Throughout the roller-coaster of life, we have many ups and downs – good times and bad and times where we often feel alone. We don’t need to feel that way when we rely on God through prayer. He will answer us, though it may not always be in the way we expect or in the time frame that we hope.
We are never alone
God is unfailingly present in our lives. Worldwide leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Thomas Monson, explains, “We were not placed on this earth to walk alone. What an amazing source of power, of strength, and of comfort is available to each of us. He who knows us better than we know ourselves, He who sees the larger picture and who knows the end from the beginning, has assured us that He will be there for us to provide help if we but ask.” God will help whenever we need him, but we must do our part and ask.
God does answer our prayers
Sometimes the answer is no, sometimes it’s not yet, but God will answer us. We may receive answers to our prayers that we do not expect, but whatever the outcome, he, the father of our spirits, knows what is best for us. In the midst of trials, it may be difficult to have patience while waiting for an answer, but Neal Maxwell, a religious leader, counsels, “Faith in God includes faith in his timing.” We must believe that he will answer us in his own way and in his own time.
Follow the example of Jesus Christ
Though he had power to stop the pain and suffering he went through for all of us, he trusted in his father’s plan. Monson admonished, “As our prayers ascend heavenward, let us not forget the words taught to us by the Savior. When He faced the excruciating agony of Gethsemane and the cross, He prayed to the Father, ‘Not my will, but thine, be done.’ Difficult as it may at times be, it is for us, as well, to trust our Heavenly Father to know best how and when and in what manner to provide the help we seek.”
Prayer, coupled with fervent study, brings blessings and eases burdens
Just as parents shouldn’t give their children all of the answers so they can learn to figure things out on their own, so it is with God and us. He expects us to try to solve our own problems, though he will help us and guide us along the right path. One way we can seek answers is by studying his word. Through prayer and study, our trials are easier to bear because we have the help of God.
A poem by Eliza M. Hickok summarizes many of the qualities of prayer:
I know not by what methods rare,
But this I know, God answers prayer.
I know that He has given His Word,
Which tells me prayer is always heard,
And will be answered, soon or late.
And so I pray and calmly wait.
I know not if the blessing sought
Will come in just the way I thought;
But leave my prayers with Him alone,
Whose will is wiser than my own,
Assured that He will grant my quest,
Or send some answer far more blest.
As we seek God’s help through prayer, we will help to lessen the low points of the roller coaster of life and also elevate the high points. He wants us to be happy and to learn for ourselves. He will guide us and answer us, but we need to have faith and trust in his timing and the answers he sends.