Unanswered Prayers???—In my extensive research o…

Unanswered Prayers???—In my extensive research only Orthodox Christianity knows what’s up with “unanswered prayers.” Orthodox petitions to God in their fullest and best form say things like “grant their saving petitions” (for other people) or “which conduce to salvation” or “worldly and spiritual goods” and so forth.

The first concern of Orthodox Christianity is “the salvation of our souls and bodies.” That is, that God the Trinity–the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit–may “have mercy on us and save us,” restore us to harmony with Him, to God-like-ness, to the way He made us originally (Adam and Eve) and still intends for us–soul and body–here and now or at least in the hereafter. So this is kept in mind whenever Orthodox use the above petition-formulae. It’s not just gimme, gimme, gimme; it’s, “I’d like this perceived good, Lord, but most of all, Thy salvation, so Thou callest the shots!”

Another point is placing the expressed concern of the petition under God’s care and administration, as our entire life should be, versus being a control-freak: “Got this problem, Lord, take care of it, OK? It’s under Your protection anyway, and You know best.” Like the old Quaker once said, “I’m not always of my own opinion!”

Finally, the “answer” may be in a form you’re not looking for, or it may become clearer years later. As St. Paul said, “Consider that God’s patience is directed toward your salvation.”

Any of these points can be expressed in a repressive way. My experience of Orthodoxy is different from that, because it’s so different from and alien to Western Christianity, and so much better, if you give it a chance. “Come and see!”

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