HELP! How do you know if God answers a prayer?

I’m not sure if I am putting this question in the correct thread, but here it is:

How do you know if God has answered a prayer? Is it possible for a prayer to be too detailed/specific? Is a prayer still answered if God does not answer every specific of the prayer?

For the past year I have been struggling with discerning a vision God revealed to me in 2011, which I believe manifested in 2012, which he told me it would. I was supposed to meet a particular person, I had never met or seen in my life, who would be very important to my future. I believe I met this person in 2012 and I have been praying about it and I have been receiving what I presume to be “yes” signs. However, these answers do not follow the specifics of what I prayed, most of the time, I also admit to disobeying Gods warning to me and doing something he told me not to, 3 times! numerous times, out of anxiety and not trusting Him, I had strayed from my faith for a while… So, I’m afraid he withdrew this blessing and I’m just imagining I’m receiving “Yes” signs.

For instance, a week ago I prayed to God, silently in my head, that on October 31st, Halloween I would see a child dressed as Cleopatra (yes sign, if this person is who I saw and to be what God told me they would be) or a child dressed as the Hulk (no sign, this person is not who I saw and are not the person God told me they would be). I also prayed, in case I saw both, that who ever I saw first would be the answer; so if I saw a child dressed as Cleopatra then looked over and saw a child dressed as the Hulk, the answer would be “yes” and visa versa. However, I did not put myself where there would be trick or treaters, I had the opportunity to, but my thought was if God wanted to make something happen he would. So, October 31st goes by and I see neither sign. Then 2 days later, I am browsing online and come across a randomly placed reference to Cleopatra, I of course think nothing of it, then a few hours later I am at my uncles house and one of my cousins friends starts talking about the Hulk.

A similar situation occurred this past August, when I prayed that the next time I saw this person I would hear them say the word purple (yes sign) and black (no sign), and that the color of there clothing would not mean anything. I also prayed I would not remember the prayer and would be caught by surprise when I saw them. A few weeks go by and I see them, wearing black, I don’t talk to them, and I ended up turning up the music on my I-pod so I would not eavesdrop on there conversation! having forgotten my prayer. Then a few minutes after they leave I remember the prayer and realize I didn’t listen to see if they said the yes or no sign. A few hours later, on the same day, I’m at this other store and one of the woman I know (J) is talking to this other woman (H) about knitted hats someone they know (T) is making. Then, H asks what color hat T is knitting and J says “purple”.

Would these situations be delayed and modified, answers to my prayers or just coincidences?

Your methods of getting answers from God are interesting :smiley: You could also ask that he speak to you through the Bible. Ask your question, flip to a random page, and it may or may not answer your question.

Also, sometimes there really is no way of knowing for sure, you just have to take things on faith. Like you seeing the Cleopatra thing, that seems like something you’d just take on faith.

To me, this seems like horrible advice. In a small way, you are injecting superstition into the reading and praying of God’s Word. The bible is not a magic eight ball and should not be treated like one.

To the OP, I suggest you get some advice from a priest about the way God is answering your prayers. Remember that God surpasses us in so many ways that we often are unable to understand His answers to our prayers until we have spent much time in prayer and reflection.

In my opinion, these occurrences seem to be mere coincidence. Please consider speaking to your priest about your experience. He will be able to understand and shed light on much more than I, a mere internet stranger, can ever do.

I agree - speak to your Priest. The types of “signs” you are asking for are not taught in the Bible (especially the costumes of Cleopatra and the Hulk on Halloween, which was All Souls Day). Nor does God normally send signs by overhearing the mention of a color! I think you are getting into something too specific, and looking for the answers YOU want, not seeking what GOD wants. I was told years ago, not to just “flip open the Bible, pick a verse and consider that an answer from God!” That seems to be of spiritism, which is NOT Christian or Catholic. Yes, God can speak to you through Scripture, but not by randomly opening the Bible and blindly picking a verse! (At least not normally!)

I think you should speak to your Priest, and ask for his spiritual direction for your life, and tell him about this vision and what you expect from it. This doesn’t sound quite like a vision from God, but it certainly could be. I just think you may be looking to “make” the vision come true by means that are not based on the Faith. God be with you and help you!:slight_smile:

The “visions” I have had have been dreams, and were very specific, and mainly were telling me I was doing something wrong and must turn around and go toward Christ, not look for other “signs”, just to follow Him more closely, because I was headed in the wrong, wrong direction.

