Prayer—Try Again


(Adapted from a talk given at a BYU 14-stake fireside, March 2, 1980. See Ensign, June 1981, pages 72–75.)
Be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is (Eph. 5:17).

Have you ever asked the Lord for something really important and then found that your prayer wasn’t answered as you’d hoped? I have. Have you ever prayed and prayed for days and days for something special and then found that it didn’t work out? I have. Sometimes I have gotten up off my knees and wondered, What’s the use? He isn’t even listening.

I want you to know that Heavenly Father listens to our prayers and answers them. The problem is that we sometimes don’t listen to His answers.

I would like you to do the following: If possible, go where you can be alone. Kneel down and really think about Whom you are praying to. Speak out loud to Him or, if you wish, whisper. Thank Him for what He has done for you. Confide in Him; let Him know what’s in your heart. Ask Him for help. Don’t just repeat trite phrases that you have heard—really talk to Him.

After you have talked, listen carefully, or you will miss His answers. Listen until you get that good, warm feeling that means you have received an answer.

Sometimes the answer will be no because the thing you want isn’t right for you. And the answer may not come the first time you pray. When you pray for something very special, also ask for the blessing of understanding so that you can accept the answer. Learn to obey the promptings you receive.

I testify that our Heavenly Father hears and answers us. We must be prepared to hear Him too.