Have You Tried Prayer?



“We live in troubled times. Doctors’ offices are filled with individuals who are beset with emotional problems as well as physical distress. Divorce courts are overflowing because people have unsolved problems. Human resource administrators in government and industry work long hours in an effort to assist people with their problems.

One human resource officer assigned to handle petty grievances concluded an unusually hectic day by placing facetiously a little sign on his desk for those with unsolved problems. It read, “Have you tried prayer?” What he may not have realized was that this simple counsel would solve more problems, alleviate more suffering, prevent more transgression, and bring about greater peace and contentment in the human soul than could be obtained in any other way.

A prominent American judge was asked what we as citizens of the countries of the world could do to reduce crime and disobedience to law and to bring peace and contentment into our lives and into our nations. He carefully replied, “I would suggest a return to the old-fashioned practice of family prayer.”(Thomas S. Monson, “Come unto Him in Prayer and Faith,” Liahona, Mar 2009, 2–7)

If there was one practice in my house as I was growing up, that had a stabilizing force, it was eating dinner together as a family, preceded by prayer. The prayer was rotated among the family members. With ten children and my parents, saying the family prayer presented itself to each member about three times a month.  Life does get hectic and the temptation is to forget to pray. We need to do it more often. All of us know this, but taking the time to commune with God somehow takes a backseat to more “important” things, as if there is such a thing.  Prayer has a way of “grounding” us. It is the anchor of our lives. It stabilizes our emotions and lifts our spirits. It has a healing influence in families. It is inspiring and elevating!

Once, many years ago, I had a conversation with one of my uncles.  I told him that every night my two youngest sons prayed for him because he suffered from diabetes. I will never forget the look on his face. He was humbled, speechless! Most of all, I could tell that he was touched! Praying for someone else is perhaps the ultimate gesture of love that one can show. I know that when it comes to my attention that someone else is praying for me, I can’t help but be humbled and feel closer to God and to that person.  How could we not draw closer to someone who is petitioning deity on our behalf. How amazing that someone would love us enough to do so!

Despite all the good things that come from prayer, it is a habit that can easily be lost. Let us be diligent in gaining the blessings that come from prayer.


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