Have you ever wondered how an all-powerful God could let people die of starvation or lack of clean water? If God actually exists, and He is a good God, why would He allow such suffering and injustice? We read in the Bible about times when God provided miraculously, but why would He not do this every time? So He loves us enough to send His only son to die for us, but He does not love us enough to step in and fix our problems on earth? Is He faithful to provide our daily needs or . . .

My whole life, everyone taught me that prayer was always the right response. Even Scripture says we are to “pray without ceasing,” and though this directive felt a bit daunting, I fully believed God designed us to be people of prayer. I believed we were to pray with faith and boldness, and to persist in our petitions until we got a breakthrough. Isn’t that what the parable about the unjust judge teaches, that we are to “always pray and never give up?” (Luke 18:1-8) However, there are two distinct times in my life when I am certain God told me not to pray. They both surprised me, and they both redefined my understanding of Him.

The first time was at my work. As a physician assistant, I often have opportunities to pray with my patients. It is a privilege and a joy every time I connect someone with the love of God through prayer. I believe my heart was right in doing this, and it often brought peace and encouragement to the patients.  However, one day . . .