How to Talk to God and Know He’s Talking Back

What exactly does being prayerful look like? Mari Ann Birch, an employment specialist at BYU–Idaho, gives us some inspiring examples.

Photo by Phillip Ackermann

Prophets have counseled us to be prayerful, but what does that look like? In Mari Ann Birch’s BYU–Idaho devotional, “Be Prayerful,” she shares some of her experiences with being prayerful and shows that we don’t always receive answers to our prayers in the ways that we expect. 

In 2011, Sister Birch’s sister, Linda, who was pregnant, collapsed in Linda’s kitchen. The baby girl, Charlie, was delivered by C-section, and Linda and Charlie were both sent off to receive special care. However, Linda’s blood would not clot, and she passed away the following morning. 

After her mother passed away, Charlie still had a huge fight ahead of her. She had sustained severe brain damage, but as she spent time in the NICU, she made steady progress toward eating and breathing on her own. During this time, Sister Birch and her family spent many hours praying for comfort and guidance.

Sister Birch recounts, “This experience hasn’t been easy. In fact, it has been heart-wrenching and devastating. However, one of the many tender mercies is that my love for Heavenly Father and my brother Jesus Christ has only increased. I couldn’t imagine trying to cope with such grief, pain, and uncertainty without them.”

Sister Birch’s experiences show us that even when we experience difficult times, our Heavenly Father is listening to our prayers. We must continue to pray with confidence, asking God to help us through our trials and to help us understand our experiences. 

By doing these things, we can be confident that the Lord is listening to our prayers, and that we are receiving answers to them, even if those answers come in unexpected ways.

Read more about Mari Ann Birch’s experiences and the counsel she gives in her BYU–Idaho devotional, “Be Prayerful.”

Source: BYU–Idaho Speeches

—Jessie Bruner, Latter-day Saint Insights


Find more insights

Take a look at Izolde Rhodes’s experience with an unexpected visitor becoming an answer to her prayers in “An Unexpected Visitor.”

Read Anna Canlas’s article “A Way to Pray: Learn How to Align Your Will with God’s – Latter-day Saint” to learn more about coming closer to God through prayer and about how we can align our wills with his.

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