The Lord’s Wisdom…
Many times I have heard people insist that the Lord does not answer their prayers. Without personally knowing the circumstances that lead to this conviction it may be difficult to give specific comfort or counsel, unless one has faith in the Lord and is ready to communicate whatever wisdom He offers, the Lord’s wisdom. There are always answers to sincere prayers, the heartfelt desire to do the right thing with whatever we are blessed. Answers do not always come in the timing that we would like, nor are we always ready to receive what the Lord has to give, nevertheless, with patience, long-suffering and the humility to receive and act upon no matter what is given, the Lord always answers sincere prayers.
“…neither chance nor coincidence play much of a role in the efforts of men and women who seek the Savior and follow His guidance.”
My son Matthew has long been an example to me of the power of praying for divine assistance, and then getting up off of his knees and doing something about what needs to get done. This morning I witnessed his faithfulness to this precept in searching for a missing gate latch. Matthew was working with his son Matthew Jr. to repair a gate. The project was going quite well when he discovered that the gate latch was not to be found. After a little troubleshooting, the two knelt together and asked Heavenly Father for divine assistance to locate the latch. They arose from their knees, followed the light that entered their minds, and shortly thereafter had the latch in hand and were completing the repair on the gate. Some might say that it was chance or coincidence that lead to these boys finding the missing piece, but long experience has shown me that neither chance nor coincidence play much of a role in the efforts of men and women who seek the Savior and follow His guidance.
Trusting in the Lord seems to be one of the best kept secrets to success in getting prayers answered, but one has to be humble and actually walk in His paths to gain His wisdom. This is trusting in God. As Solomon wrote during his days of humble wisdom in the Lord, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil” (Proverbs 3:5-7). Neither the smarts of our own heads nor the promptings of wise-guys will ever bring us close to answers of worthwhile seeking. The Lord’s wisdom is what the truly wise seek after.
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.”King Solomon, Proverbs 3:5-6
While serving as scribe to the Prophet Joseph Smith in the translation of the Book of Mormon, Oliver Cowdery sought gifts and wisdom from the Lord. In answer to his humble desires the Lord gave Oliver and us all wonderful instruction on how to seek and receive revelation, or answers to prayer. The Lord declared, “Yea, behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart. Now, behold, this is the spirit of revelation; behold, this is the spirit by which Moses brought the children of Israel through the Red Sea on dry ground. …Remember that without faith you can do nothing; therefore ask in faith. Trifle not with these things; do not ask for that which you ought not” (Doctrine and Covenants 8:2-3, 10).
Not everything worked out as Oliver hoped and a time followed when his own desires outweighed his willingness to give strict heed to the will of the Lord. Further priceless instruction followed from the Lord. “Do not murmur, my son, for it is wisdom in me that I have dealt with you after this manner. Behold, you have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it unto you, when you took no thought save it was to ask me. But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right. But if it be not right you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong; therefore, you cannot write that which is sacred save it be given you from me” (Doctrine and Covenants 9:6-9).
“…you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right.”The Lord Jesus Christ
It is the Lord’s wisdom that we should not just simply ask Him for all of our gifts and answers as if no effort on our part is needed nor required. If we wish to have wisdom, the wisdom of the Lord, then we should study His word and live His law. It is not a pile of information in our brains that will give us answer to all we seek, but with that knowledge and humble obedience, treasures of wisdom and revelation will be made known unto us in our time of need, or the need of a brother whom we may serve.
God may bless us with natural or spiritual gifts, but without our effort to develop those talents and to share them in service, He can never fully bestow upon us all there is to bring those gifts to the full flower of their productivity and glory. We must make effort and take thought, or any answer or blessing the Lord could give would be squandered in weakness and be like seed sown on rocky ground, never to take root, never to grow upright in the strength and power of the Lord.
“…without our effort to develop those talents and to share them in service, He can never fully bestow upon us all there is to bring those gifts to the full flower of their productivity and glory.”
The Lord wants to answer our prayers. He wants to show His trust in us. See the answers to His prayers in whatever form they come, even when they come in quiet signs of trust. Give answer to those quiet signs with grateful action. As an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, Elder Richard G. Scott taught, “What do you do when you have prepared carefully, have prayed fervently, waited a reasonable time for a response, and still do not feel an answer? You may want to express thanks when that occurs, for it is an evidence of His trust. When you are living worthily and your choice is consistent with the Savior’s teachings and you need to act, proceed with trust. … When you are living righteously and are acting with trust, God will not let you proceed too far without a warning impression if you have made the wrong decision” (Apr. 2007, General Conference).
The Lord will give answer to our sincere prayers. He is looking for every opportunity to bless our lives and to help us to progress toward returning to His presence with those we serve and love. He has provided us with this gift of prayer and the talents and strength of action that we might receive answers, follow in His ways, and through Christ Jesus develop into sons and daughter of God worthy of the name. Let us move forward in faith, following the promptings of His Spirit as our hearts are filled and our minds given light, looking unto Him for wisdom and strength. As the Lord so lovingly declared, “Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not” (Doctrine and Covenants 6:36). These are the words and wisdom of a God who loves us and will always give answer to our prayers. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.