Monday, December 5, 2011

I know Heavenly Father answers Prayers

My prayers have begun to evolve over the years. When I was little I learned to pray from my parents and this little children's song
I Pray in Faith by Janice Kapp Perry

1. I kneel to pray ev’ry day. I speak to Heav’nly Father. He hears and answers me When I pray in faith.

2. I begin by saying “Dear Heavenly Father”; I thank him for blessings he sends; Then humbly I ask him for things that I need, In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

My mother is so faithful. When I was younger if I had a question or was seeking a special blessing I would ask my mom to pray for it. It seemed like she would put in a petition to the Lord and instantly the prayer would be answered. I started to rely on her faith. I thought she was more likely to get the answer than me.

When I was pregnant with #3, a sister in our family was having complications with her pregnancy. We were concerned for her. We prayed that she and the baby would have health and strength. Just after #3 was born, the little boy passed away. I was so mad! I did not want him to die. It wasn't fair that I had a sweet baby to hold and she didn't. It wasn't fair that their good family suffered a loss. I didn't understand why the Lord wanted us to pray with faith and then not answer our prayers. I was in the mothers room crying for my sister in law. I was holding my baby and wishing she could hold hers. My friend came in. I told her how I was feeling, and she said, "You just have to have faith that that was his will." Later one of our nieces or nephews said, "I bet all of our fasting and prayers helped Baby Kris to live with us for as long as he did."

For me, this experience led me to stop praying for things that I wanted. I started to just pray prayers of thankfulness. I would think about praying for someone or something- for example- please bless so-in-so that they may be healed, if it be Thy will. But, it seemed useless to ask for things, to me. I figured we were meant to just go along life and whatever experience we needed would be provided whether they were sickness, death, health, or wealth.

Then our brother moved far away to go on a mission. He didn't know the language well. He wasn't used to the food. He needed help, and he asked us to pray for him. At first I started to pray, because he asked. We would pray for his safety. We would pray that he could find people to teach. We would pray for his health. We would pray for his faith. Eventually I started to pray with more faith. When he returned from his mission, another brother went to Afghanistan to serve in the Military. He also asked for prayers. I couldn't imagine what his wife would do with out him. So, I prayed for her to have the strength and patience she needed while he was gone. I prayed for him that he would stay safe. He came home and they were happily reunited. During this time my brother started having problems with anxiety. My sister was working and a new mom. I was concerned for them. I prayed for her and for him. Every day I prayed for someone. I tried to think what the Lord would want to bless them with. And then I prayed for that. My faith has been strengthened. My families faith has been strengthened. My boys know that when they pray, there prayers are heard. There is a father in heaven who listens to their prayers and answers them. Several times the kids would say, "uh-oh we forgot to pray for so-in-so". Then we would all fold our arms and pray for the person we were concerned for.

Christ taught us this story.

Holy Bible (King James version) Luke chapter 18:1-8

1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;

2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man:

3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.

4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man;

5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.

6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.

7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?

8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

The other day after a family prayer, Hubbin asked the boys if we had forgotten anyone in our prayers. #2 piped up. "Yes Dad, I am really worried about the people in Somalia. We need to pray that the leaders of their country will soften their hearts and accept help, so people will stop dying." We all folded our arms and added the people of Somalia to our prayers.

An excerpt from the Bible Dictionary (Cambridge University Press)

As soon as we learn the true relationship in which we stand toward God (namely, God is our Father, and we are his children), then at once prayer becomes natural and instinctive on our part. Many of the so-called difficulties about prayer arise from forgetting this relationship. Prayer is the act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other. The object of prayer is not to change the will of God, but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant, but that are made conditional on our asking for them. Blessings require some work or effort on our part before we can obtain them. Prayer is a form of work, and is an appointed means for obtaining the highest of all blessings.

I know that faith is strengthened from prayer. I know that Heavenly Father answers prayers. I challenge you to pray. He hears and answers you when you pray in faith.

-with love

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