My reflection is from Living Faith:
“The Israelites believed God wouldn’t allow them to be defeated, but defeated they were. So after losing their first battle with the Philistines they decided to carry the sacred ark of the Lord of hosts – the very presence of God – the next time around. That didn’t work either. This second defeat was even more disastrous: thirty thousand foot soldiers died! In addition, the ark of God was captured. What were the Israelites to think? Why had God abandoned them?
We have all had times when we wondered if God was truly present with us, times when our prayers were not answered as we had asked. In times of serious illness, tragic death, or some other catastrophe, it can be easy to say with the psalmist￼: ‘Why do you hide your face, oh God?’ yet faith calls us to trust that God is with us even when we feel abandoned or lost or when our prayers are not answered according to our plan.
Prayer is not a magic formula and does not guarantee an outcome. Still, we are called to make our needs known and to trust that God will indeed answer, even if the answer does not come in the manner we desire or in the time frame we wish. That is true faith.
When it seems that our prayer has not been heard or answered, faith allows us to cry aloud to God: Lord have mercy! Lord have mercy!”
Sr. Anita Louise Lowe