Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Privilege of Prayer

This entry is part of my general conference application series.

The Privilege of Prayer, by J. Devn Cornish
Of the Seventy

I taught a class of nine-yr-olds last Sunday about king Benjamin. While I'm pretty sure that the thing they'll most remember is when I sang them the words to Mosiah 2:17 put to the tune of "She'll be comin' 'round the mountain" (with a great Yee-haw! at the end), there is another part of the lesson that came to my mind as I reviewed the words of Elder Cornish: "Wouldn't it be great if God could count on you to answer someone's prayer today?"

This phrase came to my mind spontaneously as I taught about serving others. I first encountered it as I looked through a journal my eldest sister gave me for my mission. She had gone through and hand-written quotes and sayings here and there throughout the book. That's the one I remember most.

While the following quote of Elder Cornish has a very heavy self reliance tone, I'll use it as a springboard to continue the help others theme I'm trying to establish:

It is contrary to the economy of heaven for the Lord to do for us that which we can do for ourselves.

Elder Cornish said this after using the familiar example of asking for help on a test for which no preparatory work was expended. Later he said:

The Lord is much more pleased with the person who prays and then goes to work than with the person who only prays.

Okay, I get it; I shouldn't rely simply on words or even on words and faith: I need to exercise my faith while praying. Also, we need to remember that we can serve God by serving others (remember Mosiah 2:17?).

I learn from my children when they sincerely pray. My daughter is especially good at remembering anyone in need as she prays; but even more, she lives a life of gentle service. She is ready to help when her siblings are sad, even when they don't ask her for help. She is quick to share every treat with others, and seems to always be looking for ways that she can answer the prayers of those around her.

I want to be more like her!

I guess I had better do more than just pray for help to be more loving; I'll need to work on it, too!

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