When Has God NOT Answered Your Prayer?


The readers of this blog have been extremely helpful as I’ve worked through issues around prayer, in preparation for my next book, Why Pray? Thanks to those of you who answered Do You Pray? and for those who told me about a time when God Answered Your Prayer. (Those are still open, if you’d care to contribute.)

Now, I’m interested in hearing When God Did Not Answer Your Prayer? And also, what you did with God’s non-response? That is, how did you reconcile your understanding of God with God’s silence in the face of your request?

Has God Answered Your Prayer?

Hundreds of readers weighed in on my question, Do You Pray? For that, I am very thankful.

As I continue to work on my book, Why Pray?, I’m wondering if God has answered a specific prayer of yours.

If God has, I’d love to hear the story. If you leave it in the comments of this blog, it’ll be public. If you share it in the embedded form here, it’ll be between you and me.

Everyday Spirituality: A New Series

The garden has taken over. So it’s become a spiritual practice for me.

A few years ago, I wrote a book that carries the subtitle, Spiritual Practices for Everyday Life. That’s a book that continues to engage people and congregations. It’s about traditional spiritual practices — centering prayer, lectio divina, making the sign of the cross, etc. — and how to incorporate those practices in your day-to-day life.

But yesterday, as I was working in the garden, two things occurred to me:

  • The converse is also true: everyday practices can be deeply spiritual.
  • My everyday practices change a lot by the season.

For example, in the fall, I hunt, I work on the lawn, I chop wood. In the summer, I coach Little League and work in the garden. So I’m going to start a seasonal series about turning our everyday practices into spiritual practices.

As I do this, I would very much welcome guest posts. If you’re interested, you can contact me through my website. I’ll also be curating a Storify stream where you can share posts from your own blog, Facebook, Twitter, images, etc.

Join me, won’t you? Begin by telling me one thing you do in your everyday life that you’ve made spiritual.

Yes, Tracie Prays, though Not in the Conventional Way

At the Emergent Village Blog, Tracie Giesbrecht responds at length to my query about if you do or do not pray:

Praying words in personal prayers feels manipulative to me these days.  I lack so much confidence in my ability to know what would be good (“God help me get that job” etc) that any words I say to that effect ring hollow. It also feels more like incantation to believe that my words could steer events. I haven’t been able to reconcile praying for outcomes. I would if I felt incredibly compelled to do that. I’d say that’s happened a handful of times – at most.

Read the Rest: Do I Pray?.