A couple weeks ago we had an ultrasound. The baby was beautiful; we were excited to see him. However, the ultrasound technician saw something about which she was concerned. A second, more detailed ultrasound was scheduled for this past Friday in order to see if there really was something to be concerned about. We spent these past two weeks trying not to worry, a difficult task when a child is concerned. The potential problem area was within the skull and I, studying neuropsychology, am particularly sensitive to potential brain problems.
We spent the past two weeks praying specifically that everything would be well with the baby and pregnancy (that's not different from what we had already been praying for but because there was a potential concern, our prayers were more intense). Family and friends were also praying that all would be well with the baby. With our prayers, however, we were not seeking to change the will of the Lord but we were pleading with Him like He has asked us to do.
We went to the second ultrasound appointment and everything looked okay. The potential problem was within the normal range (I'm keeping everything non-technical and vague on purpose); there were no visible problems on the ultrasound. We were relieved; we felt our prayers had been answered.
Someone might ask, "Had your prayers really been answered?" Yes. We asked that everything would be okay with our baby's brain and it looks like it is. Now, did our prayers actually result in the Lord healing the problem? We do not know if there really was a problem in the first place so we do not know. But that does not matter; it does not matter whether or not a miracle occurred - our prayers were answered regardless of what happened.
Many times people pray that all will go well with something or that someone will get better or that a sibling can get a job or whatever else. The skeptic might state that all those things would have happened regardless of the prayer; that God did not really answer the prayers. Believing that He did is just deluding oneself. That is the difference between believers and unbelievers; to the unbeliever faith seems like self-delusion. To the believer it is recognizing God's hand in one's life.
That's one of the tests of life - to see if we will exhibit faith in God and His Son. This is what Alma taught Korihor, "Thou hast had signs enough; will ye tempt your God? Will ye say, Show unto me a sign, when ye have the testimony of all these thy brethren, and also all the holy prophets? The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and call things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator." (Alma 30:44; emphasis added).
God is involved in our lives. He cares for us and more importantly, He loves us. That is why He answers our prayers, even if the answer is "No." Would we have been bitter if there had been a problem with the baby? No. Would we have felt that our prayers had not been answered? No, because we always pray that God's will be done. We have our wants and desires but God knows our true needs. He has a plan for each of us; we should seek to understand His will. If we put God first, all other things fall into line, even if the line is painful or twisted. God lives, seek Him.