(How) Does God Answer Prayer?
Today’s Gospel invites a frank discussion of prayer, and what we expect from our prayers. “If two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven,” Jesus says in Matthew 18.
What do we really thing happens when we pray? What is our part? What is God’s part? I’m sure many thousands have asked these questions as they’ve endured the hurricanes and earthquakes recently. How may prayed to be spared damage and death, and were not spared? How many believed their prayers were “answered”? Is Jesus really saying that, when my wife and I agree to pray for a new car, God will have to provide it? What about when we pray for the cure and healing of a sick child?
Prayer seems simple when we teach children: “God bless mummy and daddy and sister and even crotchety old Aunt Matilda….” But prayer is not simple. We’ll try to talk honestly about it in Sunday’s sermon. JBM