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Have you ever seen a movie that was so impactful you wanted to tell everyone you know to go see it? Literally every single person?

That’s how I felt walking out of the movie The War Room. On a whim I decided to go see the movie Friday afternoon while the kids were at school. At first it felt a little strange walking into the theater by myself but I felt compelled to go.

My tears began almost immediately. I don’t want to give away too much because, remember, I think EVERYONE should see it, but the movie is all about the power of prayer and how the main characters learn to give their troubles over to the Lord and trust that He is able to do what they are not.

The sweet mentor grandma type shows off her “war room”  or more accurately her prayer room, pictured below.

  It’s her closet where she has taped prayers to the wall, and I began to wonder if a war room would help me to make my prayers more sincere and more intentional.  In fact I went home and cleaned out a section of my closet and have been pondering all weekend on how exactly I want to convert it into my meaningful prayer closet.

Pinterest was full of ideas on how others have made prayer more meaningful.   Prayer journal

 Prayer board

 Prayer pages

Prayer stones

Prayer cans

After reading all of these fantastic ideas I felt something different was in store for my family. Maybe a combination of all of them? I am going to present these ideas to them tonight for our family home evening lesson. And let each person decide what they want to do. I think for my closet I want a place to write my prayers, maybe a white board or even just post it notes. I use the app Evernote to write my scripture journal entries so I may continue to do that for my prayers that are more personal with the sticky notes being simple reminders, like a person’s name. I’m still thinking on it.

I would love to have somewhere displayed in my home a list of answered prayers like in the movie. Something like this

Like the time my daughter asked us to pray that she might find a good friend, and then she saw the power of our united prayer when a new girl came to school. Or when the kids prayed their dad would get unstuck from the quick sand when we were on vacation and shortly after he finally was released. And then there are the prayers we pray for years and finally are given inspiration on what you can do to help the situation along.

The Lord is quick to hear our needs and our wants, but are we quick to recognize his answers? I want to be more aware, and I think I’m on the right track. I’m excited to see what the Lord helps me to figure out.

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I wonder if I’m a naturally selfish person. All I know is my heart and my desires, and I feel too often I forget to look outside myself. I guess that is the natural man I fight with and strive to overcome.
Last week I was feeling sorry for myself. My reasoning is weak and yet the fact that we don’t own our own home caused me to feel pretty down. I somehow had looked past the beautiful home we do live in. The amazing children I’m blessed to raise. The husband who adores me and would give me the world if he could. And most importantly the grace of God that makes it possible for me to be imperfect and still be made whole through the atonement of my Savior Jesus Christ.

I had tunnel vision and could only see what I didn’t have. And in that moment I really felt like I had a huge burden on my shoulders. I can see clearly now how selfish I was being.

I’d love to say I came out of it on my own, but the Lord stepped in to show me a better way.

I decided to clean out my pantry and get rid of all the food we no longer eat (we have given up most sugar and gluten). I made piles of food and wondered what to do with them. I text a friend asking if she had any ideas of what I could do with it and she responded instantly.

Within the hour she came by and began to tell me of a mutual friend who was going through a rather difficult financial time. With several kids at home and an empty cupboard. My leftover food would be more appreciated than I could have known. I helped bring the boxes to her car and expressed my gratitude for her willingness to take it to her.

After she left I was filled with humility and my selfish heart was softened and I began to turn outward. I could see more clearly how truly blessed we are. I remembered a time when food was scarce and I prayed for money so we wouldn’t have to eat beans and rice again. Then a gift card appeared at my doorstep for a local grocery store. I’m still touched by the love God showed me through someone else.

How quickly our answered prayers become a thing of the past as we ask for more and more, forgetting how blessed we already are.

I’m working on letting go of my selfish nature and looking for ways to give more freely that I may be God’s hands in answering another’s prayers. I’m working to,

Lay aside the things of this world, and seek for the things of a better.”

