----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Francis Harper
Francis Harper Message for 5/1/2020
Don’t Forget to Pray
Jesus prayed and taught his disciples to pray. He gave specific instructions on how to pray and what to pray: “. . . when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites; for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men . . . But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut the door, pray to thy Father who is in secret; and thy Father who seeth in secret shall reward thee openly . . . when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the hypocrites do; for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking” (Matthew 6:5-7).
“. . . as Jesus was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. . . “(Luke 11:1).
And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name (Luke 11:2). [We need to come to God with the greatest humility].
“Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done as in heaven, so in earth” (Luke 11:2). [Seeking first to establish his kingdom and doing the Father’s will; beginning today, in our homes and in our places of employment, should be our highest priority. Only Jesus can say, “I do always those things that please him?” (John 8:29), Paul asked, and I must ask the same: “For do I now please men, or God?” (Galatians 1:10).]
“Give us day by day our daily bread” (Luke 11:3). [it is appropriate for us to pray for our daily sustenance. See Alma 16:219, 221-222].
“And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive . . .” (Luke 11:4). [“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23)].
“And let us not be led unto temptation; but deliver us from evil” (Luke 11:4). [“The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptation . . .” (2 Peter 2:9)].
“For thine is the kingdom and power. Amen” (Luke 11:4). [The Lord certainly has the power to answer all of the petitions within this prayer; known as The Lord’s Prayer. And we can offer this prayer with great faith because the petitions have been approved of God].
“Behold I say unto you, that whoso believeth in Christ, doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ, it shall be granted him; and this promise is unto all, even unto the ends of the earth” (Mormon 4:84). How foolish we are when we forget to pray. “For thus saith the Lord, I, the Lord, am merciful and gracious unto those who fear [love and believe] me, and delight to honor those who serve me in righteousness and truth unto the end” (Doctrine and Covenants 76: 2-a).
The Lord wants to bless his people. “If ye then, . . . know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give good gifts, through the Holy Spirit, to them that ask him” (Luke 11:14). We need to ask. We need to “covet [pray for] earnestly the best gifts” (1 Corinthians 12:3). Paul was referring to gifts such as, wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, prophecy, discerning of spirits. See 1 Corinthians 12:8-10.
A father called his daughter after the first few weeks of her freshman year in college. He asked: “How is your prayer life?” She could have answered, “What prayer life?” She had been so busy she had neglected to take time for prayer!
Evidently the brother of Jared had neglected his prayer and communications with God. “And at the end of four years, the Lord came again unto the brother of Jared, and stood in a cloud and talked with him. And for the space of three hours did the Lord talk with the brother of Jared, and chastened him because he remembered not to call upon the name of the Lord. And 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” (Ether 1:38-40).
The brother of Jared prayed “for his brethren who were with him.” This is intercessory prayer. We must not neglect this ministry. “Ere you left your room this morning, Did you think to pray?” (Hymns of the Restoration. Hymn #67).
You may have lost something that was absolutely essential in your life. Without the missing item your life was disrupted until it was found. Most of us have faced these difficult situations.
If you are like me, after searching and not finding, you will finally, in desperation, pray. And I am pleased to tell you from personal experience, God does answer our desperate, fervent prayers. The words of James are true: “The effectual fervent prayers of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:18). He even answers the prayers of those who are trying to be righteous! “. . . men ought always to pray” – fervently (Luke 18:1).
I was blessed as I read this true testimony of how a mother responded to the loss of money needed to feed her family.
“It was almost dinnertime one evening, and I came running into the house, letting the front screen door slam. My sister Phyllis, eleven years old, quickly reminded me with a finger to her lips that our new baby sister, Janice, was asleep in the next room. I wandered into the kitchen where Mom was taking some cornbread out of the oven. I lifted the lid of a big pot on the stove, sniffing the delicious aroma of red beans and salt pork.
Loren, we’re out of milk. Can you go over to the widow’s store and buy some? Mom didn’t have any change-just a single five-dollar bill. “Now be careful with this. That’s our grocery money for the week.”
I stuck the bill into the pocket of my jeans, whistled for Teddy, my little brown dog, and headed for the widow’s store. It took me a while to get there. I was kicking a can along, and I stopped once or twice to investigate a bottle cap and to pick up a stick to clatter down the neighbors’ fences.
I ran up the steps into the widow’s store, a living room turned into a grocery, selected two bottles of milk, and went to the front desk, where the widow woman waited, pencil and pad in hand to total my purchases. But when I reached into my pocket to fish out the five-dollar bill, my heart stopped. I rummaged in the left-hand pocket, the back pockets, and my shirt pocket. It was gone.
I’ve lost the money! I wailed. Leaving the milk behind, I ran back as fast as I could along the way I had come. Teddy pumped along behind me as I searched frantically everywhere I remembered stopping. It was no use. The five-dollar bill wasn’t anywhere to be found. There was nothing to do but go back and tell Mom I had lost her money.
Mom was still in the kitchen cooking when I came in through the back door, closing it ever so softly behind me. Mom took one look at my crestfallen face and immediately knew something was wrong. Her face darkened when I told her what I had done – it was such a large loss to us – but she quickly brightened.
Come, son, let’s pray. We’ll ask God to show us where that money is.
She stood there in the kitchen, her hand reaching down to my slender shoulder, and talked to God. Lord, You know exactly where that five-dollar bill is hiding. Now we ask You to show us. Speak to our minds, please, for You know that we need that money to feed the family this week.
Mom stood and waited with her eyes shut. The lid clattered on top of the simmering beans.
Suddenly Mom’s grip tightened on my shoulder. “Loren,” she said, her voice a fraction lower, God just told me the money is under a bush. She quickly ducked out the door, and I ran to catch up.
The day was deepening to dusk as we retraced my path to the store, inspecting every bush and hedge. It was almost too dark to see when Mom stopped and looked down the street toward a thick evergreen shrub. Let’s try that one! she said excitedly, heading straight for the shrub. We peered underneath, and there, way back at the base of the stubby trunk, lay the crumpled-up five-dollar bill.” (Is That Really You, God? Cunningham. 1984. pp 18-19).
Did you notice the mother prayed before they searched for the five-dollar bill?
My Love to All,
High Priest Francis Harper