My apologies for not posting on Thursday as has become my custom - it was a highly emotional week for me. One friend’s adult son was admitted to a Psychiatric facility against his will for an attempted suicide. A few days later, I received a phone call that another friend was having major difficulties too.
I’ve encountered emotional tragedies with my mother and a sister-in-law who tried to commit suicide in the 1990’s: one was successful; if successful is the appropriate description. In this decade, two other family members threatened to commit an overdose on drugs and alcohol. We took those threats seriously, yet it caused heartbreak and emotional breakdowns in other family members.
Causing harm to ourselves not only endangers one life, but impacts countless others forever. Besides, playing god is not what God gives us permission to do.
The difficult part for me is that I have been praying that God would heal both these families for a while. Praying daily; without ceasing as the apostle Paul describes in the New Testament. Does God really answer prayer? The better question is why is he not answering my prayers? Or the real question is why isn’t He answering them when I want Him to?
I read in James 5:15-18- “The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up; and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective. Elijah was a human being like us, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain and the earth yielded its harvest.”
As I reflect on these verses, I remember that there were two young college students that I prayed for a while back. After 2 years of earnest prayer, both of them grew to be young adults and have been relieved of their addiction. Was it my prayers that cured them or was it God’s plan to cure them absent my prayers?
So what makes the difference? With my friends this week, I thought that if I followed God’s command to love one another and asked for healing through prayer that God would keep up his end of the bargain and protect them from despair. I asked and expected that God would respond and give them strength so that they too would be relieved of their pain. I pray that each of them will understand that they are a Beloved Child of God and that His love is all they need.
Can anyone out there help me? Why does God answer some of my prayers and leave other ones unanswered? And how can we make a person understand that he is God’s Beloved Child?