Friday, November 7, 2008

The Simple Power of Prayer

The Bible dictionary taught me something powerful about prayer that I have never forgotten. "The object of prayer is not to change the will of God, but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant, but that are made conditional on our asking for them." Prayer then " a form of work, and is an appointed means for obtaining the highest of blessings."

Applying this to myself, there are often changes I would ask the Lord to help me make. But as simple as it sounds, have I sincerely asked for those changes? I have asked often that I not fall to temptation in my addiction. But I never seemed to ask to have the addiction removed from me. That change made a big difference in my life.

Regarding desires, I have wanted a change of desire for 20+ years. But how often did I kneel in prayer and ask God to change me and my desires, to draw my heart to him. Once again, this simple practice has given me great benefit.

We are told the way to develop charity is to ask our Father in Heaven for charity.

Could it be that often the humble "work" of prayer is exactly what is needed for us to receive powerful blessings that Lord is waiting to give us?

Maybe we have been struggling for years to forgive a wrong done to us. Is it possible that a sincere prayer asking for forgiveness to fill our hearts could be the beginning?

Or maybe we want to develop the habit of scripture study. Maybe the Lord is waiting, willing to bless us with this ability and desire, if only we would ask him to bless us.

There is real power, for me, in the simple asking for exactly what I need. I find that when I am specific it works better. Asking to be righteous is helpful. Asking that this day I have no desire for evil and that I will avoid temptation which I cannot resist, is powerful.

There is more power in prayer than I think I still realize. But I am truly grateful for the blessings that have come as I have asked sincerely and specifically.

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