Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Post on Prayer

When I was a young child, every night, before they tucked me into bed, my parents would kneel with me and help me say a nightly prayer. Kindly whispering gentle words in my ear they helped me to thank God for everything. My dinner, for the day I had, good health, my family, clothes and many blessings. To ask blessings upon others, and for myself.

In my innocence and naivety, I relied on my parents faith that there was someone on the receiving end of those prayers. Someone far away, someone very kind, and dear, who loved me, who was the source of all things good in my life and wanted me to be happy. I was nourished by their honest faith for most of my youth.

Eventually, as I grew older they stopped kneeling with me and allowed me to pray on my own. Most of the time, I repeated the same words, which probably sounded more like a sincere grocery list with few variations, ended with an "in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen", and hopped into bed. 

I still felt good, and I know it helped me.

The teenage years were a conflicted time for me. I was dealt with adversity that I had never faced before. I still had a good life, I had parents who loved me, but I realized I was lacking something, there was a void in my life.

Prayer then became more than words said and wishful thinking. It became a resource of strength, healing, peace, guidance, encouragement, enlightenment. I asked questions, I asked for forgiveness, I didn't just pray at night, but I tried praying always. 

Prayer has been a learning experience with me.
I still make a lot of mistakes.
I'm still twenty, and highly ignorant.
I am constantly developing a personal relationship with God.
And he has answered me,
It hasn't always been instant. 
Not with a pillar of light,
Not with a yes or no,

He answered me through the guidance of other people, through my thoughts and my feelings, if I felt peace and warmth after I prayed, I knew I was heading in the right direction.

There were times when I struggled, and prayer was the last thing on my mind. I made choices that conflicted with everything good I had learned, I felt like God would never listen to me, because of the choices I had made. I eventually learned of his love and constant forgiveness.

I stepped away from my clouded judgement, and got back on my knees.
Like a wanderer traveling in the hot desert, it was like a pool of cool water that quenched my thirst, replenished my soul, and gave me the strength to continue my journey.

To pray, we admit there's something greater than us.

I have met many people where prayer has played an essential role in their life. And I have many people who do not view the same way. I don't know your life and I won't pretend too. Maybe the only person you have ever been able to rely on is yourself.

You may feel the concept of religion, and God, and prayer is a crutch, or a psychological ploy.

I ask you, to try something beyond your own strength and experience for yourself. I know there is greater peace you can find in your life.

I believe in a loving supreme being, who is our Father. He hears the things of our hearts that no one else can understand. I have felt an unseen power work in my life and I know it can work in yours as well.

"Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is daily admission of one's weaknesses. It is better in prayer to have a heart with out words than words without a heart."
-Mahatma Gandhi

“Certain thoughts are prayers. There are moments when, whatever be the attitude of the body, the soul is on its knees.”
 -Victor Hugo

“I pray because I can’t help myself. I pray because I’m helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time – waking and sleeping. It doesn’t change God – it changes me.” 
-C.S. Lewis

I invite you to leave a comment or ask a question!
Would your life benefit from prayer or would it be worse?
What have your experiences been when you have prayed?
In what ways do you pray?
Who do you pray to and why?

I said a prayer before I started to write this post.


  1. It really is so very refreshing to see such an open, honest reflection of ones self. I know I should pray more. On my own, and with my children. i have noticed lately that I feel so much better after prayer. Yet I dont do it as often as I should! You are young, Im older, but in no way wiser. We are all still learning. You have made a very amazing impact on me and my family. I prayed for amazing elders for my family and BAM there you guys were! Amazing how that works huh? :)

  2. Thanks for sharing your feelings on prayer Elder Ellsworth! Great quotes too.