Prayer Time - Book of Mormon Isaiah

Prayer Time

Prayer took on another dimension when, besides praying formally morning and evening, I felt prompted to set aside a time during the day to pray for special purposes. When first attempting this, I wasn’t sure what to pray for, but as I went through the motions of praying to the Father in the name of Jesus, the Spirit guided me and I knew what to petition for. As with Jesus’ disciples, “it was given unto them what they should pray, and they were filled with desire” (3 Nephi 19:24). With the praying, in other words, came the desire to pray; and to pray for specific things.

How effective do we suppose our prayers are with God? Said Jesus, “When thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly” (Matthew 6:6). Jesus added that prayers should contain the important element of our exercising faith: “All things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive” (Matthew 21:22). Knowing what to pray for, combined with “desire,” increased my faith almost to knowledge that my prayers would be answered.

All this process took for me was to overcome an initial inertia and make the effort. Didn’t many who took the time to pray earnestly see extraordinary results? Witness Nephi: “I, Nephi, did go into the mount oft, and I did pray oft unto the Lord; wherefore the Lord showed unto me great things” (1 Nephi 18:3); “He hath heard my cry by day, and he hath given me knowledge by visions in the night-time. And by day have I waxed bold in mighty prayer before him; yea, my voice have I sent up on high; and angels came down and ministered unto me” (2 Nephi 4:23–24).

Jesus even gave us examples of what to pray for: “Pray in your families unto the Father, always in my name, that your wives and your children may be blessed” (3 Nephi 18:21); “Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest” (Matthew 9:37–38). Isaiah recommends a similar intercessory prayer: “You who call upon Jehovah, let not up nor give him respite till he reestablishes Jerusalem and makes it renowned in the earth” (Isaiah 62:6–7).

Like the brother of Jared, latter-day saints have been given too much not to offer intercessory prayers on behalf of God’s people of the house of Israel. After the Lord had chastened him for not remembering to pray for his traveling companions, “the brother of Jared repented of the evil which he had done, and did call upon the name of the Lord for his brethren who were with him. And the Lord said unto him: I will forgive thee and thy brethren of their sins; but thou shalt not sin any more, for ye shall remember that my Spirit will not always strive with man” (Ether 2:15).

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4 thoughts on “Prayer Time”

  1. Thank you for this insight and reminder. I often find myself talking with Heavenly Father as I am about my daily chores and responsibilities expressing deep gratitude for His blessings and pleading for His intervention in the lives of others. I especially find peace in doing this when I am outside and then my heart is filled with joy. Thank you!

  2. When the Brother of Jared was chastised for not calling upon the Lord, it starts to appear that he was acting in a covenant position. He was chastised for not calling upon the Lord, but that wasn’t just that he wasn’t praying. Was it that he wasn’t keeping his covenant relationship as he should have? The Lord did say “I will forgive thee and they brethren of their sins; but thou shalt not sin any more….” The Lord will forgive him, and his brethren, but tells him not so sin anymore. Do I see a covenant relationship here that doesn’t exist?

  3. Thank you for sharing your experiences with prayer. This has been helpful to me also. I have had many petitions to the Lord in behalf of family members answered when I set aside time during the day to pray specifically for them. I loved the scriptural account of Nephi saying he cried during the day unto the Lord and received knowledge by vision by night and also had angels come teach and minister unto him. This is inspiring.

  4. There is a lot going on with the brother of Jared here. Calling upon the name of the Lord is not the same as simply praying. He is knocking at the veil and asking for an interview with the Savior. Then the Lord says that He will forgive his sins and the sins of his brethren. Being forgiven of sins is part of having your calling and election made sure.Then the Lord says “thou shalt not sin any more…” I don’t know that this is so much of a warning against future sins, but an acknowledgement of a now translated state of the brother of Jared. The Lord could be telling him that now he is translated, he’s not going to sin any more. Though not said explicitly, the other elements of being a translated being are also present. The Lord could have also said “and thou shalt not feel sorrow, save it be for the sins of the world”, and other descriptions of translated beings.

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