God knows our needs, but we still need to pray for them. It’s through our efforts and our Savior that he answers our prayers.
Imagine a child trying to lift a heavy box on his or her own. The child may strain and struggle, small arms not able to reach the edges. Sometimes a good father will step in and help. But often he will wait, letting the child try to lift it without him, and he will step in to help only when asked. That effort and practice strengthen kids, and when they recognize that their father gave them the help they needed, they love and appreciate him more. Just as a father knows what his young child needs, God knows what we need—even more perfectly. But he still wants us to ask.
The Bible Dictionary entry “Prayer” explains this to us: “The object of prayer is not to change the will of God but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant but that are made conditional on our asking for them.” Blessings require actions and work. Prayer is an effort that brings blessings.
However, many prayers still seem to go unanswered. Sometimes that’s because our Father knows that we don’t need that heavy box as much as we think we do, and we need to realign our goals with his. That’s one reason that we pray in the name of Christ; we pray in the name of the Son because when our minds and desires reflect his, we are aligning our will with God’s will.
Prayer is working with a loving Father who wants us to grow stronger. Prayers do not go unanswered. He hears and answers our prayers as we align our wills with his and make the required efforts. While this is not an easy process, it is always worth it.
Discover more about how to get answers to prayers by reading the Bible Dictionary section on prayer.
Source: Bible Dictionary
—Stacey Clark, Latter-day Saint Insights
FEATURE IMAGE BY LIZA SUMMER
Find more insights
Read more about aligning your personal will with God’s in “A Way to Pray: Learn How to Align Your Will with God’s,” a Latter-day Saint Insights article by Anna Canlas.
Find more information about making prayers sincere in Carol F. McConkie’s general conference address “The Soul’s Sincere Desire.”