Posted in prayer, Teachings of Gordon B Hinckley

Teachings of Gordon B Hinckley -Chapter 6: How Mighty a Thing Is Prayer

From the Life of Gordon B. Hinckley

From the manual:

‘Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said of him: “He is a bright man with extraordinary judgment, but when he comes up against an insoluble problem, he goes to his knees.”’

What does this insight teach us about prayer?

Would our lives be different if prayer was an element in our decision making?

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1 God is our Father, and He invites us to pray to Him individually.

From the manual:

‘We can draw nearer to the Lord in our prayers. These can become conversations of thanksgiving. I can never fully understand how the Great God of the Universe, the Almighty, invites us as His children to speak with Him individually. How precious an opportunity is this. How wonderful that it actually happens. I testify that our prayers, offered in humility and sincerity, are heard and answered. It is a miraculous thing, but it is real.’

Why should some prayers be “conversations of thanksgiving”?

‘For what should we pray? We should pray about our work, against the power of our enemies and the devil, for our welfare and the welfare of those around us.  (Alma 34:20, 22–25, 27) We should counsel with the Lord pertaining to all our decisions and activities.  (Alma 37:36–37) We should be grateful enough to give thanks for all we have.  (D&C 59:21 )We should confess His hand in all things. Ingratitude is one of our great sins.’ (Ezra Taft Benson, General Conference, April 1977)

See The Sin of Ingratitude

 

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2 Family prayer leads to miracles for individuals, families, and society.

Watch video: Prayer. Learn from a humble woman’s example how the power of prayer can work miracles in our lives.

From the manual:

‘If there be any among you who are not having family prayer, let that practice start now, to get on your knees together, if you can possibly do it, every morning and every evening, and speak to the Lord and express your thanks, invoke His blessings upon the needy of the earth, and speak to Him concerning your own well-being.

I give you my testimony that if you sincerely apply family prayer, you will not go away unrewarded. The changes may not be readily apparent. They may be extremely subtle. But they will be real, for God “is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Heb. 11:6.)’

What are some obstacles to consistent family prayer? How can family members work together to overcome these obstacles?

Brigham Young: ‘If I did not feel like praying, and asking my Father in Heaven to give me a morning blessing, and to preserve me and my family and the good upon the earth throughout the day, I should say, ‘Brigham, get down here on your knees, bow your body down before the throne of him who rules in the heavens, and stay there until you can feel to supplicate at that throne of grace erected for sinners’. (Discourses of Brigham Young p46).

What does President Young’s statement mean to you? What if we only talked with our loved ones when we felt it?

See Alma 34:17-28

“…May I ask this important question: How many families in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have regular nightly and morning family prayer? Those who neglect to do so are displeasing the Lord and are entitled to the same rebuke which the Lord gave some of the leading elders of the Church in the early days. No parent should depend solely on the organizations of the Church for the training of the children. They should be taught to pray regularly, secretly as well as in the family circle. The counsel that Alma and Amulek gave to the straying Zoramites is just as essential to the Latter-day Saints today as it was two thousand years ago.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, 5:48)

3 We need to be prayerful and listen, for our prayers will be answered.

Watch video: The Hope of God’s Light. Many of us have wondered if God knows us or if He even exists. Todd was someone who wasn’t surprised when he didn’t get an immediate answer to a prayer. But could God be giving us small but obvious answers? And how patient do we need to be?

From the manual:

‘Believe in the power and majesty of prayer. The Lord answers our prayers. I know that. I have seen it happen again and again and again. Prayer brings us into partnership with God. It offers us an opportunity to speak with Him, to thank Him for His magnificent blessings, and to ask Him for guidance and protection as we walk the paths of life. This great work, which is spreading over the earth, found its roots in the prayer of a boy. He had read in the family Bible, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed” (James 1:5–6). That is the promise. Is there any greater promise anywhere in the world than that promise?

Why does prayer have the power to bring us “into partnership with God”?

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Neal A Maxwell: Petitioning in prayer has taught me, again and again, that the vault of heaven with all its blessings is to be opened only by a combination lock. One tumbler falls when there is faith; a second when there is personal righteousness; the third and final tumbler falls only when what is sought is, in God’s judgement – not ours – right for us. (New Era, April 1978)

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