Monday, September 15, 2014

If you can't pray aloud, write it down

Richard G. Scott spoke at our regional stake conference yesterday. He said his greatest desire in that moment as he spoke was to have a personal interview with each of us, one on one, for an hour or so, to laugh and cry and talk with each other. Obviously, he said, that is not possible, as there were 300,000 ish people (I think that's how many he said) listening in at that regional conference.

But he said that we could have such an interview with our Heavenly Father. (Isn't that cool that He is able to do that for all 300,000 of us? I love that what's not humanly possible IS possible for our Heavenly Father). He invited us to take prayer a little more seriously by not rushing such a wonderful experience, and to take the time to express the deepest desires of our hearts, and then to listen. He talked about three different responses there are to prayer (confirming peace, stupor of thought, and the hardest: no response, at least not immediately). Then he shared a story from his mission of how he found it best to pray for him to wait until his companion was asleep and then (still keeping mission rules!) go to a place just out of earshot where he could pray aloud.

When Richard G. Scott told this story, I thought, "I want to do that!" I've had tremendous experiences with praying aloud. But it's not always easy for me. So, last night, before going to bed, I took the time to try and pray more sincerely, aloud. I tried, but my thoughts were just going a million miles a minute and I couldn't find/feel where to start, and was getting discouraged and frustrated by that, (which I know are not fruits of the Spirit).

And then, I remembered (see how the Spirit jumped in to help me?) how writing helps me see and organize my thoughts when they're going every which way like they were last night. I thought, 'why not write my prayer down like a letter?' I've heard of others doing this, but I'd never actually tried it myself. So, I tried it! I started with pen and paper. It began to feel like the right direction for my prayer, but my pen couldn't keep up with my brain or my feelings. Luckily, my fingers on a keyboard (though millions of miles behind my thoughts) are much faster, so I got out my computer and just let my fingers fly!

It was the most powerful experience with prayer that I've had in a long time. As I expressed way more things that were in my heart that only writing can pull out, I felt that Heavenly Father knew and cared about each one of my bullet points (scattered and all over the place as they were!). It felt like writing an email to a friend, which transformed it into a communication! I had questions for Him, which I inserted as they came. Then, I would stop my fingers, and listen...but not so much with my ears, but with my heart and mind. People came to my mind that I needed to pay more attention to in my life. Areas of my character and behavior that I wasn't paying attention to that needed addressing occurred to me. But it wasn't a smack down! I felt as I saw things I need to work on that Heavenly Father really loves me and wants me to be more like Him because that's what I really want. It was SO crazy!
I know that prayer IS indeed communication with Almighty God. His Spirit is real. He is real. We can communicate with him through prayer, and there are several ways we can pray. I know that what happened to me tonight can happen with ANY of His children! I want everyone to have this experience. If you can't find the words to pray aloud, try writing them out.


Annette Myers said...

Love it,love it, love it!

Laura said...

I love this. It was exactly what I needed to hear tonight. Thank you for sharing! I hope things are going well for you :)

Anonymous said...

Beautiful Idea!