To overcome the numerous problems and challenges in life, all of us resort to prayer. Very often, despite our earnest prayer our problems only seem to get worse by the day. Often we ponder whether God really answers our paryers. This a simple parable that is derived from the Jewish Mishmash may help to answer this question.
A small village in Rural Russia was beset by drought one year and all the crops failed. The village rabbi prayed to the heavens, "Why don't you do something about this dreadful drought?" But the heavens remained silent. So the rabbi organized a charity food drive with the neighboring villages to feed his people.
When the rains came, they came in heavy and the local river flooded, killing all the livestock. The rabbi again prayed, "Heavenly Father, my people are suffering so much, save us from this flood!" But, again, no help from God seemed forthcoming. So the rabbi lobbied the government authorities to provide financial assistance to replenish the herds lost in the deluge.
Finally, in the wake of the flood, infection and disease ran through the inhabitants of the village. The rabbi prayed once more, "Now surely God you will help us!" But the diseases ran their course. So the rabbi Marshalled and organized the able bodied in the village to care for the sick.
Months later reflecting on the tragedies of the past year, the rabbi turned to God and accused Him, "Why did you not answer the prayers of my poor villagers? Why did you not send help to them when we were beset by drought, floods and pestilence?"
After many hours of anguished entreaty, a quiet voice answered the rabbi in the depths of his heart, "Of course I sent help; I sent you!"
Yes, God definitely answers our prayers and sends help with or without our knowledge. We need not even ask him to grant what we want. He knows what is best for us under the circumstances we are in.
Very often he does not give us what we ask for and this may even lead us to despair. But be assured many years later we will realize what he did was indeed right and for our good.
He does not perform miracles and magic to solve our problems. If we are waiting for such acts, we will be sadly mistaken and disappointed. Like the rabbi in the above story, we are his “miracle” workers among men. He has given us our intelligence, talents and skills to perform his “miracles” to help others.
Those who dissent over to my right, have never truly prayed nor sought the Lord or have given up in despair.
Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end.
Your prayer may not be answered exactly how you want it to, but that does not mean its not heard. Trust God like a child. He isnt going to lead you off a cliff. God replies in 3 ways: Yes, Not right now, and I've got something better in mind. Just put your trust in him, because he has a plan for each and everyone of us. We were made for a purpose and a destiny.
God is not a human, or an animal, or an object, he is a living being that does watch over the human race. If God wasn't going to watch over mankind, then why did he create us? And who are you to say that miracles dont happen? The miracle of life happens every single day all around the world. People are cured of disease every day, people are fighting war to keep the United States free. How can you say those are not miracles?
Many people may debate this issue however, I personally can attest to the fact that God does answer prayers. There are so many obstacles in life but one only need to turn to God in prayer to get through those times. Without prayer there is no hope for a peaceful life on this earth.
I experienced it myself personally, i prayed to the God of the bible in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and yes more than once He answered and heard my prayers, but i can guarantee you, that if you make prayer a mockery and aproach God in a highminded or arrogant way, He will not answer you, lab tested prayers are an insult to God, you wont get an answer, God is free and sovereign, he wont bend to the rules of skeptics.
God ALWAYS answers prayer. Sometimes He just doesn't answer it the way we want Him to. My friend's dad just died yesterday. We had been praying for him for some time. God answered our prayer. He said "No." People seem to confusing God giving us what we want with God giving us an answer.
That is why it does not matter who or what you pray to, it can come true. Religion calls it Faith, and Science calls it Placebo. Either way, if your belief is strong enough, you can perform your own miracles. And either way, if you lack belief, you get nothing.
There is no way to prove this. For example, one could pray to god to save a person's life. There are two options here: 1) The person recovers, theists claim it was god who intervened. 2) The person dies, theists claim God has a plan and that person had to die. If you are encountering hardship and things get better, it was God! Well what if you didn't pray to God? Would things still get better? Personally, I can easily say yes.
God is not proven to exist, so we cannot say that he answers prayers.
Prayer may be able to make someone better, but it's just the placebo effect. If somebody claims that God has answered their prayer, is it just a coincidence? Yes. Nobody I know has prayed and then had an extra arm grow on them or anything. Also, as someone has pointed out, there are many people from many religions claiming miracles and all sorts of things.
Personal testimony is one of the best arguments against the functionality of prayer, and indeed any aspect of a religion. There are billions of other people with countless different religions, and each will tell you with the same confidence that they have seen their prayers answered by their respective god(s). The one thing we can conclude from this is that it clearly makes no difference which deity you pray to. These religions are mutually exclusive, meaning all of them can't be true, so we can further deduct that praying to God has no measurable impact on outcome, since his rate of success is indistinguishable from the rate of a placebo god.
Even assuming that God is a real being, for the sake of the question, I would still lean heavily towards no. It's also pretty humorous to me that this question was tied at 50-50 before I answered. That's fairly ironic because it's a common jest that most normal prayers seem to be answered at roughly a 50-50 rate. If what you prayed for happened then God gets all the glory for answering your prayer; if you end up disappointed because God neglected to give you what you wanted/needed, well, God just works in mysterious ways.
Some Christians say, "yes, God always answers prayers, and sometimes the answer is no." This is because the outcome of a prayer cannot be predicted or even estimated. One can say that multiple factors were at play, in hindsight, that led to God's granting or rejecting a prayer, but the reality is no one should expect any particular effect when praying.
Why would God, an all knowing, all seeing, object, person, animal, what-not, bother himself with the petty issues we deal with on a daily basis? We are not important enough to bother a God even if such a God exists. If prayers were answered then there would be a lot more miracles in this world.