Preparing to Receive an Answer to Prayer

Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke of the process Enos went through that increased his faith and prepared him to receive the answer to his prayer:

“First, Enos heard the gospel truths from his father, just as you are hearing them in your families and in this conference.
“Second, he let his father’s teachings 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. To use Enos’s words, ‘My soul hungered’ [Enos 1:4]. By this intense spiritual appetite, Enos qualified himself to receive the Savior’s promise: ‘Blessed are all they who do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled with the Holy Ghost’ [3 Nephi 12:6].
“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 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).

Elder Neal A. Maxwell (1926–2004) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles compared receiving answers to prayers to the opening of a combination lock. It is a step-by-step process: “Petitioning in prayer has taught me, again and again, that the vault of heaven with all its blessings is to be opened only by a combination lock. One tumbler falls when there is faith, a second when there is personal righteousness; the third and final tumbler falls only when what is sought is, in God’s judgment—not ours—right for us. Sometimes we pound on the vault door for something we want very much and wonder why the door does not open. We would be very spoiled children if that vault door opened any more easily than it does. I can tell, looking back, that God truly loves me by inventorying the petitions He has refused to grant me. Our rejected petitions tell us much about ourselves but also much about our flawless Father” (“Insights,” New Era, Apr. 1978, 6).

Church Educational System -

Church Educational System

Book of Mormon Student Manual (2009 Edition)