Saturday, October 18, 2014

the power of prayer



"Pray always, and I will pour out my Spirit upon you, and great shall be your blessing." 
(D&C 19:38)


Here I am, sitting on the couch in my living room, reading my scriptures and digging through Sage's candy bucket for Reese's peanut butter cups after tonight's trunk-or-treat. 

You know those chapters that hit you over the head with the spirit? Mosiah 24 was one of them. The Lord seems to hit me over the head with His spirit a lot.

I think He knows that's the best way to get ahold of me. 

In Mosiah chapter 24, Alma and his people are forbidden to pray. Amulon assigned guards to watch over the people to and ordered the guards to put anyone to death who prayed. "And Alma and his people did not raise their voices to the Lord their God, but did pour out their hearts to him" (Mosiah 24:12). They knew they were going to be put to death if they were caught praying, and they prayed harder. They poured their hearts out Him. That line hit me so hard when I read it. The kind of hit where you have to get up and find a marker to underline it and write in the margins. Communication with God was so important to Alma and his people that they knew that they would be killed if they were caught praying, AND THEY POURED OUT THEIR HEARTS TO HIM.

God answered their prayers. He comforted them. He told them, "...I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs" (Mosiah 24:14).  Another wow. Another highlight/underline/write in the margins situation. God knows us and when we go to him in prayer, when we pour out our hearts to him, he will take away our burdens. As someone who carried a heavy burden for a long time, this is the most fantastic, most merciful, most beautiful promise that God could make with his children. Promise that he could make with me.

After God had freed Alma and his people, the people prayed again. They prayed to thank the Lord. They didn't just go to God when times were tough. They went to God when things were great. When they were free. When they didn't need anything. Alma and his people were grateful because they knew that being delivered from captivity wasn't just a coincidence. "(A)ll their men and all their women and all their children that could speak lifted their voices in the praises of their God" (Mosiah 24:22).

Prayer is so powerful. And we have a God that wants to hear from us. He wants us to talk to him. We have a Heavenly Father who loves us so much and is willing to give us blessings beyond our comprehension if we talk to Him. Talk to him. Turn to Him when things are hard. Thank him when things are great. Teach our children to pray.

I think that's a pretty awesome deal.