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Thursday, 16 January 2014

The Answers Will Come

Why doesn't God answer my prayer?

This is a question I have asked myself many times. I always felt that God would answer everyone else's prayers but for one reason or another my prayers went unanswered.
I would see many people get up in church and bear testimony about how they knew that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was true 'without a shadow of a doubt' or 'with every fibre of [their] being' like it was some sort of contest. And there I was sitting down in the congregation feeling dejected and quite lost -at least spiritually.

Didn't God know I was struggling?? Didn't he know I had more doubt than faith?? Why wouldn't he answer my prayer??

Eventually my questions, doubts, and concerns were answered. But it took me time. Sometimes the answers don't come all at once. Some take a lot of time.

Sometimes He says yes, Sometimes no, Sometimes no answer at all??

I had an experience where I read the Book of Mormon in the course of two days. A prophet at the end of the book promises us a confirmation by the Holy Ghost that the book was true if we would read it with a sincere heart and pray. So I knelt down annnnnd.....


You have to remember in these instances that God loves us. Perfectly. Sometimes we will have a question or a problem and we will create a solution and then go to Him in earnest prayer and supplication, and he will say yes, no, or he may not give an answer at all. But why would God withhold an answer from me? I offer a few suggestions

Firstly, He wants to protect us. He wants to be sure that we will be faithful to the things he gives us. What if we were to receive a marvelous answer and then not act upon it? We need to be willing to do what he asks up to do.

Secondly, He wants us to be prepared. Some answers will come at crucial moments in your life. For instance, a fifteen year old will most likely not be able to receive revelation on who his wife is going to be. I am not going to receive revelation on what my priesthood leaders should do. Everything has an appointed time and place. 

Lastly, He loves us. Unconditionally. He wants us to grow. Sometimes we have to walk by faith. Sometimes he withholds an answer because he trusts us. Imagine if we got zapped with warm fuzzy feelings every time we fell to our knees. We would never learn faith. Every once in a while he will require our faith, and he will require us to act on that faith before we can receive an answer.

The Formula for opening the Heavens

Prayer is hard. It takes effort. It takes faith. Luckily the scriptures give us some aid on how we can make our prayers more powerful.

Consider Oliver Cowdery. He wanted an answer from God. Through joseph Smith God told him he needed to study it in his own mind and formulate an answer and then ask God if it is right. Remember to do your homework!

Joseph read James 1:5 before he prayed and saw God. The scriptures provided evidence to him that God answers prayers. Evidence will increase our capacity for faith. The Scriptures are revelations by Prophets. In essence they are books full of answers to prayers. Read the scriptures. Have faith you will receive.

Be clean. The Holy Ghost cannot dwell in an unclean place. Strive to be worthy. Obey the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity. Make sure you are up to date on your tithing. Attend your church meetings. These acts of faith will increase your trust in God, and God's trust in you. It will help God to know that you truly intend to act on any answer you are given. Be worthy of the answer you are looking for. 

Ask God in the name of Christ. There is power in the name of Christ. Close your prayers by declaring you are acting in his name. It is not wrong to try to add power to your prayers. Asking for a priesthood blessing may also be appropriate.

Endure to the end

If I could have you remember anything that I have said it would be this tip. Some answers take days, months, and even years. There are even answers we won't receive until the next life. But the answers WILL come. Continue to pray. As the Lord directs, 'Pray always that ye may come off conqueror'. I promise that as you endure and do your best to be worthy and willing, God is bound to answer your prayers. And it is my prayer that you will continue in faith. 

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