by Sheri Schofield
“If God wants me to have more faith, why doesn’t He answer my prayers for healing?” an elderly man recently asked me. He reasoned that if God wants us to have faith, then God should give us some miracles to show that faith really works.
During Jesus’ earthly life, he told people about God the Father and salvation. He healed a lot of people, he supernaturally fed multitudes, and he raised the dead. He wanted his disciples to do the same works. To do these things, they would need to pray, asking God for the miracles.
Jesus knew that persistent prayer was necessary for miracles to be granted. So he told them a parable about a widow who kept going to a judge pleading for justice. But the judge kept refusing her request. Day after day, the widow kept going to see the judge. Finally, just to get her out of his hair, he gave her justice.
Jesus said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice and quickly.”
Then, as though he were asking himself a question, Jesus said, “However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:1-8, NIV).
Yet, the Apostle Paul, a man of prayer and great faith, asked the Lord to remove a “thorn” in his flesh, but God told him no. Paul wrote, Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ’s power may rest on me, (2 Corinthians 12:7-9, NIV).
In one example of prayer, the request is granted. In another, it is not. Sounds confusing, doesn’t it? What does God want of us? Can we ever know whether or not God will answer our prayers?
The answer is: Yes, God will always answer our prayers. Most of the time, the answer will be to grant our request. But there will be times that, for reasons of his own, God will say no.
The prayer of faith is one of trusting God’s answer. We pour out our hearts, we persist, then we leave the results to God. We place our request but do not tell God how to do his job. With faith, there is no “why”. Like a child who runs to his father for comfort, we cling to our heavenly Father. We trust that his answer will be for our eternal good and for his glory. We do not push him away if he does not give us what we want! By faith, we continue clinging to the One who comforts and strengthens us.
Like a loving parent, God will say “yes” much more often than “no”. If you are experiencing unanswered prayer, try listing all the “yes” answers that God has given you. You may run out of both time and paper! Post that list where you can see it as a reminder of God’s faithfulness. Then trust his wisdom concerning the request he has not chosen to grant you . . . yet.
When Jesus returns, let him find faith in our hearts!
“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart,” (Hebrews 12:2, NIV).
About the author: Sheri Schofield is an award-winning children’s author-illustrator. She was named Arise Daily Writer of the Year in 2020, and Writer of the Year in 2018 at the Colorado Christian Writers’ Conference for her work in effectively sharing the gospel of Jesus. Sheri also writes devotions for children at her website: www.sherischofield.com in “Campfire”, and is in the process of developing a children’s program on her YouTube site. Questions welcomed!
Read Sheri and her husband’s amazing story in One Step Ahead of the Devil: A Powerful Love Story. Thrust into national politics because of her husband’s work, Lissa McCloud struggles to save the life of the man she loves from those who are bent on his destruction. Based on true events, the reader is taken deep into the heart of national politics –all the way to Congress and the President of the United States.
Join the Conversation: What do you do to remind yourself of God’s faithfulness to you?