You’ve read the title of this post. Do you believe it to be true? Have you experienced it in your own life? There is a digital sign made by signsforjesus.com that is located a few towns over from me at a busy intersection. This was the message on it today. It’s nothing new. This is a message as old as the Bible itself. In Matthew 21:22, the Bible clearly states “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” So once again, do you believe it to be true?
This is a topic that troubles believers. I know it did when I believed. It bothers me still because many people believe it based on nothing and push this idea. According to some (not all) Christians, if prayer doesn’t work for you, then maybe you are not a true believer even if you think that you are. Most believers are decent enough and don’t accuse other people of not truly believing, but many do. (You know who you are) If you believe, and your prayers go unanswered, then you are left feeling confused, betrayed and unworthy. If you are an unbeliever, then this verse clearly shows the Bible’s message is faulty and it stands out like a sore thumb. So what’s the deal here? Is the Bible wrong to say this? Is it made up? Is there another reason prayers consistently go unanswered? Make no mistake, prayers absolutely go unanswered. When I believed, and I did believe, my prayers went unanswered. There’s an issue here.
The topic of unanswered prayer has been discussed far too many times. People ask why prayers are ignored and the faithful usually come up with some excuse why this happens. “There is sin in your life creating a barrier between you and God.” Well, obviously. The Bible itself says that we all sin. If sin was the reason prayers went unanswered, we could expect that 100% of prayers would go unanswered as we all sin, all of the time. What is the other popular excuse? I mentioned it earlier. “You were never a real Christian to begin with.” Ah, of course. The old “You were never one of us” excuse. My prayers all went unanswered and I left the faith all because I never truly believed. I was never truly a Christian. Yes, I’ve heard this before. And every time, this is a B.S. excuse.
If believers, according to Matthew 21:22, have their prayers answered, then why aren’t their prayers answered? People who stand up high, looking down their noses at those of us who lost faith, claiming that only the true believers have their prayers answered also have unanswered prayers. Again, according to Matthew 21:22 “…you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” Ask any believer, any one of them, if one of their prayers went unanswered. If the answer is yes, then what is their excuse? What is the reason that a true believer was denied what was promised to them? Was it God’s will? The excuse of, “Well, my prayers didn’t get answered or something different happened than what I asked for because it was God’s will. God has a plan and our prayers don’t always fit into that plan.” But that’s not what the Bible promises us, is it? “…whatever we ask for…” There are no rules or stipulations. There are no prerequisites or conditions. There is a promise made that goes unfulfilled. Excuses cannot explain this away.
Prayers by believers and by unbelievers are answered at the same rate. They are answered at the same exact rate as chance. About 50/50. Random chance dictates whether or not you get what you ask for, regardless of what you believe. Believers do not get whatever they ask for in prayer just because they believe. Believers, even the most sincere believers (Yes I once was a true believer) can lose faith. They lose faith not because they weren’t true believers or their hearts weren’t “given to Jesus”. They lose faith because of broken promises, unanswered prayers and a book “inspired by God” that is actually man-made and as flawed as you or me. Deconverting from Christianity does actually happen and it happens even to the most pious and devout amongst Christians. If you are a believer and disagree with this statement, it is because you still believe and can’t see any other option but to believe. It does happen and to judge those of us who leave as being “not true Christians” is as ignorant and as arrogant as you can get. If you still believe, how many of your prayers were ignored? How many didn’t go your way? They should have been given to you, exactly as you asked for them. Every one of them. If not, then either the Bible is wrong…or maybe you aren’t true believers either.