Recognizing answers to your prayers

This will be Part 1 of a series on recognizing answers to prayers. In the coming posts, there will be a lot of important topics to cover. It’s now time to talk in greater detail about prayer and how you can recognize answers to your own prayers. Before we begin though, there are some import things that you need to understand:

God is your Heavenly Father. He loves you. He is a perfect being. He is perfectly honest in all things. He is a God of truth. He is the source of all truth. Consequently….

“You can ask Him to teach you what is true.”

Did you ever think of that? Did you ever realize that you could ask Him for help to recognize what is true?

When you pray alone, pray with intent. Pour out your heart to your Heavenly Father. Then, listen for answers.

Within your body is a Spirit. In order to receive answers to your prayers, you must learn how to “listen” to answers to prayers through your Spirit.

The Holy Ghost is a personage of the Godhead. Unlike our Heavenly Father and our Savior, Jesus Christ, the Holy Ghost is a Spirit. Two of his missions are to….

1) To testify of The Father and The Son.

2) To testify to us of the truth of all things.

The things of the God can only be learned by the Spirit of God (a.k.a., The Holy Spirit or The Holy Ghost). Consequently, by learning to recognize the Holy Ghost, you can come to know the truth of all things.

OK, so, you may be wondering “How can I learn to recognize answers to my prayers? How can I “tune”-in to my Spirit so that I can recognize answers?

Here are some suggestions:

  1. Go somewhere where you can be alone: A bedroom or some secluded spot.
  2. Go somewhere that is quiet–that is free from all noise.
  3. If you have done something wrong, that would offend God, ask first, for His forgiveness.
  4. Ask God for help to recognize answers to your prayers.
  5. After you have spoken, listen. Pay very, very, very close attention to how you feel and what thoughts come to mind.

To be honest, it can be very difficult to learn to distinguish your own thoughts and feeling from those that come that come from The Holy Spirit (The Holy Ghost), but…it is possible.

To learn how you can recognize answers to your own prayers, I would recommend you do the following: Ask questions with “Yes” or “No” answers.

Ask your question, then wait to receive an answer. Whatever you say, use your own words. Be sincere. Here are some of what you can say:

“God, Heavenly Father, if you exist will you please make yourself known to me?”

“God, do you love me?”

“God, did you send your Son, Jesus Christ to atone for my sins?”

Then, wait…. Pay special attention to your answers. Pay attention to what thoughts enter your head. Pay attention to how you feel.

Don’t get discouraged if nothing comes to mind or you don’t feel an answer right away. God will test your faith. He may test your sincerity by not answering your prayer the first time or the second or third time you pray. He may test to see how persistent you are–that you truly want an answer.

I promise that he will eventually answer your prayer. And, when He does, you will recognize a marvelous truth: God loves you and wants to know Him.

It’s impossible to describe to others what feeling the Spirit (The Holy Ghost) is like. It’s like asking someone to describe that salt tastes like.

Imagine that someone came to you and said “I’ve never tasted salt before in my whole life.” How would you describe it to them? It’s not sweet…. It’s not bitter…. If you think about it, it’s very difficult to describe. So, it is with the Spirit, it’s very difficult to describe.

It can be a positive, enlightening feeling. It can bring feelings of relief, happiness, and joy. It can be thoughts that give you a “Eureka!” moment–when a “light bulb” goes on in your head.  Most times, however, it can be very subtle quiet thoughts that enter your mind. In these quiet moments, God is answering your prayer.

Sometimes, answers will be “Yes”. At other times, answers will be “No”. Negative answers can come too. In these moments, you may feel “uncertainty”, “doubt”, or “darkness”. You will not feel good about the decision you are about to make.

Don’t give up if you don’t feel an answer right away. God answers prayers in many ways. Pay attention about what happens you to that day/week. Look for ways that the Lord might be answering your prayers. Your faith may be tested.

God has angels in heaven do His work. While we are being tested down here, on earth, weare to be his angels. We are to come to the need of our fellow brothers and sister in need. We are to help one another–and in some cases be the answer to another’s prayer.  Your prayer may not be answered in the way that you expect it to be answered.

