Prayers & Answers

Somebody once shared the following story with me about a friend of his who was walking in central park in New York City, “Above the sounds of city life he heard the song of a bird. He stopped and listened. Those with him had not heard it. He looked around. No one else had noticed it. It bothered him that everyone should miss something so beautiful. So he took a coin from his pocket and flipped it into the air. It struck the pavement with a ring no louder than the song of the bird. Everyone turned: they could hear that! It is difficult to separate from all the sounds of city traffic the song of a bird, but you can hear it. You can hear it plainly if you train yourself to listen for it.” That phrase, ‘you can hear it if you train yourself to listen for it’ is what we need to do. We need to train ourselves to understand how God talks to us.

I wanted to know if the Book of Mormon was true so I decided that I would read it and search it. I then prayed to see if it were true. I did not feel I received an answer to my prayer. I read, studied, and prayed more. Still I felt no answer was coming. After several months I decided to study something else. I studied how God speaks to man through the Spirit. After learning about the Spirit, I again brought my request to the Lord and received an answer. I had not ‘received’ an answer before because I had not trained myself to hear ‘the bird’. Once I learned how the bird or the Spirit worked then I could hear and understand it.

“There are so many of us who go through life and seldom, if ever, hear that voice of inspiration, because ‘the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned’ (1 Cor. 2:14).”

I was the natural man and had to learn the things of the Spirit. The Lord taught me how to hear the bird. Sometimes I hear the bird but I do not understand what he is singing. I am still the natural man and need to work harder to understand what God is trying to tell me. The scriptures tell us that we will be taught by the Spirit, precept upon precept, line upon line, here a little and there a little. I know that the Lord will continue to teach me as long as I have a true desire to learn and understand what He wants me to know and do.

The Spirit plays such an important role when we pray. We pray and ask for help in our lives but seldom do we sit and try to hear the bird and what he is singing. When we pray we need to listen as we would at any other time. The Lord will teach us through the Spirit but only when we are willing to learn and be taught. I want to be taught and will continue to train myself to listen to the Spirit as I pray and search for answers. Before I made this post, I shared it with a friend who recommended I write a future post about ‘what I’ve heard so far from the bird’. In a few weeks I will put together a few experiences and share them with you. For now, please share your experiences with answers to prayers. How has God answered your prayers?

5 thoughts on “Prayers & Answers

  1. angee

    I remember my mother trying to teach this exact concept to me growing up. She let me discover it on my own, through trial and error, encouraging me in my progress. I kept telling her that it seemed so easy for her. She kept telling me that hearing answers takes practice. She didn’t hear “voices;” she had feelings and was able to decipher when she was on the right path. She said she had lots of practice and promised me that with time, I, too, would learn. Since then, I have learned to better hear God’s will for me, as well. When I feel peaceful or happy, or when I have a good idea come to my mind, I know this is God speaking to me. When I can’t seem to receive an answer–as in confusion–I know that God is also speaking to me, but that the answer is NO, or that I’m not praying for the right thing. He always answers; it just takes us learning to really hear. And as you mentioned, line upon line; a little at a time!

    Great article! Very thought provoking, as I reflect back on my own life and the progress I’ve made in hearing answers to prayers. Thank you!

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  2. R Davis Post author

    @ Becca – Thank you for your comment! I agree that we all need to work on it but the key is working, an action of moving forward and improving. I believe as long as we have some forward movement then God will be able to help us and point us in the right direction.

    @ Angee – Thank you for sharing your experience and expanding the thoughts introduced in the post. I find it amazing that God knows us each so intimately and the more we try to build and work on that relationship, the more we learn about Him and the closer we grow to Him.

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  3. RL

    Along those same lines: If someone said be downtown at 2:00 pm and you’ll find $500, most of us would be there–early. But if our kids ask us to play with them (worth more than a million dollars so to speak) we are too busy.

    Reply

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