Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, put their faith in him"(John 11:45).

A number of years ago, a very committed, dedicated and faithful couple in my church had a daughter whose life spanned only a week due to complications associated with undeveloped organs.  After a week of fervent prayer, we as a church had so many questions as to why God would allow this to happen to such faithful servants of His.

We later found out close to thirty family members and co-workers of the couple came to know Jesus through their child's short life.  Was that God's purpose for the life of that child?  Is this what God had planned in the midst of their grief?  We may never know for sure; we just did what we were called to d  pray.

Recently, a local pastor's son was involved in an automobile accident and a worldwide plea for prayer was sent out.  Thousands of believers unceasingly prayed for the healing of his body, believed in a miracle, and trusted God.  Three days later, the Lord took him home.

A church and a community are left with the question, "Why?" 

I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven (Matthew 18:19). 

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.  And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him (1 John 5:14-15).

Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete (John 16:24).

We look to passages like these, we pray for understanding, and oftentimes we walk away not able to comprehend how the Lord is working and why.  However, just because God does not work according to how we think doesn't mean He does not hear our prayers nor care about our situation.

Even as Jesus approached the tomb where Lazarus was buried, knowing full well He was about to raise him from the dead, "Jesus wept" (John 11:35). 

Solomon, often referred to as the wisest man on earth, penned these words trying to help us understand it is in God's time and purpose that He works, not ours.

He has made everything beautiful in its time.  He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

Whether we ever understand God's ways or ever see clearly how He's working in our lives, or those around us, we should continue to pray because He tells us to.

Men always ought to pray and not lose heart (Luke 18:1).

It is not only our way of communicating and communing directly with our Lord and Savior, but also a major component along our journey of faith.

At the Sunday service following the death of his son, the pastor praised his son for his earlier decision to donate his organs.  Five unknown families received the gift of an organ as a result of his son's death. 

His sister wrote:  "Five lives were immediately saved, and a total of 77 lives will be significantly impacted thanks to Josiah's donated organs.  Sometimes miracles happen in ways that we don't expect, but the miracle still happened." 

Through all of the prayers that were lifted up for the gift of life, somebody's prayers were answered that day.

We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).

Cliff Young is a contributing writer to Sandlot Stories (ARose Books), as well as the monthly column, "He Said-She Said," in's Singles Channel.  An architect and former youth worker, he now works with Christian musicians and consults for a number of Christian ministries. Got feedback?  Send your comments and questions to 

**This article first published on August 27, 2009.