Opposition to the Plan of Happiness

When Heavenly Father presented his Plan, two of his sons volunteered to be our Savior:

Jesus Christ volunteered first. He wanted to glorify and honor our Heavenly Father. He did not want to take away the gift of agency (the ability to choose and make choices for ourselves) that Heavenly Father had given to each of us.

Lucifer volunteered second. He promised salvation for all. His plan was to take away our freedom to choose and guarantee our salvation. He wanted all of Heavenly Father’s power and glory for himself.

Lucifer’s plan was very attractive for some of God’s children. They feared that they would sin and not be found worthy to return to heaven. They lacked faith and trust in our Heavenly Father.

A war in heaven ensued. This was not a war of physical violence. It was a war of words.

Each of us had to make a decision: Would we decide to follow Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ? Or, would we decide to follow Lucifer?

Heavenly Father knew that Lucifer’s Plan would not succeed. He did not want us to be enslaved to Lucifer. Heavenly Father wanted to shared ALL he had with ALL his children. He wisely choose Jesus Christ to be our Savior. He knew that Jesus Christ would succeed.

This enraged Lucifer. He and his followers rebelled against God. As a consequence, they were cast out. Lucifer became Satan (or the Devil). He and his followers were damned (meaning: they could no longer progress to become like our Heavenly Father): They could not come to earth to receive a body of flesh and bones.

Consequently, they do not want us to succeed. They do not want us to return and live with our Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother. They want us to sin, so we will not be found worthy to return to our heavenly home.

The mere fact that you were born into this world proves that you passed your first test: You chose to follow your Heavenly Father’s plan. You chose the Lord Jesus Christ to be your Savior. You proved that you trusted your Heavenly Father and wanted to follow his plan.

The Light of Christ

Our Heavenly Father wants all of his children who experience this earth-life to return and live with him. To each of us, he has given a gift. This gift is the Light of Christ. Although you may have never realized it, you have been given this gift from your Heavenly Father.

This is a gift that this distinct and separate from the Gift of the Holy Ghost (We will discuss the Holy Ghost in another post.).

Inside your body is a Spirit. Your consciousness is that Spirit within you. The Light of Christ, if you choose to listen to it, is an inner conscience. It is an inner compass that will help you recognize truth. It can help you make righteous decisions that will help guide you back to your heavenly home.

We are all born with this gift. We all innately understand “right” from “wrong”, “good” and “bad”. If we seek to come to know the Lord though prayer, we can recognize answers with this gift.

God desires ALL His children to accept the atoning sacrifice of His Beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

I plead with you…. Ask God, your Heavenly Father, in prayer, if he sent his Beloved Son, Jesus Christ to atone for your sins. Ask Him sincerely with full purpose of heart. With faith, expecting an answer.

He will answer your prayer. That is not my promise. That is HIS PROMISE.

No matter what successes or failures you’ve had (or will have in this life). Your life will lack purpose and meaning until you understand your true relation to God, your Heavenly Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. They love us beyond our comprehension. They made it possible for us to return and live with them. It is your choice whether or not to do so.

There are many gifts of God. They all lead us to Him. They will bring us joy and happiness in this life–and eternal bliss in the world to come. Gifts of God help us be instruments in His hands to help our fellow brothers and sisters looking for truth.

Prayer

Once you know that you have a Heaven Father, that He is literally the father of your Spirit, and that he loves you as his child (more than any earthly parent ever could), talking to him should come naturally.

We talk to Heaven Father though prayer. Although we talk to him with words (and he could certainly answer back with words), he answers our prayers in a different way. He reveals his answers to us. We receive revelation:

It was never our Heavenly Father’s intention that we would come down to earth, live out our lives, and return without ever knowing why we came to earth in the first place. There was plan made for you. An individualized curriculum of learning tailor-made just for you.

  • We would be tested to see whether would seek to know God, Our Eternal, Heavenly Father, and His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, which he sent to carry-out the Atonement.
  • We would be tested to see whether we would be faithful in keeping His commandments and live them faithfully throughout our lives.

Your life has a purpose. You have a mission to fulfill. If you want, you CAN find-out what that mission is. You don’t have to live-out your life never knowing…. You CAN touch lives and make a difference in this world if you decide to take a leap of faith.