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You, my dear friend, who is reading this, God wants you to know that He loves you. And that within you, right now, you have the capacity to be whatever He has in store for you.

I really pondered over what to write today, and I felt impressed that you needed to hear that you truly are enough and that its ok for you to believe in yourself. Right now. Just the way you are. Embrace the divinity within you. Don’t believe me yet? Read these amazing quotes and let your heart be touched.

Believe in yourselves. Believe that you are never alone. Believe that you will always be guided. Elaine S Dalton

Believe in yourself and then live so as to reach your possibilities. Thomas S Monson

Believe in yourselves. Believe in your capacity to do great and good and worthwhile things. Believe in the nature within you, the divine nature, that you are in very deed a son or daughter of the Living God. There is something of divinity within you, something that stands high and tall and noble. Get above the dirt and the filth of the earth and walk on a higher plane with your heads up, believing in yourselves and in your capacity to act for good in the world and make a difference. Gordon B Hinckley

God is eagerly waiting for the chance to answer your prayers and fulfill your dreams, just as he always has. But he can’t if you don’t pray, and he can’t if you don’t dream. In short, he can’t if you don’t believe. Jeffery R Holland

It is extremely important for you to believe in yourselves only for what you are now but for what you have the power to become. Trust in the Lord as He leads you along. He has things for you to do that you won’t know about now but that will unfold later. If you stay close to Him, You will have some great adventures. You will live in a time where instead of sometimes being fulfilled, many of them will actually be fulfilled. The Lord will unfold your future bit by bit. Neal A Maxwell

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Our dear Father wrote the following message of a spiritual experience he had recently. Today we are happy to share his words with you of how the Lord hears and answers our prayers.

Guest post by Arnold Miller

I have always loved our hymns and the messages they convey. Some are prayers to our Heavenly Father. Some are His messages to us. Some are more appropriately sung in Sacrament Meetings. Some are meant for special occasions, while others are especially good to sing in our Family Home Evenings.

I have learned to pay particularly close attention to the words in scriptures as well as those of our hymns.  Especially if a word no longer has common usage in our language, I try to understand its meaning in the context of the hymn or passage.  For example, I recently ran across the word “succor” and learned that it means: to help, to nurture.

I began losing my hearing a few years ago. As a result, I came to the realization that it is very important to be able to hear sufficiently to be able to intonate well and properly balance and blend with those singing in my section of the choir.  It was about then that, as much as I love Music, I realized that it was time to ask to be released from the our fine Stake Choir.  Elder Quentin L. Cook gave a particular message in the October 2011 General Conference that seemed to be aimed directly at me in which he said: A line from a beloved hymn provides comfort, solace, and the clear lens: ‘And Jesus listening can hear the songs I cannot sing.’

Last Saturday night as I was saying my prayers before going to sleep, I found myself praying for the Lord to give me the strength and health I will need for the upcoming mission my wife and I have been called to serve in just two short months.

As I have aged it has become apparent that my legs aren’t as strong as they used to be. I even went through some physical therapy to strengthen my ability to walk and stand for extended periods of time. I was concerned that I might not have the ability to walk and stand as might be required for our mission.  We had also paid for a tour of early church history sites including Independence Missouri, Far West, Liberty, Adam-Ondi-Ahman, Nauvoo, Carthage, Mt. Pisgah, and Winter Quarters as well as other important locations. It goes without saying that this tour would involve a good deal of walking. To prepare ourselves for the expected rigors of this tour, we began walking in our neighborhood in the early mornings. Starting with a half block, we extended our walks to a full block and finally to two full blocks. Then the hot weather hit so we changed our walks to inside various shopping centers. We also enrolled in the YMCA so I could get involved in an exercise regimen to strengthen my legs.

The date for our trip rolled around and we found ourselves on a plane bound for Kansas City, Missouri where we met up with our tour bus, some fellow traveling companions and tour guides. Without going into too much detail of the actual tour, we were totally thrilled with the experience and the wonderful spirit we felt.  It strengthened our testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith and built an appreciation of the sacrifices those early saints made to establish Zion.

