65. PRAYER ==>

65.1. You WILL Receive Whatever You Ask For In Prayer

But Not Really...

Given all the promises about prayers being answered, why did this happen?

A man carrying a shotgun enters Red Lake High School in Red Lake, Minnesota, on March 21, 2005


If you were English teacher Neva Rogers at Red Lake high school, you would take immediate action. You would shut off the lights in the classroom. You would close and lock the classroom door. You would tell your students to crouch in a corner of the classroom to get out of harm's way. Then you would stand in the middle of the room and begin praying to God. According to student witnesses, Ms. Rogers prayed, "God be with us. God help us."


The gunman walks to Neva Rogers' classroom door and finds it locked. He shoots out the glass panel next to the door and it explodes in a shower of tiny crystalline fragments. The gunman reaches in through the hole he has created, unlocks the door and shoves it out of the way to enter the classroom. Dressed completely in black and measuring six feet tall, he is a huge, hulking apparition.


He crosses the threshold of the classroom and looks at Ms. Rogers as she prays. He is armed with a massive 12-gauge shotgun. He raises the gun with both hands so it is pointing straight at Rogers' head.


What should God do?


What do you think God should do in a situation like this? Step back for a moment and look at this from God's perspective. God is sitting on his magnificent throne in heaven. God is all-knowing, so he is certainly watching Red Lake high school as events unfold. He hears Neva Rogers' prayers, and sees the gunman pointing the shotgun at her head. Jesus has promised that God will help, and Jesus is sitting at God's right hand.


Clearly a line has been drawn. On one side of the line is pure evil -- a sixteen-year-old who is obviously insane. On the other side is a deeply devoted, 62-year-old woman of unbending faith in God. This is a showdown between good and evil if there ever was one.


The gunman looks directly at Neva Rogers with his 12-gauge shotgun pointed at her skull. He pulls the trigger. Nothing happens. There is a click, but the gun does not fire. It seems like a miracle. Surely it is the hand of God.


Unfortunately, the gunman has a backup weapon and he does not even hesitate. He pulls out a pistol. He points the pistol at Ms. Rogers' head as she prays and squeezes the trigger. The pistol performs according to its specifications. He shoots Neva Rogers three times in the head and then once in the face for good measure. She dies instantly, falling into a pool of her own blood on the floor right in front of her stunned students.


According to Time magazine, what the gunman does next is remarkable. He aims his gun at one of Ms. Rogers' students in the corner and asks, "Do you believe in God?" By doing this, the gunman recreates a scene from the shootings at Columbine. At Columbine the student answered, "Yes" to this question and was shot to death. At Red Lake the student answers, "No." The gunman spares that student's life and starts shooting other students.


A total of ten people died on that day at Red Lake before the gunman took his own life.


Here's one response I have received when prayers are not answered.


"It wasn't god's will."


But, my question is, If god has a will that he is going to do anyway, why pray?