I can't explain why sometimes God answers our requests to heal the sick and why other times He does not. But I still think it's worth asking.
Consider the sickness of King Hezekiah as told in 2 Kings 20:
In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, "This is what the LORD says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover."
Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD, "Remember, O LORD, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes." And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
Before Isaiah had left the middle court, the word of the LORD came to him: "Go back and tell Hezekiah, the leader of my people, 'This is what the LORD, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to the temple of the LORD. I will add fifteen years to your life. And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city for my sake and for the sake of my servant David.' "
I can't explain why God chose to extend Hezekiah's life. During his 15 bonus years he would make the horrible mistake of showing off his wealth to the neighboring Babylonians, who immediately begin making plans to take over Israel and claim that wealth as their own. So much for the idea that with age comes wisdom...
However, this much I understand: Had the King accepted his fate without making a plea to God, he wouldn't have lived those additional 15 years.
One of Memorial's dearest members, Bill, lies in a hospital with West Nile Virus. While we understand it is not for us to decide who lives or who dies, we do know that God has a history of listening to His children's cries and changing the course of events at times, so we will not give up.
But, for Bill the answer is a "yes" either way. He has lived a long (87 years) and faithful life. Stepping on into eternity isn't such a bad answer to our prayers. This is where we just have to trust, realizing all the while that God sees more, understands more, and loves us more than we could ever comprehend.
P.S. In regards to the previous post, you can listen to some Robin Mark music here and here. For those who don't know, Robin is the writer of the song "Days of Elijah", which can be heard at that second link. Including the "No God like Jehovah" part, Brenda...