The first step in coming to know Him is to pray to Him. These are the steps to pray. You must use your own words. They must be sincere and heartfelt. I cannot tell you what to say. This is the basic pattern for prayer:

  • Address your Heavenly Father
    • Say “Dear Heavenly Father”, “My Father in Heaven”, etc.
  • Express gratitude for your blessings.
  • Tell your Father in Heaven about your needs, wants, desires, and the pains of your heart. Ask Him for answers to questions you have. Ask Him for help. Ask Him for forgiveness of the things you have done wrong. Ask Him for help and strength not to repeat the bad things that you’ve done previously.
  • Listen for answers (This will be discussed in a future post).
  • Close your prayer in the name of Jesus Christ.
    • When you’re ready to end your prayer, say “I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.”

If you have never prayed before, I invite you to do so now. Pray in the morning when you first wake-up. Pray a silent prayer at mealtime if your not alone. Pray at night on your knees before you get into bed.

Don’t pray with “vain repetitions”–without sincerity or
without thought (constantly repeating the same words over-and-over). It’s OK to say the same things–as long as it is heartfelt.

Make it sincere. Pray with intent. Pray with purpose. Think about what you are going to say before you pray. If your doctor were to tell you that you had 24 hrs left to live, how might the tone of your prayers be different?

Prayer is the first step that is going to remarkably change your life. Please, please, please, make it a part of your daily routine. Be persistent: It takes time to recognize answers. Don’t stop praying if answers don’t come the way that you expect them to (I’ll discuss receiving answers to prayers in in another post.).

If you are consistent and your prayers are sincere, He will answer them. That is His promise.

Commandments

Where there is a law, there must be a punishment. If there were no punishment, would anyone ever be afraid to break the law?

There are laws in heaven as well as on earth. To return and live in heaven, we must follow the laws of heaven.

God is good. God is just. Gods decrees commandments. His commandments are law.

God’s commandments are for OUR benefit. He gives commandments because he loves us.

Following his commandments bring blessings. Disobeying his commandment bring sorrow. Our Heavenly Father does not will sorrow for us. He loves us. However, sorrow is a natural consequence of us choosing to disobey.

God gave us the freedom to choose. He does not (and will not) compel us to be good. It is our choice.

A Savior

Jesus Christ was the first Spirit Child of our Heavenly Father. He loved Heavenly Father and he loved us. Although he was already perfect, he volunteered to come to earth and be our Savior–to make possible for us to return to live with our Heavenly Father again.

To live with our Heavenly Father again, we needed to overcome two obstacles: Sin and Death. We needed to be resurrected after we had died. We also needed a way to repent–so we could be cleansed from the sins that we would commit in this life.

Jesus Christ was chosen by our Heavenly Father to be our Savior. His mission was to…

  1. Live a perfect life, without sin.
  2. Provide a perfect example for us (obey all the commandments of God).
  3. Pay the price of all our sins.
  4. Conquer death so that someday we will all be resurrected.

Because Jesus accomplished the Atonement, we can live with God again.

Jesus was different from you and I. His earthly father was Heavenly Father. His mother was Mary. Because of his unique parentage, he had a mortal mother from which he inherited the ability to die. However, our Heavenly Father, also gave him power over death.

Because Jesus had power over life and death, we have all been promised the gift of being resurrected someday. This is a free gift to all God’s children. We will all live again someday after we have died.

You will live again after you have died. Your parents will live again. Your grandparents will live again. Your children, if they have preceded you in death, will live again. Everyone you have ever known or will know in this life will be resurrected someday.

When you are resurrected your Spirit, which is inside your body, which gives you consciousness, which allows you to think and move, will be reunited with a perfect body–never to be separated again. You will be recognizable to everyone you know now. Your resurrected body will be perfect–without any flaw. Not a hair of your head will be lost.

The gift of the resurrection comes to all–regardless of how good or bad one has lived in this life. This is a gift from God to everyone. However, living eternally is not the same as Eternal Life.

Eternal Life is living eternally with God, Our Heaven Father. Whether you receive Eternal Life (or not) is based upon your individual righteousness.

Jesus accomplished the Atonement. He suffered for our sins. In agony, in the Garden of Gethsemane, He bled from every pore. Only he had the capability to endure the weight of the sins of the whole world. He took upon himself all the sin and pain that we would ever face in his life.

