Saturday, April 30, 2016

May Our Hearts Be Drawn Out in Prayer Continually

In our Pathway class this week, we discussed chapters 30-35 in the Book of Alma, in The Book of Mormon.  In Chapter 31, we learn about the Zoramites, an apostate group of people in a land called Antionum.  They were dissenters from the Nephites, having been taught the word of God, but failing to keep His commandments.

They had taken up the habit of public prayer - had built a tower upon which only one person could be admitted.  While upon the tower, whoever desired to worship must stretch his hands toward heaven, and recite a given prayer...

 15 Holy, holy God; we believe that thou art God, and we believe that thou art holy, and that thou wast aspirit,  and that thou art spirit, and that thou wilt be spirit forever.
 16 Holy God, we believe that thou hast separated us from our brethren; and we do not believe in the tradition of our brethren, which was handed down to them by the childishness of their fathers; but we believe that thou hastaelected us to be thy bholy children; and also thou hast made it known unto us that cthere shall be dno Christ.
 17 But thou art the same yesterday, today, and forever;and thou hast aelected us that we shall be saved, whilst allaround us are elected to be cast by thy wrath down to hell;for the which holiness, God, we thank thee; and we also thank thee that thou hast elected us, that we may not be led away after the foolish traditions of our brethren, which doth bbind them down to belief of Christ, which doth lead their hearts to wander far from thee, our God.
 18 And again we thank thee, God, that we are chosen and holy people. Amen.
The Zoramites were certainly a self-righteous people, full of pride, for after each man would offer this selfsame prayer, they would go to their homes and never speak of God again, until they assembled again.  (Alma 31:23)
After hearing the Zoramites pray, and observing their habits, Alma and those who were with him were astonished. Alma saw that their hearts were lifted up unto great boasting, in their pride. (Alma 31:25)  He then proceeded to pour his heart out to God that he and his brethren might have success in bringing the wicked Zoramites unto Christ, because they believed there was NO Christ. His heartfelt pleading asked for blessings upon himself and his brethren, as well upon those whom they would teach. 
Following this event in the Book of Mormon, Alma goes on to teach the poor whose afflictions had humbled them. I imagine that Alma and his brethren had their hearts continually drawn out in prayer for the people they taught and hoped to teach. In Chapter 33, Alma reminds us that Zenos, a prophet of old, taught that men should pray and worship in all times and places. 
A modern day apostle, Henry B. Eyring, has said  When God has commanded us to pray, He has used words like ‘pray unceasingly’ and ‘pray always’ and ‘mighty prayer.’
“Those commands do not require using many words. In fact, the Savior has told us that we need not multiply words when we pray. The diligence in prayer which God requires does not take flowery speech nor long hours of solitude. …
“Our hearts can be drawn out to God only when they are filled with love for Him and trust in His goodness” (in Conference Report, Oct. 2001, )
 This is some thing that I need to work on - which I think requires a little more humility on my part. Most of the time, I remember to pray morning and night, and if a special occasion where I need a little extra help arises, but I often just go through my day doing my own thing, and don't always remember my Heavenly Father. I need to remember more often, that for all I have, and all that I am, I am indebted to my Him.  As I remember to thank Him for all that is good, and ask for help in all that I do, I will become more reliant on Him to guide and direct me in my life.
If we can ALL try to be a little more prayerful in our live, and personally speak with our Father in Heaven, what a better and kinder place this world would be. 

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