Theists favorite phrase when…
God doesn’t answer
Blind unbelief is sure to err, And scan his work in vain; God is his own interpreter, And he will make it plain.William Cowper
The phrase “God works in mysterious ways” is not found in the Bible.
God, if there is one, is unknowable. We humans cannot know God. We will never know God’s will. Praying is one of those rituals that has never worked for me. A prayer for my dying child went unanswered even though the entire congregation prayed for him. My pastor, who was an intelligent man, had a set of cliched answers such as, “God works in mysterious ways,” or “God has other plans that we just don’t know about.” Jesus says that as long as we believe, our prayers will be answered. No qualifications, except to believe (and maybe locking yourself in your room and not babbling). Maybe I didn’t believe correctly. Maybe God didn’t want to answer my prayer, which makes him a cruel God in my mind. Unanswered questions. Unanswered prayers. He is indeed mysterious.