The greatest disappointment for me personally was how out of shape I physically felt.  It became readily apparent that I could not stand for extended periods when, at the Independence Temple Lot while listening to the lecture on the significance of that Sacred and Holy place, I was unable to stand long enough to hear the entire presentation.  After that I learned to pace myself, seeking places and opportunities to sit and rest.

So on Saturday, as I was thinking about this and considering the mission to which we are called to serve in The Family and Church History Headquarters Mission, I prayed earnestly that the Lord would bless me with the strength and stamina to serve Him as the date for our mission rapidly approaches. As I was waking up Sunday morning there were the words to a hymn running through my head.  I kept hearing over and over again: “I’ll strengthen thee, help thee and cause thee to stand.”  In those early hours I kept thinking about that phrase, I couldn’t get the rest of the hymn straight. I couldn’t even recall what hymn it was. So I put the music with the words. All I came up with was “Fear not I am with thee, Oh be not dismayed.  For I am thy God and will still give thee aid.”  I wracked my brain trying to remember the rest of the hymn.  When I should have been paying more attention to the message it was conveying to me. Then as I was sitting reading the scriptures before going to church, it hit me. There is a message here especially for me. The Holy Ghost was speaking to my heart in a way that only I could understand. I am going to be all right serving this mission.  The Lord will uphold me with “his omnipotent hand.” Then the rest of that verse came to me, “I’ll strengthen thee, help thee and cause thee to stand, Upheld by my righteous omnipotent hand.”  I was beginning to get that this is the Lord’s message to me. Yet I still couldn’t think of the name of that hymn, not even what verse of the hymn I was humming in my head.

Then at Sacrament meeting, we began to sing the opening hymn “How Firm a Foundation.”  While we were singing the first verse, I said to myself. Could this be it?  Then when we got to the third verse, it hit me, that’s it!   I then knew the Lord was revealing the answer to the question that had been plaguing me all morning.

When we got home from church, I opened the hymn book and looked up the rest of the words to that glorious hymn.  I realized that the 3rd verse as well as most other verses are addressed in the second person singular i.e. thy, thee instead of the second person plural ye, you, and your.  Until recently, I wouldn’t have picked up on that subtle difference but it is apparent from languages such as French, that by using the singular noun the Lord is speaking to us individually.

Imagine my feelings, if you will, when they announced the opening hymn the following Tuesday evening at our Stake High Priest Quorum Meeting: “How Firm a Foundation.”

As I have read and pondered the other verses, particularly verses 2, 3, 4, and 6, it becomes clear, to me at least, that this hymn is addressed to Senior Missionaries, especially verse 6:

E’en down to old age, all my people shall prove

My sov’reign, eternal, unchangeable love;

And then, when gray hair shall their temples adorn,

Like lambs shall they still in my bosom be borne.

 

Note: For sake of message clarity, I stripped out sections where there are repeats of the same phrase.

How Firm a Foundation #85

How firm a foundation, ye Saints of the Lord,

Is laid for your faith in his excellent word!

What more can he say than to you he hath said,

Who unto the Savior for refuge have fled?

 

In ev’ry condition—in sickness, in health,

In poverty’s vale or abounding in wealth,

At home or abroad, on the land or the sea—

As thy days may demand so thy succor shall be.

 

Fear not, I am with thee; oh, be not dismayed,

For I am thy God and will still give thee aid.

I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,

Upheld by my righteous omnipotent hand.

 

When through the deep waters I call thee to go,

The rivers of sorrow shall not thee o’erflow,

For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,

And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

 

When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,

My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply.

The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design

Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.

 

E’en down to old age, all my people shall prove

My sov’reign, eternal, unchangeable love;

And then, when gray hair shall their temples adorn,

Like lambs shall they still in my bosom be borne.

 

The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose

I will not, I cannot, desert to his foes;

That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,

I’ll never, no never, no never forsake!

