And now I, Nephi, cannot say more; the Spirit stoppeth mine utterance, and I am left to mourn because of the unbelief, and the wickedness, and the ignorance, and the stiffneckedness of men; for they will not search knowledge, nor understand great knowledge, when it is given unto them in plainness, even as plain as word can be.
And now, my beloved brethren, I perceive that ye ponder still in your hearts; and it grieveth me that I must speak concerning this thing. For if ye would hearken unto the Spirit which teacheth a man to pray ye would know that ye must pray; for the evil spirit teacheth not a man to pray, but teacheth him that he must not pray.
But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray always, and not faint; that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul.” – 2 Nephi 32:7-9.
I think about a few things when I read this passage.
I have the gospel – so there is no excuse for me. Knowledge is available to me right now, I simply need to seek it. Nephi explains that it is written plainly. Alma also explains, “…and he that will not harden his heart, to him is given the greater portion of the word, until it is given unto him to know the mysteries of God until he know them in full,” (Alma 12:10).
There are many people who are seeking knowledge. I need to allow myself to be a tool in the Lord’s hands so I can help share my knowledge with others who may be seeking it. I can do this in a loving and inviting way – by following the Spirit.
When we pray, we enable the Spirit of the Lord to enter into our lives and hearts. When the Spirit is with us, we obtain knowledge – He enlightens our minds and helps us to understand gospel principles. When we pray, the Spirit is able to consecrate our works to God. I love that we have this kind of companionship with Diety. Often, I’ve found myself ready to embark on some kind of task. When I’ve decided to pray beforehand, I’ve often come away with added insight and direction on how I ought to accomplish the task at hand. Usually, this guidance is something that I would never have otherwise done, but it was true inspiration from God.
Heavenly Father doesn’t want us to waste time on this earth. He wants our works to be benificial to both us and others. This can happen when we consecrate our performances to him through prayer. When we do so, our performance is then made beneficial to our souls. What a promise!
I know that the Lord has guided me. Often, when praying, I will feel a Spiritual impression. Sometimes, what the Spirit is prompting seems counter-intuitive – it doesn’t make much sense to me, but I’ve found that if it is something the Lord is prompting me to do, and if I do it happily, then soon I will see that it garners a result that is much better than whatever I was planning to do on my own. This success comes becuase when I pray, I allow God’s power in my life. His power is greater than mine. When I pray, I allow God’s perspective in my life. His perspective is infinite – while mine is severely limited. Additionally, the Lord’s love for me, and for all of His children, is perfect. I know that when we ask Him, then we receive. He wants to bless us, but usually we are the ones holding Heavenly Father back.
As I seek to share the gospel, prayer needs to be a big part of my actions. I need to pray for those I love; I need to pray for strength; I need to pray that the Love the Lord has for His children will fill my own heart; I need to pray that my faith will be strengthened so I can overcome my fear; I need to pray that the Spirit will guide me to share the gospel; and I need to pray that the Spirit will accompany my testimony and go to the hearts of those who hear it.
Prayer is important in sharing the gospel when it is uttered by the person who is having the gospel. If I can persuade others to pray, then they will better be able to feel the Love of God. They will also receive the blessings that the Lord promises to those who pray. And that is what I want: for those whom I love to receive the infinite love and blessings that Heavenly Father has for them.