Why God Doesn’t Always Give Us Straight Answers


Praying for Answers

Earlier this summer, I had a decision I was praying about. I’d been praying about it for a while, and started to get frustrated that Heavenly Father wasn’t giving me answers. I wanted to make a decision that would be pleasing to Him and that followed His plan for me.

One day when I was at work, this decision was weighing heavily on my mind. I work in retail and we were having a pretty slow day, so I decided I would take some quiet time to pray while I was working on a project. My prayer was kind of just a long train of thought. I explained to Heavenly Father the pros and cons of the situation and tried to make sense of them.

Finally, I asked: “Heavenly Father, please help me know what to do.”

I had a clear statement come to mind: “You have your agency, you can make the decision.”

My immediate response was… seriously? I found it humorous after all the time I had been praying about this. Kind of jokingly, I thought: “What if I don’t really want my agency right now? Can’t you just tell me what to do?”

That’s when I learned that you never joke with the Spirit.

A stronger, instantaneous impression came to me that said: “Your Savior died for you, so that you could have agency… and learn from your own experiences.”

This was a major learning experience for me. Never in my life have I had such clear impressions come to my mind when seeking an answer to prayer. Usually my answers to prayers come from “feeling good” about something, or reading a scripture or a conference talk that speaks peace to my mind. It is rare that I have instant, clearly worded answers from the spirit.

Trust in the Lord – and Yourself

As simple as this experience was, it taught me about the great and powerful love of our God. He has faith in us. We should have faith in ourselves. He trusts our ability to act for ourselves—for that was His plan for us from the very beginning.

There are times when we all become frustrated with our prayers. We may feel like we aren’t receiving the answers we want or need. Maybe we see it as “God doesn’t care enough about me” or “He doesn’t hear my prayers” or “He isn’t there for me.” I would argue that the times when God allows us to learn for ourselves and to act for ourselves—those are the times when He shows us His love more than any other time. The power to act and make decisions is a divine power, even a divine gift. As we learn to act for ourselves, He is allowing us a portion of His own power to become more like Him.

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