 

– Arnold A. Miller

 

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The moment I realize I want to be better seems to be the exact moment opposition begins.

My mothering has not been as I have wanted it to be lately and so I have decided to make some changes. I want to be more present when they are here. I have the day to myself to get all the chores done, so I have decided to make sure when school gets out I’m available for them. Yesterday was the start to a new week and I was pumped.

I worked during today to update our chore system and behavior chart (I’ll share that tomorrow) and then when I went to print I was out of ink. Ugh. In my excitement to get it all done and finished I now “had” to take the kids to the store to get ink. Once we got home and got on homework, I ran to the computer to print real quick the charts, only to discover my printer is actually broken.

Naturally I feel I can fix it, it will only take a second. The kids are coming in and the more problems the printer is having the more frustrated I’m feeling and my fuse became very short. It’s almost dinner time and I had not spent the time I had wanted with them.

I never successfully fixed it but I did end up grumpy with kids who were now also grumpy because I wasn’t available when they needed me. I quickly realized that I had given in to distractions which I believe satan put in my path. And I fell for it.

At first I was really beating myself up, wondering why I gave in so quickly. Could I ever figure things out and be the mother I want to be?

And then I read these lines to the song “The Time Is Far Spent”

Be fixed in your purpose, for Satan will try you; The weight of your calling he perfectly knows. Your path may be thorny, but Jesus is nigh you; His arm is sufficient, tho demons oppose.

Yes Satan is aware of my purpose but Jesus’s arm is sufficient. He will guide me when I stay fixed on my mothering purpose. I may stumble from time to time but when I allow my Savior to, He will be what I cannot. He will make up the difference. I simply have to continue diligently trying.

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I lay next to my youngest, reading to him before bed. I am amazed that he will listen to this book with words I am sure he does not entirely understand and yet he loves the story nonetheless. When my oldest, who is now 17, was young we both fell in love with the Narnia series, and I in turn found a dear friend in CS Lewis’s writing.

Last night the other children and my husband were all gone at church activities and so I had extra time to read with this little man.

I noticed his eyes start to get heavy and yet I continued to read on.

 I came to a part in the story that struck so deep a chord in my heart. Knowing of the author’s intent for great Christian symbolism, I could FEEL such love through the great Lion Aslan, who is meant to be a likeness to our Savior. The boy Digory’s mother is sick and he believes the Lion has power to heal her.

“Can’t you give me something that will cure mother?” Up till then he had been looking at the lion’s great feet and the huge claws on them: now in his despair, he looked up at his face. What he saw surprised him as much as anything in his whole life. For the tawny face was bent down near his own and (wonder of wonders) great shining tears stood in the Lion’s eyes. They were such big bright tears compared with Digory’s own that for a moment he felt as if the Lion must really be sorrier about his mother than he was himself. “My son, my son,” said Aslan. “I know grief is great.”

Because of this imagery, it was as though I could see my Savior standing in front of me in my moments of deepest pain. With tears that surpassed my own. With love that I have difficulty understanding, saying

My daughter my daughter. I know grief is great.”

Not just my grief alone, but now his grief because of his love for me.

At that moment I wanted to wake up my boy and tell him how much his Savior loves him and cares about his every concern. But instead I watched him sleep a little longer. I cherished this moment a little deeper.

My Savior has suffered for me and because of that suffering He has felt all the loneliness and sadness I will ever know. He wants to be there for me to tell me “I know, I know.”  Because He truly does.

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There are certainly days when I feel empowered, and other days when I feel a little hopeless to be able to do anything at all.  If I had to pick, I’d say I like the empowering days much better.  The real question I guess then, is how can I pick?  Do I really get to choose to have a good day and be empowered to do what needs to be done? Or is it just a matter of how the hormones are flowing that day, or how other people are treating me?

