Thursday, July 21, 2011

Receiving an Answer to Prayer

     I recently read the story of the Book of Mormon Prophet, Enos, who received an answer to his prayer and a forgiveness of his sins because of his faith in Jesus Christ. I love Enos's experience and it has helped me gain a stronger testimony of the power of prayer and also of the mercy of our Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ. 
     Enos begins his account telling us about a "wrestle" he had before God. Which wrestle was a struggle Enos had to explain his real deepest desires of his heart to God in prayer. Enos was out hunting wild beasts and he had remembered the teachings of his father Jacob, who was the previous prophet, and he prayed very hard and earnestly for his own soul. He struggled to express his feelings to God and he was seeking for a remission or forgiveness of his sins. Enos prayed all day and into the night when he heard a voice from heaven saying "Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed" (Enos 1:5).
     After Enos was told his sins were forgiven, he gives a inspiring response and question. He asks "how is it done? (Enos 1:6). Now that to me shows how sincere Enos was in calling upon God and truly wanting his sins to be forgiven because he wanted to know how. What a great example if I say so myself. The Lord goes on to tell him that it is because of his faith in Jesus Christ that has made him whole. What a blessing it is to know that if we have faith, we can receive answers to our prayers, even forgiveness of our sins.
     An Apostle of the Lord Elder Robert D. Hales explains the process Enos went through that helped him to have an increase of faith and prepared him to receive the answer to his prayer. This 5 step process Enos went through can also apply in our lives to help us prepare to receive an answer to our prayers.
     " First, Enos heard the gospel truths from his father, just as you are hearing them in your families.
     "Second, he let his father's teaching about 'eternal life, and the joy of the saints'[Enos 1:3] sink deep into his heart.
      "Third, he was filled with a desire to know for himself whether these teachings were true and where he himself stood before his Maker.
      "Fourth, Enos obeyed the commandments of God, which enabled him to be receptive to the Spirit of the Holy Ghost.
      "Fifth, Enos records, 'I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul; and all the day long did I cry unto him; yea, and when the night came I did still raise my voice high that it reached the heavens' [Enos 1:4]. It wasn't easy. Faith did not come quickly. In fact, Enos characterized his experience in prayer as a 'wrestle which [he] had before God' [Enos 1:2]. But faith did come. By the power of the Holy Ghost, he did receive a witness for himself.
    "We cannot find Enos-like faith without our own wrestle before God in prayer. I testify that the reward is worth the effort....I promise that if you do these things sincerely and unceasingly, the words of Christ spoke to His disciples will be fulfilled in your life: 'Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.' [Matthew 7:7]" (in Conference Report, Oct. 2004, 73-74; or Ensign, Nov. 2004, 72).
     I would like to add my personal witness that I know that we have a loving Heavenly Father who hears and answers our prayers. He answers our prayers according to our faith and to our willingness to act upon the answer we receive. I know that if we follow the steps that Enos took in preparing himself to receive an answer, then God will grant us what we best need according to the desires of our hearts. I am so grateful for the power of prayer and the role it has played in my life. I don't know where I'd be if I didn't have a Father in Heaven whom I could go to for strength and support and comfort. God hears and answers our prayers, we just need to be willing to do something about it and watch and listen for the answer.


1 comment:

  1. Prayer is one of the greatest things ever! We can, and are commanded to, talk to God and He listens. He talks back to us if we are listening. Great post!