If we pray and fast for one who is ill, are we interceding God’s will?

If we pray and fast for one who is ill, are we interceding God’s will?

Question

 

Gramps,

If I fast and/or pray that someone who is ill may have health restored, but the will of the God is that that person not be healed, does that mean that my fasting/prayer was for the intent to change God’s will? And does His will change because I fasted/prayed for it to be so?  Are some people only healed because someone interceded with prayer or fasting or a priesthood blessing?

Kim

 

Answer

 

Kim,

When talking about God’s will, we have to remember it is God’s will that we ask Him for what we need, what we want, and what we desire.  His will is that we seek blessings from Him, that we seek to do His will.

This means there will be some blessings that God will give us, because it is His will to give it to us, that there will be some blessings that the God will not give us, because He has other plans, and that there will be some blessings that God will give us, but He is waiting for us to ask.  This is all part of God’s will.

The Bible Dictionary on prayer states this:

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. 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 blessings.

With that clarified I will now try to address your questions in reverse order.  Yes it is quite possible that someone was healed, because someone interceded with prayer or fasting or a priesthood blessing, because God was waiting for such an intercession.  However God’s will does not change just because you fasted/prayed for it.  It was simply His will all along.

Your first question is a bit trickier.  God wants us to ask, but He also wants us to bend our will to His.  Sometimes we have a very hard time knowing what God’s will is.  So that makes it hard to know if we are asking for something contrary.  I think the Savior gave us the answer to this dilemma and an example of how to ask for what we want while bending to God’s will in the matter.

Luke 22:41-42

 41 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,

 42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.

It appears in this scripture that Christ did not want to suffer that which was coming.  So as we are all instructed, Christ prayed to God with His desire.  However being wise, Christ knew that He needed to follow God’s will no matter what.  So after asking for what He wanted, He then submitted to God’s will for Him.  Christ’s pattern and example is the one we should always follow.

Elder Dallin H. Oaks had this to say about healing the sick:

Young men and older men, please take special note of what I will say now. As we exercise the undoubted power of the priesthood of God and as we treasure His promise that He will hear and answer the prayer of faith, we must always remember that faith and the healing power of the priesthood cannot produce a result contrary to the will of Him whose priesthood it is. This principle is taught in the revelation directing that the elders of the Church shall lay their hands upon the sick. The Lord’s promise is that “he that hath faith in me to be healed, and is not appointed unto death, shall be healed” (D&C 42:48; emphasis added). Similarly, in another modern revelation the Lord declares that when one “asketh according to the will of God … it is done even as he asketh” (D&C 46:30).

 

From all of this we learn that even the servants of the Lord, exercising His divine power in a circumstance where there is sufficient faith to be healed, cannot give a priesthood blessing that will cause a person to be healed if that healing is not the will of the Lord.

 

As children of God, knowing of His great love and His ultimate knowledge of what is best for our eternal welfare, we trust in Him. The first principle of the gospel is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and faith means trust. I felt that trust in a talk my cousin gave at the funeral of a teenage girl who had died of a serious illness. He spoke these words, which first astonished me and then edified me: “I know it was the will of the Lord that she die. She had good medical care. She was given priesthood blessings. Her name was on the prayer roll in the temple. She was the subject of hundreds of prayers for her restoration to health. And I know that there is enough faith in this family that she would have been healed unless it was the will of the Lord to take her home at this time.” I felt that same trust in the words of the father of another choice girl whose life was taken by cancer in her teen years. He declared, “Our family’s faith is in Jesus Christ and is not dependent on outcomes.” Those teachings ring true to me. We do all that we can for the healing of a loved one, and then we trust in the Lord for the outcome.

 

 

 

 

Gramps

 

 

 

Why do couples get different answers to prayers when praying for the same thing?

Why do couples get different answers to prayers when praying for the same thing?

Question

 

Dear Gramps,

My husband and I have been praying over a specific problem regarding faith.  We are getting drastically different answers to our prayers. Why do people who are praying regarding the same issue get such different answers to their prayers?  Who is right?

Bri

 

Answer

 

Dear Bri,

Learning to communicate with our Father in Heaven in prayer, and to discern and understand the answers takes time and is a skill we grow in if we continue striving.  And the reason two people might get different answers has many possible answers.  First, the Lord treats us each as individuals, what is needful for one, may be very different from what is needful for another.   Second, it may have to do with each persons capacity to feel and recognize the Spirit.  Related to this, one could be misinterpreting the answer they receive.

