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11th hourFriends, the more I live, the more I am convinced that our Lord is pleased to make us wait on Him for all our needs.  His timing is never on our schedule, but His timing is always perfect and usually at the 11th hour.  This is a reality of the Christian faith walk that is, at times, very frustrating, but extremely efficacious in building trust in the ultimate provision and protection of God.  Why is this important to blog about?  It is because our lives are full of needs.  We have many financial, emotional, physical and spiritual needs.  God is aware of all of them and He knows the order and time to allow His gifts to be bestowed on His children.  As we reflect on healing through this site, it is important to realize that when we ask God for certain things that His answers may not come the way we prefer, but know He will always answer.  Sometimes, however, His answer is NO.

Fr. ScottI heard a great priest, Fr. Scott Seethauler, give four reasons why God sometimes gives us the answer of “no” to our prayers.  Here they are in no specific order:

  1. What we are asking is not good for our eternal salvation.
  2. The “no” we are receiving is a temporary “no” as God prepares us for the big YES.
  3. God usually allows nature to take its course.  He often does not interrupt the natural order.  When He does, we call this is a miracle.
  4. God often uses people to answer our prayers.  Sadly, we get a “no” answer because the people He is calling on to help us are either not listening to the Holy Spirit’s promptings or are not interested.

This was very helpful for me to hear at the time I heard it and I pray it be of help to you.  I want to focus on #4 for the purposes of this blog–God using people for His purpose of answering His people’s prayers.  This sounds like God doesn’t it?  He allows us to participate in the redemption of souls through our suffering doesn’t He?  So, of course He would allow us to answer prayers.  God is pleased to exalt the humble and He likes His people to do His work.  Sacred Scripture supports this from Genesis to Revelation; from Adam to St. John; from Abraham to St. John the Baptist; and from Moses to St. Peter.  All the prophets and saints up to the present day give witness to God using them as instruments for His plan for souls.  St. Teresa of AvilaTo paraphrase St. Teresa of Avila, “Christ no longer has hands and feet on this earth.  We are His hands and feet.”

As God’s chosen instruments, we have a duty to listen to how we can help the brethren.  Since some of us have bad hearing, it is no wonder why the answer to our prayers comes often at the 11th hour.  Frankly, I love this journey.  I pray more when I need God’s help.  I learn to trust more.  Isn’t that a good thing?  Yes, I should be praying and trusting in God’s grace always, but when I am in need, is not God pleased that I am calling on Him?  Of course He is!   The key is to maintain that conversation daily.  If we were all doing such, I believe our collective prayers would get answered a lot sooner.  But who am I to question God’s permissive will in the lives of His people?  I am nothing.  A nobody.  Just a guy who needs help and now!

Yours in Christ’s healing love,

Mark Houck