“Why Doesn’t God Answer My Prayers?”

Prayer is part of my life. Every morning I spend time in contemplative prayer – lifting my life before God and centering myself for the day. I pray for healing for patients in hospitals and for guidance for their caregivers. I pray blessings upon couples at weddings, children and teenagers at baptisms, and for those who have died and their families at funerals. I even say a brief prayer before every meal.

Because prayer is such a part of my life, you might think I would object to two questions submitted from people at Oak Hill: #1 Does prayer work? And its corollary #2: If so, why doesn’t God answer my prayer.

Yet I don’t object to those questions at all. They are good questions. They invite us to think more deeply about what prayer is and how it “works” in our lives.

Be honest: Not all of our prayers seem to be answered…at least not in the ways that we may have wanted or expected. Why?

The answer may rest in the nature of prayer. Søren Kierkegaard writes, “The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.”

If you have ever wondered about the nature of prayer (whether it works and why some of our prayers seem to go unanswered), join us for worship this week as we think more deeply about prayer and how it works in our lives.