esus lived until 33 years of age. Mary and Joseph raised him; is father was a carpenter and Jesus also worked as a carpenter until he was 30 years old – that’s when he began his public ministry. So Jesus was only ‘in the public eye’ for three (3) years which does not seem a very long time. However in that three years Jesus changed the world. No other person raised the dead, healed the sick and caused the lame to walk, the blind to see, and his name is still highly respected, and his words reprinted in millions of bibles all over the world. The Bible is the world’s No.1 selling book.

Because we know almost nothing of God’s origin I am going to assume you mean ‘How did Jesus come alive after he died?’

There are many prophecies in the Old Testament about Jesus birth and his life. Jesus, in the New Testament (that’s in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) spoke often of his own death and later resurrection (coming back to life). ‘What?’ The disciples must have thought – ‘come back to life – nobody does that!’ I would have thought the same: ‘Who can come back to life? nobody else ever has!’

So, we now have a miracle, from God the Father in Heaven. He did it because nobody on earth has that kind of power. How did He do it? Well truthfully, I just cannot tell you how God did it and neither can anybody else down here on earth. It is, and always will, be a mystery, until we see God. He can do anything!

You too will live again after your body dies and somehow, you, and all others will stand before God. Some of us will be very happy, others will be very scared and afraid. Check out some of the other questions like: “What happens after you die?” (Q.118) You can be one of the happy ones if you choose to be.

Nobody knows. I shall be very interested in how God came to be, as well as the Milky Way, the earth and many other things. I think we shall find out after we die and get to heaven without having to ask God himself for the details.

‘Where God came from?’ I think we would all like to know. But also: How He dreamed up flowers, birds, kangaroos, polar bears (how can they swim for miles in freezing water?), elephants and much more. I just cannot believe that they all evolved from a common ancestor in a swamp 60 million, or billion, years ago. Oh! and woodpeckers, my favourites! They can use their beak to peck out a nesthole, five times bigger than itself – in a dead tree. The nesthole is for his wife and children. Marvellously designed and no brain damage either in pecking that nest. He sends woodchips and sawdust flying at around 400 to 600 hits a minute. And, the rat-a-tat–tat-tat sound echoes through the forest and attracts the lady woodpeckers. Marvellous! None in Australia because I guess our trees are ‘hardwood’ trees. Woodpeckers live where ‘softwood’ trees are.

He is ‘Majestic!’ Quite beyond anything we could imagine. There are no pictures of God – only artists’ ideas of what they think God looks like. There are many references in Scripture and they are, to me, a bit confusing. Jesus said: “If you have seen me you have seen the father.” And : “I,and the Father are one.” Jesus makes no mention that they both ‘look’ the same in appearance. Maybe Jesus meant in love, compassion and a deep care for people, and the ability to perform miracles.

I fear that if we really knew what God looked like – His face would be on breakfast cereal boxes, cool drinks bottles etc. “Yuk!” Who would want that? In the Old Testament when God’s voice was heard the mountain shook (and the people too) and they begged Moses to save them. (See Exodus Ch 19:1-2)

In the book in the Bible called ‘Revelation’ there are several descriptions of God’s majestic appearance and power. Not all of them to be taken literally. Starts in Revelation Ch. 4.

God loves you for being brave enough to ask this question,and it is about the most important question I have ever been asked. Why is that? Prayer is the ‘secret ingredient’ from God.

Back 400 years before Jesus came along a prophet called Habakkuk asked God a few ‘Whys’ as kids do today. eg: “Oh Lord, how long must I call for help before you will listen? I shout to you in vain;there is no answer. “Help! Murder!”I cry but no one comes to save.Must I forever see sin and sadness all around me?”(Habakkuk. Ch.1: verses 2-3) Many pray that prayer today!! God has His own plans – OK?

It is the most important question because most Christians never grasp just how important it is to pray – and not give up, but to trust God to answer your petition (request) in His own way and in His own time. PHEW! ‘In his own way and in His own time –why not now! I need an answer today!’ We can all feel like that sometimes.

Very little is written in the Bible about how and what to pray. There are examples of people praying for specific things.

