Woznicki, Christopher. “Did God Answer That Prayer? Spiritual Perception and the Epistemology of Petitionary Prayer.” Pneuma 43, no.1 (2021): 115-133.
In his recent book Petitionary Prayer, Scott Davison presents an epistemological challenge to petitionary prayer. He asks: If S prays for God to bring about event E, and E in fact occurs, how could one be justified in believing that E was an answer to S’s prayer? Apart from direct revelation in which God explicitly provides reasons for believing that E was an answer to prayer, Davison argues, S could not know that S’s prayer had been answered by God. Thus, the person praying should remain agnostic about answered prayers. I argue that in failing to attend to two theological resources available in the Christian tradition—the concept of spiritual senses and teachings about the relational nature of prayer—Davison’s conclusion is premature. Drawing upon recent literature on the epistemology of perception and the theology of prayer, I argue that one can be confident that God has answered one’s prayers.
Pneuma: The Journal of the Society for Pentecostal Studies (website: https://doi.org/10.1163/15700747-bja10031)