“There is no question whether an event has happened because of your prayer. When the event you prayed for occurs your prayer has always contributed to it. When the opposite event occurs your prayer has never been ignored; it has been considered and refused, for your ultimate good and the good of the whole universe.”
~ Miracles, C. S. Lewis
I recently asked the question, “How can you know whether God answers your prayers?” For instance, if you prayed for good weather and you got it, how can you know it wasn’t going to be beautiful anyway? If you ask to be healed of an illness, how do you know your immune system wasn’t going to heal you anyway?
My conclusion was, you can’t. You can never know. You can give thanks, but you can’t know if your request was being specifically addressed.
What C. S. Lewis said is better.
Why is it so easy for me to accept that when God says “no” to one of my requests, it’s for my (and others’) good, but when he says “yes,” I feel like he was going to do that thing anyway?
I think that is very telling.
I think it tells me that I am on a continuous journey of accepting God’s love. I still, at times, feel like good things only happen to me because they were going to happen anyway. And sometimes I think nobody (especially God) will go “out of their way” or be bothered for me.
It sounds like I have a new facet of God’s love to explore and embrace! What does it look like to believe he says yes to my prayers? I feel like it will look something like those who called out to Jesus, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” And “Jesus, please come quickly!” And “Jesus … please.. my daughter…” And old women touching his clothes and stopping him in his tracks. It seems that Jesus’s days on earth were filled with him “going out of his way” and being bothered – and saying yes.
I think it looks – and feels – like that.