Believers, how can you tell when your prayer has been answered when the answer is no?
This is a question for believers in any Gods, Goddesses, or other supernatural beings who or that answer prayers.
I've been told by a wide assortment of believers that their God, Goddess, or other deity always answers prayers but the answer may be a yes, a no, or an "I hear you" type of answer. What does your deity "say" or how does He or She indicate to you that the answer to your prayer is either no or that you've been heard? How can you tell the difference from what would have happened anyway, had you not prayed?
Kylyssa....I'm aware you have directed this to current "believers," but as one raised for many years into a family of believers, I am able to answer this. While it requires many years, focus, thought and life experiences to cleanse one's self of the unrelenting brain-washing, guilt-trips, fear-mongering and shame-dispensing......I am living, sane proof that it can be done.
Praying is explained as "talking to one's god." It is taught that he/she hears all and knows all and will answer all prayers according to his/her WILL. When the response from this god is positive, those who prayed believe their god granted their request. If not....it just wasn't his WILL.
Since only those suffering with a psychotic illness actually HEAR voices, it is "believed" (faith) that their prayer was answered....one way or the other. As is said, "For those who BELIEVE, no proof is necessary. For those who do not believe, no proof is possible."
Personally, many decades ago and for NUMEROUS reasons, the best example I can offer as to how I live my life...for the most part, is the following quote by Marcus Aurelius, last of the 5 good Roman Emperors 161-180AD
"LIVE A GOOD LIFE" If there are gods and they are just, they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods but they are unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are NO gods, then you will be gone nonetheless, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones."
EXCELLENT question, Kylissa. The answers you yield should be quite interesting and they will surely be emotionally charged.
Kylyssa, very brave,astute answer. I feel safe saying this here, but not to my dear friends and neighbors who believe firmly in the power of prayer - I find belief that God answers individual prayers in this vast universe to be extremely arrogant.
Thank you for this question. As a believer in God in the Christian religion, I would say that the answer lies within the relationship one has with God. In a relationship between persons, verbal communication is not always necessary. A parent can look at a child in a certain way and that child will know that the answer to their request is "no". In the same way, the Holy Spirit which dwells in believers can answer us through thoughts, through nudges and hunches, through the words of other people, through the words of the Bible, through events that do or do not happen. We are taught that one such incident could be a chance occurrence and we therefore should seek confirmation by waiting for the same answer to come through another source. When two or three or more sources tell you the same thing, it is much less likely to be due to chance.
God has a mysterious element as well. Sometimes what appears to be a "no" is actually a "not yet" and after some time things you prayed about come to pass, just not when you thought they would. Sometimes you pray for something and don't get the answer you wanted and later find that if you had received what you wanted the results would have been disastrous. Resistance to what God is doing causes much of the suffering we experience, though sometimes events are painful themselves. In a relationship there are also special elements that those outside the relationship do not know. Lovers have inside jokes and inside stories. The relationship with God is the dance between Lover and Beloved. The better you learn how to dance, the better you know when the answer is "no" or "yes" or "not yet". Sometimes from this end it is often "I don't understand what is happening or why, but I will just trust you on this." Over time, the situation works out all right, even though it wasn't what you wanted at first. As in any relationship, the better you know the Other and how they function, the better you can interact with them. I know this is not everyone's experience but it is mine. I hope this begins to answer your wonderful question.
For me, the answer reveals itself in time.
If you have made a decision after praying, then you know that whether you get positive or negative results in the short-run they're going to be best for the long run.
Time always proves this too. I always wanted to be a software engineer, but I ended up somewhere else. I am happier here then I would have been there.
Had I not prayed things may or may not have gone this way. For one point, it would have been harder for me to accept leaving my leave. I would have broken down instead of striking back. Secondly, ignoring that say I would have still been the same, I wouldn't have been satisfied in even reaching my goal.
When prayers are answered a sense of peace comes with them. Some people experience that after achieving what they always wanted, they get bored and even sad. This don't have anything to aim for. This doesn't happen when prayers are answered not for me at least.
When I didn't pray, I used to suffer from the lack of excitement over victory a lot.
I'm very curious about your last sentence. The way I'm reading it, prayer helps your reward response system to work properly and it doesn't work properly unless you pray. Is that close to what you mean?
Thank you for your answer!
Yes, Not just reward system, but failure as well. I am humble when I fail, and satisfied when I find reward. It keeps my life in balance, because when I pray I have faith ALLAH is watching over me. Yes or no reveals itself in time. Hope it helps:)
Not all prayers are of the asking type, many are of the thank you type, even if what you are thankful for is not anything you may have specifically prayed for in the first place. It is just being thankful for all the good things in your life. It is always good to keep in mind the needs of others when you pray, perhaps even putting them above your own. I know this probably doesn't answer your question, but it is what prayer means to me. Have a nice day.
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