Pray, He is There. Speak, He is Listening.
Prayer is your personal key to Heaven. Boyd K. Packer
I have found myself having to rely on prayer a lot lately. Whether it’s a small prayer in my heart, or prayer with my family, I have found that I look forward to prayers and their healing power. Sometimes the healing is for headaches or a bump in the road of recovery, sometimes the healing is for my heart and spirit. No matter what the prayers are for, I find that they bring immediate peace and comfort to me in my time of need. Now, that’s not to say that my prayers are answered immediately, more that I know that when I pray I welcome (even beg) for the companionship of a loving Heavenly Father, a forgiving Christ, and a comforting Holy Ghost. All these together, lift spirits and overwhelm me with peace.
In some of my times of despair in my journey, I have laid in bed not wanting to get up for fear of discomfort. I felt trapped. I felt empty and alone. It was in this times that I knew I needed to “reach out through prayer to a higher source of strength.” (The Lifeline of Prayer, James E. Faust) I grew up with the knowledge of prayer, and had an experience at a relatively young age of the power of prayer that I will never forget.
It was late afternoon, on some day of the week. I was probably around 10 and my little sister was 4 or 5. My oldest brother was able to drive, and so there were usually 2 cars being shared between 3 drivers (my mom, my dad, and my brother). We were all inside our home when my mom couldn’t find my little sister and she started to panic…which made me panic. She went outside and called for her and when she couldn’t find her we all started going to neighbors homes asking if they’d seen her, they’d join in the search for this sweet little girl. I had a very overwhelming feeling that I needed to find a quiet place to pray. I kneeled at the open door of our family minivan and, with a tear soaked face, I pled with my Father in Heaven, “Please, help us find Kelsi. Let her be okay. Help us know where to look for her.” I closed my prayer, sat for a moment, opened my eyes. I knew where she was and I knew she was okay. I found my mom, who was crying, scared, and still searching. “Mom, you need to call dad at his office. Jake went to pick him up, and I think Kelsi went with him.” Sure enough, that’s what had happened. Kelsi joined our brother last minute and was perfectly fine and safe.
What a tender mercy, and what a testimony builder for me that prayers are answered at a young age. I frequently lean back onto this simple testimony to strengthen me when I find that it’s hard to pray, or that I don’t have motivation to do so.
Maybe you are thinking: Man, this girl has had some luck in the prayer department. I have, you’re right. But do you know what else I’ve learned about prayer? In the words of Garth Brooks, “Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers”. This isn’t to say that prayers are left unanswered, but that “unanswered prayers” are actually prayers that are answered in a way different than you anticipated or hoped for. Those prayers can be tough. The answers can be difficult to accept. I can promise you this, though, no matter how the prayers are answered, they are answered by a loving Heavenly Father who sees the bigger picture. He knows you. He loves you. He sees your potential and sees what you can become. Don’t give up on Him in these times, instead, cling to Him. Ask Him how to make the most of your circumstances. He will be with you every step of the way if you let Him.