Praying for an Answer

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“Praying for an Answer,” Liahona, Jan. 2010, 56

Praying for an Answer

Sometimes you pray for help, but the answers come only after your faith is tested.

One day while taking a math test, I couldn’t remember how to solve one of the problems. I had prepared for this test, but I could not remember what I had reviewed at home. I did, however, have faith that I could ask my Father in Heaven for help.

I decided I would accept the first prompting I felt. After the prayer, I had the feeling that I could solve the problem in a specific way. But I began to doubt because it seemed like an odd way to work the problem. So I went ahead and did it on my own as well as I could.

Once all the tests had been handed in, our teacher went over the test with us. I found that the feeling I had had after the prayer would have led to the right answer, but I had not listened.

Later, during final exams, I found once again that I could not solve one of the problems, even though I had practiced this problem at home.

I wanted to ask Heavenly Father for help, but I remembered when I had bluntly rejected His help. Now I felt ashamed to ask. But because I couldn’t think of any other solution, I prayed for help anyway.

Once again I doubted when the prompting came; I was even more confused than I had been before. But I had promised the Lord that I would listen. So I suppressed the doubts and did exactly what the prompting said I should do.

After correcting the tests, our teacher announced our grades. She made it exciting by starting with the worst grades and working up to the best ones. When she did not call my name among the 3s—a low grade—I was pleased that I would have a 2, the best grade I had ever gotten in math. But when she didn’t call my name among the 2s, I felt quite differently. I was absolutely certain that I could not have gotten a 1, so I began to fear that I had done the very worst in the whole class.

But then my name was called among the 1s. A lump appeared in my throat when I recognized the hand of the Lord in this and knew of His love for and patience with me. When some of my classmates said, “You did great!” I could only shake my head. I succeeded only when I followed the prompting.

Photo illustration by John Luke