Answers to prayers

The following is a translation of a scriptural meditation from the Russian book, “Day by Day”. Lewis connection follows:

"Scripture: “Now to Him Who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work in us, to Him be glory” (Eph: 3, 20- 21)


"One often hears that it can be difficult to pray. And with all of us, unfortunately, our faith weakens when we are in difficult circumstances or do not receive an answer to our prayers for a long time. We become despondent and sometimes stop praying altogether. But if we saw our Lord as a loving Father, if we firmly believed His word, we would never cease praying. The Lord often delays His answer for reasons which are unknown to us, but this does not mean that He did not hear us.

"When the Savior was being summoned to the dying Lazarus, whom He loved and called His friend, He waited for another two days before going to Bethany. Such an attitude could have surprised us, but now we now know why He waited. He came after Lazarus had died, when his sisters and all his relatives could no longer expect anything from Jesus. And what happened? When everything seemed to be over, the Lord returned him to life, turned tears into joy, and showed everyone the glory and power of God.

"And the Lord often does the same with us. We pray fervently, we often turn to Him with tears, but everything that grieves us remains the same. But the Lord knows why He does not immediately answer our prayers. Let us not despair, let us believe that He hears us, and perhaps when it seems to us that all is lost, we obtain release from our concerns!

“Let us remember that He Who is All-Merciful and All-Powerful can do “immeasurably more than we can imagine”; let us not aggrieve Him with our lack of faith, but let us hope that a sincere prayer will always be heard and fulfilled for our benefit, but perhaps not in the way that we expected.”

Lewis writes the following in his essay, “The Efficacy of Prayer”:

“Petitionary prayer is…both allowed and commanded to us: ‘Give us our daily bread.’ And no doubt it raises a theoretical problem. Can we believe that God ever really modifies His action in response to the suggestions of men? For infinite wisdom does not need telling what is best, and infinite goodness needs no urging to do it. But neither does God need any of those things that are done by finite agents, whether living or inanimate. He could, if He chose, repair our bodies miraculously without food; or give us food without the aid of farmers, bakers, and butchers; or knowledge without the aid of learned men; or convert the heathen without missionaries. Instead, He allows soils and weather and animals and the muscles, minds, and wills of men to co-operate in the execution of His will. ‘God,’ said Pascal, ‘instituted prayer in order to lend to His creatures the dignity of causality.’ But not only prayer; whenever we act at all He lends us that dignity. It is not really stranger, nor less strange, that my prayers should affect the course of events than that my other actions should do so. They have not advised or changed God’s mind – that is, His over-all purpose. But that purpose will be realized in different ways according to the actions, including the prayers, of His creatures."


“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Love will last forever.” (1 Corinthians 13: 4-8)