I don’t know if there is just one real answer to this question.  Some days are just harder than others.  Some days are delightfully smooth sailing. And some times I do notice that the choices I make can help me to feel better about my day (or my life).

In Luke 24, just after Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection, two of Christ’s disciples were walking along the road to Emmaus, discussing the events of the past few days and feeling sad. They knew that Jesus was crucified, and that it was the 3rd day since.  They had heard from the women that the tomb was empty and that angels had told the women that he is alive.  But they were still sad. Then Christ walked with them and talked with them, but they didn’t recognize him as Jesus.  They discussed their worries and concerns, and Christ opened up the scriptures to them and went in the house to eat with them.  Then suddenly they realized that it was Jesus Christ that had been with them the whole time.

and they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way and while he opened to us the scriptures? (Luke 24:32)

Joy then replaced fear and worry and sadness. Joy in knowing for themselves that He is real and will still be with them, even though He has completed His earthly mission.

I think this story and this scripture can be put to work in our lives as well.  There are plenty of times when I can feel alone, but there is no reason why I need to ever be totally alone.  The spirit of Christ can be with us at any time, but especially when we really need it and will go to God in prayer and ask for the help.

This scripture also helps me to realize often He is with us, willing to guide us and open up scripture to us, as long as we are willing to let him in.  But often we don’t recognize that His hand was guiding us, until the (metaphorical) journey is through.

By seeking His guidance through regular prayer and scripture study, we can begin to feel His gentle guidance in our lives.

Richard C Edgley said

Humbly submitting our will to the Father brings us the empowerment of God – the power of humility.  It is the power to meet life’s adversities, the power of peace, the power of hope, the power of a heart throbbing with a love for and testimony of the Savior Jesus Chris, even the power of redemption.”

If the only blessing I ever got from submitting humbly to the Father’s will was the power to meet my life’s adversities, I would consider that to be good enough.  However, the ability to live a life filled with peace and hope and a love of the Savior, with the ultimate reward of redemption, is truly the greatest of all we could hope for in life.

I would like to suggest that the most effective way to feel empowered in this life is to first submit to the will of the Father, through humble prayer, in asking Him to guide you in the way that He would want to you lead your life.  It truly does take faith in God, to know that He will guide you in the direction that will bring you the most happiness.  Who better to trust in and lead your life by.

Maybe it seems like a small and simple thing, but it is always good to remember that “And out of small things, proceedeth that which is great”

Empowerment of God

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daily blessings

 

Last week I went to Las Vegas to visit some old friends.  Since the year that we have been apart, there were many changes in all of our lives.  New marriages, new children, new blessings and new challenges.

The best part about getting back together is that we all still care about one another and stand by each other, through all of our joyful times and difficulties.

I listened to a pod cast last night, from Jonathan Doyle about “the risks of comparison.”  I truly loved a conclusion that he drew about our attitudes when we compare ourselves to others, and beat ourselves up about our perceived shortcomings.  The truth is that each of us is unique, and just the way we are meant to be as be were created by God.  When we beat ourselves up by comparing and wishing we were more like someone else, it’s like telling God that He didn’t get it right.  Of course there are things we can do to improve ourselves, and we should always be striving to be just a little better, but that improvement can only come from a genuine respect for the gifts God has given to each of us.

The other danger of comparing is the danger of judging another.  Each of us are different and have different gifts and different struggles.  When I judge another person because they have a weakness that I have overcome, I’m not being very Christlike, and I’m not leaving any room for weaknesses that I am still working on.  I think when people judge another person harshly, they are really feeling their own inadequacies and are trying to make themselves feel better in pointing out that someone else is not perfect either.

