Monday, July 15, 2013

"Sweet Hour Of Prayer" ~

Lately, I have been deeply affected by prayer. One of my favorite hymns is entitled: "Sweet Hour of Prayer". Here is the first verse of this hymn.
That calls me from a world of care
And bids me at my Father's throne
Make all my wants and wishes known.
In seasons of distress and grief,
My soul has often found relief
And oft escaped the tempt-er's snare
By thy return, sweet hour of prayer!"
Text by William W. Walford - Music by William B. Bradbury

As I kneel in prayer I picture my self kneeling before my Heavenly Father; perhaps with my head on his lap voicing my deepest concerns and needs. Often times tears course down my face as I express my adoration and love for my Heavenly Father and my Savior, Jesus Christ. I simply can not go a day without prayer. In fact I find myself praying several times a day. I know that I can lift my voice to Heaven anytime, anywhere.
Our latter-day Prophet, President Thomas S. Monson gave the following thought: "To those within the sound of my voice, who are struggling with challenges and difficulties large and small, prayer is the provider of spiritual strength; it is the passport to peace. Prayer is the means by which we approach our Father In Heaven, who loves us. Speak to Him in prayer and then listen for the answer. Miracles are wrought through Prayer."
All of us have challenges and difficulties in many areas of our lives. Not only do we have personal challenges but we also feel the struggles of our family members and close friends.  Not a day goes by that I don't pray for each and everyone of my vast posterity of children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Many of them I know have great cares, deep wounds, and difficult challenges. My mother's heart  aches deeply at times and my only source of peace comes through prayer.
I have a strong testimony of prayer and I have felt the spirit touch my heart and give me answers to my prayers. Sometimes it is the sweet voice of the spirit other times it will come through another person. Often times the answer comes through reading the scriptures or other good books. Miracles have not ceased; we have been the beneficiaries of many miracles both physical and spiritual.
One day many years ago my heart was deeply troubled by an issue in our family. I decided to go for a walk. I prayed for a very long time and then I stopped and said: "Heavenly Father I need to feel your love and have peace of mind over this struggle. I am going to walk and not talk but wait to hear your answers to me. It took a while walking in silence and then the answers came. They were not my words they were directed to me and were very specific. It came fast and I worried I wouldn't be able to remember what I was told. I wished at that time I could have had something to immediately write down what I was hearing.
 Years ago my husband and I met with a priesthood leader in our church. During that interview he told us how he goes about praying. He said that he always has a notebook and pen with him when he offers his prayers. The purpose is to listen for the answers that come to him. Some of those answers come immediately other times it comes in unbidden times; but the answers to come.
In the book by D. Kelly Ogden entitled; "8 Mighty Changes God Wants For You Before You Get To Heaven" he discusses the question: What Is "Mighty Prayer"? Here are a few of his thoughts.
1. "We need to get much more specific in our prayers, mentioning the names of people we know with special needs".
2. Revelation often comes during prayer. He states that while he is still praying he will on occasion get up and grab a notebook and pen and record what came into his mind--Then he will get back on his knees and resume his prayer. To him this is part of talking with His Father in Heaven. He states: "It is not a one-way monologue, it is a two-way communication".
3. "God wants us to pray, plead, implore, and importune - specifically, frequently, and sincerely".
4. "Better than "talking to" Him is "communing with " Him. The pressure in life can become almost overbearing, and we need direction. We need to hear the voice of the Lord Speaking to us."
5. "Two key question to ask are: "Who can I help?" and "How can I help them?" Asking those questions, and diligently responding to heaven's answers to those questions, will help you secure a permanent relationship with your Father, Your Savior, and the Holy Spirit.  
Here is a sweet story on prayer from this same book.
" Maybe you have heard about the little boy who knelt down with his father beside the boy's bed. The father asked his son to offer the prayer. Several minutes went by - total silence. Finally the little boy got up, climbed into bed, pulled up the covers, and closed his eyes. His father interrupted, "I thought you were going to say the prayer."
"I did."
"Well, I didn't hear anything."
"I wasn't talking to you!"
"Small children can indeed talk with Heavenly Father, and they often say just whatever comes into their minds and hearts." Perhaps we can learn from these humble sweet trusting children.
I love this scripture on prayer found in The Book of Mormon; Moroni 7:26 ..."Whatsoever thing ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is good, in faith believing that ye shall receive, behold, it shall be done unto you."
 Read and ponder up on this verse. I then challenge you to kneel down and pray to your loving Heavenly Father who wants to hear your tender pleas. Thank your Father for the blessing of prayer, for His Son, Jesus Christ. Ask Him for the desires of your heart and then believe that you shall receive.


Barb said...

Hi LeAnn!

What a beautiful and heartfelt post - I can tell that you have a very fervent testimony of prayer...I love that. Prayer is oftentimes my only solace, so many times, I have felt His comfort and peace after I have said my prayers. Many times, my prayers have been answered by others!

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and testimony with us.

Hugs and Love,

Marie said...

LeAnn, for years I kept prayer journals and would go back and read them later to see all the prayers which had been answered. Writing them down helped me to focus more. I have a running conversation going in my head to HF all the time anyways, but once in a while it is good to get on your knees and pray with intent and determination! I know He knows all of our needs and desires, probably even before we do, but I also know He likes to hear us voice them even more. xxoo

Christy Monson said...

I love this post. Prayer is my life line right now. My mom is dying of cancer and it's so hard to watch. I need the Spirit with me, and prayer is the way to call it. Hugs!

singing/granny said...

Beautiful thoughts! What would we do without prayer? It truly is a relief from distress and grief. Thank you LeAnn! Melody

Sue said...

I like that idea of praying with a notebook and listening to write down answers.


Debbie said...

beautiful, i really love journals!!

Denise said...

you always touch my heart, bless you.

Debbie said...

i can't wait to see your pictures!!

so happy to have influenced you to enjoy our feathered friends!!


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