But don’t despair.  In my experience, the Lord makes the most important answers very clear.  The clearest answers I have received are when I hear the voice of the Spirit, but those experiences have been the exception. And the most important answer I look for is peace. Answers may come in many forms, but if I feel peace, I know that it is from the Lord.

Pres. Monson once shared the words of Ezra Taft Benson:

“All through my life the counsel to depend on prayer has been prized above almost any other advice I have … received. It has become an integral part of me—an anchor, a constant source of strength, and the basis of my knowledge of things divine. …

“… Though reverses come, in prayer we can find reassurance, for God will speak peace to the soul. That peace, that spirit of serenity, is life’s greatest blessing.”

We Never Walk Alone

 

Paul also spoke of this peace in Philippians 4:7

And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

If you and your husband have not received peace as part of your answer, then I recommend that you keep searching, keep praying.

 

Gramps

 

 

 

Why are we not encouraged to pray for those in the spirit world?

Why are we not encouraged to pray for those in the spirit world?

Question

 

Gramps,

Why are we not encouraged to pray for those in the spirit world?  Whenever someone passes away, we are always encouraged to pray for the family, but we are never told to pray for those who have passed on to make the right choices in the spirit world.  I noticed other religions pray for their dead ones.  I know we perform sacred ordinances for the dead, but why do we not pray for them in their spirit world endeavors because there are challenges on the other side.  I hope that makes sense.

Kristen

 

Answer

 

Dear Kristen,

Not enough has been revealed about the Spirit World for me to give you a concrete answer.  I see nothing wrong with praying for loved ones who have passed to the other side.  It IS certainly good to pray for others.  Elder Bednar touched on this topic in a talk about prayer:

 

“Petitioning Heavenly Father for the blessings we desire in our personal lives is good and proper. However, praying earnestly for others, both those whom we love and those who despitefully use us, is also an important element of meaningful prayer. Just as expressing gratitude more often in our prayers enlarges the conduit for revelation, so praying for others with all of the energy of our souls increases our capacity to hear and to heed the voice of the Lord.

 

“We learn a vital lesson from the example of Lehi in the Book of Mormon. Lehi responded in faith to prophetic instruction and warnings concerning the destruction of Jerusalem. He then prayed unto the Lord “with all his heart, in behalf of his people” (1 Nephi 1:5; emphasis added). In answer to this fervent prayer, Lehi was blessed with a glorious vision of God and His Son and of the impending destruction of Jerusalem (see 1 Nephi 1:6–9, 13, 18). Consequently, Lehi rejoiced, and his whole heart was filled because of the things which the Lord had shown him (see 1 Nephi 1:15). Please note that the vision came in response to a prayer for others and not as a result of a request for personal edification or guidance.

 

“The Savior is the perfect example of praying for others with real intent. In His great Intercessory Prayer uttered on the night before His Crucifixion, Jesus prayed for His Apostles and all of the Saints.

 

“I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. …

 

“Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; …

 

“… that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them” (John 17:9, 20, 26).

 

During the Savior’s ministry on the American continent, He directed the people to ponder His teachings and to pray for understanding. He healed the sick, and He prayed for the people using language that could not be written (see 3 Nephi 17:1–16). The impact of His prayer was profound: “No one can conceive of the joy which filled our souls at the time we heard him pray for us unto the Father” (3 Nephi 17:17). Imagine what it might have been like to hear the Savior of the world praying for us.”

Pray Always

I would further add that my best prayers come when I ask the Lord for guidance in what to pray for, or whom to pray for.  So my counsel is to seek the Lord’s guidance.  If you feel the desire or direction to pray for those in the Spirit World, I see no reason not to do so.

 

 

Gramps

 

 

 

Is saying Jesus Christ in our prayers sometimes saying His name in vain?

Is saying Jesus Christ in our prayers sometimes saying His name in vain?

Question

 

Dear Gramps,

Lately I’ve noticed my friends slip into little “catchphrases” which they commonly say in prayers. It’s fine if they genuinely mean what they say, but sometimes I feel as though they’re just saying it as filler. I’ve also noticed them rushing “In the name of Jesus Christ amen.” Someone once told me that doing this is using the Lord’s name in vain. How do I help my friends not fall into these pitfalls?  Lots of thanks.

