The ‘Right’ Answer to Our PrayersNovember 4, 2020 - 12:00 am
“Then Abraham approached him and said: “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked?”” — Genesis 18:23
Each week in synagogue or at home, Jews read through the Torah from Genesis to Deuteronomy. The Torah portion for this week is Vayeira, which means “and he appeared,” from Genesis 18:1—22:24.
No matter how many times I sing “Hatikvah,” Israel’s national anthem, I am moved every time. The final words — “We have not lost our 2,000-year-old hope to be a free nation in our homeland” — remind me that my life, living in the Holy Land, is the answer to millions of prayers over thousands of years. My children, born in the sovereign state of Israel, are the answer to these prayers.
In this week’s Torah reading, we encounter the first prayer in the Bible. Surprisingly, it is Abraham’s prayer that God spare the people of Sodom — one that appears to go unanswered! Wouldn’t it have been more inspirational if the first prayer were one that brought about miracles?
The Jewish sages explained that there is no such thing as an unanswered prayer. God hears all prayers and answers them — in the right time and in the right way.
According to Jewish tradition, Abraham’s prayer that God would not “sweep away the righteous with the wicked” was answered hundreds of years later when the Israelites were enslaved in Egypt. They had descended to such a low spiritual level that they were barely worthy of God’s salvation. However, Abraham’s prayer that God save the wicked majority for the sake of the righteous minority was answered — exactly when it was needed most!
In the same way, when I see the amazing miracles that God has done for the modern state of Israel and continues to do for the Jewish people every day, I know that it is the right answer to the prayers of the Jewish people over millennia. Those prayers, which seemed to go unanswered for so long, have been answered in exactly the right way at exactly the right time.
Sometimes the prayers that seem the least effective have the greatest impact on our lives. Every prayer is heard and not a single prayer is wasted. Every single prayer brings down blessings and miracles into the world, but not always right away.
God answers our prayers in the right time — when we need it most. Never give up hope and never stop praying. God hears you and will answer your prayers for the very best.
Your turn: What have you stopped praying for because your prayers seemed to go unanswered? Be encouraged and renew those prayers today!