Would have to know more about this vision.

I agree – what the vision was, how it occurred, and what it was about could make quite a difference. As I said, the only ones I have had were dreams, telling me to turn around and get back closer to the Lord because I was going away! (The first of these actually saved my life, as I was deeply depressed and wanted to die, so stopped eating). The Lord just told me I wasn’t following His plan for my life, and that I needed to live for HIM, not concentrate on the bad situation I was in! He most certainly was right! I turned my life completely over to Him, and although the situation not only did not improve, but got worse, I had God’s Peace in my heart through all that time, knowing He cared and was with me.

If the Lord promised you something in your future, and you turned away from Him after that, you may need to turn back to Him before He can make that promise come true.

For the record, it’s not a magic eight ball; however, I have often prayed to God, and then later read the Bible ‘randomly’. I had prayed for Humility, and put the prayer away earlier in the day. I was actively looking for God’s direction on something later that evening, while out, and opened my Bible randomly; it opened to Sirach, and the header was “Humility”. I can assure you, THAT was a clear sign of what God wanted me for that night, and that He was listening to my prayers, for humility and my other decision. It was a brand new Bible, just unwrapped, and I hadn’t opened the Bible much yet.

There have been times I have been unable to discern the answer from the verses I read, but I ALWAYS get something out of it, and sometimes, it’s an answer to a prayer or situation that hasn’t even happened yet.

Remember that the ways of God are just that… ways.

We must be careful about our specificity or self interest in his intervention
God does not serve us, we can tell God the parameters within which he is allowed to operate.

While there is some biblical precedence for people discovering God’s will through similar methods, it is far and large the minority.

I suggest asking yourself in all honesty whether or not the presence of this person in your life will help follow Christ along the path of the cross and life, or is it just for you?

Also… unless there is some special circumstances here, there is no need to rush for secret knowledge.

Follow God’s commands and focus on loving others with his love and he will make your paths straight.

You could also ask that he speak to you through the Bible.

Check this out -
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=835477

Matthew 4:7
Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

A little more information would be: Sorry about the length.

During this vision, I was told there birthday (except in a number form, ex 11/26), I literally saw them, both from the back to side a little and there face. I actually saw the look in there blue eyes when they looked at me. At the time I had never met them before or seen them before in my life. I also was told, indirectly, that they were of Slavic descent. In one of the scenes, I overheard an older woman, whose voice I still can remember to this day, speaking in a Slavic language, and I distinctly remember saying something like “that’s a Slavic language, what language is that?” and God told me the language. I was also told there name, which turned out to be there Slavic name everyone knows them as, in english. Then, when I asked when I would meet them, I was told in a year when I was (how many years I’d be in a year from then). I later prayed that when I’d meet them, I would not remember the vision until 10 to 15 days, or the 15th day of the month after I met them and that I would feel a desire to learn there native language, without knowing why, and start learning that language shortly after I met them.

A year later I met the person I suspect is the same person from the vision. For the past year the vision was always on my mind but the weekend before I remembered I forgot and did not remember until exactly 10 days after I met them, the 14th of the month and when I asked God to see the vision again as confirmation, I re-saw the vision the next day on the 15th of that month. Then, the next day I ran into them at the store! This person’s slavic name means (in english) the same name (first and last) I was told during the vision, they speak the same language and are of the same nationality I was told that night. I also started learning there main native language (they speak two, the one I was told and the another one) 2 to 3 days after I met them, because I felt a strong desire to. As for there birthday, I’ve never asked them, but according to there FB account there birthday is the same as the birthday I was told. I want to ask them, but if God wants me to know, he’ll find a way for me to find out from them, just like he found a way to reveal there nationality and the second language they speak too me without me asking. This person told me themselves.

