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A Question About Prayer


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I sometimes find it hard to concentrate or think when I'm trying to pray.

Since the missionaries got me in the habit of praying out load (even if it's usually just barely above a whisper), I tend to get tongue tied trying to form words.

I sometimes read this to remind myself that I'm not alone.

After I had retired to the place where I had previously designed to go, having looked around me, and finding myself alone, I kneeled down and began to offer up the desires of my heart to God. I had scarcely done so, when immediately I was aseized upon by some power which entirely overcame me, and had such an astonishing influence over me as to bind my tongue so that I could not speak. Thick bdarkness gathered around me, and it seemed to me for a time as if I were doomed to sudden destruction.

16 But, exerting all my powers to acall upon God to deliver me out of the power of this enemy which had seized upon me, and at the very moment when I was ready to sink into bdespair and abandon myself to destruction—not to an imaginary ruin, but to the power of some actual being from the unseen world, who had such marvelous power as I had never before felt in any being—just at this moment of great alarm, I saw a pillar of clight exactly over my head, above the brightness of the dsun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me.

But something bothers me.

Joseph doesn't say anything about the actual words he tried using.

He was probably taught (by the Methodists, and/or Presbyterians) to end his prayers in the name of Jesus.

But because I've come to expect having difficulty praying, I usually try to start by opening with the name of Jesus (or Yeshua, or Yashua),and I still have trouble.

I guess I've assumed that God allowed the devil to interfere with Joseph's prayer because he probably didn't start out with the right words the first time he tried praying out load in the grove, but why would He allow him to interfere with my prayers when I start out by invoking His Son's name?

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First of all God didn't allow Satan to attack Joseph because of any 'wrongness' to Joseph's prayer. Satan launched an all out assault to try to stop the restoration.

I have often felt stilted & 'fake' when trying to pray formal on my knees prayers, I find it much easier to have little chats mentally with Heavenly Father through the course of the day in my head as & when needed. These feel much more natural to me and I have had some of my greatest 2 way communications with Him this way. I know we're supposed to pray on our knees but I figure He'd much rather hear from me in a genuine sincere way than in a way that feels forced.

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I do the "chats" as well, but when I feel the need for a more focused attention prayer, I like to create a sense of sacred space to put myself in a better frame of mind that is less likely to wander off on mundane issues. So I start out with making sure my room is clean so that doesn't distract me, I have a comfortable place to kneel, then I read scriptures for awhile. Then when I feel properly calm and focused, I then pray. Sometimes I just repeat the Lord's Prayer first and then said a more personalized one.

To study prayer itself, you could make a list of prayers in the scriptures and read an account before saying your own.

Here is a biblical one that I just googled, don't know how good it is, but it gives you an idea.

http://christianity.about.com/od/prayersinthebible/qt/bibleprayersind.htm

Probably using lds.org scripture search on the word "prayer" would turn up some good material to study as well.

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To prevent Satan from attacking Joseph would've been interfering with Satan's Free Agency, and interfering with our freedom to choose is Satan's path, not Heavenly Father's. Also by delivering Joseph from Satan's grasp it's also a witness to Joseph a) of the importance of his calling & b) that Heavenly Father is much more powerful than the opposition, and during the most trying of times in Joseph's life this must've been an anchor to him.

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I'm with Brother (Bishop) Alan Lord Uther and Calmoriah. God doesn't have an Angel with a checklist and a pen, standing over your shoulder as you pray :angel:, checking off elements of "proper" prayer, while a Devil stands over your other shoulder ready to pounce at the first misplaced syllable: "Aha! He did it wrong, now I can attack him!" :diablo: No matter how we do it, Satan simply doesn't want us to pray ... period (see 2 Nephi 32: 8).

And Satan tries to interfere with our prayers for the same reasons he does everything else he does: (1) Because there was a contest in the premortal life to see which plan we would choose, and when we chose the one that involved us having our free agency and learning by trial and error (and letting God have the glory when we make right choices (and when we repent after making wrong ones) instead of the one that involved Satan saving everyone and him getting the glory, Satan became (and still is) quite upset; and (2) Satan "seeketh that all men might be miserable, like unto himself" (2 Nephi 2:27).

Edited by Kenngo1969
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I sometimes find it hard to concentrate or think when I'm trying to pray.

Since the missionaries got me in the habit of praying out load (even if it's usually just barely above a whisper), I tend to get tongue tied trying to form words.

I sometimes read this to remind myself that I'm not alone.