Elliot

 

Answer

 

Dear Elliot,

While you are correct that it is best to avoid vain repetitions and catch phrases, we also need to remember that everyone is on different stages of their (prayer) progression and testimony. As such, we need a certain tolerance for those who are behind us, waiting for the Spirit to nudge them along. You can do the same with any gospel principle really, “all things are lawful for me” says Paul, 1 Corinthians 10:23 (you can even imagine a “better” form of prayer being included in this) “but all things are not expedient.”

We are taught to pray in the name of Jesus Christ, so I would not call that using the Lord’s name in vain. I confess it does concern me when people close a talk or a testimony by saying, “In the name of thy son, Jesus Christ. Amen”   Since Christ is NOT the son of anyone in the audience, it is clear that the speaker is rattling off the phrase out of habit rather than sincerely thinking of Christ.   I’ve noticed that most of the talks in conference end with the words, “In the sacred name of Jesus Christ.”  Notice the reverence inherent in that phrase.  It is always spoken with solemnity.  I believe that is an example we should follow, i.e. to truly be thinking of Christ when we use His name.

So Elliot you can best help your friends by working on your own prayers, and showing your belief by example.  Be patient as they progress in the gospel at their own rate.

 

Gramps

 

 

Why is our current baptismal prayer different than the one Peter stated in Acts?

Why is our current baptismal prayer different than the one Peter stated in Acts?

Question

 

Gramps,

In Acts 2:38, Peter says, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”  When a person is baptised by one holding the priesthood, the following words are used: “Having been commissioned of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Why is the baptismal prayer different than what Peter said in Acts?

Wayne

 

Answer

 

Wayne,

Peter’s exhortation in the second chapter of Acts that his audience be “baptized” would not have been a new concept to his Jewish audience, who would already have been accustomed to the notion of Jewish ritual baths ormikvot (not to mention the ministry of John the Baptist, who had been executed fewer than five years previously).  The thrust of Peter’s sermon is that Israel needs to understand that the great Lawgiver who originated the old Mosaic rituals and traditions–including what we now call baptism–was, in fact, none other than the recently slain Jesus of Nazareth.  Peter’s teaching does not prohibit mentions of the Father or the Holy Spirit in the baptismal prayer; it simply reminds us of Jesus’ central role in the baptismal covenant.

It is interesting to note that the precise verbiage of the baptismal prayer seems to have changed somewhat over time.  Our modern baptismal prayer comes from Doctrine and Covenants 20:73:

Having been commissioned of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

This verbiage is close to, but slightly different from, the form given to the Nephites by the Lord Himself in 3 Nephi 11:25:

Having authority given me of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

And in Mosiah 18:13, Alma baptizes Helam using a very different prayer:

Helam, I baptize thee, having authority from the Almighty God, as a testimony that ye have entered into a covenant to serve him until you are dead as to the mortal body; and may the Spirit of the Lord be poured out upon you; and may he grant unto you eternal life, through the redemption of Christ, whom he has prepared from the foundation of the world.

Thus, while it is certainly important that priesthood holders conform to the ritual prayer established by the Church; it would seem that the Lord has authorized the Church to follow relatively minor variations in that prayer over the years.  The common factors in all of these variants seem to be the invocation of proper priesthood authority and references to all three members of the Godhead.

 

Gramps

 

 

If I get an answer to a prayer why doesn’t life go that direction?

If I get an answer to a prayer why doesn’t life go that direction?

Question

Gramps,

Sir, thank you for reading.

The short of it is that I felt prompted suddenly to go to the temple and pray about a wonderful daughter of God.  When I asked whether or not I should seek to marry her, I felt a growing anxiousness in me be swallowed by a peace I’d never felt before, which spread through my body.

But things sure don’t look like they’ll turn out that way.  It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever experienced.  I don’t know what to think.

James

 

Answer

Hi James,

Revelation comes in two parts, namely:

  1. We receive the word of God in our hearts and/or minds and/or ears.
  2. We gain an understanding of what those words mean.

Let me give you two examples, one from scripture and one from my life.

Example #1:

The prophet Lehi was one of the greatest prophets of whom we have record. He received a magnificent vision that revealed many things about his family’s present and future, and that explained the love and mercy of God in beautiful, amazing ways. His youngest son (at the time), Nephi, later prayed to know and understand what his father had revealed, and in turn was given this same vision, or perhaps one similar to it. In his vision, Nephi noted something that his father had completely missed: The water his father had seen was filthiness, representing the filthiness of the world.

