What we perceive to be unanswered prayer can become a major roadblock on the pathway of grief. Almost everyone who has been close to a loved one who was seriously ill has prayed for their recovery. In a simplistic way we may have thought of scripture verses like ‘ask and you shall receive’, and wondered about the validity of this promise as the situation worsened. Then when the person died it may have precipitated a major faith crisis. This can even be worse if there were those who in spite of the obvious deterioration held their loved ones in denial while purporting to be supporting them in faith. Yet we always see things from such a limited perspective. We never know if that person’s soul purpose was complete, no more than we can judge how our prayers have been answered. In one case a woman took seriously ill who had leader of a prayer group. They met regularly and prayed for her to be cured. As she came close to death her message was to thank them for their prayers: that while she had not been cured, so much had happened, she had been healed, and was now ready to die with absolute peace.

Fr Jim Cogley