After I had retired to the place where I had previously designed to go, having looked around me, and finding myself alone, I kneeled down and began to offer up the desires of my heart to God. I had scarcely done so, when immediately I was aseized upon by some power which entirely overcame me, and had such an astonishing influence over me as to bind my tongue so that I could not speak. Thick bdarkness gathered around me, and it seemed to me for a time as if I were doomed to sudden destruction.

16 But, exerting all my powers to acall upon God to deliver me out of the power of this enemy which had seized upon me, and at the very moment when I was ready to sink into bdespair and abandon myself to destruction—not to an imaginary ruin, but to the power of some actual being from the unseen world, who had such marvelous power as I had never before felt in any being—just at this moment of great alarm, I saw a pillar of clight exactly over my head, above the brightness of the dsun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me.

But something bothers me.

Joseph doesn't say anything about the actual words he tried using.

He was probably taught (by the Methodists, and/or Presbyterians) to end his prayers in the name of Jesus.

But because I've come to expect having difficulty praying, I usually try to start by opening with the name of Jesus (or Yeshua, or Yashua),and I still have trouble.

I guess I've assumed that God allowed the devil to interfere with Joseph's prayer because he probably didn't start out with the right words the first time he tried praying out load in the grove, but why would He allow him to interfere with my prayers when I start out by invoking His Son's name?

Jesus Christ told us specifically how to pray in Matthew 6:9-13. Our Father, which art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven. I won't go on, we all know it. I seldom use it specifically but do try to use the principles.

I learned this very early, even before I was christian. I knew the words were there, and I tried to use them to persuade God to rescue me.He didn't, but many years later, I suppose he allowed all that to refine me in the fire. I would never volunteer to be upbraided and hated. However it improved me.

So, with praying "Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven". It took a life time to accept that we want God's will not ours.

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Does God allow Satan to interfere with our payers (even after we invoke the name of His Son)?

Would He have allowed him to launch an all out assault on Joseph (to attempt to stop the restoration) even if Joseph started out invoking the name of His Son?

Why?

Hello IM, I ask for a bit of patience and forgiveness; I do not mean to be perceived as short, but this can be a sensitive topic. The name of Jesus is not a magic quotation to be sued to defend against all evil. Remember when his apostles were confused as to why they could not easily cast out demons. Jesus' response was that these are not broken except by prayer and fasting. In the Church we strive to do all things in his name because that is what he taught us to do. There is more to using his name than simply repeating it; there must be faith and in some cases, a great deal of preparation. Understand that this has everything to do with us as individual disciples than with Jesus' power or authority. Consider the role of sanctification as you further contemplate this thing and you will find your more answers.

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Thank you.

Someone emailed me these thoughts.

The reason God allowed Satan to interfere with Joseph's prayer was because the heavens can only be opened through perfect faith. Because he was bound under the power of Satan, Joseph therefore exerted himself to his uttermost particle of energy in praying unto God and fulfilled the requirement of having perfect faith to be answered by the opening of the heavens. He felt he was going to die
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Lord Uther,

***psst that wasn't Alan that was Uther***

You guys are conspiring to confuse me by both flying the Union Jack! :rofl: I don't need your help getting confused! I can do that all by myself, thank you very much!! :D;)

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I guess I've assumed that God allowed the devil to interfere with Joseph's prayer because he probably didn't start out with the right words the first time he tried praying out load in the grove, but why would He allow him to interfere with my prayers when I start out by invoking His Son's name?

I think you may be operating under an incorrect assumption.

The "right words" are not nearly as relevant as the thoughts and intents of the heart. We pray according to the light we possess.

The "right format" is probbaly more relevant (From the New Testament and Book of Mormon: "After this manner therefore pray ye... always in my name"), but this wasn't brought to fuller light until after Jospeh Smith uttered his prayer and translated the Book of Mormon.

Over time, the thougts and intents of the heart, the words, and the format become more and more integrated with each other, and these get more and more integrated with the Spirit.

Expecting to connect with God to replace expecting trouble praying is something to pray about!

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Ive had problems praying before. I would think of all the things I was going to pray for and then when I would get on my knees I'd completely forget what I was going to say or it would come out all garbled. Im not good with words, which is completely ironic considering my life.

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Does God allow Satan to interfere with our payers (even after we invoke the name of His Son)?

Would He have allowed him to launch an all out assault on Joseph (to attempt to stop the restoration) even if Joseph started out invoking the name of His Son?

Why?

If we had a way to make sure devils could not influence/entice/attack us in any way we would be shouting it from the rooftops.

There are no certain words or incantations or spells that will repel them with certainty.

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In the 1832 version of "the first vision", there is no mention of a confrontation with Satan. I seriously doubt that if JS "felt he was going to die" that he would have left that dramatic counterpoint experience out!

