Communication with our Heavenly Father, the God and controller of the universe, is a sacred privilege available and encouraged for all His sons and daughters.  See yourself as a child approaching a loving, kind, wise Father who wants to help you.  The Lord has said, 

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you…”    (Matthew 7: 7-8 and Luke 11: 9 in the Bible) 

Prayer on the Battlefield

I read an interesting account of a soldier’s prayer and the answer that came.

“A nearby explosion jolted me awake, and alarms started to blare. For a moment, I couldn’t figure out what was happening. The glowing white numbers of my alarm clock told me it was 06:00. I looked around the darkened room, wondering what was going on. Nothing seemed out of place.

But then a second and third blast began a barrage of incoming rocket-propelled grenades and bursts of gunfire outside. I was not sure from where the barrage was coming, but I knew we were under attack.

Feeling my adrenaline kick in, I rolled off my bed and began grabbing my gear, I could hear the continued wail of alarms and the engines of the Quick Response Force vehicles rev as they rushed through the camp to meet the attack.  I was about nine months into my longest deployment to Afghanistan with the United States Air Force. My responsibilities working with the senior Afghan Air Force finance officer and officials from the Afghan Ministry of Finance often put me in harm’s way, and I had felt the Lord’s protecting hand. But this attack was a first for me. When our colonel asked for volunteers to follow him outside, I joined six others taking position around the building in case attackers overran the gate.  Deafening gunfire surrounded me, though it was directed toward the camp to the north of me. I had trained for such a scenario but had never faced a real threat. I was terrified, and I wasn’t even in the thick of the fight!  My stomach knotted. Sweat coated my skin. I braced myself, expecting at any moment that a rocket would explode where I lay. Thoughts of my family popped into my mind.

“Heavenly Father,” I prayed, “please protect us so we can all get home to our families.”

As I finished my prayer, a memory played in my mind that momentarily replaced the sights and sounds of battle. The memory was of seven-year-old Gabriel, one of the boys in the Primary class (church children class) I taught back in the United States. Just a few weeks earlier, his father had emailed me a video of Gabriel praying at his bedside—praying for me and for my safety in Afghanistan.  I remembered teaching my Primary class about prayer. At the time, I had wondered if any of them understood the miraculous power of prayer. But when I saw that video, I was astounded by the faith of that little boy—something I witnessed with many of the children I taught.

Now the memory of that simple prayer inspired my faith in that terrifying moment. I felt God tell me that little Gabriel was praying for me. I knew He had heard Gabriel’s prayer, my prayer, and the prayers of countless others on my behalf. I felt peace replace worry. I felt in my heart that my fellow servicemen and I would be all right.

When the firefight finally ended six hours later, we assessed our casualties. To our surprise, nobody in our camp had been injured by the 47 rocket-propelled grenades and thousands of rounds fired into our camp.

I knew I wasn’t the first to pray on the battlefield. I also knew that not every battlefield prayer had been answered in the same way. But I was grateful for the assurance that God hears and answers our prayers, even those of a little child.”  (Quoted part of an article by Lyle Swapp “Prayer on the Battlefield” Liahona Magazine, October, 2021)

Receiving Answers to Our Prayers

The Lord chooses how and when He will answer our prayers.  Answers can come through a voice to our mind, while reading the Scriptures, dreams, visions and through others influenced by the Spirit.  Primarily answers come through the “feelings of the heart”.  This brings “peace of mind” to us that we are doing the right things.  When we feel this “influence of the Spirit” in our lives, we want to learn more about God, be a better person, we feel more love for others, want to keep His commandments and draw closer to God in every way we can.  This is a witness to us that the Spirit of God is working with us in answer to our prayers. This is what the scriptures mean to be “quickened by the Spirit” or to “enlighten your mind” or to “enlarge your soul” or to have your “soul filled with joy”.  When we feel inspiration through the Spirit we should treasure it, record it, follow it and thank the Lord for them and it will come again.