I really have to commend Sophia's post, here. She has taken the words out of my mouth. I cannot even remember all of the times I have prayed for some temporal aid or favor, which I felt was exactly what I needed. I always did it humbly, sincerely, etc. However, very often this was not granted. I always assumed at the time that it was because I was not devout enough, not persistent enough, or shrugged it off very dissapointedly as "God not granting my prayers." However, as hindsight is so often 20/20, I can see, now, His providence ordering all of these "unanswered" prayers. Many of them, had they been granted, would have very negatively affected me, so that I would have become more worldly, or more lax in my belief, or would have been led away from the Church, or they would have had other grave consequences. Instead, my petitions were met through other means, often more subtle. He hears every prayer which we send up, sometimes, rarely, his answer is a direct "yes." Others, more frequently, it's "wait," and sometimes, it's "No, here is this instead." He is infinitely wise, merciful, just, and loving, and desires above all things that we should be saved. Everything that happens in our lives is ordered to this fact, so that by these trials, these crosses like those of Our Lord, we might be molded by the Divine Will into saints, and thus save our souls. His ways are truly mysterious. You might say (this is an inelegant analogy, sorry, it's late ) that we are like motes of dust on a chessboard. We are angry when a massive piece of marble slams down on our barns, which are on the square next to our houses. However, what we cannot see is that this move prevented another by the opposing player which would have smashed our homes on this square and taken our lives as well. We are mystefied that God should send us this calamity, oblivious to the fact that a far greater one than we had even dreamed possible was averted in the process.