The Spirit Teacheth A Man To Pray


In September of 1970 I entered into ninth grade and began to attend early morning seminary. I also got up each day an hour earlier to deliver the Washington Post. So my day began between 4:30 am and 5:00 am each day, including weekends. Doing the paper route each day was difficult and it was made harder by the addition of seminary. But I was fortunate to have interesting seminary teachers. The three men who taught me during those four years served as worthy priesthood holders who were an example of service and devotion.

My ninth grade seminary teacher was a wonderful Brother. He was a young energetic teacher who made seminary as fun as possible. Scripture chase was an important part of the class he taught and we spent quite a bit of time doing it. It was competitive, fun and exposed me to the scriptures at a level that I had never known. I wasn’t a great student but I had a competitive nature so I prided myself in being able to compete in finding scriptures faster than anyone else. One particular scripture still stands out in my mind from that year. We were studying The Book of Mormon. I had broken the binding of my scriptures so they would automatically open to 2 Nephi 32:8-9. No one could beat me to that scripture and it soon became synonymous with my name. If the teacher gave the clue for 2 Nephi 32, everyone knew it was my scripture. I always won a “speed” point for finding it the fastest. I still hold 2 Nephi 32:8-9 dear to my heart. I also still remember the lesson that it taught me regarding the important nature of prayer and I took that lesson with me when I entered the mission field a few years later.

“And now, my beloved brethren, I perceive that ye ponder still in your hearts; and it grieveth me that I must speak concerning this thing. For if ye would hearken unto the Spirit which teacheth a man to pray ye would know that ye must pray; for the devil spirit teacheth not a man to pray, but teacheth him that he must not pray. But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray always, and not faint; that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul.”

There are many ways we can communicate with Our Father In Heaven through prayer. It doesn’t always have to be on our knees. It can be done throughout the day through our thoughts and actions. I hope that all of us are taking the opportunity to communicate with deity on a daily basis. It is through this communication that we can be inspired and directed. As is promised, if we make prayer a daily habit, the Lord will ‘consecrate our perfomance for the welfare of our souls.’ What a wonderful promise that we can hold onto in these perilous times. May we so do!

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