When we consider how many people live on the earth today, it might be hard to imagine that God has time for each individual person and every prayer. However, He has promised us that if we come to Him in prayer, He will hear us and listen to us—and answer. He doesn’t always promise to give us what we ask for because sometimes what we want isn’t what is best for us. Sometimes our request impacts others and their needs must also be considered. Sometimes it just isn’t the right time. There is always an answer, but it can be yes, no, or not yet.
In a recent talk to Mormons, Thomas S. Monson, the Mormon prophet, spoke about how God answers both large and small prayer requests. Mormon is a nickname for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He told of three thousand teenagers, gathered to present the traditional cultural festival program before the Mormon temple in Kansas was to be dedicated to the Lord. This is an important event at each temple. The teenagers from all over the area served by the temple meet in their own congregations to practice their portion of the program. Only on the day of the performance do they all get to have a rehearsal all together in the place where they will perform.
Unfortunately, there were technical issues at the theater that day. The jumbotron was not working. It was a large video screen that tied each performance together and also introduced the next act. The teenagers could not rehearse while it was being repaired. The work went on and on and the technicians could not find the problem. Not only did they miss their rehearsal, but it began to look as though they might not get to perform, either. They informed the teenagers of the problem and the 3000 youth knelt on the hard floor and began to pray for the technicians. They also prayed that they would be able to perform properly even though they had been unable to do a run-through. They had done all they could, but they needed God to make up the difference. Very soon after the prayer ended, the technicians announced the problem had been solved.
President Monson was in attendance—one of the reasons the teenagers were so excited to perform—and by the time he entered, there was no evidence of the trial that had gone on. The performance ran perfectly, with each teenager somehow knowing how to properly enter and exit and how to interact with the other groups, despite never having done so in practice.
An amateur show by a group of enthusiastic teenagers might not seem that important in the eternal scheme of things, but God took time to take care of the problem anyway. He understood that while it might not change the world, it mattered to the world of these young people.
President Monson said:
“I never cease to be amazed by how the Lord can motivate and direct the length and breadth of His kingdom and yet have time to provide inspiration concerning one individual—or one cultural celebration or one Jumbotron. The fact that He can, that He does, is a testimony to me.
My brothers and sisters, the Lord is in all of our lives. He loves us. He wants to bless us. He wants us to seek His help. As He guides us and directs us and as He hears and answers our prayers, we will find the happiness here and now that He desires for us.”
Read the talk:
Thomas S. Monson, Consider the Blessings, October General Conference, 2012
Terrie Lynn Bittner
The late Terrie Lynn Bittner—beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and friend—was the author of two homeschooling books and numerous articles, including several that appeared in Latter-day Saint magazines. She became a member of the Church at the age of 17 and began sharing her faith online in 1992.