One of my friends asked me if I thought that she was a bad mother for letting her child stay up late.  This could have been a problem of comparisons.  You see my kids have a 9 pm bedtime, even in the summer, even on the weekend.  If you asked me (or if they ask me) I’d say it is because I believe that it is better for a person to have the same bedtime every night, for their growth and development and it will be easier to get up early when school starts.  But there is a much bigger (and more personal) reason why I send them to bed at 9 pm every night.  I need that time alone to unwind before I go to sleep.  I’m not a night person, and I’m an introvert, so quiet time all by myself in the evening before I go to bed is like heaven.  It’s my reward for any hard work I did that day.  Does that mean that I think all parents should do what I do?  Absolutely NOT.  Seeing this mom spend time with her little girl late at night, while the baby was sleeping was priceless.  It works for her. It was beautiful to see her embrace who she is and do what feels is right for her.  If I chose to compare myself to her, I could either feel bad because I don’t have the energy to spend time with my kids late at night, so there must be something wrong with me. Or I could judge her, thinking that my way of doing things is the “right” way, and she isn’t taking good care of her child.  Neither of these ways of thinking is true, as most comparisons and judgments of people and ourselves are laced with false concepts.

In my life, I’ve had to remind myself to get over comparing and judging.  No one on this earth is perfect.  As for me and my family, what is important is that we keep trying. As for other people, my job is to be loving and understanding, and possibly help them out when they have a need.

When I read this scripture this morning.

Live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which (God) doth bestow upon you”  Alma 34.38

I was reminded of how important it is to recognize the blessings and gifts that we are each given.  I can and should be truly grateful for mercies that are freely given by God, each time I make a mistake.

If I look at someone and see how wonderful they are, I can choose to admire them, and be grateful for their presence in my life, instead of comparing myself to them, and looking for all the ways that I don’t measure up. I’m not supposed to measure up to other people. I’m supposed to make the most out of the life that I have been given.

I’m still working on these concepts, and I hope I’m getting better at living a grateful life. I’m learning to stop and ask myself “What does God want for my life, and what do I want for my life?” as I try to ignore the impulse to try to be like other people.  Today I’m choosing to be the person that God intends for me to be.

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Miracles are all around usI heard a quote this week as being from Einstein.

There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is.

The problem is that Einstein never actually said this. We would like to believe that someone who is known for their extreme intelligence said something so thought provoking. Have you ever thought about what you think a miracle is? Is a miracle something that seems impossible?  Is it something nice that happens that we would like to believe is divine?  Are miracles things of the past? Is a miracle even possible?

In church last Sunday, the question was asked to a group of children.  “What is a miracle?”  The answers they gave were examples of miracles in their sweet precious eyes.

“When my mom lost her keys and we prayed about it and she found them.”

“When my sister broke her arm and they thought she would need surgery, but when they checked it further they said she didn’t need it”

“When Jesus died and was resurrected.”

It was good to be reminded that these small children recognized divine guidance in their lives and the child who recognized the most important miracle of all.  The resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

After the children had all given their thoughts about miracles, the teacher said

“A miracle is something that happens that is both extraordinary and was brought about by the power of God.”

If you believe in God as the supreme creator, then you could live your life as is everything is a miracle, like the quote says.  But if everything is a miracle, then I’m not sure that you could say that there is anything really extraordinary about them.

In teaching the children about miracles we give examples like Moses parting the Red Sea, or Jesus calming the storm.  These are extraordinary events that can help to define miracles.  But what about in our everyday lives? Are there things that can happen to ordinary people like you and me that can be considered a miracle?

In John 16:24, Christ said

Ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.”

I believe that God is a God of miracles. He wants to bless us. He wants to give us good things, and He wants us to recognize His hand in our lives as He works for our benefit.

Jesus taught us that

If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.  (John 14:23)

Through living a life of faith and obedience to Christ’s teachings, we will feel their spirit with us.  We should feel welcome to ask for the things that we need and recognize when the Lord has intervened in our lives.

I think that when I slow down and begin to see the Lord’s hand in my life, I recognize how blessed I am, and that leaves me more open to ask for the bigger things that I need, allowing miracles to take place in my life. Those extraordinary blessings that the Lord gives to me when I can do no more than what I’ve already done.

