Today we are talking about the power of prayer. This is probably one of my most favorite topics to talk about! Prayer is one of the most important tools to help you lift your thoughts, achieve your goals & love your life. One of my favorite quotes is by Jeffrey R. Holland. He said…
I think sometimes we have this idea that God’s main job is to punish us rather than bless us, so we often blame Him when things go wrong & then tend to forget about Him when things are going right. But, in reality, He can’t wait to pour down blessings upon us. The problem is, we don’t give Him the chance. Mathew 7:7-11 says…
7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?
10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?
11 If ye then, being 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?
Basically, Matthew is trying to help us understand that if we, as imperfect human beings, enjoy giving gifts to our children, then imagine how much more our Heavenly Father desires to give good things to us…if only we will ask Him.
I love this story given in a talk by J. Devn Cornish called “The Privilege of Prayer”. He quoted Mathhew 7:9-11 & then said…
Perhaps a personal experience will help to illustrate the point. When I was a young resident physician at Boston Children’s Hospital, I worked long hours and traveled between the hospital and our home in Watertown, Massachusetts, mostly by bicycle since my wife and young family needed our car. One evening I was riding home after a long period in the hospital, feeling tired and hungry and at least a bit discouraged. I knew I needed to give my wife and four small children not only my time and energy when I got home but also a cheery attitude. I was, frankly, finding it hard to just keep pedaling.
My route would take me past a fried chicken shop, and I felt like I would be a lot less hungry and tired if I could pause for a piece of chicken on my way home. I knew they were running a sale on thighs or drumsticks for 29 cents each, but when I checked my wallet, all I had was one nickel. As I rode along, I told the Lord my situation and asked if, in His mercy, He could let me find a quarter on the side of the road. I told Him that I didn’t need this as a sign but that I would be really grateful if He felt to grant me this kind blessing.
I began watching the ground more intently but saw nothing. Trying to maintain a faith-filled but submissive attitude as I rode, I approached the store. Then, almost exactly across the street from the chicken place, I saw a quarter on the ground. With gratitude and relief, I picked it up, bought the chicken, savored every morsel, and rode happily home.
In His mercy, the God of heaven, the Creator and Ruler of all things everywhere, had heard a prayer about a very minor thing. One might well ask why He would concern Himself with something so small. I am led to believe that our Heavenly Father loves us so much that the things that are important to us become important to Him, just because He loves us. How much more would He want to help us with the big things that we ask, which are right?
Little children, young people, and adults alike, please believe how very much your loving Heavenly Father wants to bless you. But because He will not infringe upon our agency, we must ask for His help. This is generally done through prayer. Prayer is one of the most precious gifts of God to man.
I, too, have had many experiences with Heavenly Father answering my prayers, big & small. I’ll share more of those stories later on in this challenge, but I’ll share a quick one right now. We like to call it the “Trashcan Miracle”…
One day I was in a big hurry with a to-do list that was far too long. As I was backing out of my driveway, I noticed that our trashcan was missing. I quickly looked around the neighborhood & didn’t see it anywhere. I know this may not sound like a big deal, but trashcans are pretty important & are expensive to replace. I also knew that I didn’t have the time to go looking for it…if it could even be found. So I said these words in my mind as I was driving away from my house: “Dear Heavenly Father, I am really late right now & am extremely overwhelmed with all I have to do. I don’t have time to go looking for our trashcan & I don’t have the money to replace it. Could you PLEASE have it sitting in front of my house, right where I left it, when I get home in a few hours? Thank you SO much!!” And then I ended my prayer. My kids & I have had many experiences losing things, only to find them AFTER we pray for help. So I had faith that Heavenly Father could help me out. I knew that because it was important to me, it was also important to Him. I didn’t give the trashcan another thought & had actually forgotten about it by the time we were driving home. As I rounded the corner, my kids & I saw the trashcan sitting in the exact location I had asked Heavenly Father to return it to. Say what you will, but I know that Heavenly Father heard my prayer that day & returned my trashcan to me. It was our own little miracle!
Both of these stories illustrate a few things that I hope you’ll remember when you pray…
- You can pray anytime, anywhere, about anything.
- If it’s important to you, it’s important to Him.
- Don’t ask for a sign, but rather a blessing.
- Be specific about what you need.
- Talk to Him like you would talk to a friend (in other words: you don’t need “flowery” language).
- Have faith that He will answer your prayer….BELIEVE!!!
- Express gratitude before you even receive the answer.
- If He cares about the little things, He cares that much more about the big things.
Of course, there are times when we will pray & our prayers won’t be answered immediately or how we thought they should be answered. If my trashcan had still been missing, it would not have shaken my faith. Heavenly Father knows best & would have blessed me in another way. The point here is that we can either let Heavenly Father bless us on a daily basis by including Him, or we can struggle through life without Him…it’s our choice.
Your challenge for today is to get all of those worrisome thoughts out of your head & onto paper. Once your write them down, pray about them, one by one. Remember to use the 8 tips I included in today’s post. Your Heavenly Father is waiting to hear from you & can’t wait to help you with whatever is going on in your life!