I’m thinking alot today about prayer and how I can use it more in my life. Yesterday in my meeting, one of the guys, Greg, mentioned that he has at times prayed over 300 times in one day – asking for guidance, support and protection against temptations. Although initially this sounded like a bit much, I can see better now where he’s coming from. Part of being humble is putting my complete trust in Heavenly Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and in the Atonement as sources to help me fight off temptation and stay worthy of the Spirit.
President Bednar, in his recent talk in General Conference titled "Pray Always ", talked all about prayer:
Principle #1. Prayer becomes more meaningful as we counsel with the Lord in all our doings (see Alma 37:37 ).
“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” (Bible Dictionary, “Prayer, ” 752).
I remember, right after my wreck, how I felt when I prayed – it was a real communication. I felt so close to my Heavenly Father. Part of this was because I knelt, I prayed out loud, and I thought about what I was going to say before I just spit out repetitive things. I really hope I can get back to that feeling of direct and constant communication with my Heavenly Father. I like how Pres. Bednar says "counsel with the Lord in ALL our doings" (capitals added for emphasis). Whether it’s work, fighting off temptation, family matters, or whatever, I need to "pray always, that I may come of conqueror".
37 a Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for b good ; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the c morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day. (Alma 37:37)
President Bednar talks about the importance of morning prayer:
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.
- 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.
This is great advice. One of the things I struggle with a lot is organization. I really feel I need help knowing how to better stay organized.
I also feel like patience in dealing with Caleb, Madi, and even Becky, is something I need help with. I know I need to discipline the kids if they are not obedient but I also need the guidance to know when "reproving betimes with sharpness , when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved , lest he esteem thee to be his enemy" (D&C 121:43).
And of course, I need help fighting off the "natural man" and need to "…[become] as a child , submissive , meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father. (Mosiah 3:19)
I just cross referenced "submissive" and found these interesting scriptures:
And now, my son, all men that are in a state of a nature , or I would say, in a b carnal state, are in the c gall of bitterness and in the d bonds of iniquity; they are e without God in the world, and they have gone f contrary to the nature of God; therefore, they are in a state contrary to the nature of happiness. (Alma 41: 11)
- Prayer starts the whole process of spiritual progression
- As we pray, we open up the windows of Heaven to receive personal revelation and guidance for our "natural man" weaknesses
- Prayer is one of the components of HUMILITY!
- As we are humble, we put off the "natural man" and become as a child
- As we become as a child, we are headed in the right direction: I think of my children and how happy they always are – they’re submissive (usually), they’re honest, they are close to their Heavenly Father, and they are kind and meek (most of the time).
Principle #2. Prayer becomes more meaningful as we express heartfelt gratitude.
Principle #3. Prayer becomes more meaningful as we pray for others with real intent and a sincere heart.