Rock SchulerRock Schuler is the Rector (Pastor) of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Olney, Maryland. He has served as an ordained minister of the Episcopal Church since 1990 after studying for the priesthood at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois. He was awarded a Doctorate of Ministry in Congregational Development in 2002. In the course of his ministry, Rock has served on an Indian Reservation, in rural Wyoming, and in major suburban areas. In addition to pastoring the people of his congregation, he has been involved in community service projects to serve the homeless, refugees, and the addicted. He’s also been involved in international outreach projects in Latin America and Africa. Rock’s spiritual roots lie in the early Christian Church, in Native American spirituality, in the liturgical worship and traditions of the Episcopal Church, and most especially in his own personal relationship with the living Lord Jesus Christ. He appreciates the mystery and mysticism of the Christian faith while offering thanks for a lifelong and joyous love of Jesus. Rock, born in 1965, is from Wyoming, where he served his first two churches. He is married to Jennifer, whom he met while serving a parish outside of Philadelphia, and has two beautiful daughters, Leia and Rebecca. Rock is into science fiction and fantasy (especially "Battlestar Galactica," "Star Trek," "Lost," and "The Lord of the Rings"), movies, reading, kayaking/canoeing, hiking, and running.
Host: Will God answer every prayer?
Rev. Dr. Rock Schuler: Yes, I believe God does answer every prayer. Yet, from my own experience I know that God usually answers prayers in a way different than what we expected. A lot of times the answer in ways that we are quite expecting or looking for. This is because God sees the bigger picture and knows what is best for us and we do not always have a grasp of that. Sometimes, and I have had experience with this too, God answers prayers directly the way that we expected, the way that we desired and wanted. Often times, God answers prayers differently in ways that surprise us and we can look back on those answers and see how much better those answers were than the ones that we wanted.
That means that God answers our prayers even in times of difficulty, even in times of stress and darkness. St. John of the Cross talked about the dark night of the soul, a time when he felt God was not answering any of his prayers, not listening to him or paying any attention to him. Yet he endured through that time and when he came out on the other end, he looked back and he saw how God had helped him grow spiritually or God had enriched him through many people who supported him during that dark night of his soul. God answers every prayer, one of our prayers can be for God to open our eyes so that we can see how he is answering our prayers.