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Our family home evening lesson on prayer went fairly well on Monday. There was a moment of contention, but I think that is to be expected when you have 8 people all trying to sit still for a lesson.

I few things became more clear.

1. My children really do love each other and want to help when they can. After the lesson was over my sweet Joshua asked that we would pray for him for something very specific. The next morning I reminded who was saying that prayer of Joshua’s request. To which the kids responded. “I prayed for him last night and this morning.”  Needless to say he was touched and so was I.

2. Kids want to be guided and given direction. They don’t know how the world is supposed to work and they look to us as their parents for examples and direction. I shared several ideas of how they could make prayer more meaningful, and I could see the wheels turning. One wants to write their prayers on their chalkboard and another wants to use post it notes. As a family we decided to write on a board we have in the living room prayer requests as they come up. And then when they see an answer to a prayer we are going to write it on this mat.

Big or small, I told them they could write whenever they noticed an answer to their prayer.

3. God is so quick to hear us and give us assurance that He is there. Before the lesson I spent a good deal of time pondering on each of my children and what my written prayers for them should look like. Durning that lesson two of my children had experiences I had just prayed for. They might have seemed like little things, but it was comforting to know and to feel of His love not only for me but for my children.

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 (see 3 Nephi 18:20)?

4. God wants to bless us. We simply need to ask. When I ask my husband for a back rub and he willing gives it even though he might be tired, I can feel his love for me. We become more connected, and I in turn want to give back to him when he needs something. I believe noticing our answered prayers can be that way as well. By asking we show our trust that God is aware of us and loves us. We feel connected to Him. When He answers, even when the answer is not what we thought it would be, we feel His love for us. At times the answers come quickly like in my example above. Sometimes the response is a reassurance that He is there and that He hears you. Some prayers take years. And you are given a little here and a little there.

 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.

As I continue to make prayer a more meaningful part of my life, I cannot help but look back on the times my prayers have been answered and feel a debt of gratitude I know I will never be able to repay. Yet I can pray and ask that His will can more fully become my own.

Quotes are taken from a talk titled Privilege of Prayer. I loved it so very much and highly recommend reading or listening to it.

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