Because there are myriad excuses for why prayers are not answered or are answered and we just don't know it. For the person who didn't find their car keys or get a boat, it could be they just didn't pray with enough faith, or didn't pray using the right language, or the answer could be no or maybe just nor right now, or maybe it just wasn't meant to be, or.... You get the idea.mercyngrace wrote:As a side note - and someone else may have already mentioned this - I find it laugh out loud funny that we will attribute finding some small lost item to answered prayers to the point of building testimony around the incident but if we pray and don't find our lost bobbles, we would never consider that a validation of atheism.
I wish I had a way to reconcile all the thoughts while whirl in my head about this topic but I've learned to be content with embracing prayer as a mystery. It's all I can do.
I agree with you, and that is part of what bugs me - is building a testimony around these types of things really a testimony at all? There is a relationship with this way of thinking and my own faith crisis, and maybe that's why it bugs me. In my old way of believing, I did believe that God would answer all of our prayers, no matter what we ask and that He was involved intimately with our daily lives including helping us find trivial (from the perspective of the universe) things. I think that if that's a main pillar of a testimony, when something big does hit and you discover that it isn't necessarily as you thought, a crisis can hit and hit hard. Isn't a testimony based on this kind of involvement on the part of God just a set up for failure and crisis?
I have to say, and I didn't share this before, but I was very tempted to get up and point out how ridiculous a testimony like hers sounds. I'm glad I didn't and don't think I should have. But this has caused me to think about how to correct the premise. Again, I realize that some people really need that, that without that kind of faith they wouldn't have any (and again that's why I fear for failure when push comes to shove) but I also recognize there are many who have matured in their faith beyond that point while others are stuck there. I'm guessing this sister who bore testimony is mid-40s, and from the way she talked she has been a member for many years, but I know some 20 somethings who grew up in the church who have moved beyond there. How do we teach the correct principle without being negative and without damaging or demeaning the faith of another? It's clear to me the correct approach is not to stand up and say "For all of you who believe God finds your car keys, get real!"