That aside, praying is all about being genuine. I pray from where I am, not where I want God to think I am. Most of us are unworthy to pray, if we are honest about it. And ALL of us are "deliciously low" compared to God, which, if we really contemplate what that implies, makes us about as interesting to "God In Total" as sand on a beach. Except, that creation Is interesting, or we would not exist. With that particle of faith in "God's" interest in me, I can pray.

Prayer to me is an open heart and mind. I don't often use words, but have learned, at last, to keep "God" in my mind all the time. So I am continually praying, because I am continually aware of "God's presence". I used to forget God. Not anymore. That's how prayer starts and it never ends....

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I sometimes find it hard to concentrate or think when I'm trying to pray.

Since the missionaries got me in the habit of praying out load (even if it's usually just barely above a whisper), I tend to get tongue tied trying to form words.

I sometimes read this to remind myself that I'm not alone.

After I had retired to the place where I had previously designed to go, having looked around me, and finding myself alone, I kneeled down and began to offer up the desires of my heart to God. I had scarcely done so, when immediately I was aseized upon by some power which entirely overcame me, and had such an astonishing influence over me as to bind my tongue so that I could not speak. Thick bdarkness gathered around me, and it seemed to me for a time as if I were doomed to sudden destruction.

16 But, exerting all my powers to acall upon God to deliver me out of the power of this enemy which had seized upon me, and at the very moment when I was ready to sink into bdespair and abandon myself to destruction—not to an imaginary ruin, but to the power of some actual being from the unseen world, who had such marvelous power as I had never before felt in any being—just at this moment of great alarm, I saw a pillar of clight exactly over my head, above the brightness of the dsun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me.

But something bothers me.

Joseph doesn't say anything about the actual words he tried using.

He was probably taught (by the Methodists, and/or Presbyterians) to end his prayers in the name of Jesus.

But because I've come to expect having difficulty praying, I usually try to start by opening with the name of Jesus (or Yeshua, or Yashua),and I still have trouble.

I guess I've assumed that God allowed the devil to interfere with Joseph's prayer because he probably didn't start out with the right words the first time he tried praying out load in the grove, but why would He allow him to interfere with my prayers when I start out by invoking His Son's name?

He mad it very clear that he could not pray, just the mere thought of doing so is what brought on the attack. And are you seriously implying that if a 15 year old child attempt to cry out to God, that God should allow Satan to attack him for not using the "right words"? The does not paint the picture of a loving God.
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I sometimes find it hard to concentrate or think when I'm trying to pray.

Since the missionaries got me in the habit of praying out load (even if it's usually just barely above a whisper), I tend to get tongue tied trying to form words.

I sometimes read this to remind myself that I'm not alone.

After I had retired to the place where I had previously designed to go, having looked around me, and finding myself alone, I kneeled down and began to offer up the desires of my heart to God. I had scarcely done so, when immediately I was aseized upon by some power which entirely overcame me, and had such an astonishing influence over me as to bind my tongue so that I could not speak. Thick bdarkness gathered around me, and it seemed to me for a time as if I were doomed to sudden destruction.

16 But, exerting all my powers to acall upon God to deliver me out of the power of this enemy which had seized upon me, and at the very moment when I was ready to sink into bdespair and abandon myself to destruction—not to an imaginary ruin, but to the power of some actual being from the unseen world, who had such marvelous power as I had never before felt in any being—just at this moment of great alarm, I saw a pillar of clight exactly over my head, above the brightness of the dsun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me.

But something bothers me.

Joseph doesn't say anything about the actual words he tried using.

He was probably taught (by the Methodists, and/or Presbyterians) to end his prayers in the name of Jesus.

But because I've come to expect having difficulty praying, I usually try to start by opening with the name of Jesus (or Yeshua, or Yashua),and I still have trouble.

I guess I've assumed that God allowed the devil to interfere with Joseph's prayer because he probably didn't start out with the right words the first time he tried praying out load in the grove, but why would He allow him to interfere with my prayers when I start out by invoking His Son's name?

I believe it is better to address the person one is praying to directly. In other words start with "Our Father in Heaven". Then when you close, as a disciple of Christ, invoke Christs authority.

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I believe it is better to address the person one is praying to directly. In other words start with "Our Father in Heaven". Then when you close, as a disciple of Christ, invoke Christs authority.

I don't think one can do better than to follow Christ's example and instruction, though one doesn't have to be word for word, but as Ellen said, follow the principle.

As I said before, I do like using the Lord's Prayer as a way to focus the mind though when I am tending to let my thoughts wander.

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