Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sunday Sentiments: Prayer & Charity

First of all, I had an early morning meeting before church this morning, to discuss the welfare of those that live within our church boundaries. However, my daughter had a rough night. Her eczema was flaring and she couldn't sleep. Then she was sleep-walking and sleep-talking, and soon sleep-crying, and ended up in my bed. The rough night turned into a rough morning, and I was now going to be late for my 7 am meeting. I made it to the last ten minutes. :( Nonetheless, what little I did hear, I thought was awesome.

During President Cleverly's closing remarks of the meeting he said, "When we are invested in taking care of the poor and needy, we will better come to recognize the Savior." He also said something to the effect of when we are aware of those around us who need our help, and when we strive to reach out and to serve and help those with needs, we WILL change; our hearts will change. If the pure love of Christ is charity, then it makes sense that we can be most like Christ when we are doing as He did and serving others. Serving others is one sure way we can get to know our Savior, because we will be better positioned to see things through his eyes and to love as He loves.

Moving on to our Sunday School lesson today about Family and Personal Prayers. Because it was our Ward Conference today, our Stake President (presiding clergy over area Wards/congregations), President Cleverly came to visit and he also led our Sunday School discussion. He said that he would hope for three things in all of us with regards to prayer.
  1. That we will be committed to personal & family prayer
  2. That we will have faith in our personal ability to have meaningful prayer
  3. That we will have faith in Father in Heaven's desire & willingness to answers all of our prayers
He challenged us using the words from another talk, saying "All of us can improve the sincerity and efficacy of prayer." He went on to say that our prayers should be meaningful. They should be a time in which we counsel with the Lord. We should express our gratitude, pray for others and also plead for understanding and direction in our own lives.

Then a few quick points that some others shared during the discussion that I liked so much I jotted down:

One lady said, (and this is paraphrasing) "I talk to my mom on a regular basis, and I don't tell her the same checklist of items each time. I always have something new to tell her or to discuss or to ask her opinion. If I remember that the Lord is my Heavenly Father, or Heavenly Parent, then it helps me to be mindful to make my prayers more meaningful and not just run through the checklist of usual items."

A man brought up that it is hard to be able to have focus during prayers if we have contention in the home. He suggested to find peace or make peace or pray for peace, and that once we obtain that peace in our homes and in our hearts we will be able to better focus on the things that we are grateful for, the things we need guidance with and those whom we are praying for and in behalf of.

Other things mentioned were that we can contemplate our circumstances before actually praying, so that we know ahead of time the condition of our hearts. Knowing the condition of our hearts before prayer will often times serve as a guide for the things which we need to pray for.

Pray always. If it is right and good and in accordance with God's will, and if we pray with sincerity and with real intent, we will be blessed.

Man's greatest power lies in the power of prayer.

Meaningful prayer requires holy communication and consecrated work.

During prayer, we are most concerned about our circumstance, whereas the Lord is most concerned with our soul.

Ask in faith, then act.

There are some days in which it seems like all I ever do is pray. I've fallen asleep during really long prayers before... of course feeling a little guilty afterwards. Sometimes I am pretty sure the Lord thinks I am a basket case, cuz all I seem to do is pour my heart out. But I take comfort in the fact that as the Savior bled from every pore, He felt everything that we feel and I know that He knows my pain.

I like the reminder that we can't just pray for something, but that we should act on it too! Prayer is to ask for things beyond our control. When we act we are showing that we are doing everything in our control, which helps our hearts become ready to receive His grace.

Like my mama always said, "Pray as if everything depends on the Lord, but work it as if everything depends on you."

What about you? Have you had any life changing or "heart"-changing events because of prayer or charity?


greenolive said...

Yes, my prayers, other's charity.

Tulsi said...

I have a comment on praying for something and then acting, not waiting. My husband had a relative who wasn't doing the right thing. His parents knew about it and prayed their little hearts out and kept putting his name in the Temple. For weeks, just praying and hoping. The day he was arrested they called Steve and told him what was going on. Steve was mad. I was furious. It never would have happened if they had let Steve know in the beginning. he was probably the only one who could have totally prevented it. Or at least given him a reality check. His parents never even let this relative know they knew. So then Steve's parents wanted Steve to fix it and give them info since he was Law Enforcement. I was furious that they called every hour or two for DAYS. God will help, but he can't if you do nothing. He can't answer questions if there is no answer to ask about which way to go. I still get mad when I think about it. I guess their answer to prayers was his arrest. That stopped the action. He still speaks to Steve nearly weekly. He's great now.

Puphigirl said...

God helps those who help themselves.

You form a plan, you pray to see if your plan is the right way to go. You may get an answer of yes or no. Sometimes you won't yet. So go ahead with your plan praying all the while. Then you as you carry on your plan, you may get the answer that all is well or that you may need to change course.

Remember, answers to prayers come in different forms: direct verbal answer, a feeling or impression, it could be a burning in the bosom, and answers can come to you through others.

okeydokeyifine said... Mother-in-law once told me that you "never stop being a mom".
She was right. I cannot tell you how many times I have petitioned the Lord for specific needs of my children. They are all grown but none-the-less still my children and have special places in my heart. I have asked for blessing upon them, watchfulness upon them, guidance for them... They have various and individual needs and I know Father knows them, each one as a daughter or son. I trust in him to help them and hope that they know they are never alone. If there is one thing I can let them know, it is that prayers are definitely heard and answered. They are in good hands.

Holli and Billy said...

Thanks for giving a rundown of ward conference. I caught myself a cold yesterday, so I decided to rest at home today. Sounds like I missed a good one!

Anonymous said...

Absolutely. I battled with faith for years. I've just recently refound my faith and have dove in head first and *Bam*, WE HAVE A SON!