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) When we pray, be humble and show respect to our Heavenly Father. The Savior said, “Wherefore he that prayeth, whose spirit is contrite, the same is accepted of me…” (Doctrine & Covenants 52: 15 p. 96)
WHAT SHOULD WE PRAY FOR?
We should avoid vain repetitions in our prayers. The Savior said, “But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions…” (Matthew 6: 7 in the Bible) Vain repetitions refers to saying the same words in each prayer without thought or heart-felt. When we pray, we should speak from the heart to our Heavenly Father about the things that are important to us. An ancient prophet gave this direction, “Cry unto him when ye are in your fields, yea, over all your flocks. Cry unto him in your houses, yea, over all your household, both morning, mid-day, and evening. Yea, cry unto him against the power of your enemies. Yea, cry unto him against the devil, who is an enemy to all righteousness. Cry unto him over the crops of your fields, that ye may prosper in them. Cry over the flocks of your fields, that they may increase. But this is not all; ye must pour out your souls in your closets, and your secret places, and in your wilderness…” (Alma 34: 20-27 p. 294 in the Book of Mormon)
Lee Bendixsen shares his experience with prayer in his time of need:
“I volunteered to take two men to their car, which had stalled on the highway just south of Idaho Falls, Idaho. Mr. Thompson was convinced that his car needed a new battery. I took him to purchase the battery at a nearby automotive shop, and because I had tools in my car, I agreed to change it. Fortunately I had brought a new pair of gloves and my winter jacket. Pulling the car’s hood up, I prepared to remove the dead battery and replace it with the new one. To change the battery, I had to disassemble and move several car parts, including the windshield washer reservoir. I soon found that my tools would not fit all of the metric-sized bolts and several screws would not even budge. I used different tools and tried different positions, but nothing moved. The temperature outside was around 5 degrees Fahrenheit (-15°C), and the semitrucks whizzing by created wind gusts that were bitter cold. I had reached a cold, frustrating impasse. I turned to the only help available. I prayed earnestly, explaining my need to Heavenly Father and asking if He would either loosen the bolts and screws or help me find a way to do it. Finishing my prayer, I again grabbed a pair of pliers and grasped a resisting screw. It was already loose! Silently and fervently expressing thanks, I removed the screw and continued. Soon I found a frustrating, resisting bolt deeper in the car. Again, completely stymied, I prayed more earnestly for help, doing so with growing trust. This time I felt directed to remove some deeper bolts first and then twist the battery brace, which I did. The resisting bolt moved easily. In a few moments I pulled out the old battery. I slid the new battery in and with numb fingers reassembled all the parts as best as I could. I then reattached the electrical cables. Mr. Thompson turned the key and smiled broadly as the engine started. I gratefully closed the hood. I had been outside for about an hour, and my lower legs and feet were numb as I stiffly stumbled into my car. I thanked Heavenly Father profusely for His help. In return I was impressed to know that He had answered the prayer of these men by sending me as His servant. In His wonderful way He had provided for their need and reaffirmed my faith.”
When I was a young leader in the church, I was asked to conduct and speak at the funeral of a young man that was tragically killed in a car accident. I felt so inadequate to perform this responsibility. As I was seated on the stand I felt so alone, scared and uninspired praying earnestly in my heart that the Lord would help me. Just a few minutes before I addressed the large group of people assembled, the Spirit came over me with such power that I physically felt the divine power and when I spoke, my words just flowed through me to the gathered funeral group. The Spirit stayed with me for about 3 hours after and it was a marvelous spiritual experience I will always remember as one of the “Tender mercies of the Lord” in my hour of need.
Dallas Jones is the local leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This column quoted from an article by C. Lee Bendixsen “Batteries & Bitter Wind” printed in the January 2012 edition of Ensign. For further discussion call (231) 383-8359 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.Those interested in reading more articles from Dallas Jones visit djonesarticles.com.