When Answers to Prayers Don’t Come

Sometimes we get discouraged when we feel that we aren’t receiving answers to our prayers. Learn how to better understand and recognize answers from our Heavenly Father.

Imagine that you have a big decision to make. You aren’t sure what the best option is, so you pray fervently to Heavenly Father to help you. Weeks pass, but you feel that you haven’t received an answer to your heartfelt prayers.

It’s easy to lose hope when answers don’t come right away. Elder Richard G. Scott teaches us not to despair when we feel that our prayers aren’t being heard.

Heavenly Father has different ways of answering our prayers. According to Elder Scott, “When He answers yes, it is to give us confidence. When He answers no, it is to prevent error. When He withholds an answer, it is to have us grow through faith in Him, obedience to His commandments, and a willingness to act on truth. We are expected to assume accountability by acting on a decision that is consistent with His teachings without prior confirmation. We are not to sit passively waiting or to murmur because the Lord has not spoken. We are to act.”

If we act in faith and move forward with our decision, trusting in the Lord, he will either confirm our decision or stop us from going too far if we have made the wrong choice.

Elder Scott lovingly reminds us that “our Heavenly Father did not put us on earth to fail but to succeed gloriously.”

Heavenly Father loves you, he trusts you, and he hears your prayers. When answers don’t come immediately, don’t get discouraged. Act in faith, move forward, and trust in the Lord. His answers will come.

Read Elder Richard G. Scott’s talk on recognizing answers to prayers.

Source: lds.org

—Courtney Johansson, Mormon Insights

feature image by blair fraser

Find more insights

Watch a video of President Uchtdorf talking about having patience when waiting for prayers to be answered. 

Watch a video of Elder David A. Bednar talking about “things to act and things to be acted upon.”

Read an article by Grant E. Barton about discerning answers to prayers.

Read a Mormon Insights article about another general conference talk by Elder Richard G. Scott about the power of prayer.

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  1. Thank you for writing this article! I know that when I am trying to get an answer to my prayers it can be difficult to be patient in waiting for an answer. However, if an answer does not come, then I can get discouraged. I think that it’s very reassuring to read this article and know that I am not alone in not receiving answers to my prayers. I do like knowing that sometimes no answer does not mean that the answer is no. By knowing more about how prayers can be answered, we can trust more in the Lord and not be discouraged when answers do not come.

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