Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Letting God Decide How to Answer My Prayers

I've been thinking a lot lately about answered prayers.  Sometimes I lose track of how that works.  I get on my knees and tell God what I would like and sometimes get pretty specific as to how and what He should grant me. Like I have even the slightest idea what is best for me.

If I boil my prayers down to the lowest common denominator, they all center on the acquisition of happiness.  Too often though, I have a preconceived notion as to what it is that will bring happiness about.  This past year has taught me that my preconceived notions are mostly ill conceived notions and that while the answers I got were not the ones I wanted, they most certainly were the ones that would produce the most happiness.  What God sees as fit for me and my happiness are seldom the same things I have envisioned.

Reading through my journal from early last Summer I encountered an entry in which I mentioned having prayed earnestly for the opportunity to be of service to the Lord.  Shortly thereafter, I lost my job.  I didn't see the connection then, but looking back I see that my prayer was answered and I was afforded abundant time with which to render the service I sought to offer.  I have relished that time and the resulting opportunities to express my gratitude in the care and (hopefully) blessing of others.  Later, when I wasn't even looking, God provided a way for me to supplement my income such that we have since had sufficient for our needs.  This blessed means was also an opportunity to render service and was on which left my opportunities to serve enhanced, rather than hindered.

Would I like to be more financially free?  Of course.  Would that make me happier than the blessings I did get?  I doubt it.

We talked of service in our Priesthood Quorum on Sunday.  It was such a blessing to rub shoulders with such wonderful servants of the Lord.  Each has found joy in serving those around them and by extension in serving God.  I led the discussion but their testimonies and examples made the lesson.  At the end I felt to bear my testimony.  I told them that I wasn't too sure I was all that good a servant or that I really knew all that much about service.  The one thing I could tell them that I was certain of is this:  When I am on the Lord's errand, I know, without doubt, that I will be given the resources necessary to accomplish the task.  Be those resources spiritual or physical, they will be given abundantly as necessary.  It was then that I realized that I have no such confidence when I comes to the pursuit of my own agenda.

Doesn't it follow then, that if I am constantly about the Lord's business instead of my own, I will always have sufficient for my needs?  Of course it does.  That settled it for me.  From now on I'm going to quit worrying about my own needs and focus on serving the Lord with full purpose of heart.  I have every confidence that if I am doing so, I will be given all that I require to sustain me in that effort.

What a relief!

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