In this eloquent and soul-baring book, Jerry Sittser (A Grace Disguised), reflects on the losses that drove him to wrestle with the paradox of unanswered prayer. A drunk driver hit the family car, killing his mother, wife, and young daughter. The accident left Sittser and his three other children injured and asking "Why?"
The tragedy, he writes, set him on a spiritual journey that continues to this day. "I have pondered more questions than I could name and number," he writes. Did God know the accident would happen? What if God had instantaneously healed his wife, mother-in-law, and daughter at the scene of the accident? Sittser had prayed for protection for his family—did he pray improperly? Were his prayers useless?
Sittser uses these types of questions as a springboard to plumb deeper ideas about God, such as divine foreknowledge of death and suffering. He also examines why we pray, noting that it is critical to pray honestly.
Unanswered prayer from our perspective, he believes, is not necessarily unanswered prayer from God's. Perhaps most importantly, Sittser discovers that "praying is not primarily about us at all. It is all about God."
Cindy Crosby is the author of By Willoway Brook: Exploring the Landscape of Prayer (Paraclete, 2003).
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When God Doesn't Answer Your Prayer is available from Christianbook.com and other book retailers.
More information is available from the publisher.
More information on Jerry Sittser is available from his Whitworth College faculty page.1