The 95th psalm tells us not to harden our hearts if we want to hear God’s voice (Psalm 95:7-8).
Nephi tells his brothers the same thing when he hears them arguing about the meaning of their father’s words.
“Have ye inquired of the Lord?” he asks.
“We have not,” they reply, “for the Lord maketh no such thing known unto us” (1 Nephi 15:8-9).
Nephi reminds them of the Lord’s promise:
“If ye will…
- not harden your hearts,
- and ask me in faith, believing that ye shall receive,
- with diligence in keeping my commandments,
…surely these things shall be made known unto you” (1 Nephi 15:11).
The Hebrew word qashah (קָשָׁה) means difficult, severe, stubborn, or cruel. To harden your heart is to make it inflexible and insensitive. (See Psalm 95:8 on biblehub.com.)
The Greek word skleros (σκληρός) means hardened, harsh, or unyielding. It describes people who refuse to budge or to submit. The literal meaning of the word is “dried out.” (See Hebrews 3:8 on biblehub.com.)
If we want to receive answers to our prayers, we need to stop hardening our hearts. We need to approach the Lord with humility and submissiveness, willing to do whatever He asks. When we don’t receive answers, it may be that we are not yet ready to receive them. The range of answers we are willing to accept may be too small. We may not yet be persuadable.
Today, I will do my best to “harden not my heart” as I approach God in prayer. I will prepare myself to hear and follow His guidance, even if it differs from my preconceptions and my habits of thought. I will strive to be flexible, submissive, and “easy to be entreated” (Alma 7:23).