Dear Friends and Family,As I'm sure many of you have noticed, God does not often answer prayers in the way we would hope or expect. We are taught that God answers prayers according to His will, in His way, and on His timing. This past week as I explained this principle in a lesson with a less-active family, the mom suddenly turned to me and asked, "So... what's the point of praying, if God's just going to do what He wants anyway?"
In my head I often compare life to a school. School is hard, and sometimes we feel like we can't solve the problems presented. There's always someone with better grades than us, and sometimes we feel like we're graded unfairly. But in this school, one thing is of ultimate importance: our relationship with the teacher. (This comparison works a lot better in Spanish because "teacher" and "Master" are the same word and it's easier to insert the Savior's role into the metaphor.)
If the teacher and the student never communicate, the student can sit through the entire semester and never understand mitosis or long division, etc. The teacher can teach all He wants and all He knows, but it will never benefit the student if he doesn't try to work with the teacher to figure it out.
That's prayer. No matter how many times I told my chemistry teacher that I didn't understand ions (still don't) or thought they were dumb and useless, it didn't change the fact that ions exist and that they are a fundamental part of understanding chemistry. My teacher couldn't change the principles of chemistry that hold the world together, although if he could I'm sure Mr. Gritton would have done so to ease my suffering.
In like manner, no matter how many times I ask the Lord to change something about my life, about myself, or about my investigators, He is not going to change His plan or alter the forces that keep the universe together. He will not change the things in our lives that will perfect us and help us fulfill our purpose for being there anyway. We have to pass the final, and this is the homework that will prepare us.
As much as I hated school, it is a metaphor for life.
I still believe in miracles through prayer, but sometimes I think we think about it the wrong way. This week I have been "fasting" from asking for things in my prayers. Only thanking. I have felt the love of God more, and seen my faith grow exponentially.
Love you forever,