Receiving Answer to Prayer—Hindered by Over Reliance on “Experts”?

To begin, I feel it is important to underscore a fact that we experience everyday. People differ in talent and abilities. To illustrate, consider two dissimilar activities, running a 5K race and taking an algebra class. Suppose there are 100 people participating in each endeavor. What would you expect to happen as the race and the algebra class progressed?

Typically, there would be a range of human talent and ability manifest: fast and slow runners, fast and slow algebra students, with the majority being average.

I think it is safe to say the same is true when it comes to spirituality. Individuals differ in spiritual talent and ability, but the important thing is that we understand and believe that we all have access to Heavenly Father via prayer. The question we need to ask is: “What can I do to improve my spirituality.”

If you’re not happy with your ability to receive answer to prayer, then you know if you keep doing the same thing, you will keep getting the same results.

Question: Do you believe Heavenly Father is interested in helping you improve spiritually?

How we answer this question is important. Based on my experience, I have no doubt Heavenly Father is dedicated to helping each of us to improve spiritually. Prayer is an essential spiritual talent that needs to be acquired in our quest to gain eternal life.

I think most church members would agree the Lord will help us grow spiritually, however, I’m surprised at how many hesitate to make the commitment to start now.

I think lack of desire is the main reason. I also believe that lack of desire comes from lack of need.

We live in prosperous times. It seems that for any need there is an “expert” available. If we’re sick, medical experts are available and they can do wonders to help. If we need money, experts in financial matters can be found. If we have problems in our relationships there are expert counselors with solutions that are helpful.

We have an abundance of resources available to us, and as a result it is easy to slide into the habit of relying on the experts and say a quick prayer of thanks. Or end up embracing an even more destructive idea that “God helps those who help themselves.” Thus, not even offering a prayer of thanks. 

When we trust in the arm of flesh we deny ourselves and loved ones the opportunity of experiencing the things of the Spirit that comes to those who seek the Lord diligently. 

I’m not suggesting we should avoid experts, that would be unwise. After all, we’ve been blessed with prosperity by Heavenly Father because of righteousness. But note this, the scriptures teach this is when we begin to forget the Lord. 

Yea, and we may see at the very time when he doth prosper his people, yea, in the increase of their fields, their flocks and their herds, and in gold, and in silver, and in all manner of precious things of every kind and art; sparing their lives, and delivering them out of the hands of their enemies; softening the hearts of their enemies that they should not declare wars against them; yea, and in fine, doing all things for the welfare and happiness of his people; yea, then is the time that they do harden their hearts, and do forget the Lord their God, and do trample under their feet the Holy One—yea, and this because of their ease, and their exceedingly great prosperity. Helaman 12:2

To summarize: prosperous times can produce anemic faith unless we’re diligently seeking the Holy Ghost. 

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