Monday, May 30, 2016

Oh, how praying rests the weary!

PRAYER is the name of the game this week!
I have been trying to improve my prayers and learn about the power of prayer!

Here's a poem I came across in my study about prayer:
    I know not by what methods rare,
    But this I know, God answers prayer.
    I know that He has given His Word,
    Which tells me prayer is always heard,
    And will be answered, soon or late.
    And so I pray and calmly wait.
    I know not if the blessing sought
    Will come in just the way I thought;
    But leave my prayers with Him alone,
    Whose will is wiser than my own, 
    Assured that He will grant my quest,
    Or send some answer far more blest.

(Here's some beautiful ARIZONA desert for ya)
Here is a wonderful story taken from an email President Jenkins sent a few weeks ago. It changed the way I think about how the Savior can change us, heal us, and make us whole. It also shows us the power of prayer in action!

In October 1838, at the time of the infamous "Extermination Order", a small settlement of defenseless Saints living in Haun's Mill, Missouri, was ruthlessly attacked by a mob. Amanda Smith, a wife and mother of three sons, experienced this tragedy and recorded her family's portion of the terrible ordeal. Her husband and their middle son were killed by the mob. The eldest son came to her carrying Alma Smith, the youngest son, over his shoulder as if he were dead. Alma had been shot at close range in the hip, completely blowing away his entire hip area, but he was alive. Amanda Smith records, "I knew not what to do. Oh my Heavenly Father, what shall I do? Thou seest my poor wounded boy and knowest my inexperience. Oh, Heavenly Father, direct me what to do!" 

Have you ever been that desperate, that humble, that dependent on the Lord to rescue you from your predicament--from your personal tragedy? 
Do you know what it is like to plead with the Lord as she did?

Amanda records that she was directed "as by a voice speaking to (her)" to take ashes from the fireplace, make a lye, put it on a cloth and push it into the wound. Again and again she saturated the cloth and cleaned the hole where the hip joint had been destroyed. She again prayed to the Lord, wanting to know what she should do next, and was instructed "as distinctly as though a physician had been standing by speaking to me". Nearby was a slippery-elm tree. From this she was told to make a poultice and fill the wound with it and cover it. She was "reminded" that in her husband's trunk there was a bottle of balsam, which she poured into the wound, greatly soothing Alma's pain. So, by being taught from on high, and learning and discovering new solutions that were revealed, and also by being reminded by inspiration of existing solutions and resources, Amanda was able to care for the wound. With great faith, she spoke to her son, Alma, and said, "(Do) you believe that the Lord made your hip?" "Yes, mother." "Well, the Lord can make something there in the place of your hip, don't you believe he can, Alma?" "Do you think that the Lord can, mother?" inquired the child. "Yes, my son, he has showed it all to me". For five weeks, Alma laid face down without moving. For five weeks, Amanda diligently and painstakingly dressed the wound while it slowly healed. Alma's hip completely healed. He later walked, ran, danced, served a full-time mission, and was never the least bit crippled during his life. 

All of us suffer from some form or consequence of being 'the natural man'. Some of us suffer greatly from very specific character flaws, challenges, addictions, weaknesses, bad habits, and emotional and spiritual weaknesses,wounds, and scars that are every bit as scary, ominous, severe, painful, and debilitating to us as Alma's destroyed hip was to him. Some seem to have a hole in them that needs filled and healed, but it seems impossible. 
Do you think the Lord made you? 
Do you think He made your spirit, your heart, your body and your mind? 
Do you think he can heal or change every one of them and make something new out of them and out of you? 
Do you believe He can? 
Do you have faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement? 
I believe you do. 

But, a caution: It will require the same kind of humility, faith, and prayers. It may require time---a long time. Also, we must be willing to do our part, including working daily and consistently----for weeks if needed, like Amanda did, in order to demonstrate our faith through our works, and to combine them with the Lord's enabling and healing powers. Fortunately, we live in an age when we have many available resources that we are expected to seek. We may be inspired to do something completely unique to our circumstances, or reminded to use an existing resource. We not only expect these miracles, but we facilitate them through our faith and efforts. This will require our diligence. It will require our righteousness. It will require humility and complete dependence on the Lord. It will require surrendering our will over to Him and following His will, whatever it may be.

What a wonderful story!
I know that God cam make us whole if we believe that He can and are willing to do what it takes to change!
May God heal your heart this week!
Sister Zimmerman

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