This has come from another thread, but I want to address one specific issue with prayer. As an initial disclaimer, I realize that prayer serves many purposes and different people have different beliefs regarding when and why they pray and what the benefits are.
This thread is specifically about the case where a person prays and the prayer is answered by granting the wish of the person praying.
An example given in the other thread was a case where a person prayed for an injured dog to get better and the dog, apparently against the medical odds, did get better.
Let us for a moment assume that the prayer was answered by God.
My questions are:
1. If the person did not pray, would God still have 'granted' the wish? ie if God felt it was what was best for the person praying, would he have done it anyway or did he need the person to pray first?
2. Does God ever answer such wishes even though they are not necessarily the best for the person, ie they are just personal desires, but not real benefits.
3. If granting the wish was what was best for the person, and the person did not pray and God did not grant the wish, is God not being negligent?
4. How did the situation come about in the first place. In the example above, could God have not simply stopped the dog from getting injured? Did the owner never pray for the dog not to get injured? Or was the injury all part of some lesson being taught to both dog and owner? Or was it the work of the Devil?