Today is a big day for me. First, sometime in the next few hours I’ll be receiving the Aaronic Priesthood and second, I’m giving my first talk in sacrament meeting. But I’ve taken this opportunity to learn while I’ve been preparing so it’s a win-win, no matter how
I was asked to give a talk today about turning to the lord in prayer.
I was told to reference D&C 23:6, D&C 10:5 and Alma 34:18-29. Well, in D&C 23:6 Joseph Smith receives a revelation telling Joseph Knight to pray vocally before the world and in secret, with his family, with his friends, and in all places. D&C 10:5 says to pray always that we may conquer Satan and his servants. Alma 34:18-29 says the same but also much more. Pray everywhere all the time and about all things.
I have a testimony that there are many times when I prayed and my prayers were answered. Once when my dad and I were looking for a drill press to work on a pinewood derby car. We had been looking for a very long time and after I prayed we found it within ten minutes. Another time there was a big storm that had taken out the electricity, and I got really scared. I prayed that I wouldn’t be scared anymore, and I
wouldn’t say I wasn’t still afraid, but it had helped a lot.
But praying for help and receiving answers really is just the icing on the cake. Let me explain. In order for me to do well at a hockey tournament, I must prepare every day. During the time that hockey games were cancelled and ice rinks were closed I would go in my back yard to practice shooting every day. I would shoot about 200 shots per day, 5 days a week. When sports finally started again and I got to get back out on the ice, all my coaches commented on what a good shot I had, it had such a quick release and was pretty accurate. I stopped shooting every day because now I could focus on skating and stick handling, the things I couldn’t do when there was no ice to skate on. And of course my skating and stick handling got better. Unfortunately, after only a few weeks of not shooting every day, my shooting got worse. This is not any different than when Alma comes back to us in the final part of the reading in chapter 34 verses 28 and 29. Remember, Alma already told us to pray everywhere about everything all the time and now says …”do not suppose that this is all; for after ye have done all these things, if ye turn away the needy and the naked, and visit not the sick and afflicted, and impart of your substance… your prayer is in vain, and availeth you nothing, and ye are hypocrites who do deny the faith.’
So just like in hockey, being only the best shooter is not good enough. The same goes with prayer. I cannot just pray. I must also live my daily life helping others which in turn is also helping myself. And thats why praying for help and receiving an answer is really just icing on the cake. When I live a prayerful life, the answers to my prayers are Gods way of letting me know he is close, which in turn lets me know I am on the right path.
In general Conference of 2015 Russell M Nelson said ”through prayer we can show our love for God and he has made it so easy. We may pray to him anytime, no special equipment is needed.” Whenever we want to talk to our Heavenly Father, we could just pray. No matter where we are or what we are doing, we can always pray to Him. Whenever I pray, whether it’s in the morning when I get up, before everyone
goes to their separate places for the day, before I go to sleep, or even if I’m just blessing a meal, I feel closer to God because I prayed.
I bear you my testimony that God hears our prayers and he answers with what is best for us. And I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen