Monday, July 14, 2008
Sit a little straighter, pray a little more
This past week I have been reading from this last Conference Ensign. It is funny because I have really gotten into a habit of reading out of the Book of Mormon or Conference Ensign every day for awhile now. However, I have really been slacking on praying every day, much less actually praying with any feeling. A few weeks ago I was really struggling with being happy every day and I couldn't understand why. So Tyson asked, "Have you been praying?" Oh, of course, it is such a simple thing but without it my world turns completely topsy turvey and it is so hard for me to be happy at all. So I read Elder Bednar's talk and a few others about praying with real intent, and with faith to act after the prayer. So I really tried to change my perspective and my prayers. It was sad how weird it felt to actually try and talk to and listen to Heavenly Father. It is the same feeling I get when I call someone I haven't talked to in a long time and it is almost awkward, like I don't know what to say because so much as happened that I haven't told them and so much I don't know about them anymore. It wasn't easy, but I tried to really think about what I was saying without getting distracted and to really want what I was praying for and try to think of how I could help to get those things I wanted. For example, our bishop has really been emphasizing missionary work, so I really want to help with that. So I prayed for someone to invite over for dinner that I want to share the gospel with. Then there are other things like people I am worried about, things I need to get done, etc. So especially on Friday I tried to fill my day doing things to help Heavenly Father answer my prayers. I was trying to do my part and act on my faith so that the Lord could bless me with answers to my prayers. (I don't know if any of this is making sense). Well, by Friday night, I was exhausted, and happier than I had been in a long time. I had called people, visited them, actually made a difference in people's lives that day. It was an awesome feeling. The weird thing was that I the next day I wanted to do that all over again, but it seemed like I was just too tired. So we went to the temple, but it was almost like I was too tired to think of nice things to do for people. Who know when you see someone that is sitting up straight and you realize you are slouching? So you try and sit up straight too, but after like a minute your back just kills because you aren't used to using those muscles. So doing the thing that is best for you is harder for you than doing what isn't because you have gotten so used to doing what is bad for you? Well, that is how I felt about doing good for others, it just hurt because I was so tired. But, I still want very much to sit up straight, and I want to do good for others and make my prayers meaningful. So, I am pretty "out of shape" with all these things, but I am going to try.