One of my favorite writers, Philip Yancey, wrote in Christianity Today (“Back Page”, Mar 2007 ) "Life is not a problem to be solved but a mystery to be lived. Prayer offers no ironclad guarantee, but the certain promise that we need not live that mystery alone". Oh how true.
I can certainly take solace in that. But where does that solace come from? To whom or what are you praying? Some pray to ancestors while surrounded by the wafting smell of incense; others pray to a statue of a pot-bellied, cross-legged man; others pray to multi-armed, multi-headed beings. Some get solace not from any deity, for they don't believe in any deity but rather in goodness and kind deeds. Others find solace from the harshness of life through drugs, sex and alcohol.
Homeless, jobless, childless, disease wracked, desperate, abused; prayer sounds so useless in all these areas – more like a Band-Aid on an infection rather than a cure. Well, if you are praying to the "air", you're wide open to chance, luck, fortune and that useless “Band-Aid”. But if you are praying to the true and powerful God, then you get His results – sometimes that is to calm the storm, other times it is to calm you in it. No matter whether you stand on God's truth or the foolishness of all else, it can't be denied, life is a mystery. Two people with exactly the same circumstances, one lives, one dies; one is healed, one is not; on and on through the ages. We can choose the temporary solace of the things of the earth or we can ride triumphantly on the greatest journey you'll ever take, with a life in Jesus Christ – mystery and all! Endure the fire...it's producing pure gold!