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How do you get Answers to Prayers? How do you hear Him?

Updated: Nov 7, 2023

It is a question that most people have. They have been told that getting answers to prayers by praying to God is possible, but when you try to do this, it seems like you might be making it up in your mind. Wanting bad for it to be true, but thinking maybe it's not real. Nobody wants to be brainwashed. But how would you know one way or the other? Please read on and I think it will all make sense.

Getting answers to prayer is a personal thing, but it takes faith to actually believe you heard something from God and it wasn't just some voice in your head. I will tell you up front if you are a doubter by nature you can pretty much forget about it working for you. There are conditions.

Doubting on spiritual things is like a negative force. Just like if someone who is new at math, but thinks its too hard, opens a math book and immediately thinks "I can't do this! I'll never understand this." Then, thinking of some easy distraction, like watching a video or show for entertainment instead, THAT PERSON, will never learn math but will always say "it doesn't work for me."

Many things in life are this way. We need a positive force to progress in something. Doubting and negative vibes kills the inventive spirit, the inspired thought... it just doesn't work until we become excited about something.

In other words, having a DESIRE to hope it will work, and then continue to persevere until it does. Inventors stick with problem solving until they ultimately get a patent for their great idea. That validation pays off for all their hard work! All of which takes tons of time.

Why would anyone think that developing a relationship with God, our Heavenly Father, by the process of faith would somehow be an easy process? Why would we ever think that a couple of minutes is all we ever would need to spend on such a thing to get "results" ??

It never works that way for ANY thing else in this world, whether one wants to play a musical instrument, play professional sports, or to build up some grand thing... it takes time. We all get that and all of us accept that as the norm. But I have heard many say out loud, that a spiritual event or accomplishment is something that they tried to figure out in a couple of minutes. Then when nothing happened, they feel justified to quit trying, just write it off as delusionary nonsense. How lazy is that, really? I mean, considering how HARD it is for everything else important in the world, all other accomplishments, to just dismiss spiritual work as having no value or reward. In perhaps the most important pursuit one can make in their entire life, they would reduce it to something as simple and inconsequential as what to buy for a single meal.

In my personal experience, I have gone to private mountain areas to be alone and attempt to commune with God, not knowing if He would answer right away or even at all. He always did however, but it is because I had faith that something would happen, and it eventually does, with patience. Answers come sometimes quicker than other times, and when it does it is a pleasant surprise, like a reward for having faith.

But it does take effort. You have to wait. Be patient. Be humble. Have desire. Sometimes it even takes FASTING to subject the human flesh and desires of the body to the spirit of the body, so that a more keen focus on attuning to our spiritual feelings is possible. Fasting helps us to subject the natural cravings of the flesh, starting with hunger, to the control of one's spirit. Jesus fasted for 40 days for instance, to prepare for greater things. He showed what it meant to be a Master of Self. Doing these spiritual choices qualifies us to invite the spiritual environment where communication with God our Father is possible.

We can learn a lot more about it from the Only Begotten Son of the Father, Jesus Christ, who taught all the prophets since the beginning of mankind, and they in turn taught the people.

Here are some words of Christ about prayer and answers, some by Jesus Christ directly during His ministry, and others through prophets that taught His truths as they received them from Jesus Christ who visited them before and after His earthly ministry:

FIRST example: Luke 21:36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

SECOND example: 2 Nephi 32:9 But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray always, and not faint; that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul.

THIRD example: 3 Nephi 18:15 Verily, verily, I say unto you, ye must watch and pray always, lest ye be tempted by the devil, and ye be led away captive by him.

FOURTH example: Alma 34:26 But this is not all; ye must pour out your souls in your closets, and your secret places, and in your wilderness.

27 Yea, and when you do not cry unto the Lord, let your hearts be full, drawn out in prayer unto him continually for your welfare, and also for the welfare of those who are around you.

So it is pretty much established by Christ that He has personally taught and also instructed through all of His prophets to make prayer a major part of our lives, even having the spirit of prayer in our hearts and minds continually.

An athlete will accept that there are certain conditions that must be met in their personal life first to make it possible to participate competitively at the highest levels. It starts with a strict regimen of exercise and diet and intense practice. Everybody does it, even the best do it and they never say "I don't need to practice anymore, I have arrived." No, they understand that it is an ongoing discipline. A must do.

Why would spiritual achievements be any different?

The question becomes, where is our heart? What do we desire?

What is our motivation to accomplish any one thing? Is it money? If so, you will not have a desire for spiritual things. You will have a desire for fame, power, and things, possessions, maybe even craving fan worship and adoration. But that aside, what would cause a person to have a DESIRE to pursue spiritual things, to have a relationship with the being who created them?

I have seen that many who have been distracted in life with the accumulation of wealth, and power, and lust... These desires of their hearts can find these distractions very enticing and even last a long time. Some of these people can never seem to break free from the spiritual chains of it, like an addiction, but some do break free with the power and help from Jesus Christ. It is because they longed for something more, something that has more meaning, something that engenders spiritual feelings rooted in love, not the love that the world brings, but the love that comes from God, the love called the pure love of Christ. It is selfless. It brings peace. It brings happiness even when you are poor or even if you are in captivity.

