Does God Really Answer Prayers?

I’m sure that you have probably heard the saying “Nothing is truly lost until mom can’t find it.” Well I know for a fact that that saying is true. However, whenever I can’t find something and my mom doesn’t know where it is, she always asks me this question: “Did you pray?”

Prayer is something very special to me, and I know that I would be lost without it. When I pray I feel my Heavenly Father’s love for me. I know that God hears and answers our prayers because He we are His children and he loves us.

Prayer is how we can communicate with God. I have learned that prayers become more meaningful when we come to know, and remember, the relationship between us and God—we are His sons and daughters, and He is our loving Heavenly Father.

God wants us to talk to Him! He is waiting for us to ask, so He can bless us. God will always answer our prayers. He may not answer them exactly how, or when we want, but He will always answer them in the way that will be best. One very important time when God answered a prayer was when He answered Joseph Smith’s.

Around 1820 there was a young boy named Joseph Smith. He was confused about what church he was supposed to join. One day when Joseph was reading the Bible he came upon a verse in the book of James, which said “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” (James 1:5) So that is exactly what he decided to do, ask God. Joseph went to a grove of trees and prayer to know which church was true. In Joseph Smith’s words this is what happened:

“I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me.

When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—

This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!”

Joseph Smith History 1:18-19

Joseph’s prayer was answered, and he was told not to join any the churches that were currently on the earth. Through him, Jesus Christ’s church was restored on this earth.

I love the example of prayer with Joseph Smith. He had a question and he chose to act on it by asking his question to God. He had faith that his question would be answered and was committed to act on the answer he received. Also, when he recounted this experience, Joseph noted that he prayed vocally. Usually when I pray it is in my head, but through experience I have learned that my prayers are more meaningful and more sincere when I pray vocally.

President Henry B. Eyring said, “The [person] you want to be prays often and with real intent. In the evening you will get on your knees and thank God for the blessings of the day. You will thank Him for parents, for teachers, and for great examples to follow. You will describe in your prayers specifically who has blessed your life and how, during that day. That will take more than a few minutes and more than a little thought. It will surprise you and change you.”

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