Go and Inquire of the Lord – Ether 1:38

38 And it came to pass that Jared spake again unto his brother, saying: Go and inquire of the Lord whether he will drive us out of the land, and if he will drive us out of the land, cry unto him whither we shall go. And who knoweth but the Lord will carry us forth into a land which is choice above all the earth? And if it so be, let us be faithful unto the Lord, that we may receive it for our inheritance.

I get the feeling in this verse that Jared has a sense for how these prayers are going to turn out. He’s asking his brother to pray, but he’s being pretty prescriptive, not only about what his brother should say, but about how he anticipates that the Lord will answer. This is consistent with the following sentence, from the Bible Dictionary: “The object of prayer is not to change the will of God but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant but that are made conditional on our asking for them.”
But how do we know whether what we are asking is the will of God? We need to follow the guidance of the Holy Ghost continually, including helping us to know what we should pray for. As George Albert Smith taught: “We should live so near to our Heavenly Father that when we bow before him we may know that the thing we are asking will be pleasing unto him” (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: George Albert Smith, 97-98).
Today as I pray, I will listen to the guidance of the Spirit so that my prayers will be in harmony with the will of the Lord.

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