Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Saying yes to no answer to prayer

Last Wednesday when I wrote about not-knowing, Shirley left a comment asking if prayer really works. I've put up a rather long piece on a separate page, entitled Saying Yes to No Answer to Prayer.

Lest you think I can pop off long, complicated pieces in a matter of days, I began writing this particular piece when Big Guy was 11. He's now 15. I'll warn you that it's pretty intense. Since this blog has quite a mixed audience -- some of you are athiests, others are committed Christians, and not a few readers are Jewish -- I've chosen not to put the piece in the main body of the blog. Besides, it's way too long.

Happy reading, to those of you who choose to read it. And I hope it's helpful.


  1. Julia,
    What a remarkable post! It was like you could see into my head and my heart. I read parts to my almost 14 yr. old son who recently had some questions about faith. He intends to read your entire post. I told him questions are normal, that it doesn't mean you don't believe. I remember worrying my Sunday School teacher with my "but how" questions. Sometimes others can get through where parents can't. Thank you for your thoughtful and eloquent words. I pray for your family daily.

  2. Thank you for sharing this post with us. Its so
    powerful. I need time to digest all that you shared.

  3. I have come to a similar understanding, but I could never explicate it as clearly and wisely as you have done here. I know God could cure my husband of Parkinson's Disease, but He chooses not to, and I have to accept His will. My prayers always have to end, "but God, You know what is best for us, and I trust that You love us." Thank you, Julia, for this post.

  4. wow... what an incredible thought provoking post. I am so guilty when I pray to expect answers(that I want) to happen right away. Thank you for your heart felt words.
    Julia, your family is in my prayers.

  5. So many things to thing about:

    My screaming infant--screaming so loud that his father went out to mow the lawn. Through my own tears, I started reading a Guidepost article that happened to be related to parenting--child on my left hip, book in my right hand. As I read, I must have relaxed and shifted my focus from my first-born to...well, somewhere else. Chris stopped crying and I learned to listen to another voice.

    Sometimes God says "No." When I prayed that the lawn-mowing husband would love me, when I prayed that God would love me through him, when I prayed that I would stop loving him and just live...
    He said "no" and I continued to learn about listening.

    How easy it is to let go of faith, when life becomes easy. How much more difficult it is--when you are used to thanking god for your struggles--to praise him for His gifts.

    I have long been a "fan" of your family, Julia, and I hold you all in my heart.

    And a humorous aside(?): When I read the kids' names in DG, I sometimes have to pause to figure out if it's Dancer or Snuggler you're writing about...

    As I say to my students--thank you for sharing.

  6. Once my sisters were talking about visiting Rome, and they asked me to come with them. We couldn't afford it, so I figured it would be possible with divine intervention. So I asked the Holy Spirit if this was a prayer that God would like, and I assured him that I would be looking to meet Jesus in Rome. He told me that lots of people go to Rome and don't meet Jesus, but that everybody who goes to Calvary meets Jesus. So I didn't ask Him for a trip to Rome, and I understand that He may not heal my two daughters (one is in the world and always struggling, and she does so with great dignity--the other will not be able to live on her own--and the Holy Spirit has taught me that the appropriate response to this situation is to thank God each day for having had her with us for another day).