29 April 2017
This past Sunday, Bob and I both spoke in sacrament meeting. As part of my talk, I shared a couple of personal experiences that I’d also like to share here.
(In addition, I used a quote and a story from the following two talks – which are both awesome! — https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2007/04/using-the-supernal-gift-of-prayer?lang=eng and
Once I became a parent, my appreciation for the gift of prayer increased dramatically. There are too many things about parenting that make us realize we really need help.
For instance, one of our sons was as a child who — practically from the moment he could walk — would just disappear. He would decide to go somewhere, and he’d be gone, and never communicate with anyone. (In his mind, he knew what he was doing, so what was the problem?) No matter how many ways we disciplined him, or punished him, or, as he got older, tried to reason with him, his behavior did not fundamentally change.
I'm sure most of you can relate to the kind of fear that enters the heart of a parent when a child is missing. Because of this child, one of the things I learned early on was that, when I was trying to find him, I could first stop and say a prayer — so that I knew he was okay — that he was not in harm’s way. Then, once I felt that peace and comfort of knowing he was safe, wherever he was, I could go about the process of searching for him with relative calmness.
As he got older, and in his teens, (this was before cell phones and texting were available) there were many times when he was gone and I had no idea where he was or when he planned to be home. A few times, on those occasions, I prayed, and asked Heavenly Father if He would please have the Holy Spirit prompt our son to call home. Each time, within less than an hour, I would get a phone call. I truly rejoice that Heavenly Father heard and answered my prayers and that our son was attuned enough to the spirit to respond to the promptings he received at that time.
One other experience I’ll share happened a few years ago, while I was employed full-time. I needed to drive to a class that was being held a couple of hours away from where we lived. I had everything in the car, and once I was behind the wheel, said a prayer for my trip. Before I even finished my prayer, I heard a very loud prompting that said, “Check the oil!” This was an older car, and we sometimes needed to add oil. So, I got out, lifted the hood, and sure enough, the dip stick indicated the oil was extremely low. Fortunately, we had several cans of the right weight in the garage, so I filled the oil and was quickly on my way.
But, if I had not stopped to pray, or, if I had not heeded the prompting I received, I could have ruined the engine. I most likely would not have made it to my destination, and we would have had both the expense and the inconvenience of having to tow and repair, or possibly, even, replace that car – not to mention being without the use of it for any number of days. I am filled with gratitude that a loving Heavenly Father cares enough about me and my family to tell me to check the oil in an old car!
It is a reminder that we are all safely in His hands, and He is waiting to bless us.
Prayer truly is a precious gift!