doesn't leave prayers unanswered. He has an answer to each and every prayer we have, we need only look.