Why Unbelievers Don’t Want Your Prayers
I never, not even in my wildest dreams, thought my faith would ever be shipwrecked. I always believed even after I lost everything and everyone in my life, I would still have my faith. But my love for my daughter proved me wrong.
When she fell sick (seriously) for the third time just before she turned three, we prayed for her, commanded life, anointed her with oil, laid hands and rebuked the sickness, just like we did when she had those two heart operations before that. Yes, she’s had it tough. Very tough. The love I felt for that little body caused my analytical, engineering mind to explore every single avenue I had at my disposal, including asking why the very thing I cherished most in my life (my faith and love for God) wasn’t working when I needed it the most.
You see, for 30 years I had been a devoted God follower. I had a relationship with Jesus that most people could only envy. I often visualized Him wrapping His arms around me and telling me how much He loved me. My knowledge of the Bible ranked up there with the best of them. I was Spirit filled, spoke in tongues, was convinced I had witnessed many miracles and even authored a Christian book. I knew that God didn’t want my little girl to suffer like that, being the loving, caring God that He is.
Saved by the Doctors
But like every time before, nothing worked. None of the spiritual tools we had at our disposal could save her. The best tools that God had endowed His children with, tools that were supposed to help us thrive and live victoriously in this life, appeared to be powerless in spite of the many Bible verses that promised provision, deliverance, protection and healing.
It was then, during this state of heightened anxiety and desperation, that my mind explored the formerly unknown realms of doubt. Previously, because I had been taught that God is always faithful, I never allowed my mind the luxury to explore the path that included any possibility of Him not doing His part. If prayer and speaking life and everything else didn’t work, it was my responsibility as a believer to stir up my faith, try harder, pray more fervently and continue until I got the breakthrough. But not this time…
You don’t promise me something that can save the life of one of my family members and then decide not to pick up the phone when I call you to make good on your promise. You will not f#@*ck with my family!!
Needless to say, the more questions I allowed myself to ask, the fewer the answers became. As a believer, whenever I came across something I didn’t understand, I would park it in the “God will show me later” box. Now I took out all those questions and laid them before me again, looking at them honestly, fearlessly and rationally. And literally within a few hours the entire house of cards came tumbling down. I don’t know why, but it did. I frantically tried to convince myself that what had just happened wasn’t real, but it was too late. God was dead.
That was 20 months ago.
Just last weekend, my brave little girl (now four years old), fell sick again. The place where they had to cut her open the last time to remove a fist sized abscess in her abdomen, had caused a piece of scar tissue to form which caused a blockage in her small intestine. They tried everything, but could not get it to unblock. She writhed from pain for three days before the doctor finally gave up and took her to the theater to cut her open again. They removed the rotten blockage which had formed inside the intestine and cut out the growth as well. Doctors and medical technology had saved her little life… again.
And sure enough, lots of people offered their support in the form of prayer again. And because I was a fervent believer for three decades of my life, I totally understand where they are coming from: they are only trying to help as best they can.
But if only they thought about what they are really doing for a minute…
If God is in control and everything that happens is part of His plan, then it means the unbearable suffering she had to endure was also part of His plan, and by praying these folks are essentially telling God that His plan sucks and they are attempting to change His mind about the situation.
If God existed and He were really an all powerful, loving God, couldn’t He have stopped her from getting sick in the first place? Or does He enjoy seeing people (especially little children) become sick so He can listen to the pleas and cries of help from the parents to heal their children? If you were God, would you not do everything in your power to prevent suffering?
You can draw this same principle right through to any other situation. Praying is essentially a form of doubt, not of faith. When you are praying and asking God for something, you are essentially telling God that you don’t trust His plan for your specific situation. You are basically attempting to change God’s mind.
So having said this, we can conclude the following:
1) God is not all powerful (because He looks onto evil and suffering and does nothing)
2) God is not a loving God (because He would prevent evil and suffering)
3) God doesn’t exist
This is why unbelievers don’t covet the prayers of Christians. Why are you asking the same God who allowed the situation to happen, to now fix it for you? Why ask the same person who passively witnessed a child being raped, to comfort that same child? Why ask the same person who took two little children’s mommy away to look after them and envelop them in His love? Why ask your God to help you with your problem, when all along He had the power to prevent it?
Does He want people to beg for His help? Does He enjoy being the life saver who pulls someone from a pool after just pushing them in? Does He like listening to all those cries of desperation and pleas of help? Additionally, how can you be 100% sure you are even praying to the correct God? What if the God you were taught to believe in is the wrong one, and every time you pray you are just making the TRUE God more and more angry?
These are just some of the things that goes through the mind of an unbeliever when you offer your help in the form of prayer. Believe it or not, but unbelievers don’t want your prayers.
So instead of praying, simply say “I’m thinking of you” or “I am really sorry”, or even better, actually do something to help. You might get a much better response and your words might just help the unbeliever, not push them further away.