In late November my daughter got married, and it was a wonderful experience. In the days leading up to the wedding, my wife was fervently praying for good weather. For several weeks before the wedding date, Chicago experienced unseasonal warmth and lots of sunshine. Forecasters, however, warned that “big changes” were coming, and the target date for those big changes turned out to be our daughter’s wedding day. Needless to say, my wife was not very pleased with God’s response to her prayers! Of course, this resulted in the two of us having some interesting conversations about prayer and its effectiveness and how/whether God responds to our prayers. In particular, we grappled with the notion of praying for God to intervene in the physical world, basically asking God to change the weather in our favor.
In the midst of all that, I came across an interesting article that talked about how science used to suggest that everything followed a strict “cause and effect” pattern, which meant that praying to God often meant asking God to suspend the laws of physics and break the natural laws that he put into place to steer the world. Today, however, science talks about the randomness of creation and chaos theory, which suggests that creation is unpredictable and that systems in the world can be very sensitive to change so that a small disturbance can cause a great reaction (such as the famous flap of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil setting off a tornado in Texas).
All of this to say that, with a proper understanding of science, we can pray for God to work within the parameters of the world he has created and not to suspend the laws of physics on our behalf, but to intervene into the chaos of creation and cause a shift. In other words, instead of thinking that the only way for God to answer our prayer for good weather on our daughter’s wedding day was to suspend the laws of physics and halt an oncoming weather system and keep temps in the 60s in late November, we can conclude that God did indeed intervene in response to our prayers by altering things just enough so that a huge weather system that was traveling from west to east veered just north, keeping Chicago out of the path of snow, and enabling the sun to peek out on the afternoon of our daughter’s wedding despite colder temps.
That’s an answer to a prayer!
Your thoughts about praying for God’s intervention?