Our circumstances do not define us when we have discovered the spiritual relationship with God our Father through His Son Jesus Christ our mediator with the Father.

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

But back to getting answers to prayer.

If we can know and understand that this gift or talent (getting answers from God) comes to those who spend time to learn how to hear it and by so doing, earn it. These put in the patient and humble faithful effort that God requires before He speaks to us either by a voice we hear, a voice in our mind, or a clear and distinct impression or idea. It may be in rare circumstance be even by a personal visit from an angel or messenger if that is deemed necessary by God. We would learn to know what kind of effort it takes to have these very real and spiritual experiences, to get to that place in our life where it becomes daily.

These experiences are important no matter what format these answers from God came to us. For example, opening a book of scripture and finding THE answer instantly in the words of Christ. Or hearing God in a number of other ways. These are all equal in importance if they are communications to us from God.

Depending on what we hear or read, we may be receiving some responsibility to actually DO something about it. We may be getting general or specific instructions. The feelings we get coinciding with these communications would communicate distinctly in a way that we know it came from God. Sometimes it is just getting understanding, or feelings of comfort during a difficult situation such as a death of a family member, or a relationship gone bad, or a job lost at the worst time. Good feelings from God can come to us, to comfort us as we seek out God's help. These feelings can give us confidence, and we can even simply feel by the spirit of faith that somehow, everything is going to be OK. These instances where we are merely comforted actually help a lot. We then patiently wait by the spirit of faith for God to deliver blessings to us, and it happens. When one doesn't have these comforting feelings, uncontrollable sobbing and sorrow, or even anger can be the result, a much more negative result. With God we can push through the natural mournings that come our way, and be able to deal with tragedy or hardship with an eye of understanding, seeing things with an eternal perspective.

I know personally this experience. We lost our 25 year old son Stephen many years ago to a drunken driver. Our whole family was devastated at the news, greatly saddened.

God spoke to me by the voice of His Spirit during the first hour of receiving the news of it that sad night. I was the first to hear from the mouth of a law enforcement sheriff. The Spirit said at that time "you are sealed to him." And a few moments later I heard the distinct spiritual voice impress upon my mind as clear as a bell "you are an eternal family." These spiritual communications made me curiously ponder as I sat there in the sheriff's car, waiting for my wife to get home. It made me think and realize that God knows what is going on. He allowed this to happen.

There is an eternal perspective here, and actually, "my son" was HIS son first (and Stephen still is Heavenly Father's son, with another name of course). So I was given a unique perspective by the voice of the Spirit of God, to know that there is no need to have great sadness and grief, but that God has the whole plan under His control. I knew that Stephen was actually right in the place where God felt he should be, with his grandparents, etc. in the spirit world awaiting a resurrection and then heaven to follow. His grandparents there, would strengthen him in Christ. This is what I have thought and since come to know is true. It is a very comforting and true thought as well.

This "Light of Christ" is given to all people. This is not the Gift of the Holy Ghost (that comes after baptism by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority to bestow this gift of God), but the light of Christ let's all people know without a doubt, how to tell good from evil. Light from dark. This gift we all have leads us to pray. We can know by this "Light of Christ" that we must pray as Jesus taught. The "Light of Christ" will give us the desire we need to try it out. If we are patient, nothing doubting, the answers will come.

If we wonder if the answer came from God or the devil or just ourselves, ponder on this scripture to KNOW the way to KNOW:

Moroni 7:12 Wherefore, all things which are good cometh of God; and that which is evil cometh of the devil; for the devil is an enemy unto God, and fighteth against him continually, and inviteth and enticeth to sin, and to do that which is evil continually.

13 But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God.

14 Wherefore, take heed, my beloved brethren, that ye do not judge that which is evil to be of God, or that which is good and of God to be of the devil.

15 For behold, my brethren, it is given unto you to judge, that ye may know good from evil; and the way to judge is as plain, that ye may know with a perfect knowledge, as the daylight is from the dark night.

16 For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.

17 But whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do evil, and believe not in Christ, and deny him, and serve not God, then ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of the devil; for after this manner doth the devil work, for he persuadeth no man to do good, no, not one; neither do his angels; neither do they who subject themselves unto him.

18 And now, my brethren, seeing that ye know the light by which ye may judge, which light is the light of Christ, see that ye do not judge wrongfully; for with that same judgment which ye judge ye shall also be judged.

These awesome scriptures above, are actually the words of Jesus Christ, just as He gave them to the ancient prophet Mormon (who abridged the Book of Mormon record, the words of Christ). Because Mormon did see and talk to Jesus Christ several hundred years after Jesus was resurrected, he was indeed one of his prophets. Jesus visited the ancient civilization of America, the Nephites and Lamanites, right after His resurrection. He taught them His gospel in person, and called from among them 12 disciples just like He did in Jerusalem. Jesus Christ also visited many other nations and taught them as well. Each nation kept their own records. The Book of Mormon is the record of the ancient American Continent from 600 BC to 421 AD).

John 10:16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

Here is a video that depicts this truth.

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