Thanks, Larry Benson for your letter (“Prayers and higher plans,” published March 22). In it you stated that you’ve “…always wondered about how and why people pray.”
I won’t pretend that I can answer for anyone but myself, because I think every reader’s answer would be based on life experiences and beliefs which would be as unique to that person as their DNA.
When I pray I share with my Creator my desires. I might pray, “Please don’t allow my friend to die from cancer”, or, “Give my friend strength to face the cancer”.
So, much as my fellow believer might pray differently than I would, my prayer might vary depending on my understanding of God’s will in any situation. Since I believe God’s ways are higher than my ways I may add to my prayers: “Not my will, but Yours be done,” in cases where I was not confident I knew God’s will, such as the example of healing someone.
Other times, however, such as when I would pray for someone to experience eternal life, I already know God’s will since it is spelled out in the Bible.
When praying for healing, be it my own or someone else’s, I just let God know my desire with the understanding that His ways are higher than my ways. I don’t worry about praying “correctly”. God knows my heart. He knows that what I desire most of all is that He will accomplish His will. My faith enables me to trust that the best will be done, be that healing on earth, or perhaps the ultimate healing of eternity with the Lord in the great beyond.
It is a very serious question to wonder about and I’d love to discuss it further over a cold drink sometime.
In fairness, I don’t want to ignore what you phrased as your “…prime example of the power of prayer”. For those who missed Larry’s letter (to which I am responding), Larry cited a young son who had been prayed for regarding cancer. After having requested prayer for the son by his mother the young man now also has leukemia.
Larry wrote, “So, my question, was this part of god’s plan all along, was this an answer to all of those prayers or something else?” (Please note Larry didn’t capitalize “god’s”- not my typo.)
To be honest, I don’t know.
There is no doubt in my mind that God heard every prayer offered and that we should make our requests known.
From what I read the son’s still living, so the story is not over.
He could still be completely healed while on earth or he could receive the ultimate healing I referred to earlier. I don’t know the answer. I do believe that the pain and suffering that we all, as humans, endure can be a part of a plan which is beyond my comprehension.
So, thanks to your letter, Larry, that young man has at least one more person praying for God’s will to be made manifest.