What Do I Pray For? Part 3

What do I pray for? As I write this I’m reflecting upon the recent dashing of some of my hopes and the recent loss of a friend to cancer who was a young father. So, do I still believe in prayer and intercessory prayer; do I pray for these things? Yes.

Just because things don’t turn out the way that I think they should does not mean God doesn’t answer prayer. Limited by time and space, with prayer I reach out and touch God. He does not see us as limited weak creatures in this time and space. He sees us across eternity.

What Do I Pray For?

Because if I turn to him, believe in him, and live for him, I take on a new life. My life continues. It does not end here with this life. So the real value and again primary role of prayer maintains a continuous relationship with God. What do I pray for? I pray for relationship, lifeline, provisional connection, and the peace of the one whom receives the prayer.

My uncle thanked God for his cancer because before it, he never gave his relationship with God much thought. For him, cancer woke him up and called him to a better life.

This does not diminish the pain of death or explain why many seem to die before their time. Much of our suffering remains a mystery and does not seem fair. I understand that much evil, suffering, sickness, and death result from a creation where free will exists, but I don’t like the fact that so many of my friends have departed. Why did God take so many home when I asked him to heal them? I don’t know. The presence of unknowables or mysteries is not a reason to reject God or prayer. I do believe my friends went to a better place, but I still miss them.

So should I pray that God will heal my friends when they become sick? Yes, I think so, just as I should encourage them, serve them, and comfort them. I should ‘pray them thorough,’ so that their healing gives them the stepping stone they need in their relationship with God. Whether God heals them on this side of the door we must all step through or on the other side, I don’t know. God decides. Sometimes he decides its time to go home. Frequently, he gives amazing answers we miss because we’re looking for a specific outcome. Later we think: ‘Oh, I missed that.’ Nevertheless, the more frequent we pray, the more frequent we see answers. I’ve seen people brought back from the edge, sometimes even when they would have preferred to depart. So, keep praying.


Suffering, sickness, and death have little meaning if you believe we all die as caterpillars, that it all ends in the chrysalis, but if you believe we truly come out as butterflies, then the second death has no sting.

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