Read: Luke 11:1-28
By: CJ Phillips
“The only time my prayer is never answered is on the golf course!” –Billy Graham
As a child, I remember a time when our church gathered to pray for Vickie.
Vickie was the mother of five kids who had grown up in our church and was battling a very progressive form of cancer. Vickie’s cancer was rapidly spreading and the doctors were unsure if there was anything else that could be done.
However, for three whole days members of our church would gather around the altars, 24 hours a day, crying out to God for Vickie to be healed.
I remember that as my parents would arrive at the church for their pre-arranged times, the presence of God could be felt throughout the room. It was clear that the church believed that Vickie would be healed, and many would talk of the plans they were making with Vickie after she leaves the hospital. As a young child, there also no doubt in my mind that they were right.
However, after three days of powerful, consistent prayer… Vickie passed away. She had finally lost her battle. And as our church continued to gather in prayer, the prayers of healing turned into prayers of mourning. Conversations within the church shifted from “when?” to “why?” and anticipation quickly turned to anger.
It is times like this when it can become difficult to understand Jesus’ words to His disciples in Luke 11:9.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”
Didn’t our church ask for Vickie to be healed? Shouldn’t our prayers have been answered? According to Jesus if we just ask, it will be given to us, right?
Perhaps, you have gone through a similar time in your life, when it seemed that God did not answer your prayers. Perhaps you have given up on prayer and chosen to look elsewhere for help. Yet, what if God did answer our prayers? What if we just had not realized it?
Jesus goes on a few verses later in Luke to state that just like a human father knows how to give good things to his children, how much more will Christ then give to us? (v.12)
While our prayers were for Vickie to be healed here on earth, God’s plan was for her to healed entirely. By allowing her to be healed in His arms and living in eternity with Him.
When you look at it, our prayers were answered in ways more than we could have ever imagined.
Today, I encourage you to know that no matter how it may seem, God has never left a prayer unanswered. While prayer may not always be answered as quickly or in the exact way that we desire. How much more will your Father in heaven give… to those who ask him! (v.9)