In my post, The Implications of Omnipotence, I noted that there is nothing that an all-powerful God can’t do, yet, not every prayer is answered — at least not the way we think it should be.
However, before we criticize God, consider:
- Maybe our request is contrary to God’s nature, such as asking him to harm another person.
- Perhaps what we ask would require someone’s free will to be superseded, such as, to make someone do something they don’t what to do.
- What if God said “yes” to everything? (Consider the movie “Bruce Almighty” for a demonstration of how bad that would be.)
- If God answered every prayer every time, immediately solving all our problems, getting us out of jams, and shielding us from the consequences of our actions, God would become our grant-a-wish-genie, literally spoiling us rotten.
When Jesus was teaching about prayer, he noted that even flawed parents know how to give good things to their children, so even more so, our heavenly father will give good things to his children.
- Just as parents may wisely withhold some things for the long-term good of a child, God will do so, too.
- Children need chance to learn, grow, and mature, sometimes through failure or disappointment, so too do we.
- Doting and indulgent parents keep a child from maturing and becoming stable adult. God loves us too much to let that happen.
Sometimes, “No” is the best and most loving response.
However, when it’s in our best interest, there’s nothing God can’t and won’t do for us when we ask. That is his nature; he is omnipotent.
A lifelong student of the Bible, Peter DeHaan, PhD, wrote the 1,000-page website ABibleADay.com to encourage people to explore the Bible. His main blog and many books urge Christians to push past the status quo and reconsider how they practice their faith in every area of their lives.