Hannah was childless for years. She pleaded with God for years for a son. She finally got one, Samuel, who came to be one of the godliest men in the Bible and a ‘King of Israel’ (see 1 Samuel,Chapter 1:verses 1 to 28). Those two books: The First Book of Samuel (known as 1 Samuel) and Second book of Samuel (known as 2 Samuel) contain many dramatic encounters with God and the enemies of Israel defeating Israel – and Israel defeating her enemies.

In there, David becomes King of Israel after the death (by suicide) of King Saul – the king Israel pleaded for and, I suppose prayed for from God. Samuel told them: ’An earthly king will not work out for your good.’ But they refused to listen and demanded an earthly king. Be assured hundreds of books, maybe thousands, have been written on prayer. Prayer, An invitation to Meet with God, is the latest one I have bought (from Insight for Living, (IFL)) at 78 years old! Prayer is not easy. Insight for living is very good group and can be found on the www.

Jesus found prayer essential in his life. “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed (Mark,Ch1: verse 35) and “After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray.” (Mark,Ch. 9, verse 46). and “Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. (Luke.Chapter 5,verse 16).Jesus needed prayer to get through the day’s work.

The scriptures never tell what or how Jesus prayed while he was alone with God. That is where Jesus got the strength to carry out God’s plans for him while he was here on the earth.

So you see prayer is not easy to learn or to describe. A quick prayer is easy- but sacrificial prayer- prayer that ‘costs’ you time by leaving other things not done just to commune, to be quiet and think a about God– without distractions is where we learn about God and his ways.

As a teacher I ought to ask you: “Did you pray for the right things?” like a new iPhone, Bluetooth, Blueray or a new bike. (I don’t know exactly what those ‘Gizmos’ really are). I prayed to win the lottery as a youth. It was a silly prayer.

You say: ‘He doesn’t talk back like people say He does’. Sorry, but God does not ‘talk back’ like on a telephone. If someone told you that He does – they were very wrong – or they did not fully explain what they meant. God only spoke like that with Moses – a very long time ago. Moses was a special man to God then, and God needed to make things plain to the people by telling them things they needed to know – through Moses. Moses was and still is, very much respected by Jews (Hebrews or Israelies) and Christians. Moses wrote, or dictated, much of the first books of the Bible.

May I suggest that you take time to read about the life of Jesus (John or Luke to begin with) and ask God to direct your thoughts to what He wants you to know. It works. May God continue to guide and bless you.

In closing I have always found two Bible bits very helpful. The obvious one is the Lord’s prayer. That is Jesus’ response to the disciples request : “Lord, teach us how to pray.” Jesus replied briefly, but almost perfectly, and referred to about every problem or trouble we may have: “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come.” And so on. Have a read of that prayer – it is short, concise and just about covers all of our needs – we all need to know it well. (See it in Matthew Ch.6 verses 5 to 15; and in Luke Ch.11 verses 1-4)

I also have a favourite verse from Saint Paul: “Always be joyful. Always keep on praying. No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” (That’s in First Thessalonians ch.5 in verse 16-18 (The Living Bible)) It is sometimes just not possible to be joyful always because we are imperfect human beings and feel pain and hurt a lot. BUT, later, we can see that God was there; working something out, in us, and that mostly takes time and HE uses other people to help .

A few hints: Have a Bible (most churches will give you one if you cannot afford it) and a piece of card of your favourite colour. Write on the card things you want God to ‘attend to’. Like: ‘Help me to see the good things in my brother, sister, friend or whoever – instead of only seeing the wrongs they do. Help me to be kinder to others/may others be kinder to me.’ ‘Please heal my friend who is sick and bless the doctors helping her’ (use your own shorthand, not long sentences). Ask Him to forgive your sins too.

Thank God for the good things you have (home, warm bed, food and friends etc.). Ask God to help those who don’t have these things. In a column, or on the other side, write down the date when your prayers were answered. When you just run out of words or prayers just say “May Your will be done in my friend Jimmy Smith.” Prayer is not easy and it takes up time and effort, but God hears you and is very pleased that you care enough to ask for His help and your life will be better for it; and that is truth. Praying gets easier as you grow older.

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The Answerer

The Answerer - Peter Harris, answered children's questions from his many years of teaching "Scripture" classes.
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