Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

Essential thinking for reading Catholics.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Prayers gone to waste?

Over at the lovely and gracious Karen's there is a rather effervescent discussion on prayers seemingly unanswered. The Cliffs NotesTM of the thing run something like this:

1- God, it is Your will that X is right and Y is wrong
2- We prayed -- super-hard! -- for X and against Y. We had novenas, Rosaries, we fasted, etc.
3- Instead, Y and not X will come to pass.
4- Huh?

And I was thinking (since I spend a colossal amount of time in my own head anyway) about prayer.

What I came away with is that while God hears all sincere prayers -- especially prayers related to His will being done, which will be done -- we have to trust Him on the timing of His will being done. Which is not easy, because we are fallen creatures and He is an unfallen Creator. The result of this fallen-creature thing is that it "darkened our understanding, weakened our will, and left us a strong inclination to evil."

So we don't understand what God is got in mind and since we can't respond to His doings with comprehension, we have to respond with faith. (This reminds me of all those times when I tell Joey "Oh, will you just TRUST me?")

Now, prayer will sometimes change circumstances when and how God sees fit. (Which is not exactly according to our plan, which frustrates the @#$% out of us, don't think I am unaware of this. God's not unaware, either.) But prayer ALWAYS changes our ability to react and cope and adjust. Put another way, prayer will not necessarily change the shape and weight of the cross you must bear if you are to follow Him, but it will give you the ability to bear it better.

So don't quit praying.

-J.