Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Does God Answer Our Prayers?
We are His 'mtracle workers'among men
To overcome the numerous problems and challenges in life, all of us resort to prayer. Very often despite our earnest prayers our problems only seem to get worse by the day with no hopes for solution. Often we ponder whether God really answers our prayers. The following is a simple parable that is derived from the Jewish Mishmash which may help to answer this question that bothers all of us at one time or another.
A small village in Rural Russia was beset by drought one year and all the crops failed. The village rabbi prayed to the heavens, "Why don't you do something about this dreadful drought?" But the heavens remained silent. So the rabbi organized a charity food drive with the neighboring villages to feed his people.
When the rains came, they came in heavy and the local river flooded, killing all the livestock. The rabbi again prayed, "Heavenly Father, my people are suffering so much, save us from this flood!" But, again, no help from God seemed forthcoming. So the rabbi lobbied the government authorities to provide financial assistance to replenish the herds lost in the deluge.
Finally, in the wake of the flood, infection and disease ran through the inhabitants of the village. The rabbi prayed once more, "Now surely God you will help us!" But the diseases ran their course. So the rabbi marshaled and organized the able bodied in the village to care for the sick.
Months later reflecting on the tragedies of the past year, the rabbi turned to God and accused Him, "Why did you not answer the prayers of my poor villagers? Why did you not send help to them when we were beset by drought, floods and pestilence?"
After many hours of anguished entreaty, a quiet voice answered the rabbi in the depths of his heart, "Of course I sent help; I sent you!"
Yes, God definitely answers our prayers and sends help with or without our knowledge. We need not even ask him to grant what we want. He knows what is best for us under the circumstances we are in. Being Christians and believers in God we must have fundamental faith in Him.
Very often God does not give us what we ask for and this may even lead us to despair and even loss of faith. But be assured many years later we will realize what he did was indeed right and for our good.This is a lesson I learnt through my experiences over 50 years of my life.
God does not perform miracles and magic to solve our problems. If we are waiting for such acts, we will be sadly mistaken and disappointed. Like the rabbi in the above story, we are his “miracle workers” among men. He has given us our intelligence, talents and skills to perform his “miracles” to help others. The pertinent question here is whether we are prepared and willing to be His “miracle workers” and catalysts to disseminate his love among our fellow men. As followers of Christ we have no option but to say ‘YES’.