Thursday, October 29, 2015

Unanswered prayer?

.... I wrote two chapters on unanswered prayer, but frankly, all words seem impotent against the mystery of why such prayers go unanswered. When prayer seems more like struggle than relationship, when I find myself repeating the same requests over and over and wonder, "Is anyone really listening?" I take some comfort in remembering that Jesus, too, had unanswered prayers. ....

How many times have I prayed for one thing only to receive another? I long for the sense of detachment, of trust, that I see in Gethsemane. God and God alone is qualified to answer my prayers, even if it means transmuting them from my own self-protective will into God's perfect will. When Jesus prayed to the one who could save him from death, he did not get that salvation; he got instead the salvation of the world. ....

My understanding of prayer has changed. I now see it less as trying to convince God to do what I want done and more as a way of discerning what God wants done in the world, and how I can be a part of it. Mystery endures, but a different kind of mystery: What tiny role can I play in answering Jesus' prayer for unity, and in doing God's will on earth as it is in heaven? .... [more]