Sometimes the miracle is in the trial that is removed from my life.  Like when a loved one is declared cancer free, when the doctors said that there was almost no chance for that to happen. But sometimes the miracle was just having that person in my life, even if for a limited time, and being with her until the day before she returned to our Father in Heaven.

Not all stories have a happy ending.   People get sick, some children live their whole lives with disabilities, sometimes families fall apart despite the best efforts and endless prayers of some of the members of the family. Sometimes we don’t get the miracle that we expected or desired. Sometimes the miracle is the calming in a broken heart that tries to remain faithful even as the trial remains.

I decided to start writing in my “gratitude journal” again this week, and I decided to add some things to it.  I think it could be helpful to begin documenting anything that I can see as a miracle in my life.  My hope is that through recognizing the miracles I will be better able to find hope in the future, and faith to take my problems to the Lord. By seeing and recognizing miracles, I will be reminded that He does truly care, and will be there to listen to me and to help me when I come to Him in prayer. I look forward to documenting the manifestation of God’s grace in my life.

 

 

 

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 I consider myself to be an obedient person when it comes to matters of a spiritual nature. I want to live the laws of God and I want to do what my Father above wants me to do. You could say I’m a rule follower.
The scriptures tell us to pray so I pray. But I think in my obedience I have been missing out. In my desire to only ask for what God wants for me I have been hesitant to ask for what I might truly desire. I had become a passive pray-er. I was afrad to pray for someone to be healed, what if it’s not Gods will. I was slow to ask for specific things because I didn’t want to be contrary to what is best.

Maybe I’m alone in this. But hopefully my struggle will help someone out there.

I prayed every night and morning asking for safety for my kids and guidance in parenting them. I prayed for insight into His will for me. At times when I felt very strongly that it was ok to pray for specific things like where to move or when to have our next child, I felt comfortable praying for that. I even felt comfortable asking for help when I was weak in a certain area.

I just didn’t feel like I could ask for what I really wanted that didn’t have lasting impact. Like owning our own home or help getting together the money to take the trip I have always wanted to Nauvoo or even how to help my daughter find clothes that help her feel amazing about herself. Could I plead for help with these things?

Then I come across statements such as these

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.” J. Devn Cornish

He wants to bless me with all kinds of joy and guidance throughout this life. Even guidance on how to get to Nauvoo.

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.” J. Devn Cornish

As a parent I greatly understand this. My kids will ask and ask for things that matter to them, over and over again when it’s really important or they just really want it.

For example my son really wants a play station 4 for his birthday. I don’t usually spend that kind of money on birthdays though. So he has started coming up with new ways to ask. “What if it’s Christmas and birthday.” “What if so and so goes in with me to get it.”

What man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?  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?” (Matthew 7:9–11).

My eyes are open even further as I begin to truly understand that scripture. I have read it many times before but I am starting to really grasp the meaning for me. It’s not only ok but good to ask for things I want. Not as I would a magic lamp hoping whatever I desire falls into my lap but with hope that the things I truly desire can be available to me.

With that said I still firmly believe that after I ask I should always follow it up with “thy will be done.”  Hoping for my prayer to be answered, while recognizing His ways are better than my ways. Always He has my best interest in mind.

The other prayer mistake I have made in the past is to pray sincerely and truly for something and then forget to act. I do nothing but say a prayer or two. No action to help that desire come to pass. Just wishing at that point.

Often as I pray, the Spirit nudges me to admit that there is more I should do to receive the help I am asking from the Lord. Then I must commit and do my part. It is contrary to the economy of heaven for the Lord to do for us that which we can do for ourselves.” J Devn Cornish

Ultimately what I am learning is how much my Father wants to bless me. Just as I want to bless my children. And with that He also wants us to learn how to put in the effort needed for the greatest potential of growth. I don’t hand my children everything they want when they want it. But I strive to give them what I believe will be best and hopefully what in time will bring the greatest joy. I see now how Heavnely Father wants to do the same for me. I need to simply ask.