DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: Why does God answer some prayers but ignore others? I’m having a hard time with this, because I prayed and prayed for my wife’s healing from cancer, but it didn’t happen. How do you explain this? — L.R.
DEAR L.R.: I honestly don’t know why God answers some prayers exactly the way we want him to, while others he answers with a definite “No” or “Not yet.” Some day we will understand this, but not in this life, at least not completely. As the Apostle Paul wrote, “Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known” (1 Corinthians 13:12).
But God is not capricious or undependable; he is sovereign and loving, and he knows what’s best for us, even if we can’t see it at the time. We also live in a world that’s been corrupted by sin and is also under the evil influence of Satan and his servants. By his death and resurrection Jesus Christ broke Satan’s power, but death is still with us, and only at the end of time as we know it will Satan be completely bound.
What should this mean for us? First, it means that we can trust God — trust him with our lives right now, and trust him for eternity. Is your faith and trust in Christ?
But I hope it will also remind you that in reality your prayers were answered, because now your wife has been completely healed and is free from all pain and weakness she experienced here. And some day you will be reunited, along with all of God’s family, in heaven. Jesus said, “The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26).
Write “My Answer,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; or go to BillyGraham.org.
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