Question: I pray and pray, but I feel as if God is not listening. We always had a good, peaceful family life, but these last years have been tough. We don’t seem to be getting along and our finances have taken a turn for the worse.
I am so anxious about this situation that, not having anyone to turn to, I turned to God.
But God seems to remain deaf to me. Why is that? In addition, what do
I say to certain people, agnostics and atheists, who laugh at prayer,
saying it is nonsensical and only a figment of the imagination with no
God is faithful to His promises, and God promised to answer our
prayers. “And I tell you, ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you
will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks
receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be
opened” (Luke 11:9–10).
If God promises to answer our prayers, He will do so infallibly. But
in prayer there are two sides: he who asks and He Who gives.
Our part is to ask. How must we ask?
Saint Alphonsus Liguori, a Doctor of the Church, teaches in his book Prayer, the Great Means of Salvation that prayer must be persevering and humble.
So many times we hear people saying: “Oh, I used to ask God for this
and that and the other, but He never gave it to me. Now, ten years
later, how glad I am that He didn’t!”
One thing is certain: God will not fail to answer a humble and
perseverance prayer. Whether He chooses to grant what we ask immediately
or make us wait, we must trust that He, regardless of appearances, is
doing us good. What we think is good and what He thinks is good may be
two different things: “My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor your ways
My ways” (Isa. 55:8), but here is where we must abandon ourselves to His
beneficent will. Our part is to be patient, calm and, above all,
faithful, because this is the time for testing and later will come the
time for full enjoyment.
Answering Atheists and AgnosticsAs
for atheists and agnostics, their skepticism proceeds from the fact that
they, respectively, deny God’s existence or deny men’s capacity to know
In this case, we can only express our regret over their ignorance of
this Supreme Being, our omnipotent Creator and loving Savior.
We may direct them to a few sources that may help in their search for
the truth of His existence. Atheism and agnosticism can only be
sustained in ignorance or ill will because the evidence of God’s
existence is overwhelming.
Moreover, God will not hide Himself from those who seek Him sincerely and unconditionally.
Another consideration pertaining to non-believers is this: If God
were to grant us absolutely everything we ask at a moment’s notice, such
people might start believing purely out of self-interest.
They would look at God as a wand-wielding wizard. And God Our Lord is
infinitely more than that. He wants us to know, love, and serve Him for
Himself so that He can treat us as children and heirs and grant us
unending happiness in Heaven.
"My impression is that the Rosary is of the greatest value not
only according to the words of Our Lady of Fatima, but according to the
effects of the Rosary one sees throughout history. My impression is that
Our Lady wanted to give ordinary people, who might not know how to
pray, this simple method of getting closer to God." Sister Lucia, one of the seers of Fatima.