Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Power of Prayer

With technology now it's so simple to communicate with anyone, no matter where in the world they are we can get ahold of them.  We can facebook them, send them an e-mail, skype them, text them, call them on the phone, call them through the internet, we can do so many other things to be able to get ahold of people.  Some are instant communication and some take a few days, for example: a text is immediate, but the postal system takes a few days (which I wish it didn't take so long :) ).  I wish to speak of an ancient technology that some of us don't even realize is available.  It's been around since long before the computer or cell phone.  It's been around since Adam and Eve came to Earth.  This technology I wish to address is prayer.  What is prayer?  Prayer is a way that we can speak to our Heavenly Father.  Can you imagine something better than being able to speak to your Heavenly Father who loves you and cares about you?  We know that as we pray our prayers are heard and that they are answered.  Sometimes we think of prayer as a one way communication, but we are shown time and time again in the scriptures that this is not so.  As we pray and then are still we may receive answers.  Our Heavenly Father will speak back to us.  This conversation may not be with words, but it may instead be with feelings, thoughts, and impressions. 
One of my favorite examples of prayer in the Book of Mormon is Enos.  The book of Enos is only a little over two pages long and it can be found on page 136 of the Book of Mormon.  This book may be short, but we can learn so much from his example.  The experience that Enos shares always makes me think of the way that I go about prayer.  In verse 2 he says "And I will tell you of the wrestle which I had beofre God, before I received a remission of my sins."  I love the imagery there.  I can't imagine a wrestle with one person, but two.  Do we approach prayer as though we are actually speaking to someone, or do we go about our prayers and run through the motions? Are your prayers meaningful?  I am constantly having to evaluate my prayers and make them more effective.  Prayer isn't always an easy thing for people.  It feels awkward when we first begin praying.  In the Bible dictionary it says something that has always struck me and made me think.  It says, "As soon as we learn the true relationship in which we stand toward God (namely, God is our Father, and we are his children), then at once prayer becomes natural and instinctive on our part.  Many of the so-called difficulties about prayer arise from forgetting this relationship.  Prayer is the act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other.  The object of prayer is not to change the will of God, but to secure for ourselves and for others blessing that God is alreay willing to grant, but that are made conditional on our asking for them.  Blessings require some work or effort on our part before we can obtain them.  Prayer is a form of work, and is an appointed means for obtaining the highest of all blessing."  I love all of this definition, but the part that stands out to me is the beginning.  It tells us that when we realize that prayer is a communication between us and our Heavenly Father then prayer becomes natural for us.  There is no right way to pray or no wrong prayer, but it is a communication between a Father and his child. 
Prayer is such an important thing in my life and I challenge you to make it a key part of your life as well.  I know that prayers are heard and that they are answered.  Sometimes they are answered immediately in the way we expect them to be (just like a quick text message sent back) and sometimes they take longer than we'd like and they're not exactly what we expect or really what we want to hear even, but they are answered nonetheless (this may be like the post office getting you a letter, it takes some time).  Remember that prayer is a communication and not a one way line, but our Heavenly Father can speak back to you!  Pay attention for those answers you receive!

1 comment:

  1. Beautifully said Sister John. I'm making a coopy of that to give to the YW in my ward. Keep up the good work dear sister missionary.
    Vickie Huish