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Stories of Prayer We Can Learn from the Bible

By Mormon.org
A girl praying with scriptures open in front of her

Sometimes, We Are the Answer

On Paul’s second missionary journey, he visited city after city to establish the gospel. It seemed he was doing everything right. Churches “increased in number daily” (Acts 16:5). It was everything he could have hoped for. But one night, that changed.

During the night, Paul had a vision. In it he saw a man of Macedonia, hundreds of miles away from where Paul was. The man looked to Paul and said, “Come over into Macedonia, and help us” (Acts 16:9). Paul realized he needed to get to Macedonia and help this man and others who were praying for him to come. He went immediately, and there he performed miracles and baptized many.

The Bible is full of stories that help illustrate that our Father in Heaven hears and answers our prayers. We see examples of how we can humbly pray and have our needs be heard. But the story of Paul teaches us that sometimes we are the ones who are to be the answers to prayers. We may never know when a neighbor is lonely, praying for someone to stop by. We may never know when a friend is depressed, praying for words of encouragement. We may never know when a child has been hurt and needs to know he or she is remembered and appreciated and loved. Paul taught us that we are to be the answer to those prayers.

Jesus had taught the multitudes how to pray. As He preached to crowds under a dusty, noonday sun and knelt in dimly lit rooms at mealtime, he showed them. But Paul learned on a journey to Macedonia that sometimes we can be more than the petitioners in the act of prayer. Sometimes, we can be the ones to “come and help.” Sometimes, we are the answers to someone else’s prayers.

For tips to make your prayers more meaningful, please see our previous post Celebrating International Day of Prayer, or chat with us about how prayer can bless your life and the lives of those for whom you pray.