Do you want anything that’s right and proper? You go to work and you use the agency and power and ability that God has given you. You use every faculty, you get all the judgment that you can centered on the problem, you make up your own mind, and then, to be sure that you don’t err, you counsel with the Lord. You talk it over. You say, “This is what I think; what do you think?” And if you get the calm, sweet surety that comes only from the Holy Spirit, you know you’ve reached the right conclusion; but if there’s anxiety and uncertainty in your heart, then you’d better start over, because the Lord’s hand is not in it, and you’re not getting the ratifying seal that, as a member of the Church who has the gift of the Holy Ghost, you are entitled to receive.
Elder Bruce R. McConkie, "Agency or Inspiration—Which?", BYU Speeches, February 27, 1973
There is a pattern established in the scriptures of how we are to receive guidance and revelation. From the Brother of Jared, to Oliver Cowdery. We need to study it out in our minds. We can't just ask.
Study it out means to do the work. Research it. Apply previous knowledge. Apply the work, whether physical work or mental work. Then, when we decide on a course of action, consult the Lord. Ask Him what He thinks of our plan.
We don't grow, we don't progress, if the Lord just gives us the right answer. Give a man a fish or teach him how to get his own fish.
We are promised to get an answer on whether or not what we have come up with is the right thing or not. Pay attention to His answer. Don't let preconceived ideas or don't assume that what we decided is what we're going to do. Be prepared to do it all over if the Lord says no.