Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Billy Graham: God Says No

Q: For years I've begged and begged God to do something for me, but He never has. Maybe He's just tired of having me pester Him. Should I just quit trying, or what? -- Mrs. Y.L.
There is one very real possibility, but I fear that YL won't like the answer... Prayer just doesn't work.
A: Sometimes God calls us to continue praying for something almost indefinitely, and we need to be sensitive to that calling. From time to time, for example, I get letters from wives or husbands who've prayed for their spouse for many years, and eventually have seen them come to Christ.
Actually, God doesn't tell anyone anything. People pray and interpret the results in a way that fits their preconceptions. The lack of an answer is rationalized, or a less absent result is distorted, given undue weight, or chance is unjustly ignored as an explanation. Every time I've heard of 'God answering a prayer' the 'answer' has either been no more than a perceived answer, or the 'answer' was so unmiraculous that one might as well pray that the sky be blue...
But sometimes God answers our prayer with a definite "No," and when that's the case, we shouldn't keep begging Him or demanding He give us a "Yes." Remember: God loves us and knows far better than we do what's best for us.
As many a Christian will tell you, God has a plan. A perfect plan for your life that he determined before you were ever born. A plan/life we all live out just the way God meant it to be.
God hasn't promised to answer every prayer we make; He's only promised to answer those that are in line with His will. The Bible says, "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us" (1 John 5:14).
You see, this just raises the big question of why anyone should even bother praying. Billy says that God only answers prayers that are in line with his will. God creates a plan for our lives. So that plan is God's will for us. If it is within God's will, it will be part of the plan. So if it's part of the plan, it will happen anyway. Prayer or no prayer. If it's not part of the plan, it's not part of God's will. If it's not part of God's will, the answer is 'no'.

So no matter if the answer is 'yes' or 'no', there is no reason to pray. Either you are asking God for something that you would get no matter what. Or you are asking an omniscient deity to change his mind about a plan that is supposed to be perfect. Either way you cut it prayer is a futile exercise whether it works or not.

-Brain Hulk

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