There are always going to be times when we think that God isn't hearing or worse, is not answering our prayers. We all have the same devastating thought every once and a while: "Has God abandoned me?" As God's children, how devastating and crippling is the thought that He hears our prayers but refuses to answer them?
Before you let that thought sink in, let me tell you that God hears and answers every single prayer. Every time. Without question. He does not abandon His children.
We sometimes overlook the signs of God's presence in our lives and His answers to our many questions.
Are you truly listening?
When you pray about an incredibly life-changing decision, do you listen for an answer? Do you crawl into bed and go to sleep after speaking with God? You would not fall asleep in the middle of a phone call, would you? Well, when we go about our day-to-day activities the second after we are finished praying, how are we supposed to be able to hear His answer? When you are finished praying about something so important to you, take a moment and listen. Whether listening means lying on the floor and waiting, studying your scriptures, or taking a walk to a quiet spot in nature, doing something quiet where you will not be disturbed can truly opening your mind and heart to receiving God's answers.
Are you being patient?
Answers cannot all come at once, especially not in the time you expect them to. God's timing is essential when it comes to your prayers. Although God does not want you to suffer or wander aimlessly, He knows what is best for you and when. Asking Him for children, relationships, or a new job and not receiving such may mean it is not the right time. We must trust Him to answer our questions and desires in the time He has chosen for us to receive those things. Patience is one of the most difficult skills to master on this earth. We want things to be shown to us now and at the very moment we wonder about them. But through patience comes growth, through growth comes knowledge, and through knowledge comes answers.
Are you grateful?
We ask so much of God, and when we receive His blessings, we continue to ask for more. But do we ever stop and thank Him for the blessings we have received? Prayers filled with gratitude not only show God how much we appreciate and love Him, but reveal to us how blessed we truly are. Gracious prayers can open our eyes to the blessings we have received and gives us courage to wait for the answers. In times when you are anxiously awaiting answers, say a prayer of gratitude, and you will find yourself closer to God than ever before.
It is true when they say your relationship with God grows stronger when your mind is focused on improving the lives of others. Although you do need to pray for yourself, do not forget to pray for others in their times of struggle. Praying for others and serving them to the best of your ability is one sure way to receive clear answers to your prayers.
Are you asking the right questions?
I endured a long period of my life when I would constantly pray for one of my loved ones to overcome their struggle with addiction. When the addiction continued, I began to ask myself if I was praying for the right answer. People are free agents. They choose for themselves. Instead of praying for the addiction to be taken from this person, I prayed for them to have a change of heart and a desire to change their lifestyle. My prayers were much more confident when I asked for a more realistic blessing. There are times when we go through thorny ways and beg God to show us the way out, but sometimes we must continue forth and ask Him for His support and presence to be with us in our time of trial.
God wants to help you in any way that He can, and He does so every day. Continue to enrich your faith in Him and understand and obey His will. Be grateful for all of your current blessings in life, and show concern and care for others. Have patience. God knows the appropriate time for all things in your life, and He knows what is best for you. He does not and cannot abandon you. Listen for Him. Feel His presence around you each day. He is right there with you. He will not leave your side, especially when you need Him most.
Chakell Wardleigh has a Bachelor of Arts in English. She spends her days silently (mostly) correcting others' grammar. She adores all things nerd, such as Harry Potter, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Shakespeare, and anything else that whisks her away from reality. She currently works as an editor for the FamilyShare team. You can usually find her with her nose in a book, laughing too loudly, or belting out songs from Hamilton.