Prayer, Plain and Simple

Prayer, Plain and Simple

Prayer for Haiti: From “Why, God?” to “How, God?”

“Why, God?”

Looking at pictures of the pain and sorrow in Haiti, that’s our natural question. We want to know why a loving and all powerful God would allow such devastation. Be honest now. All of us want to know this…

But “Why, God?” is a question God seldom addresses. It’s a prayer he seldom answers. Instead…  In my book, co-written with Jennifer Schuchmann, Six Prayers God Always Answers, I address this question of questions… We naturally ask “Why?” But it seems there’s a far better way to address God in the face of crisis. Here’s an excerpt:


Some of our why questions are as old as life itself.

Why is there evil?

Why do bad things happen to good people?

Why does a good God allow such pain and suffering?

But why can easily move beyond an honest request to become a passive-aggressive demand for reparation. It can ring with a scolding tone, expecting God to own up to some grand foible and concede he’s done something wrong.

We attempt to lay our grievances on his doorstep, but God stoutly refuses to be made answerable for the mishaps of this world. He is God, and he won’t take responsibility for that which he didn’t do. God won’t be made party to evil. It is in the world of its own accord. God won’t be made to feel the guilt.


But the Bible never explains evil. The lack of explanation drives us toward our own when we can’t find his. The rational Greek-logic answer would force a decision. Either God is all powerful and unjust, or just, but too weak to enforce it.

The Hebrews answer the perplexity differently. For them the solution is both/and. The Psalmist writes, “One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard; that you, O God, are strong, and that you O God, are loving.” We feel the matter as two things, powerful and unjust or just and weak. But for God it is a unified question. He is loving and strong. Their answer forces us to consider our own. Sometimes we can’t see the answer because it isn’t obvious until we ask a different question.


That “different” question is “how?” Instead of seeking the cause for a crisis, what if instead we ask God, “Now that this is problem is here, how do I respond? How are you responding? How can I cooperate with you in fixing it?”

From “Why?” to How?”

“God we don’t fully understand why this terrible crisis has befallen Haiti. You are not answering our questions demanding an explanation. But we can ask, “How?” How can respond with you now? How can we be your hands and feet? How can we pray? How can we know and cooperate with you in this dark day?  God, we trust you. Lead us. Lead the leaders of Haiti and those working in relief programs. Turn this broken place into a new beacon of hope. In Jesus…”


  • Marylou Love

    Lately, when I open the Bible, somehow it’s on “Isaiah Chapter 1 – A Rebellious Nation” and I kept reading Chapter 2-9, then Chapter 24-“The Lord’s Devastation of the Earth” Chapter 25 & 26 Song of Praises…then Chapter34 – Judgment Against the Nations and Chapter 25 – Joy of the Redeemed. Mathew – Chapters 4-9 – All About Jesus and His Teachings
    I pray that the people of Haiti and every Nation join hands together and pray to God, “Our Father In Heaven” for His is the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory forever and whatever we ask in Jesus Name will be given to us. God destroys nations but he rebuilds it too……..
    Sometimes when something is bothering me, I open the Bible and start reading, the page where I open it seems to me that I get answers or ideas how to solve my problem or what it is that is bothering me…I just want to share this to everyone

  • Mossavi

    When Satan managed to influence our fore-father (Adam) who later was expelled from heaven, it forces me to conclude that Satan & his community strongly believes that they will also find it an easy task luring all of us into the luxury of this life through bad habits and wrongful acts of sins because they had vowed to ensure that ADAM’s followers shall not work their way to back to heaven (where we should belong) but instead, to rejoin Satan & his community in hell ……. we all react to our own conscious mind and intentions ….. should we continue destroying each other and the earthly world we own? Or should we rejoice and work our way through back to heaven … God gave us all a brain so powerful, which differ us from the animals in the wilds …. why waste it?
    Unnoticed acts of sins, unjust mass murders of the innocents by cruel rulers, and many more sinful acts by evil selfish governing parties go unnoticed due to men’s arrogance and dictatorship ego ….. who else is left to be their JUDGE and punish them? ….. “God” …

  • Andy

    1. Pray for those in need of rescue that it will come swiftly.
    2. Pray for the rescuers – safety, rest, encouragement, in the midst of horror and unrelenting pain.
    3. Pray for families that have witnessed the unthinkable, are worried about loved ones, and fearful for their own safety.
    4. Pray for children who need comfort and safety, hugs and reassurance – even if they are physically “fine.”
    5. Pray for governments and authorities that all red tape would dissappear and corruption would cease.
    6. Pray for relief agencies to have wisdom and compassion to make a lasting difference in Haiti.
    Andy hgh

  • Wthdove

    Last month here in Eureka California, the area suffered an earthquake of the same magnitude. And yet, there was minimal damage. I don’t understand why there was so much devastation in Haiti and not in Eureka. It leaves room to wonder if this is a sign of a lesson that needs to be learned. I can’t imagine what it would be like to suffer such great loss. In the blink of an eye, in a few moments time, everything around you is gone. I pray for the people of Haiti, from the deepest part of my heart. May God’s mercy, peace, relief, love and comfort be with them all.

  • Your Name

    Asking the question, “Why, God”?…is like asking Him, “Why, God, did you allow your only begotten son, who is without sin, to come to this earth and suffer in such a way that He did”? Haiti, seemingly targeted for something they did wrong, hasn’t at all. But, perhaps it’s the wrong we other countries have done by ignoring them in the past. Perhaps now is the time God has chosen for us to really focus our attention on Haiti – maybe this is our chance to make amends. By the way, Job had not done anything ‘wrong’ in the eyes of God…(The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart. These, O’ God, You will not despise. Psalm 51:17)

  • rk

    could it be voodoo? would God judge this? no, I’m sure our modern day liberal santa god was out of town when this all the religious world so twisted as to ignore the possibility that the righteous God, whom the Bible says flooded the wicked earth of noah’s day, and destroyed Soddom/Gomorah, etc. would not be offended that people continually worship the devil?Yes, the helpless kids and adults get caught up in all this. and yes, many are miraculously rescued and humanitarian help rushes to the defense, as it should.these people need the light of christ, not the bondage of superstitious concoction of catholicism and black magic. i saw a voodoo ceremony. it’s not good. I know this is not politically correct, and that people have a right to worship whatever; but then why ask the Judeo-Christian God why?You know why!p.s., an earthquake is an act of God, according to insurance law. how can the article say people are responsible for this; can people cause an earthquake?

  • pandora

    You had some nice points here. I done a research on the topic and got most peoples will agree with you

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