As I have mentioned before, I teach 7th grade religion once a week in school, and I give time each class for the students to ask me questions. The questions are always fascinating and entertaining. In fact, I usually will mention their questions in some of my daily Mass homilies, so perceptive and thought-provoking are they. One student asked me this on her quiz the other week: "What do you do when God answers your prayers?"
I highlighted her question (I do that when the question is very good). I had never been asked that before. The answer I wrote on her quiz: "Thank him!"
It's a profound question. That's because we don't think too much about our prayers being answered. I usually hear more from people angry that God didn't answer their prayers. I usually don't hear the "success stories", though I know they are out there.
We don't hesitate to be religious beforehand. That is, we quickly pray and ask God for help. Afterwards, we become secular. That is, when something goes our way, we just move on to the next thing, or we chalk up the good outcome to our effort, the normal occurrence of events, or even luck. God doesn't enter our radar.
The 7th grade student's question was so striking because she demonstrated consistency and deep faith. She went to God beforehand and wants to go to God afterwards. She has faith. She believes 'things went her way' because of God. He prayers were answered. So, what should she do? My response: thank him!