6 Reasons We’re Often Surprised when God Answers Our Prayer

"The early church had been praying for Peter’s release from prison, yet they were surprised when God actually responded (Acts 12:1-17). The story would be comical if it didn’t so clearly describe us" - C.Lawless

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Aaron Blumer's picture


I think it's often because we're looking at prayer and 'results' with a cause and effect elimination dynamic. That is, we want to see events that have no other causal explanation other than the fact that we prayed. ... or at least no other causal explanations that seem ordinary.

But that's not how prayer works.

I was reading someone on this topic recently and had a bit of an epiphany ("paradigm shift"?) on the topic. Wish I knew whom to thank. What struck me is that God always uses secondary causes, and the whole causal chain is part of His work in the world for every single thing that happens.

In practical terms, it means that if I prayed and it happens, the happening is an answer to prayer. Always. Every single time (along with whatever means God chose to use).

But we think of prayer too much in an instrumental way--as a tool to get a job done. It's not really about that. It's about a mindset of dependence and connecting our lives to God, seeking Him and being aware of Him in all the small stuff that is 99% of our lives.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.