My Reflections on Prayer and Gifts from God

I feel guilty having not written to you all for so long!  Here is a paper I wrote for a gospel class I have here at BYU. We have been studying the book of Doctrine and Covenants, and throughout the weeks we are supposed to write a journal entry reflecting on scriptures that meant something to me. Then we had to pick one week and write a simple paper about what scriptures have really touched us this semester. I chose one on Prayer and this is what I wrote.

We all have gifts that Heavenly Father has graciously given us. We are called to develop and use those gifts so we may serve our fellow man, bring joy to people’s lives, and glorify our Savior and Heavenly Father. This semester has constantly brought me to my knees where I have requested and received many of these gifts to help me through the day. These gifts have completely changed my semester; without them I would have had no chance at academically surviving. There is a beautiful set of scriptures found in D&C 46 that has led me to question, ponder, and understand better gifts according to others and myself. As we battle to understand what the Lord will do to help us succeed and be happy then we understand Heavenly Father’s true love for us and some of the infinite blessings He is willing to bestow upon His children.

How far do gifts of the Spirit extend? How many can we ask for and attain? Is there an amount that God says no to? I think sometimes people limit their own faith through illogical reasoning of Heavenly Father’s gifts. Sometimes people lack the faith to believe they deserve gifts so they limit their own faith to receive them. They say, “That gift would not be in Heavenly Father’s will to give me anyway.” They will try to ask for it anyway, but their prayer is only held up with enough faith to get it to the ceiling in the room they are praying.

We ought to have sure faith in Heavenly Father doing anything and everything for us. Then, we should hope for our prayer to be answered and act accordingly as if it will be answered. A lot of times we handicap ourselves before we even get on our knees. I remember at one point after my mission I understood and had very strong faith in Heavenly Father’s gifts. I understood I could ask for any gift, personality adjustment, trait, skill, desire and I fully expected getting that help for the next day. As I prayed at night for guidance it felt like there was a Lazy-Susan sitting in front of me with hundreds of different gifts to choose from. As long as I understood my needs, and myself as I did at that time, then I could ask for any particular gift to help me continue to grow. What a wonderful feeling it brought to know that I did not have to figure out my life and become perfect all by my own power.

Sometimes we question how successful we can be as we seek after the best in all things. Yes, there is the scripture D&C 46: 28 that says, “And it shall come to pass that he that asketh in Spirit shall receive in Spirit;” I think that may be where the doubt really enters into our prayers and minds. Thankfully, Heavenly Father is not here to help us doubt. I think if we realistically look at our situations and needs, decide for ourselves what gift would be most beneficial to us then we will instead see the Spirit ready to back up our request. Our prayer will be answered. The Spirit is not a filter to keep the only-a-little-faith prayers out. Instead it should be used to empower our requests if we simply and realistically seek for our needs for salvation. The Spirit is not here to hinder our desires, it can and will only help if we do it right. We hinder our desires through misunderstanding and lack of faith in Heavenly Father’s unconditional desire to help us.

Through our gifts and service to our fellow man we are able to help others find Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ’s love for them. The Lord has said in D&C 46:26, “And all these gifts come from God, for the benefit of the children of God.” I am grateful for the lessons I have learned as I have come to realize the power behind righteously desiring and faithfully asking for Heavenly Father’s help. I should not limit myself to only the gifts that the general body of the church believes I am allowed to ask for. Heavenly Father’s love is limitless and as long as I work it out for my own salvation, I will not doubt in the gifts that He will willingly give to me.

Happy Thanksgiving 🙂

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  1. Keli

     /  December 6, 2008

    Love the paper, great job!

  2. Thank you for an inspiring message. It is awe inspiring to consider that the gifts of the spirit are infinite in variety and endless in number – all given by a loving Heavenly Father to help us become perfect. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me today. Yesterday, I had similar feelings – see Spiritual Gifts.

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