Whatever suffering you’ve been though, whatever pain you have ever felt, whatever heartbreak or sorrow you have ever felt in this life, our Savior Jesus Christ EXPERIENCED IT. Yes, that right. He experienced YOUR personal sorrow, regret, and pain. He knows how to comfort you because HE LITERALLY EXPERIENCED ALL OF IT.

Only He can understand what you’ve gone through. Only He can truly empathize.

He suffered for my sins, for your sins, for everyone’s sins, so that we might be forgiven–if we repent.

Repentance is key though. We must repent when we sin and keep his commandments for the Atonement to make us clean again so we can return and live with God again. It is our choice. God will not compel us to repent. We must choose to change our own hearts.

A Plan

Our Heavenly Father loved us so much that he wanted to share all that had with us. Consequently, He created a plan for us. So, we could become like Him. If we followed this plan, we would come to earth to gain a body (like Him) and be tested to prove we were worthy to return and live with him again.

As part of this test, we would pass through a veil that would cause us to forget our past life with our Heavenly Parents. We would then be given the freedom to choose, act, and live however we wished. God would test us to see whether we would seek to know Him, love Him, and obey His commandments (or not). We would have the opportunity to learn, grow, and have experiences that were never possible for us previously. We would be given the opportunity to become parents ourselves and have children–A test to see how well we would do. We would be given the freedom to choose however we wanted to live our lives.

Our, all knowing, omnipotent, Heavenly Father knew that we would not live perfect lives though. And, in order for us to return and live with Him again, we needed a way to repent and “become clean” again.

Pre-earth life

Did you realize that you lived long before you were ever born into this world? Did you know that you had a Spirit body? You had a head, hands, legs, etc. Your Spirit was not void and without form (like a cloud or mist). You had a body. You also had a gender–the same one you have now (the same gender that you’ll always have).

In fact, your Spirit body was a lot like the body you have now–without flaws. Your Spirit body would be easily recognizable to anyone that you know now.

Think about that for a moment: You have always existed, and you will always exist. Not only is this true of you, but this fact is also true of everyone you will ever meet. Like you, they lived before this earth-life.

In this pre-earth life, you were born as a Spirit child to Heavenly Parents. You have a Heavenly Father and a Heavenly Mother. They were your parents. You are their child. They are perfected, Holy beings. They are Gods. You were born to them as precious daughter or son: You are literally a daughter of God or son of God. You grew-up in their presence. Living in their kingdom. You are Royalty. You are a their child. They gave you a name. They loved you then, and they continue to love you now.

Our Heavenly Father is a man. Our Heavenly Mother is a women. Our Heaven Parents have bodies. Their bodies are not like our bodies now though. We were Spirits back then. They were not Spirits like us. Unlike us, they had bodies of flesh and bone–similar to the bodies like we have now. Except, their bodies are perfect: They never grow old. They never die.

If we were to see them now, we would shock ourselves how easily recognizable their faces are to us. You would recognize them as easily as you would recognize your own earthly mom and dad.

You were born to them as a Spirit child–their literal offspring. Now that you understand your relation to them, you must also realize that this is true of everyone. Everyone around you is a daughter or son of Heavenly Parents. Everyone around you is literally a sibling to you: They are a Spirit Sister or Spirit Brother. Everyone that you have met or will ever meet in this life is literally of your Heavenly Family. You lived with your siblings for eons and eons of time. You knew them. They knew you. You spent eons of time living together with your Heavenly Family.

Start Here

Ok…. So, you found yourself here. Maybe you’ve found yourself at a cross-roads in life, you’re going through a hard time, or a loved-one has passed-away. For whatever reason, you’ve found yourself here. Don’t believe it was an accident. It wasn’t. Perhaps you’ve had a persistent thought or feeling your whole life that “Something is missing”–a yearning, a driving force telling you that “Something is not right”.

Well, I’m going to tell you what that “something” is. But, this isn’t going to be a 5 minute read. There’s going to be a lot information you’re going to have to digest; and you’re going to have to do some work too.

I hope you’re willing to take the time to hear me out. I promise that if you do, your life is going to change for the better. And, you’ll finally figure-out what that yearning is. So, buckle your seat belt.

As we go on this journey together, please, please, please ask questions. There is never a dumb question. If you have a question, 20 other people have the same question–they’re just too shy to ask. Feel free to register and ask questions. I will answer them as soon as I can.