It has been a hard couple months, and I apologize for not keeping up with the UnBlog. You have all been kind and patient with me, and I thank you.
Last Sunday I taught the priesthood lesson on prayer. It was interesting because the Stake President was in attendance. He is one of my favorite people because he understands the Gospel so well, (which means, the same way I do) and his contribution to the class is to bring every discussion back to Christ.
I think there are two very powerful tools we have to bring us from our routine prayers into prayer that soars to the heavens and calls down great blessings.
This first is to take the Holy Spirit with you into prayer. The scriptures are full of examples of great people literally parting the veil with this type of prayer. The first and greatest step is to take the Holy Spirit to be your guide in your daily life. I don’t believe it is possible to ignore the promptings of the Holy Spirit during the day, and then suddenly reverse that for prayer at night. We must learn to “hear” the things of the Spirit in order to “pray in the spirit” (D&C 46:28, 30), and we develop our spiritual ears through the walk of our lives.
Once one is attuned to the voice of revelation we can invite that grand and divine gift into our prayers. It requires kneeling and waiting, pondering and devotion, not speaking of our own mind, but waiting until the revelatory voice comes. Then, feelings of worship and praise become inspired words. Such words do not always frame themselves in our native tongue, but have the tendency to soar from our souls without a need to form into language. Often such non-language is beautiful, has poetic form, sometimes meter and melody. The scriptures refer to it as “Singing the song of redeeming love.”
Prayer of this caliber is called “mighty prayer” in the scriptures. It is the precursor of everything revelatory. I believe, and it is my experience, that every mighty gift from heaven begins as this type of prayer.
The second step is to pray often and long. I consider it unlikely that a mortal could conquer this type of prayer without praying often and sincerely, as best we are able, at least 20 minutes per day. When the heart is drawn out in prayer, such prayers go on through the day, finding surface in quiet moments, devotional thoughts, moments of repentance and consecration, whispers of gratitude and silent longing all through the day. Then when we take a whole day of informal prayer and punctuate it with 20 minutes of “mighty prayer”, the heavens begin to part.
As a final thought, I want to say most emphatically that these lofty things await you. No matter where you are, or what your present spirituality is, you can ply the seas of grace and arrive at mighty prayer. It isn’t something you will conquer in one or two attempts, but over years of effort. God wants us to dedicate and consecrate our lives to finding Him so that He can heal and redeem us. Consecration isn’t just in a willingness to abandon our “things” as God requires, but to give our time and devotions and hours of prayer to find Him.
Why does He ask such devotion and dedication of us? It is because He ultimately wants to invest in us His great creative power, His power to form worlds and create universes and to continue the work of bringing to pass the immortality and eternal life of the inhabitants of those worlds. He cannot invest such glory and power in the hands of imperfect souls, and this life is the little moment of eternity where we get to choose and demonstrate our devotion to those very laws and perfections which define Father, Himself.
© May 2012, John M. Pontius, all rights reserved. Non-commercial reproduction permitted.