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Home Scripture CRITICISM Why and how we should pray

Why and how we should pray

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To the first question the answer is very easy: because we don't want to be deceived from anyone or anything. Jesus said :"you shall know the truth and the truth will set you free."
I'd like to focus here on the word truth.
What is the truth?
Truth is knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come. D&C 93:24
how could you define truth by this declaration? REALITY!!
what are the philosophies of men? Just a guess or many times Illusions.

So a true believer when desire to find the real truth needs to ask the Father in the name of Jesus and if he ask for bread he will not receive a stone. To have a better comprehension of this I suggest you to read my talk "The Prayer".

How should we pray?

That is a very good question..

According to the scriptures a real desire is the very beginning, not only a desire to pray but even a real desire to know, to receive an answer to our questions to our doubts. Sometimes we pray for an answer but we are hoping to receive our answer: the answer we would like to receive. This forms a barrier between us and God, we should ask with no preconception in our mind, we should ask willing to listen to the voice of God and not our thinking, no matter what we believe or we think, otherwise why are we asking?

Sincere desire will bring sincerity in our prayer and honesty is another ingredient that is required by God Himself. No one shouldn't approach to Him if not in complete sincerity of mind and heart. I found this explanation in the book  "Putting the armor of God' by Steven a Cramer.

"Christ exemplified the importance of honesty in prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane where He wavered and wished to avoid completion of the Atonement. In the premortal counsel, Jesus Christ promised Heavenly Father and each one of us that He would come to earth and sacrifice Himself to pay for our sins and mistakes. He had failed in this, we would have been doomed to eternal darkness and the torments of Satan. The New Testament demonstrates Christ's commitment to fulfill that promise. But as He entered the Garden and the effects of our sins began to press down upon Him, as He began to feel the guilt and shame and horror of our sins, the same as if He had committed them Himself, He began "to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy" Mark 14:33. He said to His apostles, "my soul is exceeding sorrowful, even to death." Matthew 26:38. No mortal words can convey the agony which He suffered, but we do know that His experience was not a picturesque, idealistic, peaceful kneeling at the side of a rock as we often see portrayed in art. The scriptures reveal that as His agony increased," He went a little farther, and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt" Matthew 26:39.

The incomprehensible weight and agony of bearing the punishment for our sins was to great that not even Christ could accomplish it in one short session. Three times He rose from the terrible anguish and returned to the sleeping apostles. Three times He went back, alone, to feel and to suffer and to atone for us. And three times, in great, unbearable torment, He cried out to the Father for deliverance from the agony of that awful pain which was crushing down upon Him because of my sins and yours. Three times He expressed His fear and dread and wavering, saying the same words: "O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, Thy will be done" Matthew 26:42

Now we must ask why the Savior, who came to show us the perfect example of holiness and submission to the Father, would want us to know that this suffering caused "even God, the Greatest of all, to tremble because of pain... and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink.." D&C 19:18

There are at least three reasons He wanted us to know of His desire to escape, and they have a lot to do with honesty in our own prayers. To begin with, when our mortal weakness cause us to waver in our duties, to shrink from our responsibilities and wish we could find an easier way, we can remember that Christ also had those same feelings. Jesus wants us to understand that there is neither shame nor disgrace in feeling tired or wanting to quit or hoping to escape the challenges we encounter. Not as long, that is, as we endure to the end and continue to pray, in spite of our feelings, " nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done"

Secondly, Jesus was not denied the help for which He asked. An angel appeared, " strengthening Him" helping Him to remain steadfast and true to His covenants Luke 22:43. We should realize that when fear, discouragement or weariness is pulling us away for our duties, we too can pray for and receive divine assistance to remain faithful to our callings and duties.

And finally, a third message of this sacred account is that we must be TOTALLY honest with God in our prayers. The Savior did not try to fake the garden experience. He was in agony with unfamiliar feelings of shame and guilt and punishment for sins He didn't commit. To His great alarm, He found Himself afraid and shrinking from His duty, looking for a way of escape, but He was honest and humble enough to tell His Father exactly how He felt. He certainly did not want to waver, so He asked for help. We must not allow foolish pride to try and hide our real feelings from God. God knows everything so it would be foolish and useless. Satan cannot defeat us on this battleground (prayer) as long as we trust our Heavenly Father enough to be open and honest in our prayers.

So real desire and perfect honesty having faith in the promise of Jesus if you ask a bread you will not receive a stone will give to the inquiring person the answer he needs.

Last Updated on Thursday, 20 January 2011 13:47  

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