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The Sunday report:

The lesson in Relief Society today was on prayer. There were many stories given, some from the "I prayed every day for x amount of weeks and fasted once a week," to the miraculous `coincidence,' (which I love when those happen... too coincidental to be mere coincidence,) to just how communication with Deity can soothe the soul. I didn't publicly offer any thoughts but I had many of them going through my head.

I have never doubted that someone was actually listening to my prayers though I have been aware that sometimes the connection has waxed and waned. Sometimes I have felt like Heavenly Father is impatient for me to finish my thought so He can lean down and thwack me on the forehead to explain something or really start a back and forth conversation. Other times I feel like there is an enormous gulf between us and a lot of miscommunication and misunderstanding on my part.

I have even actively rebelled, after getting yet another rejection letter from a prospective studio I was just going to quit praying. I had developed almost a pathological fear of it...not that anybody wasn't listening but it seemed that if I really wanted something...and prayed about it, I wouldn't get it. I didn't want to talk to God, he never listened to me or he WOULD just to know what I wanted so I wouldn't get it. I am horrified with how long I actually pulled it off...nearly 3 months of actively NOT praying. Bad idea.

I used to joke about how I never dared pray for patience because I did that once...and it took me 5 years to get to art school. I say joke...but in later years as I thought about it, I realized that was true. Often I was afraid to pray because I know that Heavenly Father DOES answer prayer. This is a comforting thought but it can also be a scary one. Want patience? Be prepared to be put into situations where you're going to HAVE to cultivate it! Want humility? Stay tuned for some humiliating situations... I knew that God uses trials to help us grow and this scared me. "Sure, Heavenly Father, I want to grow and become a better person...but on MY terms, okay?"

I have since tried to repent of both those patterns.

The nearly direct communication still happens to me but rarely and there are still times I feel a great gulf...but I find I am happier when I am trying to reach out and touch heaven.

"Father...? This is Jett. I just wanted to say thank you."

It can go a long way.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 18th, 2005 05:36 am (UTC)
Wow. Just wanted to thank you for this post. We had the same lesson given today, but this was a wonderful addition and testimony to it.

Lots of times during the week, I'll have the occassional brush with disaster. Although, it never seems like a disaster because I come out just fine. But I find myself saying in my head, "Thank you for protecting me Father. If I'd just been a little further left..." or, "If I hadn't had my foot over the break..." Small things like that which most people might just laugh off. Heck, even I've laughed enough of them off. But every now and then, it really hits you as a blessing.

I love giving prayers of thanks. Some of the few times I feel like I'm not actually frustrating Him. =P
Apr. 18th, 2005 06:52 pm (UTC)
Today the devotional was a 20 year old talk given by Pres Monson on a number of miracles of prayer he encountered in his travels. Yes, miracles do happen--some fast and some not so fast. If I had every one of my prayers answered, I am sure they would frustrate some divine plan, or I have to think that would be the case. As it is, I am grateful for many many things--including you.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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