Call Me Back

I am told that God answers prayer.
But then a few caveats are added,
meant to temper my expectation
for a quick and positive response.
First, they make it clear
that sometimes the answer will be “no.”
And secondly, I am told
I should not expect a speedy reply
because the answer will come in God’s time, not mine.
With seven billion people in the world,
if only a fraction pray every day
God’s in-box must be jammed 24/7.
The volume must be immense
since God also hears unspoken needs.
I wonder if God employs a triage system
so that brain cancer takes precedence over a math quiz.
Perhaps God weighs the requests on merit
based on an extraordinary need
or an intensity of feeling
or the strength of belief.
If so, my odds of getting through
are slim to none.
I have left messages, repeatedly,
but God never picks up.
Call me back.
I’m waiting.


© 2014



Topics: Fiction and Poetry, Prayer, and Worship & Liturgy. 8 Points: Point 5: Non-Dogmatic Searchers. Seasons & Special Events: All Seasons. Ages: Adult. Resource Types: Poetry, Practice, and Prayers.

Review & Commentary

  • Great post Kurt. I don’t profess to have any answers, and have many of the same questions as you here. But one hint of evidence I see is that prayers are answered through other people. So maybe it’s not all mystical, but also a game of logic. So a prayer by starving kid in Africa says “Please God send me food.” And that can only be answered by someone who is moved enough to feed the hungry. Person with Cancer says, “please God, cure my cancer” and the prayer is answered through the scientist who finds a cure, and the Dr. who administers it. So I suppose the mystical side is where people are open enough to the “Spirit” to care about sacrificially meeting those needs. Maybe that’s where the mystical side of it comes in. It’s all supply and demand. What do you think?

  • Christian, I agree. Essentially, prayer should rouse us to action. The idea that we are the answers to our own prayers is expressed in two of my other posts. The first is another poem called “Praying to God” ( and the second is my article in the monthly eBulletin “Beyond Ritual: A Life of Prayer and Action” ( I think the wrong attitude about prayer is the expectation that God will act, while God quietly waits for us to act. True prayer is harder on the soles of our feet than it is on our knees.

    • Carlos Allemand

      Yes Kurt, I agree wholeheartily with your statement: “I think the wrong attitude about prayer is the expectation that God will act, while God quietly waits for us to act.” I see that so often individuals and churches Sunday after Sunday pray God asking for specific private, national or international needs, but have so much difficulty in engaging themselves through their actions. I have discovered more and more the need of gratefulness in my life, and when I become conscient of all I have received, the need to share, to engage myself in favour of those suffering, etc. emerges…

  • Jayne Whyte

    Good observation, Kurt. I think there are three usual answers to our requests: Yes, No and Wait.