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Four for Friday, vol 8

I was going to do something flip and non-important for this 4fer, but it just won't come. So forgive me whilst I wax serious and religious. Please don't send hate mail.

Who am I kidding, I'm not that popular.

Four reasons I pray:

1. It feels good. This morning while I was trying to shuffle Josh from dead sleep to out the door in the span of 10 minutes (yes, yes I know, a child requires more than 10 minutes to go from sleeping to ready for school but at least we got there on time...with a waffle in his stomach and teeth that had been brushed), it occurred to me that we had not prayed at the start of his day in a good long while. Last year we made a pretty good habit of praying before he left for school each day, but this year...we just hadn't. So, right there at the front door, we took a moment together to say a morning prayer. And it felt nice. I was reminded of things I am thankful for. I was able to ask for protection and help for my son while at the same time expressing my confidence in him.

"The passport to peace is the practice of prayer. The feelings of the heart, humbly expressed rather than a mere recitation of words, provide the peace we seek." - Thomas S. Monson

2. A prayer is a song. Well, maybe I technically have that backwards BUT I'm going to state my case. I love to sing. I love music of almost all kinds. When I sing, I feel more in tune with God and my purpose here on earth. Not every time, but when I truly let myself feel the words rather than worrying about the mechanics, I can't help but get swept up in music.

"Music speaks to us through the language of the heart. And through music, we speak to God. Indeed, the Lord said: “My soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads” (D&C 25:12)." - Joyce P. Brown

3. Prayer is cleansing. Sometimes I dump my troubles on the doorstep of prayer. Sometimes I seek forgiveness, sometimes I seek clarity. I have never been the 'kneel down for hours' kind of pray-er, I am more the type to constantly converse with the heavens. Maybe I'm not doing it right, but it works for me for now.

"There seems to grow upon us a film of worldliness when we move away from the Lord. It might be like the film of grease spread over the body of the swimmer who would cross the English Channel. It fills the pores and covers the skin so there can be less penetration of the cold. But when we pierce the shell and penetrate the covering and humble ourselves with naked soul and sincere supplication and cleansed life, our prayers are answered. We can reach the point where Peter stood, and like him we may “be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” (2 Pet. 1:4, 9.)" - Spencer W. Kimball

4. Prayer is a gift. Knowing He would be separated from us, that we would be thrust into a turbulent and trying world, a loving Father in Heaven gave us an always free, always available phone call home. Living so far from home there have been times when I really wanted to talk to my earthly Mom or Dad and I just couldn't, but I always have the option of calling my Heavenly home.

"How often have we ourselves said or have heard others exclaim in times of crisis or trouble, “I just don’t know where to turn”? If we will just use it, there is a gift available to all of us—the gift of looking to God for direction. Here is an avenue of strength, comfort, and guidance. “Behold, I am the law, and the light. Look unto me, and endure to the end, and ye shall live; for unto him that endureth to the end will I give eternal life” (3 Ne. 15:9). “Look to God and live.” This is the wonderful promise given so often in the scriptures." - Marvin J. Ashton

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The promise is made to everyone. There is no discrimination, no favored few. But the Lord has not promised to crash the door. He stands and knocks. If we do not listen, he will not sup with us nor give answer to our prayers. Do you know how to listen, grasp, interpret, understand? The Lord stands knocking. He never retreats. But he will never force himself upon us. If we ever move apart, it is we who move and not the Lord. And should we ever fail to get answer to our prayers, we must look into our lives for a reason. We have failed to do what we should, or we have done something we should not have done. We have dulled our hearing or impaired our eyesight. - Spencer W. Kimball

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