However, after saying all of that, I am very confused. Two night ago, when I first posted this, I decided to try praying, asking God to have me open to a particular Book in the Bible for a yes or no. I opened to the no sign, 2 times, (the first time I felt this strange calming sensation before I opened and looked down) then when I was online, there was an image of a bible verse from that same book. Then, I asked to turn to a different book, using a different Bible, after seeing a vision of that book appear in my head, and I opened to the no sign again! The page even had a book marker marking it, and I didn’t not remember marking it on that particular book. I’m very confused and don’t know what to do now… :frowning:

I’m new to reading the Bible and actually being more in-tune with my faith so I honestly don’t know anything about the books I chose. The first time I chose Ester (yes) and Isaiah (no) and in the second Bible I chose Jeremiah (no, book marked book), and Ezekiel (yes). I even prayed in this persons native language, out loud, the best I could. Yes I’m still learning it, discovered shortly into learning it that I loved the language and picked it up very quickly.

If you had such miraculous and explicit guidance why did you continue to look for confirmation? What’s the point of the vision?

Is there some course of action you’re suppose to take? Is it in line with God’s commands?

Why don’t you schedule an appointment with a priest? A priest will help you with the vision you say you had.

Also, I’m confused. What do you mean by “yes” signs and “no” signs?

I Think “yes” signs and “no” signs are referring to whether or not the person they’be met is the person from the vision or not

I’ve continued looking for confirmation because I am beyond terrified of being wrong and that I somehow misinterpreted something and that I made up the situation in my head. This vision was a vision of my “supposed” future spouse. I did not ask God to show me them, marriage was far from my mind when this happened. I was going through a VERY rough period in my life and basically asked God what was the purpose of continuing on with my life, what could I possibly look forward too. This vision also took place during Adoration at a religious confidence I attended.

God gave me a warning and instructions of what not to do, but I bluntly ignored them (I did not want to believe the warning), deeply regret not obeying and very embarrassed/ ashamed of my actions. I’m especially upset that I strayed from God during that year and for a time blamed him for my mistakes! Like I mentioned above, I’m working on renewing my faith, a long way from being in good standing faith though. The worst part is, no matter how hard I try, I cannot remember what my consequence of not heeding his warnings was.

As for being in line with Gods commands, He warned me that this person would not like-like me when we first met, and that I was not to act-out, get obsessed with the information, have self-control and to trust Him, . I did the opposite… As you can probably guess, I’m a younger person, not very experienced with religious or social/life matters. However, I’m better now than when all this occurred, I’m finally learning what having real faith and trust in God means and its really difficult and scary, I admit, I hate feeling helpless and not having some kind of control in a situation. I’m actually still in college, we both are…

I do want to schedule time to talk with a priest, the only issue is the priest at my church does not live on church grounds, he lives at another church. I’m pretty sure I can talk to him when I go to church and ask. I just do not want my family knowing that I will be talking to him, I’ve unfortunately driven them crazy with this issue, I’ve resolved to stop asking my mom for advice and questions I have, religion and life in general. They’d be annoyed if they knew I’ve still not let go of the vision…

I have never heard of a vision of this sort. Were you seeking God’s will for a future spouse? Was this supposed to lead you to a future spouse? Altogether, it is a strange vision, and I would personally advise you to seek guidance from a Priest where this is concerned. It does not appear that this was a vision of something spiritual or an answer to a spiritual question. I do not feel at all qualified to respond other than encouraging you to seek a solution and some advice from a Priest. I will say a prayer for you, and can only say that I am confused and mystified by this vision of yours. Again, I urge you to speak to your Priest and tell him the details of the vision, what you were seeking, and what sort of answers you are now seeking. I also advise you to pray the Rosary daily, as this may clear up some of the confusion you seem to be having, but a Priest is the best resource for you at this time.

Easy solution. Just tell your parents that you want to schedule an appointment with a priest for some spiritual direction and leave it at that. If they inquire, just tell them that you just want to reserve information to the priest.

I don’t know if this would play into spiritual but I also saw symbols. I saw a white dove, a human heart that suddenly burst into flames and was on fire and stayed intact, while burning. In addition, I saw purple roses, a symbol I began praying to God as the sign of my future husband when I was 15 after hearing how my youth leader prayed for a specific sign for her husband, though he was her fiance at the time. Finally, I saw an image of a woman praying with light behind her, a staircase encased in light and aerial scenes of flying of snowy capped mountains and the entire planet Earth (no idea if the two aerial scenes have any significance though).

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