Good evening, my wonderful Roses!!
I’ve been thinking a lot these past few weeks about prayer and the many different ways that Heavenly Father answers our requests for his guidance and blessings. I know I’m not alone in the thought that we all feel there are times in our lives where we feel like God just isn’t listening, or the gates, doors, and windows to Heaven are shut. I hate that feeling. It’s like you’re stranded on a deserted island and no one is going to save you. All of your problems, stress, and worries just weigh down on your shoulders and it’s like an impossible burden that you have to carry because no one will help.
So, what do we do in that situation? It can be hard going to family, friends, or church leaders to discuss this because we feel as though we’re alone in this. If Heavenly Father, someone who is supposed to always love and guide us, isn’t there, then how can we trust the people here on earth that we trust?
The truth is, we shouldn’t be looking to others for help. At least, not at first.
Often times, it’s impossible for their to be open communication between us and Heavenly Father because something is blocking our path. Usually, that comes in the form of sin, or a transgressions, that has occurred on our part. We’ve not repented of it, and so it just sits there becoming a huge road block. So, take care of the road block first. Confess that sin, no matter how small or how large it is. Truly repent and resolve to do all within your power to forever turn away from that transgression. Also, apologize and ask forgiveness for those you may have injured in word or in deed.
Oh, wait. You’ve done all that? Well, then I guess we can move to the next part! And that’s how Heavenly Father actually communicates with us, and answers our prayers. For this part, I’ll be pulling from a talk by Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. I also strongly recommend you go listen to this talk which can be found here. It’s a truly wonderful talk and gives really good points on prayer.
Heavenly Father answers prayer in many ways, and at times we can get accustomed to one particular way, like a fire in the heart, or emptiness, or actually hearing a voice (which if that’s happened to you, good on you!). I, personally, believe that how He speaks to his children varies and depends on what each of us need.
Sometimes, God answers a prayer with a resounding “yes.” It makes me so happy when I know that something I’ve asked for has come to pass. I also feel really confident in what I’m doing as well. Like, Heavenly Father has given me the green light, so to speak, and I’m able to make the right choices accordingly.
Sometimes, God answers a prayer with a heartbreaking “no.” Those can be the hardest for us to deal with, because we’re human and sometimes subject to feelings of entitlement and so forth. I’m personally struggling with a prayer that was answered with a “no,” at least, I think it was “no.” Like I said, my impressions from God are so confusing and always have been. It’s not like I know that He answers my prayers, because He does. I’m just confused if what I’m feeling is my own doubts, struggles, worries, and human nature, or if it really is the final answer. We’ll see in a few years. 🙂
The thing about having a prayer answered with “no” is that it’s not because God doesn’t love us. It’s to prevent error. You’re not supposed to do this thing, or have that, because God knows all things and sees what would happen if such a thing were to come to pass. So, it comes down to faith, and trust on our part. Scary thing, isn’t it?
Another way that Heavenly Father answers prayer is by withholding an answer, and that right there is, personally, the scariest thing EVER!! That’s one of those moments where I’m like “WHAT DID I DO?” I’m so confused, because I feel like it’s something that I’ve done that has caused another road block in communication. But the Elder Scott’s talk goes on to say that it’s during those times where we must exercise faith and trust in God. Make a decision, based on a willingness to act on truth, and an obedience to His commandments, and, if you’ve made the wrong choices, He’ll let you know.
The talk also mentions those times where we come to Heavenly Father where we’re conflicted between two things and we need guidance from Heavenly Father on which one we should pick or do. This sort of scenario was a huge burden on my heart for almost two months until this talk was brought up during an Institute class. Both of these things were not bad, in fact it was basically a choice between two very wholesome activities for an upcoming Saturday. However, doing one over the other would have a lasting effect in the upcoming months. I asked, for guidance, and received no answer. That’s because not ever question has a wrong or right answer. Elder Dallin H. Oaks said that “we have prayed about a decision, for one cause or another, we should make without guidance by revelation…No answer is likely to come to a person who seeks guidance in choosing between two alternatives that are equally acceptable to the Lord.”
It was like BOOM! I had my answer. I wasn’t going to receive guidance or an answer, and that was okay. So, I did what I usually do when I have to make a choice. I go to my pros and cons chart. Make a list of all the good and not so good things about each thing and go from there. I also had to act the faith that if I was doing something Heavenly Father didn’t want me to do, He would let me know.
Like I’ve said, Elder Richard G. Scott’s talk goes on to explain so much more about prayer and communication from Heavenly Father, but I’ve been really focused on these three points for a while now. I hope that this has been a help to you, reader. If it hasn’t, then feel free to ask questions and I’ll do my best to answer you. If it has, I hope that you’ll feel more confident when approaching Heavenly Father in prayer and understand that He does love you, more than any of us can comprehend.