Praying to God

d636a-jesus-commissionDoes God answer our prayers? It’s the age old question. While there are many answers the short one is: Yes, He does. Maybe not the way we were expecting Him to but He gives us not what we want but what’s good for us.

Even in the gospels Jesus answers prayers but not always the same way: He goes to Jairus’ house but get’s distracted; He heals the woman who was flowing blood for 12 years without even being asked; He answers the prayer of the Canaanite woman even though He puts her through quite an ordeal and yet to an outsider, a non-Jew, the centurion whose servant was ill the Lord simply said, Okay let’s go to your house. The point of the gospel stories is not whether God will answer our prayers or not but how He will do it or, more importantly, how much faith will we have in Him.

Then again there are different kinds of prayers. For the most part it’s from people who need something: the blind, or lame, or their children are sick, etc. One prayer I think that tends to go unnoticed is the one we find in Matthew’s Gospel (8:28-34) when Jesus goes to the region of the Gadarenes. After the whole ordeal of the demons and the pigs and the demon-possessed men we find one verse that sums up the people’s response to God’s mercy and kindness towards these poor men who were possessed: “Then the whole town went out to meet Jesus. And when they saw Him, they pleaded with Him to leave their region“.

The opening verse of the following chapter, “And Jesus stepped in a boat..” proves that God does, in fact, answer our prayers. But sometimes in our prayers what we really want is not that God help us, but that He leave us alone.

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