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Answered Prayers

Does God answer prayers? Yes! The Bible and other scriptures show that God has answered countless prayers, and He continues to answer prayers today.

Through the power of prayer, you can receive answers to your questions of the soul and receive the blessings God has in store for you. Answered prayers are one of the many ways God shows He loves you.

Why does prayer work?

Sometimes people misunderstand what prayer is or how it works. The key is understanding your relationship to God. By knowing who you are and who He is, you can gain a deeper understanding of the power of prayer.

God is your Father

One of the fundamental truths of the universe is that God is literally the Father of your spirit; you are His child. The Apostle Paul taught this to the people of Athens a long time ago when he said “we are the offspring of God” (Acts 17:29). 

God loves you

Just as an earthly father cares deeply about his children, your Heavenly Father loves you and wants you to be happy. This principle is taught repeatedly in the scriptures (see John 3:16, John 14:23, and Romans 5:8, for instance). That doesn’t mean your life will always be easy or joyful. Because He knows more than you, God allows you to experience challenges to teach you important lessons and help make you a better person. Nevertheless, God wants to answer your prayers because of His never ending love for you and all of His children. 

God wants to bless you

Naturally, a loving God would want His children to receive all the blessings He can give them. Jesus Christ explained God’s desire to answer our prayers: “What man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then . . . know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” (Matthew 7:9–11). 

What prayers are answered?

God will answer your prayers. But that’s not the same as God giving you whatever you ask for. He knows what’s best for you, so He will give you what is in your best interest. Therefore, you should strive to ask for things that are in harmony with the will of God. 

Prayers to know God’s will

Did you ever beg your mom or dad to change their mind about something? That’s not how prayer works. The point of prayer isn’t to change God’s will or to compel Him to do your will. Prayer is meant to help you get the blessings God already has in store for you; He’s been waiting for you to ask for them. As you bring your will more in line with the will of God, you will be happier, you will see more blessings in your life, and you will be more likely to receive answers to your prayers. Jesus taught, “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you” (John 15:7).

Prayers made in faith

“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God . . . and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith” (James 1:5–6). This counsel has inspired many truth seekers over the years. Faith is a belief in things you can’t yet see (see Hebrews 11:1). When you ask in faith, you don’t have a sure knowledge, but you sincerely believe God will answer your prayers.

How can you help your prayers be answered?

Getting answers to your prayers can require some work on your part. 

Live a good life

God wants you to obey His commandments, and being a good person can go a long way to getting your prayers answered. Proverbs 15:29 teaches, “God heareth the prayer of the righteous.”

Fast

To fast is to go without food or water for a certain amount of time. This shows God your humility and your willingness to sacrifice in order to receive blessings. Fasting, accompanied by prayer, can be a powerful tool. When Jesus found some of His disciples unsuccessfully trying to heal a young boy, he pointed out that the righteous blessing they sought could be obtained only “by prayer and fasting” (Matthew 17:21). 

Be patient and faithful

Sometimes, God doesn’t seem to answer prayers right away—or at all. Does that mean He isn’t there or doesn’t care or that He’s not listening? Not at all. Sometimes the answers to prayers are withheld so you can grow from the experience of making a decision on your own or because the Lord trusts you to do the right thing. Sometimes He doesn’t give you knowledge right away, but you can know He won’t just leave you alone. Blessings also often take some work on your part in order for you to obtain them. And sometimes, you get an answer, but it may not be the one you want and requires you to accept it in faith. All of this is ultimately for your benefit so that you can learn and grow and become the person God wants you to become.

Whoever you are, wherever you are, God loves you and wants to answer your prayers. He answers the prayers of His children across the world. Sometimes you may just have to wait, or you may get different answers than the ones you want. But as you grow closer to Him, you’ll find your prayers answered more often and recognize His hand frequently in your everyday life.

 

This article provides a solid foundation to learn about answered prayers, but the scriptures have many more examples of how God blesses His children—including you. Request a Bible or Book of Mormon

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