Monday, October 08, 2012

Does God Answer Prayers?

            Does God answer prayers? You betcha He does.
Anyone of sufficient spiritual maturity knows that this is heaven’s standard reply to petitions:

            Since the curt answers often shroud me in mystery, I’m going to take out my Nancy Drew magnifying glass and attempt to dissect each answer. So come along Bess and George, (that’s you) for a grand sleuthing adventure.
            Let’s start with the no brainers, amateur detectives.  (Your role here is just to nod, ok? *Nod*) A “yes” answer means that what we’ve asked for is in accord with the will of God.  Petitions for the conversion, salvation and sanctification of a soul are almost always favorable because the good of souls is main thing that heaven is concerned with.  Nod. Attitude wise, the proper disposition is petitioning God with humility and trust because it calls down God’s mercy when we manifest a perfect acceptance of “Thy will be done.”
 In my experience, “yes” answers are granted when I’ve prayed for someone else out of charity.  When I’ve asked for a saint’s guidance in making the right decision or when I’ve been inspired to seek a particular saint’s intercession, heaven is also immediately attentive because I’m guessing the saint has graces and wisdom  s/he wants to share with me.
            Now fellow sleuths, stay close and call the Hardy boys for back up as I scrutinize the big fat monster of a “NO!”…   Apparently, “NO” comes so easily when what we ask for involves the motivation of pure self-interest, vain glory, pleasure, sin and nothing but.  Also, the number of times I’ve heard an emphatic “NO, ABSOLUTELY NOT!” when I’ve demanded something as a matter of right is about the same total number of “NOs”  my two year-old and I have exchanged when we’re butting heads.
            But the thing about that dreadful “No” even for seemingly good intentions isn’t that God doesn’t hear us.  It just means God’s got something better up His sleeve.  How many times have we pouted about being denied our requests only to later realize that it turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to us? Of course, “the something better up His sleeve” may be revealed only in eternity and meanwhile, we just have to trust it’s done with good reason –no, divine wisdom -- for the benefit of our souls.
            You can lay down your weapons now Hardy boys, a “NO” doesn’t seem quite so menacing, after all.
Finally, comes the most difficult and complex of answers, which is the Waaaay.yiiiitt.  Enjoy this brief pause before I stun you with my reflection.  
Tick, tock. Tick tock. The secret mystery of the old clock.............................................  
No, not yet.  Enjoy my daughter's interpretation of Nancy Drew's first book.
Don't ask me how that turned blue.
Patience, my dear detectives.  Patience is always a virtue worth the wait.  But if you’re already an expert-waiter, then you should know that God sometimes asks us to wait because the bell hasn’t struck on God’s perfect time just yet. And I dare point out, as the star detective of the case, it could also be that God wants us to persevere in praying because prayer changes our hearts into accepting God’s answers, into receiving the graces He provides for the crosses of our lives, into finding happiness and hope from Him inside of and not outside of us, into desiring God’s will more than our own, into loving God not because of what He can do for us but because of what He has already done in Jesus.
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1 comment:

8 kids and a business said...

So, in my best Nancy Drew deduction, even a NO is a YES. Nicely done, Annabelle, although I've never been a Hardy Boys fan ;)