Prayer is powerful, and one of our greatest blessings. Elder Richard G. Scott teaches us that "prayer is a supernal gift of our Father in Heaven to every soul."
We are commanded to pray (Moses 5:8) We pray to God the Father in the name of Jesus Christ (3 Nephi 18:19)
Elder Kevin W. Pearson states, "The divine invitation to pray unto the Father in the name of Jesus Christ is the single most mentioned commandment in all recorded scripture and is the most basic form of personal worship."
We pray for prayers of gratitude, forgiveness, repentance, faith, Protection, inspiration, strength, humility, peace, and so much more.
Today I want to focus on faithful prayers of strength and how we go about attaining that.
Years back, I had a conversation with my mother while she was experiencing unimaginable grief after the traumatic death of my sister. It's the kind of pain that only a mother can feel, a devastation that shapes your soul. She said something that has stuck with me. It's doctrine I have known my entire life, but hearing it from a mother in the depths of complete and utter brokenness seemed to shift the way my heart perceived it.
"I keep reminding myself she was His long before she was mine. I have to believe He is taking care of her. I pray with all my soul He will give me strength"
Shortly after that conversation, I wrote these words in my journal.
THEY WERE HIS BEFORE THEY WERE MINE
"Never underestimate the power of a charitable Mother. For in her, you will find faith with every Prayer, a spark of hope in every tear, and when her cross feels too heavy to bear the courage to give it to God knowing He will not fail her, nor forsake her after all, her children were His long before they were hers."-Jodi Nicholes
My mother has found strength in the Lord. His enabling power has fortified her soul as she continues to offer up faithful prayers of humility, study her scriptures, partake of the sacrament and keep her covenants with purpose and intent. She understands that real strength comes through obedience and that sanctification takes more than willpower and sheer grit. Grace is a gift from our Heavenly Father given through Jesus Christ. The word grace means" enabling power." It is the power that can help us OVERCOME and BECOME all we are meant to be.
In deep despair, I am confident my mother cried out prayers of "Why has this happened, God?" She is, after all, only human. I believe it's a great disservice to ourselves and our culture as a whole to suggest a genuinely faithful one would never cry out in brokenness when encompassed with circumstances of great devastation. Each of our perceptions of devastation may differ. I often think about our pioneer heritage. Did the pioneer women not cry out when having to leave the bodies of their little ones in shallow graves knowing the vessel that once housed these tender spirits would soon be devoured by the wolves? How could they not? Through prayers of faith, they were provided the divine strength to carry on. They chose to put one foot in front of the other moving forward. Knowing they "can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth" them (Philippians 4:13).
Brigham Young, stated: "You know that it is one peculiarity of our faith and religion never to ask the Lord to do a thing without being willing to help him all that we are able; and then the Lord will do the rest.Please, Lord, help me to help myself."
In one of my favorite talks given by David A. Bednar "In the Strength of the Lord "
He shares a similar version HERE
He shares the following.........
"Nephi is an example of one who knew and understood and relied upon the enabling power of the Savior. In 1 Nephi 7 we recall that the sons of Lehi had returned to Jerusalem to enlist Ishmael and his household in their cause. Laman and others in the party traveling with Nephi from Jerusalem back to the wilderness rebelled, and Nephi exhorted his brethren to have faith in the Lord. It was at this point in their trip that Nephi's brothers bound him with cords and planned his destruction. Now please note Nephi's Prayer in verse 17: "O Lord, according to my faith which is in thee, wilt thou deliver me from the hands of my brethren; yea, even give me strength that I may burst these bands with which I am bound" (emphasis added).
Brothers and sisters, do you know what I likely would have prayed for if I had been tied up by my brothers? My Prayer would have included a request for something bad to happen to my brothers and ended with the phrase "wilt thou deliver me from the hands of my brethren" or, in other words, "Please get me out of this mess, now!" It is especially interesting to me that Nephi did not pray, as I probably would have prayed, to have his circumstances changed. Rather, he prayed for the strength to change his circumstances. And may I suggest that he prayed in this manner precisely because he knew and understood and had experienced the enabling power of the Atonement of the Savior.
I personally do not believe the bands with which Nephi was bound just magically fell from his hands and wrists. Rather, I suspect that he was blessed with both persistence and personal strength beyond his natural capacity, that he then "in the strength of the Lord" (Mosiah 9:17) worked and twisted and tugged on the cords and ultimately and literally was enabled to break the bands.
Brothers and sisters, the implication of this episode for each of us is quite straightforward. As you and I come to understand and employ the enabling power of the Atonement in our personal lives, we will pray and seek for strength to change our circumstances rather than praying for our circumstances to be changed. We will become agents who "act" rather than objects that are "acted upon" (2 Nephi 2:14)."
In a talk given by Kevin w. Pearson Improving Your Personal Prayers
He says "Prayer is less about changing our circumstances and more about changing us. It is about seeking His will and asking for His help to do what we need to do."
With each Prayer we offered up it would do us right to ask for the divine power of grace each day to help us seek His will and accomplish it. Remember it's about progression not perfection. Grace is not something we save up for some final day in time.
"Most of us clearly understand that the Atonement is for sinners. I am not so sure, however, that we know and understand that the Atonement is also for saints—for good men and women who are obedient and worthy and conscientious and who are striving to become better and serve more faithfully. "The enabling and strengthening aspect of the Atonement helps us to see and to do and to become good in ways that we could never recognize or accomplish with our limited mortal capacity." -David A. Bednar
We can learn practical ways to pray for strength and become agents who "act" rather than objects that are "acted upon" in this article How to Pray in a Way God Can Answer
Article written by: Jodi Nicholes
Jodi Nicholes grew up in a small-town community where life is simple, and the love is big. As a child vocal prodigy, Jodi's professional music career began at the tender age of ten when she found herself singing and performing for thousands on the stages of Las Vegas, Nevada. In an industry that places value and worth on external validation, Jodi found herself in a state of confusion.She has dedicated the past twenty-five years and over twelve thousand hours to learning, researching, implementing, and teaching thousands how to cultivate their divine nature. Jodi believes genuine, long-lasting confidence can only come through living in our true identity. Jodi has a gift for seeing the bigger picture and discovering eternal truths in the seemly ordinary moments of each day. She learned early on from her mother and grandmother that it's in these seemly ordinary moments God speaks to us whispering I see you, I hear you, and you are loved!Jodi is an award-winning vocalist, writer, and speaker. Jodi studied Human development (Psychology) At Southern Utah University. She is a Certified CBT (Cognitive behavior therapy) & REBT (Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy ) coach.
Jodi's family is her most prized possession. She resides in Lindon, Utah, with her husband and three children.