Thursday, April 6, 2017

the power of prayer


he is the greatest of all. he is the creator and governor of the universe. and yet he will listen to your prayer!

i learned that my heavenly father knew me personally when i was seventeen years old. i always knew i had a father in heaven who loved me and never doubted the truth of the gospel, but it was this day that i truly knew that he cared for me and would help me if i would only ask.

a few weeks after my seventeeth birthday, i left for a year overseas in brazil on student exchange. i struggled. i was homesick, i was angry, i was confused and i was hurting badly. my first few weeks were spent crying often, wishing for home and trying hard to accept that i needed to move ahead with my life.

and then school in a foreign country began. i spoke barely 10 words of portugese, understood nothing and needed to somehow make it from my home to the school on a bus. i had been instructed which buses passed the school and how to ask if i was concerned that i would take the wrong one. so whilst waited at the bus stop i carefully asked the driver, "passa cefet?" to which he nodded, so i got on the bus. 

it turned out the bus did not "passa cefet" and as the minutes passed and we hadn't passed the school, i became worried and began to panic. i couldn't ask anyone for help, i had no idea where i was... and no way to get back home. i didn't even know my host family's address or phone number by heart yet. 

so i prayed. i sat on that hot bus surrounded by people i did not know and begged my heavenly father to help me find my way. to somehow send someone that could help me. and he did. no sooner had i ended my prayer, tears pouring down my face, a gentleman on the bus, a member of the military police who i had not seen board, touched my arm and asked me a question, which of course i could not understand. i kept repeating the name of my school to which he nodded, clearly understanding where i needed to go. 

this wonderful man tapped the driver on the shoulder, had him stop the bus and motioned for me to follow him. we walked half a dozen blocks in the opposite direction, where he flagged down another bus and spoke quickly to the driver, gesturing at me and then pointed to the seat directly behind the driver. i pulled out my purse which was waved away. i boarded the bus and ten or so minutes later, the driver opened the doors, turned to me and pointed at my school.

i knew that day the power of a sincere prayer. i knew that my heavenly father had heard me and sent help, sent me someone that could guide me safely to my destination. to this day i have never forgotten that man. to him this may have been just another day, but to me it meant everything. 

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we have been given the power of prayer in our lives specifically to help us find our way and during a wonderful lesson on sunday this memory sprung to my mind as clear as if it were yesterday. there were some wonderful quotes from the lesson (a combination of chapter 6: how mighty a thing is prayer and 7: the whisperings of the spirit from this years relief society/priesthood manual) from president hinckley, especially this one:

- be prayerful my friends, and listen

what a wonderful reminder to not only pray, but to listen! how often do we pray and not wait for an answer? if we had a conversation with someone, would we say what we had to say and just walk away? or do we wait for them to respond? next time we pray and tell heavenly father what is on our minds, may we make the effort to wait and listen to what he has to tell us.

and: 
- in the middle of the night, ideas have come into my head which, i think, have been prophetic in their nature
-listen for the whisperings of the spirit in the middle of the night
-i don't know why revelation comes sometimes in the night, but it does

sometimes we need to leave our cares with the lord when we retire to our beds. always be listening, for the answers will come. they may take time and it may be in the middle of the night, but they will come.  how grateful i am for a way to communicate with our heavenly father and to know that he will help me in my time of need ♥

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