Does God answer every prayer?

For the discussion of spirituality -- from LDS and non-LDS sources
SwedishLDS
Posts: 4
Joined: 14 Mar 2022, 01:34

Re: Does God answer every prayer?

Post by SwedishLDS »

I heard and read before that the purpose of prayer is not for God to grant or prayers but for us to align or will with God.

In that sense no prayer is wasted, I am not sure if that answers the question though
Minyan Man
Posts: 2133
Joined: 15 Sep 2011, 13:40

Re: Does God answer every prayer?

Post by Minyan Man »

SwedishLDS wrote: 22 Mar 2022, 05:38 I heard and read before that the purpose of prayer is not for God to grant or prayers but for us to align or will with God.

In that sense no prayer is wasted, I am not sure if that answers the question though
I'm not sure I've heard that before. But I like it.
Watcher
Posts: 59
Joined: 12 Jul 2022, 08:39

Re: Does God answer every prayer?

Post by Watcher »

For those that may not know - the late Apostle Bruce R McConkie was responsible for putting together the “Study Helps” we use in the scripture. He is also the author of most of the commentary in the study helps.

Quoting from Apostle McConkie in the Bible Dictionary under the topic of Prayer:
As soon as we learn the true relationship in which we stand toward God (namely, God is our Father, and we are His children), then at once prayer becomes natural and instinctive on our part (Matt. 7:7–11). Many of the so-called difficulties about prayer arise from forgetting this relationship. Prayer is the act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other. 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 some work or effort on our part before we can obtain them. Prayer is a form of work and is an appointed means for obtaining the highest of all blessings.
I have found this quote to contain divine revelation and I add my personal witness that there are blessings that are only obtained through individual fervent prayer.

In addition to many things that are said about prayer – I have found that when I face an important tasks that I kneel in prayer and present my plan to accomplish what I believe is needed. When I have completed my plan, I kneel again and report how things went. As a standard – in the morning I pray and present my plan for the day. At evening, I pray again and report how my day went. I have found that it is most difficult to pray for “improper” things and more so to report of things done that should not have been done. For myself – I find it most difficult to have a dishonest intent in my prayers and so my daily prayers often become a beginning of the process of repentance.
Old-Timer
Site Admin
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Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: Does God answer every prayer?

Post by Old-Timer »

Sounds like Elder McConkie.

That view works for many and not for many. I am fine with that result.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken
Roy
Posts: 6736
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Does God answer every prayer?

Post by Roy »

Watcher wrote: 15 Jul 2022, 12:54 I have found that when I face an important tasks that I kneel in prayer and present my plan to accomplish what I believe is needed. When I have completed my plan, I kneel again and report how things went. As a standard – in the morning I pray and present my plan for the day. At evening, I pray again and report how my day went.
That honestly sounds pretty amazing and helpful. I imagine that this would serve to make an individual more prepared and focused. The reporting in the evening can serve as time for review and recalibration for the future. This sounds like a good strategy to maximize your personal effectiveness. Thanks for sharing it.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13
Watcher
Posts: 59
Joined: 12 Jul 2022, 08:39

Re: Does God answer every prayer?

Post by Watcher »

Roy wrote: 18 Jul 2022, 10:06
Watcher wrote: 15 Jul 2022, 12:54 I have found that when I face an important tasks that I kneel in prayer and present my plan to accomplish what I believe is needed. When I have completed my plan, I kneel again and report how things went. As a standard – in the morning I pray and present my plan for the day. At evening, I pray again and report how my day went.
That honestly sounds pretty amazing and helpful. I imagine that this would serve to make an individual more prepared and focused. The reporting in the evening can serve as time for review and recalibration for the future. This sounds like a good strategy to maximize your personal effectiveness. Thanks for sharing it.
Perhaps I ought to share how this was started in my life. Likely not what many might think. I thought I had an excellent understanding of prayer in my teenager years. I also enjoyed dating and was what many would call a “player”. I had gotten a date with one of the most popular girls at my high school and of course I was bragging about this among my guy friends and acquaintances. One thing led to another, and I was challenged to get a kiss on the first date.
My best friend gave me an additional challenge to make a plan and pray about it. I had several successful encounters in prayer (but up to this point my prayers were centered on religious concerns and personal needs). I had never thought to have a serious prayer about things that were not all that serious in my mind.
I planned the perfect date – with flowers for my date as well as her mom. Just before I left for my date I went to my room and presented my plan in prayer to my Father in Heaven. I figured G-d knew me, and what I was thinking so I did not try to hide anything. I asked if He would assist me with my plan. Things went far better than I expected but only for a little while. Without going into all the details my date started to cry and told me about a personal problem she was having – because she thought I was such a “nice” guy – especially to her.
The kiss never happened but the date turned out to be a very spiritual event for both of us. We became good friends – just not in any romantic way (which was the first time I had a girlfriend without romance intended or involved. That night, following the date I knelt again by my bed and talked about what happened. It was the first time that I remember having the impression that G-d was pleased with me. I prayed about every date after that.
A few years later I was in the army and found myself in a serious situation that I was not sure I would survive. I decided to use the method of prayer I discovered for dating. I was impressed to make changes to my plan. I discovered that I could receive guidance in making plans as much as in attempting to carry out such.
For me, it has been the most powerful influence to bring me closer to understanding G-d and what I can do to draw closer to Him. Whenever I hear someone claim that G-d does not answer their prayers – the only thing I am convinced of is that they have not learned how to listen.
Roy
Posts: 6736
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Does God answer every prayer?

Post by Roy »

I am glad for your experience and the effect it has had on your life watcher. It actually has numerous similarities to a talk Elder Richard G. Scott gave when I was a missionary in Chile. Incidentally, I was privilidged to hear versions of the same talk several times and was fascinated by the differences in the telling based on the audience etc. The theme of the talk was how to receive personal revelation.
Watcher wrote: 19 Jul 2022, 21:59 Whenever I hear someone claim that G-d does not answer their prayers – the only thing I am convinced of is that they have not learned how to listen.
I think that it is important that we learn to believe others in describing their experience even if we do not understand it. It is a way of showing respect that we make room for their experience, their story, and their truth. This fundamentally requires that we conceptualize of a reality where our version of truth is not the only version of truth and that people with other versions of truth are not liars or deceived or even possessors of lessor truth that may someday learn of our higher level of truth.

Specifically as it relates to the mission of StayLDS, we cannot just tell people that are having a hard time that they are doing it wrong. That is not respectful of their experience and their ability to properly understand it.

From the rules of Etiquette section:
Please feel free to disagree with anyone. Nobody here has all the answers. We can all benefit from being challenged. This is not a debate club though. There is no winning or losing. Please try to stay supportive and positive with those who might not believe the same way...

The List of Don'ts...

Please do not start discussions that lead to a debate with the results of finding the one correct answer to a problem. Topics like this will probably be moderated.

Topics and comments should not portray the beliefs of others (traditional Mormon, non-believers or those of other religions) in a disrespectful manner. This violates the mission and spirit of our community, and content like that will probably be moderated or removed.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13
Watcher
Posts: 59
Joined: 12 Jul 2022, 08:39

Re: Does God answer every prayer?

Post by Watcher »

Roy wrote: 20 Jul 2022, 09:43 I am glad for your experience and the effect it has had on your life watcher. It actually has numerous similarities to a talk Elder Richard G. Scott gave when I was a missionary in Chile. Incidentally, I was privilidged to hear versions of the same talk several times and was fascinated by the differences in the telling based on the audience etc. The theme of the talk was how to receive personal revelation.
Watcher wrote: 19 Jul 2022, 21:59 Whenever I hear someone claim that G-d does not answer their prayers – the only thing I am convinced of is that they have not learned how to listen.
I think that it is important that we learn to believe others in describing their experience even if we do not understand it. It is a way of showing respect that we make room for their experience, their story, and their truth. This fundamentally requires that we conceptualize of a reality where our version of truth is not the only version of truth and that people with other versions of truth are not liars or deceived or even possessors of lessor truth that may someday learn of our higher level of truth.

Specifically as it relates to the mission of StayLDS, we cannot just tell people that are having a hard time that they are doing it wrong. That is not respectful of their experience and their ability to properly understand it.

From the rules of Etiquette section:
Please feel free to disagree with anyone. Nobody here has all the answers. We can all benefit from being challenged. This is not a debate club though. There is no winning or losing. Please try to stay supportive and positive with those who might not believe the same way...

The List of Don'ts...

Please do not start discussions that lead to a debate with the results of finding the one correct answer to a problem. Topics like this will probably be moderated.

Topics and comments should not portray the beliefs of others (traditional Mormon, non-believers or those of other religions) in a disrespectful manner. This violates the mission and spirit of our community, and content like that will probably be moderated or removed.
Thank you, Roy. This is not the first time I have been pointed to etiquette. Perhaps this is not a forum for me to speak openly. I am driven by logic and even within the confines of religious notions – if I cannot connect to the logic of it, I cannot understand it or believe it to be true.

This thread asks a simple question about G-d answering every prayer. This appears to be to be a question demanding binary logic of either yes or no. This kind of binary answers are opposites with no intersecting possibilities. I see no possibilities of answer without some inference that one answer is believed to be right and the other wrong.

I understand that any challenge to logic implies that there is an error in logic which implies a “wrong” conclusion. I also believe that I cannot test or improve my logic unless there is a challenge to it. In short, I can only learn from someone of a different opinion at some level. Thanks again for your corrections.
Roy
Posts: 6736
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Does God answer every prayer?

Post by Roy »

Yes, friend. I do believe there is an error in logic.

In your personal experiences, you have felt things that you interpret as answers to your prayers from G-d. I celebrate with you that you have had these experiences and feel close to G-d in the process.

You seem to assume that G-d interacts with everyone in the same way and extrapolate that if only people followed the same steps or formula that you have used then they would receive the same result.

Other individuals' experiences just do not prove that theory. We can 1) believe them that they followed the steps and received a different result or we can 2) discredit and disbelieve them by insisting that they must have made a mistake.

It can be tempting to discredit those individuals because it allows us avoid questioning our assumptions. That is one way to solve the problem and it is a viable way to subside the cognitive dissonance. It reminds me of a missionary telling me that their smoking cessation program had a 100% success rate for those that really wanted to quit. It is really easy to protect your success rate if you dismiss all those that are unsuccessful as simply not wanting it badly enough, or applying the program correctly, or that they have "not learned how to listen" properly.

It can be tempting but it is also disrespectful of those individuals being disbelieved and discredited and that is why it runs afoul of our rules of etiquette. :D
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13
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