For the last two years it seems that many of my prayers went unanswered. It seemed to me like I had a righteous desire. The things that I prayed about didn't seem to happen the way I expected them to happen.
I didn't know what I was doing wrong. Why weren't my prayers being answered? Last night I was reading talks from the last general conference and I ran into a talk by David A. Bednar that gave me some insight as to what may be going on. The following is an excerpt that I found some strength in:
Discerning and accepting the will of God in our lives are fundamental elements of asking in faith in meaningful prayer. However, simply saying the words “Thy will be done” is not enough. Each of us needs God’s help in surrendering our will to Him.
“Prayer is the act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other”. Humble, earnest, and persistent prayer enables us to recognize and align ourselves with the will of our Heavenly Father. And in this the Savior provided the perfect example as He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, “saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. . . . And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly” (Luke 22:42, 44).
The object of our prayers should not be to present a wish list or a series of requests but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is eager to bestow, according to His will and timing. Every sincere prayer is heard and answered by our Heavenly Father, but the answers we receive may not be what we expect or come to us when we want or in the way we anticipate.
Prayer is a privilege and the soul’s sincere desire. We can move beyond routine and “checklist” prayers and engage in meaningful prayer as we appropriately ask in faith and act, as we patiently persevere through the trial of our faith, and as we humbly acknowledge and accept “not my will, but Thine, be done.”
Instead of worrying about how my prayers are answered or not I need to figure out how to put my desires in alignment with what Heavenly Father wants for me.