Example #2:

I held a ward position that required me to serve on the ward council. We were discussing the needs of one woman, a recent convert who had two children and was struggling. I knew her only slightly, but I was praying for her benefit one evening, deeply concerned about her well-being. Into my heart came revelation from God, wordless but unmistakable, speaking peace to me and assuring me that God knew His daughter, and she was being cared for. I quit worrying about this sister. She soon became completely inactive, and I have not seen her at Church in a few years now.

Let’s discuss these examples.

How is it possible that Lehi could have missed an important element of his vision? His son Nephi explained that his mind was taken up by other things, so he didn’t see the filthy water for what it was. This did not lessen Lehi’s vision at all; it just meant that more was given to Lehi than he understood at that time. The revelation was there, but Lehi was unable to comprehend it all at once. (His son Nephi, having already heard the vision and so already knowing the general outlines, was in a better position to observe many of the nuances his father may have missed.)

How is it possible that I was given peace by the Lord when the outcome wasn’t what I had wanted or expected? There are several answers to this. First, the story is far from over; this sister is still alive, well, and making choices in her life. Second, and more importantly, God was not telling me what the outcome would be; he was simply telling me that this sister’s situation was known, her needs were being attended to by a loving heavenly Father and others of his servants, and that I need not worry.

How does this apply to you, James? That is for you to understand, but let me suggest one possibility.

You had great anxiety about your decision whether or not to pursue this young woman’s hand in marriage. God removed that anxiety, instead giving you a peace that told you that you could proceed with your courtship. And proceed you did, in a wonderful way. But God’s approval of your efforts did not remove the young woman’s agency from her. She, too, is a child of God, and she, too, gets to make decisions about her future. If her decisions don’t match up with yours — well, that’s her right. Maybe she came to a different determination about which path she wanted to take. That does not mean your feeling was wrong. It does not mean you should not have sought her hand. It means, perhaps, only that she has decided to take a different path — as is her right. Maybe her decision is wrong, or maybe it’s just different from what you wanted, but in any case, it might have led her to choose another road, one that may not include you.

I am sure this is hard for you, and I’m sorry for your pain. I also am in no position to tell you what God meant by his revelation to you; that is for you to discover. But keep seeking God’s will and mind, and never allow yourself to stoop to cynicism. You will recover from this difficult trial, either with or without the young woman you love, and in the end you will rejoice in God’s mercy toward both yourself and the young lady.

 

Gramps

 

Why do we use Old English when saying prayers?

Why do we use Old English when saying prayers?

Question

Gramps,

Why do we use old English when we say prayers?  Also, how do we do it correctly?  Words like “Canst” “Wilt” and similar conjugations can be confusing.  Thanks!

Tyler

 

Answer

Tyler,

I thank thee for thy question.

Modern English generally uses only the word “you” for the second person.  Many other languages, including Spanish, French, and Portuguese, continue to use two different words for the second person–“usted”/”vous”/”você” in one context, and the universal “tu” in another.  In general, one form is used for formal situations and acquaintances and the other for more intimate or informal relationships.  Wikipedia claims that “The familiar [“tu”] form is used when speaking to God, at least in French (in Protestantism both historically and today, in Catholicism since the post-Vatican II reforms), German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and Scottish Gaelic (all of which maintain the use of an “informal” singular form of the second person in modern speech).”

Elder Dallin H. Oaks has taught,

Modern English has no special verbs or pronouns that are intimate, familiar, or honorific. When we address prayers to our Heavenly Father in English, our only available alternatives are the common words of speech like you and your or the dignified but uncommon words like thee, thou, and thy, which were used in the King James Version of the Bible almost five hundred years ago. Latter-day Saints, of course, prefer the latter. In our prayers we use language that is dignified and different, even archaic.  Conference Address, The Language of Prayer, May 1993.

Our using a form of language reserved for intimate, familiar, and honored acquaintances, is a reminder of the type of relationship that we hope we are building with God through our prayers to Him.  However, that said–most American schools don’t teach the proper way to conjugate verbs in a sentence where the “thou” form is present, and I’ve seen a lot of people become so confused with this that it becomes a distraction.  The “thou” form, we are told, is important–but I would hope that the focus of a prayer would always be the desires of the parties involved–not whether the person offering the prayer said “thou have” when he should have said “thou hast”.

