Hope and Unanswered Prayers

President Uchtdorf’s sermon on faith from the General Women’s session touched on the theme of wondering why prayers sometimes seem to go unanswered:

“Yet some might ask, ‘If faith is so powerful, why can’t I receive an answer to a heartfelt prayer? I don’t need a sea to part or a mountain to move. I just need my illness to go away or my parents to forgive each other or an eternal companion to appear on my doorstep with a bouquet of flowers in one hand and an engagement ring in the other. Why can’t my faith accomplish that?'”

President Uchtdorf further shared an example that really resonated with me:

“One woman prayed for years that her wayward daughter would return to the fold of Christ and felt discouraged that her prayers had seemingly gone unanswered. This was especially painful when she heard stories of other prodigal children who had repented of their ways.”

It can be painful and frustrating when we do not see the miracles that we anticipate and hope for. It is especially difficult when those we care about do not yield to our entreaties and come into Christ. 

 I always hoped for a miracle with my father. I prayed that he one day would come unto Christ and be converted. Yet, while I saw a gradual softening, I never experienced anything like the miraculous stories that are often spoken of in conference. And when my father passed away, my hope of a tidy earthly miracle faded away.
President Uchtdorf’s words helped to heal the wounds of my heart.

“Faith means that we trust not only in God’s wisdom but that we trust also in His love. It means trusting that God loves us perfectly, that everything He does–every blessing He gives and every blessing He, for a time, withholds–is for our eternal happiness.

    With this kind of faith, though we may not understand why certain things happen or why certain prayers go unanswered, we can know that in the end everything will make sense. ‘All things [will] work together for good to them that love God.’

    All will be made right. All will be well.
    We can be certain that answers will come, and we may be confident that we will not only be content with the answers but we will also be overwhelmed by the grace, mercy, generosity, and love of our Heavenly Father for us, His children.”

I cling to the promise that I will one day be overwhelmed by the majesty of God’s plan. I have confidence that all of God’s promises will be fulfilled in time. I know that my prayers may not always be answered immediately, but that in time all will be granted. I am so grateful for President Uchtdorf’s timely reminder of that essential truth.

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