Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Does God Answer Our Prayers?

Being His 'miracle workers'among men

All of us encounter problems at some time in our lives. Most are due to our own doing but others may be caused by others especially by our own children. We try all the ‘tricks’ available to us to overcome these problems but to no avail. As the last resort we implore divine intervention.

Yes, when all means have failed we resort to the last available weapon - prayer. Very often despite our earnest prayers, penance and offerings our problems only seem to get worse by the day with no hopes for solution. We begin to wonder whether God really answers our prayers. The following is a simple parable that is derived from the Jewish Mishmash which may help to answer this question that bothers all of us at one time or another.

A small village in Rural Russia was beset by drought one year and all the crops failed. The village rabbi prayed to the heavens, "Why don't you do something about this dreadful drought?" But the heavens remained silent. So the rabbi organized a charity food drive with the neighboring villages to feed his people.

When the rains came, they came in heavy and the local river flooded, killing all the livestock. The rabbi again prayed, "Heavenly Father, my people are suffering so much, save us from this flood!" But, again, no help from God seemed forthcoming. So the rabbi lobbied the government authorities to provide financial assistance to replenish the herds lost in the deluge.

Finally, in the wake of the flood, infection and disease ran through the inhabitants of the village. The rabbi prayed once more, "Now surely God you will help us!" But the diseases ran their course. So the rabbi marshaled and organized the able bodied in the village to care for the sick.

Months later reflecting on the tragedies of the past year, the rabbi turned to God and accused Him, "Why did you not answer the prayers of my poor villagers? Why did you not send help to them when we were beset by drought, floods and pestilence?"

After many hours of anguished entreaty, a quiet voice answered the rabbi in the depths of his heart, "Of course I sent help; I sent you!"

Yes, God definitely answers our prayers and sends help with or without our knowledge. We need not even ask him to grant what we need. He knows what is best for us under the circumstances we are in. Being Christians and believers in God we must have this fundamental faith in Him. The trouble is very often we lack this trust in God especially during times of crisis, pain and agony. When tragedy strikes us, we expect God to be there with his healing hand to cure us of our ills which He rarely does.

Very often God does not give us what we ask for and this may lead us to despair and even loss of faith. But if we have the trust and patience, we will realize one day what He did was indeed right and for our good. This is a lesson I had learnt through the experiences in my own life.

We expect God to perform miracles and magic to solve our problems which he doesn’t. If we are waiting for such acts, we will be sadly mistaken and disappointed. Like the rabbi in the above story, we are his “miracle workers” among men. He has given us our intelligence, talents and skills to perform his “miracles” to help others. The pertinent question here is whether we are prepared and willing to be His “miracle workers” and catalysts to alleviate the pain and sufferings of our fellow men.

As followers of Christ we have no option but to say ‘YES’. It is important to bear in mind that unless we become His "miracle workers" for others,we cannot and should not expect other such workers to come to to our aid when we need it most.

1 comment:

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