Thursday, April 21, 2011
Sometimes you just do things because they're the right things to do. Even if you don't really want to.
A number of years ago, while sitting in church, I heard something along these lines...
"If you want to speak to God, pray. If you want to hear His answers, read the scriptures."
Let's just say I've spent most of my life wanting to hear His answers more than I've wanted to speak to Him. I've always loved reading the scriptures, but I've just been lousy at praying. So, a couple years ago, I decided that I needed to be obedient just for the sake of being obedient and pray on a more consistent basis.
I decided that my bed was going to be my memory trigger. When I got up in the morning, right after I made the bed, I would kneel down to pray. When I went to bed at night, before I pulled the covers back, I would kneel down again. This has been great, and I have come a long way, but I have learned that I am a verbal pray-er. My mind wanders too easily, so I have resorted to praying in a secret place. It seems to work much better. If worse comes to worse, I will still kneel by my bed. I figure as long as I'm saying them, it doesn't really matter; it just benefits me more if I do it in the ideal way for me. Plus, it's really great to have some alone time even if just for a few minutes.
After I had been praying consistently for a number of months, the blessings started. I guess I had to prove myself and that I was going to continue to obey the commandment to pray before He would send me anything. I also feel like, because I didn't expect anything from it and had been diligent, I was able to recognize the blessing when it came.
One morning as I prayed, I had a very interesting image enter my mind. I realized that I was speaking to a King. Not just any king, THE KING. As I continued to pray, this little thought grew in my brain. I considered my relationship to that King and what made me so bold as to think I could actually talk to Him. The thought occurred to me that of course I should speak to Him and often; as His daughter, I am a princess. After all, He is my Heavenly Father. As a princess, I have been given a stewardship. He's given me a part of His Kingdom to care for. I need to report for duty every morning and report on my duties at night.
If I had only learned these lessons earlier in my life. Would I have been more diligent in my praying? Would I have appreciated the lesson for what it was? Probably not. Everything happens at the right time and for the right reason. I truly believe this.
The other great thing that comes from this viewpoint is that everyone around me is also a prince or princess, and we all have different responsibilities. None of us is the same and none of our stewardships are the same. We can account only for ourselves. We cannot compare ourselves in any way, shape or form. We are all unique with our own responsibilities.
So, this way of looking at prayer has increased my desire to pray. I look at my days very differently.
At the gala, in the biographical sketches of one of the women who has been nominated for Mother of the Year for 2012, it stated that she wakes in the morning, raises her arms to heaven and states, "Heavenly Father, [her name] reporting for duty." I realized, upon hearing this, that she must have had a similar experience. LOVE IT!