Gramps

Should we pray for food in a public setting?

Should we pray for food in a public setting?

Question

Gramps,

Should we pray over food in a public setting such as restaurants?

Austin

 

Answer

Austin,

We should always have a prayer in our hearts. As we read in Alma 34:27:

“Yea, and when you do not cry unto the Lord, let your hearts be full, drawn out in prayer unto him continually for your welfare, and also for the welfare of those who are around you.”

But whether to pray or not in a public restaurant is a personal decision. Some feel it the best course. Some do not. I wouldn’t presume to take a position on it.

The only advice I would give is that if one’s reason to not pray is the fear of man, but otherwise one feels he/she should, then to get over that fear and do as one feels is right.

Gramps

Do we really need to bless the donuts?

Do we really need to bless the donuts?

Question

 

Hey Gramps!

I feel that it’s unnecessary after Church activities to bless refreshments “that they will nourish and strengthen our bodies” when typically those refreshments are food items like brownies and donuts.
I’m uncomfortable praying for this (I feel like it can be a “vain repetition”), but I feel expected to do so when asked to say the closing prayer and we’re often specifically reminded “Don’t forget to bless the refreshments!”  What are your thoughts on the matter? Thanks.

Sandi

 

Answer

 

Sandi,

I will share with you the same answer I give my grandchildren when they became aware of this this particular issue.

“Do not say that if you do not mean it.”

Saying the same thing over and over again just because it is what you have always done is a “vain repetition.”

While it might help younger kids learn how to pray, ultimately a prayer is supposed to be a sincere heartfelt communication with our Father in Heaven.  Too often we treat prayer as an item on a check-off list.  We do it so we can check it off and say done.

When we do that, we really miss the true value of prayer and risk it being a “vain repetition”

Here is an example of such a prayer,

Behold, I had led them, notwithstanding their wickedness I had led them many times to battle, and had loved them, according to the love of God which was in me, with all my heart; and my soul had been poured out in prayer unto my God all the day long for them; nevertheless, it was without faith, because of the hardness of their hearts (Mormon 3:12).

He prayed for the wicked Nephites, but knew his prayer was vain, because it was “without faith”. You cannot pray for God to save a people in their sins. You cannot pray for God to act outside His nature. You cannot pray for brownies to lose their “brownie-ness”.  Well, okay, I suppose you can say the words, but without the faith it is meaningless.

When asked to bless the refreshments, I am sure you can find meaningful things to say.  For example you could ask that everyone might enjoy them. (That should be an easy statement to mean sincerely).  Or you could bless those who provided or otherwise prepared them.  You could also simply thank the Lord that you have them.  I am sure you can come up with more ways, and in so doing, make the prayer more meaningful.

Gramps

 

 

If we do not follow the commandments, can we still pray for things?

If we do not follow the commandments, can we still pray for things?

Question

Hi Gramps,

I have two questions… If someone’s  not following the word of wisdom for example, could still pray and ask on Him for the things needed. Life in general things like comfort for a family member going through something?

If I wanted to finish the Book of Mormon in 100 days for example and I actually did it would it be okay if I didn’t increase The Holy Ghost as much as I would have if I would be applying these scriptures unto my life?

Thanks,

Erika

 

Answer

Dear Erika,

Let me answer the second question first. When you read The Book of Mormon, you get the blessings of reading The Book of Mormon. You seem to be convinced that there’s one “proper” way to read and study that book. I assure you there is not. The spirit of that book will fill your life. Similarly, the person or family who reads only 1 chapter a day (except for Jacob 5 – that gets divided into two or three parts) certainly don’t get the same blessings as someone who reads it swiftly (namely they get a complete picture tying Abinidi with Alma’s people, with the Amorites, with the sons of Mosiah for instance) – but they still receive the spirit of that book (plus the blessings that come from that method of study). The same also with someone who uses The Book of Mormon for a topical study – she might not get any of the narrative, but she still gets the spirit of that book (plus the blessings that come from that method of study). If you read the entire book in 100 days, I think you will find your life immensely filled with the Spirit. I think you will find yourself thinking differently, viewing others differently, composing yourself differently, and treating others differently.

