Didn’t God hear me when I prayed?


I was five when I found out my mum was dying.

She had terminal breast cancer. For five years, I watched it destroy her body. I didn’t want her to die. She told me about God. So I begged God to spare her.

But he didn’t give me my heart’s desire. She died when I was ten.

When my father got sick a few years later, I didn’t really bother praying. History told me that God didn’t answer prayers. He died when I was fourteen.

A New Hope

So I wasn’t sure about Jesus. But something changed. I went to church and heard the gospel. Years before I’d heard John 3:16:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

But now it made sense. If I believe in Jesus, I have eternal life with God. So I became a Christian.

But why trust the God who didn’t answer my prayer?

A Promising God

My parents’ deaths didn’t mean that God didn’t listen. He promises to hold us tenderly in our grief (Psalm 56:8).

Some Christians with incurable diseases pray for death to free them from suffering. Others pray for healing. God listens to both.

And he promises to answer (1 John 5:14). Sometimes in ways we don’t choose. But always according to his good and perfect will (Romans 8:26-27).

He heard me, even when I didn’t know him. And he answered.

A Tested Trust

I don’t know if my parents prayed for death or life – or if they trusted in Jesus. But knowing that God only does what is good, I can trust that he heard my prayers and did what was best.

While my grief continues until today, he’s listening, and acting – even when it doesn’t seem like it.