Elder Jeffrey R. Holland took to Facebook to share a very important principle about the way in which God answers prayers.
“Part of the wonder and majesty of the scriptures are the many inspirational stories of prayers receiving an instantaneous response—a prayer is uttered and the answer comes.
Visions, angels, and divine powers open prison doors and heal all manner of defects and limitations.
On the other hand, there are just as many scripture stories when such is not the case. Sometimes we must wait for answers. We don’t pay as much attention to those scriptural stories, but they’re part of God’s message too.
We ought to make sure we are fair with the Lord when we seek answers to our prayers. We cannot expect Him to answer our prayers when and how we want them answered.
There are many ways for God to answer our prayers. Any turn of the page of your scriptures will show that answers come at various times in many different ways.
Sometimes our answers are instant, sometimes they come a little later, and sometimes they arrive much later.
We ought to make sure we are fair with the Lord
If we trust that we will hear, and if we remember all that God has said that builds that trust, we can find solace and encouragement in waiting, particularly when answers don’t come right away.”
This message that Elder Holland shared is similar to his General Conference address, Waiting on the Lord, where he spoke of God’s miracles and times when those miracles don’t occur.
God can provide miracles instantaneously, but sooner or later we learn that the times and seasons of our mortal journey are His and His alone to direct. He administers that calendar to every one of us individually.
For every infirm man healed instantly as he waits to enter the Pool of Bethesda, someone else will spend 40 years in the desert waiting to enter the promised land. For every Nephi and Lehi divinely protected by an encircling flame of fire for their faith, we have an Abinadi burned at a stake of flaming fire for his.