4 Things To Keep in Mind When You’re Looking For Answers From Prayers

Counsel.  What an interesting word.  This concept has been on my mind recently, mostly due to one of my favorite scriptures from the Book of Mormon

Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day.” –Alma 37:37

I love this scripture, especially the first part (bolded for your convenience).  I have a strong testimony of receiving direction from the Lord.  As a matter of fact every good decision that’s ever worked out for my benefit has come from the guidance of the spirit.

Unfortunately I’ve also felt the sting of regret when I’ve chosen my own will instead of seeking out what the Lord would have had me do.  Truth be told, this has happened more often that not and I’ve had some strong impressions recently that I have made too many important decisions on my own and I haven’t sought the guidance of the spirit as I should have.

Nevertheless the Gospel is all about pressing forward, learning, growing, repenting and working towards a brighter future.  Here are four principles I’m trying to take to heart when it comes to counseling with the Lord.

1. Be humble.

Notice that the scripture states “Counsel with the Lord.” and not counsel at the Lord. This works with another great scripture, Jacob 4: 10,

Wherefore, brethren, seek not to counsel the Lord, but to take counsel from his hand. For behold, ye yourselves know that he counseleth in wisdom, and in justice, and in great mercy, over all his works.”

Too often I find myself praying with the intent of telling the Lord what I want to do and just hoping He’ll go along with it.  However, we need to humble ourselves and be open to what the Lord would have us do and not our own will.  Sometimes our will is the Lords, and sometimes it’s not.  The trick is to be humble enough to receive His counsel and to truly desire it.

2. Be Patient

Often answers to our prayers don’t happen all at once.  God is not a vending machine in which we can push a few buttons and automatically get what we want.  He answers in His own time and in His own way, but He DOES always answer.

3. Be willing to follow.

Sigh. This one can be tough.  Sometimes the Lord may require us to make hard decisions that may be difficult to follow.  But how can we expect Heavenly Father to give us answers if we aren’t willing to act on them?  The fact is, regardless of the difficulty, His counsel is for our benefit.  Which leads me to the last principle…

4. Trust Him.

God loves us. I find it amazing how often I forget this simple yet powerful truth.  He wants only what is best for us and He knows us better than we know ourselves.  Any counsel He gives us is to help us find happiness in this life and peace in the life to come.  He knows our potential and what we are capable of through Him.

Overall, I’m just really grateful to know that I have a Heavenly Father who loves me and is always there for me and He’s always there for you too, no matter what you are going through.  I know that if we sincerely counsel with the Lord, we will see His hand in our lives and most importantly, we’ll feel the Love of God in our lives.

So what about you?  What have you learned about “counseling with the Lord”?

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6 thoughts on “4 Things To Keep in Mind When You’re Looking For Answers From Prayers

  1. Brent

    Good post! I’ve been trying to follow the Lord’s counsel more lately. Recently I made a tough decision, making a choice to do something that I felt was as inspired as any choice I’ve ever made, being guided by the Holy Ghost. It didn’t work out how I expected it would. It came down to another person choosing to go another direction. I was pretty upset and confused, but then in church someone said something comforting, “be grateful when things don’t work out according to your plans, because if you’re living right (and following God’s counsel) you can know things are working out according to his plans.” It can be hard to be humble and accept that but I know its true. We can’t always see it right away but good always comes from following God’s counsel.

    Reply
    1. Just a Mormon Writer Post author

      Very true. I had to make a couple hard decisions lately as well that I felt guided to do. It was hard at the time but now I can really see that it truly worked out for the best. Thanks for the comment!

      Reply
  2. Rachel

    Such simple ideas, and so powerful, yet we often forget these things. I definitely struggle with patience. It’s taken me a very long tome to accept that “Rachel’s time frame” and “God’s time frame” are, in fact, very different. I have zero patience for most things, and waiting for an answer from On High? Yeah, that’s one of my biggest challenges. I’m presently engaged in #3 – be willing to follow. It’s a scary process, I’ll admit, but one of my favorite quotes comes from Mother M. Angelica, a Roman Catholic nun. She says, “Faith is one foot on the ground, one foot in the air, and a queasy feeling in the stomach.” So verrrrrrrrrry true!

    Reply
    1. AJ Barlow Post author

      Thanks for the comment Rachel. I struggle a lot with patience as well, but usually when I’m on the other side of it, I realize why the timeframe was what it was and it ultimately works out for the best. And yes, “queasy stomachs” seem to be just as big a part of faith as anything else 😉

      I was also curious if you have ever had a chance to talk with the LDS missionaries in your area? (They are basically full time representatives of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, who go on missions throughout the world for two years)

      Reply
      1. Rachel

        I have not met with missionaries, no. My best friend growing up was LDS so I’m fairly exposed to the church already, but when I research, I like to do it on my own. Plus, I’m honestly not ready to meet with them. A lot of questions have to be answered, doubts have to be assuaged, and things in my life need to align before I will be ready for that.

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