A Talk On Prayer
Good Morning Brothers & Sisters,
For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Christian Hollingsworth and I have been given the topic FINDING ANSWERS THROUGH PRAYER.
After receiving this topic I decided that three main focuses are needed to begin getting answers through our prayers. These are FAITH, EFFORT, and a PROPER ATTITUDE.
At times we may wonder why our prayers aren’t being answered, but it just might be that we aren’t meeting the Lord half way with these three main aspects of prayer.
Faith is essential as it allows us to know and understand our Heavenly Father and to receive promptings and blessings through prayer. As said in James 5:15:
“And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up.”
A belief in God brings peace to the soul. An assurance that God is our Father, into whose presence we can go for comfort and guidance, is a never-failing source of comfort.
Also said in James 1:5-6 “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”
“But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.”
Though Faith is crucial in finding answers through prayer, we know from James that, “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead.” Which brings us to our last two topics – Personal effort and a Proper Attitude.
Effort comes by dedicating enough time throughout our day for personal prayer. Though we can always have a prayer in our heart, getting down on bended knee and with an open spirit can bring even greater communication with our Heavenly Father. A story found in the Ensign goes as follows:
“One religion teacher suggested to his class that they spend at least fifteen minutes a day in personal prayer. That seemed to many class members unreasonably long! One student came up to him later and said, ‘I just don’t believe I can think of that much to say.’
“The teacher asked, ‘Don’t you spend at least that much time every day talking to your roommate?’
“Of course,’ the young woman replied.
“Then give some thought,’ said the teacher, ‘as to why it is you have more to talk over with your roommate than you do with the Lord” (Karen Lynn, “Prayer: The Heart of the Sabbath,” Ensign, Jan. 1978, 31).
Our frame of mind must also be in the right place to receive answers. We will not receive answers unless we are open to Heavenly Father; through humble and sincere prayer.
The principle of humility in prayer leads one to feel a need of divine guidance. Self-reliance is a blessing, but with it should be the knowledge of the need of superior help—a consciousness that as you walk firmly in the pathway of duty, there is a possibility of making a misstep; and with that knowledge is a prayer, a pleading that God will inspire you to avoid that false step. Prayer is the yearning of the spirit. Sincere praying implies that when we ask for any virtue or blessing we should work for the blessing and cultivate the virtue.
How Will We Receive Answers?
After one’s prayer has been presented to the Lord, we might ask how our prayers might be answered. We must remember that all answers are given in the Lord’s time, not our own. Some answers may come in the form of a warm feeling showing us that our choice is correct – Sometimes our answer is a no because our choice might not be the best for us – and other times we may have to wait for the correct time before we can be given an answer.
Though we may receive answers directly from our Heavenly Father, another way the Lord gives us answers is through the people around us. A good friend, a spouse, a parent or other family member, a Church leader, a missionary—any of these individuals may be inspired to perform acts that will answer our prayers.
Prayer is something that we must work towards daily to perfect in our lives – and we must meet our Heavenly Father half way when trying to find an answer to our questions and problems throughout our daily lives.
Many of us have heard the classic children’s story of Pinocchio and how he always had Jiminy Cricket as his guide – which helped him to get through the turmoil and problems he faced during his life. I think we can take this one step further – and realize that we can always have the Lord as our constant personal companion.
I bear witness today that I know these teachings to be true, and that through daily prayer with an open spirit; we will always have our Lord as our guide. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
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