I recently receive two e-mails—one from someone who was exploring religion again and the other from someone who was struggling to feel a connection to God and to receive answers from prayer. I responded with the following suggestions and decided to post them here as well, in case others may have similar struggles. These four steps to receiving answers to prayer can work with anything you are in doubt about. Just insert your question into the following steps.
Please note, in many cases it is not enough to say to God, “Please help me to know what to do.” Sometimes you need to choose a direction, opinion, or belief, and then ask if it is right. Then your mind and heart will be better prepared to receive a more direct response or insight.
First: Kneel in prayer (so you are really prepared to listen) and ask a specific question. Then ponder what thoughts and feelings follow. For example, “Father, I believe that I will get married. Is that correct?”
Second: If after a while you feeling nothing (which I would seriously doubt—I can’t imagine that you are not meant to be married and that you won’t have power to influence this outcome), assume the opposite position. For example, “Father, I believe I am not meant to get married. Is that correct?” Again, watch for the thoughts and feelings that follow.
Third: If nothing comes again, then ask, “Father, I believe I need more information (or I need to talk to a specific person who will be able to help me; or, I have already received my answer to this question back when _____). Is that correct?” If you ponder your thoughts and feelings, you will be able to sense what steps you need to take so that you can get more answers later.
Fourth: Choose to have faith and to believe. On occasion we are expected to ponder and search for answers, to get more information, or to show more faith in the answers we have already received. Until we learn to listen and believe, God sometimes won’t reveal more on the subject. Thus, listening, exercising faith, and showing appreciation for all that God is doing to answer our prayers becomes critical to receiving more answers. Therefore, if you have received two to three answers (or emotional impressions) to the same question, you need to make a conscious choice to believe. To do this, repeat, “I choose to have faith and believe _________ (insert the answer you received).” Do this especially when you feel fear and doubt. In time, you will see the fruits of your faith, but for now just choose to believe and take action with faith that God will help you.
This process has worked well for me in getting more specific direction and impressions. I hope this helps you too.
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