Again, how fitting that this lesson is about something so important to me in my process of recovery from addiction. I’ve found prayer to be such a vital way to “submit my will to God”, to put my confidence in Him, and to clean up my thoughts, which lead to actions.
To me, there are different types of prayers:
- Prayers of Thanks – these come before meals, in the morning, in the evening, and ideally they come immediately after something really great has happened – recognizing the hand of God in all things.
- Prayers Asking for Immediate Help – when I’m on my “Spiritual A Game”, these are the prayers on the spot where I recognize that I’m in a tempting situation and submit my will to God directly saying, “I know I’m in a tough spot or there is something tempting me, please help because I know I can’t do this on my own…” These are the prayers that make “praying without ceasing” understandable and real. These are the prayers that show true humility because when I do them I’m acknowledging that without God, I am nothing; with God, all things are possible.
- Prayers Asking for Guidance – these can be similar to the prayers asking for immediate help but they are similar to the book I just finished reading about meditation and waiting for answers. Not all answers are going to come now, today, or right away – sometimes I have to be patient and wait for the answers to come via experiences. But I should be constantly asking what I can do, what God’s will is for me, and then be seeking the answer by doing what I feel is best.
There may be other forms of prayer too, but these are the ones that come to mind.
The objective of the lesson I’ll be teaching in a week is “To help each child gain the desire to have daily personal prayer.”
6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy acloset, and when thou hast bshut thy door, cpray to thy Father which is in dsecret; and thy Father which eseeth in secret shall freward thee openly.
7 But when ye pray, use not vain arepetitions, as the bheathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father aknoweth what things ye have bneed of, before ye ask him. (Matt. 6:6-8)
I think it’s interesting what it says in verse 8: “…for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.” The book I read today talked about that too. It talked about how “the answer to [life’s] questions have always been inside…they were planted in [ones] soul long before [he or she] was born…[have] a reason to sit and wait quietly until you remember and figure things out.” (p. 93-94)
“You have been learning and remembering great truths all your life, but there were some missing pieces that you learned while sitting with me. You linked that learning to a profoundly emotional experience that you had at your grandmother’s farm…You began to ask questions when you were sitting along, waiting for me to bloom. And in that quiet stillness, the answers came. The miracle you experienced each summer since then was never about me. It’s always been what you discovered about yourself and others when you realized that you really do have time to stop, sit quietly, focus, and reflect.” (p. 94-95)
7 aAsk, and it shall be bgiven you; cseek, and ye shall find; dknock, and it shall be opened unto you:
8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that aseeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask abread, will he give him a stone?
10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?
11 If ye then, abeing evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? (Matt. 7:7-11)
To me, that’s exactly what this book is talking about: the way to get answers to life’s questions is to ASK, SEEK, and then FIND. If we ask, we’re going to find. One of the keys is to ASK and then to be patient and diligently SEEK.
How Can We Pray Always?
Here’s the answer, similar to my “Prayers Asking for Immediate Help”:
19 Yea, humble yourselves, and continue in aprayer unto him.
20 Cry unto him when ye are in your afields, yea, over all your flocks.
21 aCry unto him in your houses, yea, over all your household, both morning, mid-day, and evening.
22 Yea, cry unto him against the power of your aenemies.
23 Yea, acry unto him against the bdevil, who is an enemy to all crighteousness.
24 Cry unto him over the crops of your fields, that ye may prosper in them.
25 Cry over the flocks of your fields, that they may increase.
26 But this is not all; ye must apour out your souls in your bclosets, and your secret places, and in your wilderness.
27 Yea, and when you do not cry unto the Lord, let your ahearts be bfull, drawn out in prayer unto him continually for your cwelfare, and also for the welfare of dthose who are around you. (Alma 34:19-27)
Prayer = Humility
“Cry unto him against the power of your enemies”, or in my case, against the power of my temptations. “Cry unto him against the devil, who is an enemy to all righteousness.”
Verse 24 even suggests to pray and ask for prosperity, that that is ok. I can pray for the success of my business – that I can find the right people, that I can be organized, and that I can ask for help and direction in my temporal work.
41 aWatch and bpray, that ye enter not into ctemptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. (Matt. 26:41)
From the manual: “…we can pray to Heavenly Father for help with any problem that troubles us, to share our feelings with him, or to express our gratitude. Heavenly Father will always hear our sincere prayers.”
I’m grateful for this study.
I know prayer really does equal humility.
I know I need and want to pray more frequently.
I know that prayer will open up doors that I didn’t even know existed.
I know that prayer will protect me and my family from harm and evil.
I know that prayer is one of the strongest pieces of my “armor”.
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