One can perhaps appreciate the argument that god will not answer all prayers and faith-based expectations. If god did it would make faith and prayers unnecessary and even remove the necessity of god.
BUT, how can we know that faith and prayer are appropriate and destined to give results and sometimes not?
Why the question is important flows from incidences such as placing one’s faith in god for miracle cures and of course the associated problem of trust in god. If you pray for healing and simultaneously show your distrust in god by also placing faith in worldly assistance – some medical personnel for example may not at all share your religious beliefs – you may well be courting disaster with your unbelief. Why should god bother to assist you if you do not fully trust him?
We periodically read and hear about cases where the sick succumb because of non-medical care because they were instead prayed for.
Can you blame the faithful if they take the bible seriously enough and rely on prayer and faith alone? Would seem very unfair to the reasonable observer.
It however goes a bit further. A few months ago we read on these very same pages about the death of a child as a result of the parent’s reliance on prayer and faith alone to the exclusion of medical care. Some believers had the audacity to come onto this forum and to criticise the parent and even call him stupid.
They disregarded that the parent was the real TRUE believer and a much more committed believer than most believers. I recall something like the parent was jailed for it.
So much for the bible being a reliable source/guide.