I myself have done a rapid reading of The Book of Mormon a number of times (sometimes reading it through like a novel). It has never failed to fill me with the Spirit and bless me with a testimony of that book. Said President Benson (quoting President Romney):

‘I feel certain that if, in our homes, parents will read from the Book of Mormon prayerfully and regularly, both by themselves and with their children, the spirit of that great book will come to permeate our homes and all who dwell therein. The spirit of reverence will increase; mutual respect and consideration for each other will grow. The spirit of contention will depart. Parents will counsel their children in greater love and wisdom. Children will be more responsive and submissive to the counsel of their parents. Righteousness will increase. Faith, hope, and charity—the pure love of Christ—will abound in our homes and lives, bringing in their wake peace, joy, and happiness’ (Ensign, May 1980, p. 67).

“These promises—increased love and harmony in the home, greater respect between parent and child, increased spirituality and righteousness—are not idle promises, but exactly what the Prophet Joseph Smith meant when he said the Book of Mormon will help us draw nearer to God.

Now on to your first question. Not only can we still pray for needed and desired things, but we are commanded to — always (3 Nephi 18:19). If sin prevents us from prayer then none of us would every pray. Sinners are commanded to pray too. And yet the scriptures are emphatic that we should not make our prayers a mockery. Proverbs 29:9 states “He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.” When we do pray we should do so with an attitude of “hearing the law” and, of course, doing our best to follow it (which is part of the meaning of “hearing” it). If we purposefully and blatantly disregard the law, refusing to do as the Lord wills while selfishly begging for our needs and desires to be satisfied, we may run the risk of our prayers becoming abominations to the Lord. But I do not think we need fear this be the case because of weaknesses and mistakes in spite of our best intentions and efforts.

Elder Bednar taught us a great principle for improving our devotions in prayer:

The object of our prayers should not be to present a wish list or a series of requests but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is eager to bestow, according to His will and timing. Every sincere prayer is heard and answered by our Heavenly Father …

Prayer is a privilege and the soul’s sincere desire. We can move beyond routine and ‘checklist’ prayers and engage in meaningful prayer as we appropriately ask in faith and act, as we patiently persevere through the trial of our faith, and as we humbly acknowledge and accept ‘not my will, but Thine, be done.’” (Ask in Faith, April 2008 General Conference).

Continue to pray for others and for those things you need. Elder Bednar calls out the need to combine our asking with acting. In addition, make your prayers a time to invite the Lord’s help in overcoming your sin. Again from Elder Bednar:

Consider this example. There may be things in our character, in our behavior, or concerning our spiritual growth about which we need to counsel with Heavenly Father in morning prayer. After expressing appropriate thanks for blessings received, we plead for understanding, direction, and help to do the things we cannot do in our own strength alone. For example, as we pray, we might: Reflect on those occasions when we have spoken harshly or inappropriately to those we love the most.

Reflect on those occasions when we have spoken harshly or inappropriately to those we love the most.

Recognize that we know better than this, but we do not always act in accordance with what we know.

Express remorse for our weaknesses and for not putting off the natural man more earnestly.

Determine to pattern our life after the Savior more completely.

Plead for greater strength to do and to become better.

During the course of the day, we keep a prayer in our heart for continued assistance and guidance—even as Alma suggested: “Let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord” (Alma 37:36).

We notice during this particular day that there are occasions where normally we would have a tendency to speak harshly, and we do not; or we might be inclined to anger, but we are not. We discern heavenly help and strength and humbly recognize answers to our prayer. Even in that moment of recognition, we offer a silent prayer of gratitude.

At the end of our day, we kneel again and report back to our Father. We review the events of the day and express heartfelt thanks for the blessings and the help we received. We repent and, with the assistance of the Spirit of the Lord, identify ways we can do and become better tomorrow. Thus our evening prayer builds upon and is a continuation of our morning prayer. And our evening prayer also is a preparation for meaningful morning prayer.

Morning and evening prayers—and all of the prayers in between—are not unrelated, discrete events; rather, they are linked together each day and across days, weeks, months, and even years. This is in part how we fulfill the scriptural admonition to “pray always” (Luke 21:363 Nephi 18:15, 18D&C 31:12). Such meaningful prayers are instrumental in obtaining the highest blessings God holds in store for His faithful children.” (Pray Always, October 2008 General Conferrence).

We sinners need prayer to bring the Lord’s grace to our faith walk towards justification and sanctification.

Gramps

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