Monday, February 29, 2016

Prayers and Faith

We've been learning a lot of lessons lately as we've been waiting for prayers to be answered.

It's been over three years since we started trying to have a second child, and at times it has been heart-breaking and terrible. It has also taught us so much, and I'm so grateful for the lessons that I have learned.

One of the most recent lessons came from a friend of mine. She had gone through a similar experience, but in her case, she had to wait seven years for her second child! That's seems like such a long time. I know Abraham's wife, Sarah, had to wait even longer, and I can't even imagine. However, never once do we hear of her complaining or doubting.

Anyway, my friend told me, that when her son turned three, he decided he wanted a little sister, and every day for four years this little boy prayed for a sister. Never once did he ask why God hadn't answered his prayers. He just continued to pray in faith, knowing that the Lord would answer when the time was right. She told me that she learned a lot about prayer from her son.

I'm really grateful to her for sharing that experience with me, and hope that she doesn't mind that I have shared it on here. It made a big difference in my understanding of how to pray.

I think sometimes, I get impatient with the Lord. I think, "I'm ready now, please send the blessings!" and then nothing happens.

I'm learning, albeit slowly, to trust. It's one thing to tell myself that I know that God can do anything, and another thing to believe that His timing is perfect and trust in that. I'm realizing that faith without patience and trust, isn't really faith at all. It is me, showing Heavenly Father that I think I know better than Him. If I truly believe that He wants what's best for me, I also need to believe that He knows when is best for me.

Unlike my friend's son, I have doubted and struggled. Every month, it has seemed that I've gotten my hopes up, only to have disappointment spear through me like a knife.

I've struggled with knowing how to hope, while avoiding the pain of disappointment and continuing to pray faithfully for a child.

I know it is a righteous desire, and I have received confirmation that we will have another child from my Heavenly Father. I only need to have patience and trust that the child will come when he/she is supposed to.

In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' Bible dictionary, under the topic of prayer, it says:
As soon as we learn the true relationship in which we stand toward God (namely, God is our Father, and we are His children), then at once prayer becomes natural and instinctive on our part (Matt. 7:7–11). Many of the so-called difficulties about prayer arise from forgetting this relationship. Prayer is the act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other. 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. Blessings require some work or effort on our part before we can obtain them. Prayer is a form of work and is an appointed means for obtaining the highest of all blessings.
I love how it says that prayer is the "act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other." Some of the best prayers I've ever said are when I've asked Heavenly Father to help me know what to pray for. Then, when he has, my prayers sound different, and I know the things that are said will come to pass.

Sometimes it's hard to keep praying for things when it seems like the answers will never come, but by doing so, we show our faith and trust in Heavenly Father. It is difficult, but the more that I've been doing it, the more peace I've had inside that the promised blessings will come as I patiently hope and trust in Him and His timing.

A black-and-white illustration of a boy wearing a simple sweater and pair of trousers kneeling on the ground in prayer.
I know that Heavenly Father wants what's best for me. As I strive to bend myself to His will, I become more like Him. The greatest blessings in my life have come as I've heeded His counsel and done my best to follow the promptings that I've received. I am so grateful for all He has given me, and I'm trying to remember to thank Him for the blessings I already have. If I'm not grateful for what I've been given, why would He give me more?

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