Answering Prayers

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In the LDS Church, at least, it seems common that when we pray for something and we receive it (or it happens), we consider our prayer to be answered. If what we wanted did not come to pass, we chalk it up to being not necessary in the sight of God, or he has other things in store for us. From an objective point of view, one would consider this coincidental.

How can we be sure that answers to prayers (and the antithesis of such) are more than coincidences?

28 thoughts on “Answering Prayers

  1. Yes, you could just stand back and say that “prayers answered” things are coincidental. It requires faith to attribute things to God. At the same time,God knows how to reveal himself to each of His kids in the way that makes sense to them. For me, when I do my best and exhaust my resources and things are hopeless – and then at the last possible moment someone or something happens and it turns out even better than I could have imagined – I think – there’s got to be a God.

  2. We can’t. That is where faith comes in. Personally, there have been too many things happen in my life after personal prayers (both “answers” and non-answers to chalk up to mere coincidences.


  3. Maybe it was a coincidence that the Israelites were able to pass through the Red Sea.

  4. i think prayers are always answered. no coincidences.

    just so you all realise, kim isn’t saying they are coincidences. he was promoting discussion on the topic.

  5. oh and i should say that kim has had enough answers to prayers (serious answers) to know that prayers are answered. so, ltbugaf, JUST so you know, he isn’t being controversial (in spite of your tongue in cheek, i am assuming, comment)

  6. Mary, I’m just pointing out that you can, if you want, find a way to “rationalize” even the most miraculous events in life as coincidences. As others have said, faith is required in life.

  7. I had a branch president that once said:
    “Coincidence is God’s way of staying anonymous” I think this is very true.

  8. Quote from song:

    “Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers
    Remember that when you pray to the Man upstairs
    Just because God doesn’t answer doesn’t mean He don’t care
    Cause some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers”


  9. He hasn’t answered my wife’s prayers… it makes me wonder if the only reason I exist is to teach my beloved some valuable lesson.

    Hmmm… that kind-of diminishes my self worth. I feel so small now.

    …and my wife sure must deserve that crap treatment she’s getting form the big guy. Obviously, because He knows what’s right for all of us.


  10. To have someone comment on “that crap treatment (your wife’s) getting from the big guy” would be difficult. How much does God allow to happen out of respect for agency and how much does he initiate? Spencer W.Kimball wrote a book on that in which he said the answer is he doesn’t know. Sometimes it is really hard to make sense of what is happening to us and what we need from each other is not a sermon on God’s will but a little more compassion.

  11. The ‘crap treatment’ I’m referring to is the fact that my lovely wife ended up with a non-member. Me specifically.

    The most ‘non-I’m-never-going-to-join’ members you’ll ever meet.

    I mean she must have been pretty lackluster in the valiance department in the preexistance to have deserved getting me in this life.

  12. Rick

    Ah, don’t be so hard on yourself. And never say never. :). I doubt she was lackluster at all, seeing as how she has been given you as a challenge lol (just teasing).

    Oh, and after all, you did keep your first estate.

  13. I really believe that “in the end it is all okay…and if it’s not okay — it’s not the end.” Sounds like you are super familiar with Mormon theology, so I’ll tell you what I believe about how things will be okay “in the end” for so many of us.

    We believe that everyone will get an opportunity to decide if they want to return home and live in their Father’s presence and eternally keep learning and growing alongside their sweetheart. What constitutes “an opportunity” to choose this is going to be assessed by your Father who loves you tenderly and will give you what is a right fit for you.

    I imagine that for so many of us who have impossible to overcome barriers because of experiences we have been dealt in this life — that opportunity will be precluded with healing from the Savior. And that the invitation to be where He is, will be an unmistakable, clear, beautiful experience. And for so many it will be in the next life.

    I believe that there will be very few who don’t take the Savior up on His invitation to be free and clean and live where they are thoroughly loved. There are people who hate anything that is good and want only to hurt and destroy. And I believe that even some of them, God knows that when they’ve been healed — they would choose to be with Him.

    So, Rick, you are a good person who loves good things and, in my belief system, that means you love the Creator of all goodness and your heart is close to him, whether or not you are aware of it. And I believe that we, you and I and your wife, will be having more great conversations sitting by some celestial waterfall some future day.

  14. Rick, aren’t you kind of blaming your own conduct on God when you say HE’s the one giving your wife “crap treatment”? :)

  15. Well, knowing myself from the inside out – I can give everyone assurances that I do *not* know the church is true.

    That said, ltbugaf, it’s not my conduct we’re talking about.

    It’s God’s fault that he brought my wife and I together, and put her in a position to make such an awful mistake as to marry a non-member – let alone a non-investigating non-member.

    And Julie, *I* really am not worried about how all things will end up ‘in the end’ – it’s my wife who is the most worried.

    And the best this is that she gets all of her doubts and fears reinforced once a week – in public no less.

    It really warms my heart to think of all the ‘if you set a good example – maybe he’ll come around’ talks she gets every week.

    It’s torture really.
    …and a bit cruel.

  16. Rick, I never would have taken you for a believer in the doctrine of predestination.

  17. I don’t subscribe to that doctrine, but unfortunately my wife belongs to an organization that does.

    Hence her grief – and indirectly mine.


  18. So if your wife would just be happy and realize that in the end everything’s okay, then all would be well? Then consider my previous comment sent to her with hope that she can have the faith to relax and enjoy being married to a great man.

  19. Rick, neither I nor my church preaches predestination. But when you blame God for your choices and your wife’s choices, I have to think you probably do. :)

  20. No, I’m saying that if all of her beliefs are the correct ones …

    I have no blame for gods or anyone else for that matter.

    I’m living in the here and now, she can worry about the hereafter. ;)

  21. I think there is an answer, and that answer is that there is no conclusive method of determining that answers to prayers (and the antithesis of such) are more than just coincidences.

  22. How do you know there is someone listening to your prayer? What makes you so special that a God would even listen to you much less respond?

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