This will be Part 1 of a series on recognizing answers to prayers.
It’s now time to talk in greater detail about prayer and how you can recognize answers to your 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:
- Go somewhere where you can be alone: A bedroom or some secluded spot.
- Go somewhere that is quiet–that is free from all noise.
- If you have done something wrong, that would offend God, ask first, for His forgiveness.
- Ask God for help to recognize answers to your prayers.
- 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 (also known as 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 examples 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 may test your faith. He may test your sincerity by not answering your prayer the first time…or the second…or the third time you pray. I promise. He is listening. He may test to see how persistent you are–that you truly want an answer.
If you are persistent, you will eventually receive an answer. 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. Can you describe it to me?”
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. This is true of anyone who has felt the Holy Ghost. It’s very difficult to describe or explain. However, when you’ve felt it. You know it. And, you want others to feel it–and know God’s love too.
So here’s my attempt to describe it:
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. It may not be how you expected. Know also that your faith may be tested before you receive an answer.