Why won’t God answer my prayers?


When I ask god for something small like good marks in an unimportant exam he gives it but when I wish for something big like winning a national competition or getting good marks in a career defining exam he never grants it.I do prayers , meditation then with deep stillness, devotion and concentration I ask him for it, still he doesn’t give it to me. But when I am sad I feel a force in my chest and head and I can’t be sad any longer.Why can’t he for once grant one big wish? I’m tired of losing.

—Hmk, India


Dear HMK,

Yes, we all want life to be the way we want it, regardless of whether we have earned that—or whether that’s even what’s best for us.

God is not interested in making our lives exactly the way we want them to be. He is interested in making our lives the best that they can be, and often that does not involve satisfying our desires. It would be easy for Him to satisfy our desires, but if He did that, we would simply generate more desires, thinking that satisfying desires is the sure route to happiness. As a result, we would get stuck in endless rounds of desire and fulfillment/disappointment, and never experience what He really wants for us: unceasing bliss. We can’t receive that unless we are open to it, and unless we try to attune to His will rather than insisting on our own.

Besides, God is not going to override our own karma. Why would He break his own laws? You are asking God to do these things for you, but have you earned them? Is God merely a vending machine: insert your prayer, and out comes whatever you want? No, God wants to take you out of this world of ups and downs altogether, into His realm of unceasing bliss. Having your outward desires satisfied is not the way to get there. Again, try to attune yourself to His consciousness and His will for you.

You have the blessing of being taken out of sadness whenever it arises. What do you think that “force in [your] chest and head” is? Could it be God calling to you, showing you that you have within you the power to be happy always rather than depending on your outward desires being satisfied? Why not try to find out?

Nayaswami Gyandev