Perfect Imperfections; My Prayer Experiment
So I've actually been working on a different post, that is still sitting in my drafts folder for...I'm not quite sure why. And this post just sort of beat it to the punch I guess. Yesterday I tried an experiment! (No surprise there, I feel like I always do) But that's the fun part, right! Seriously, the Gospel is so Fun! To see where your faith can get you, and to see what works and what doesn't.
I committed myself to this book that I bought at Seagull Book. Its called '365 Days Walking With The Savior' And it has daily challenges to do, or things to ponder, to draw yourself closer to Christ. Yesterday's challenge was to think of something to do to humble yourself. I made of list: Fasting... Gratitude... Well, really that's as far as my list got before the idea came to my mind! Gratitude!
Now I know how powerful gratitude is. Prayers that are offered where you are only giving thanks are extremely powerful. Every time. When I think of the power of gratitude, I think of Christ. I think of the times He fed the multitude, and the time He rose Lazarus from the dead. What happened right before those miracles happened? He prayed. And He didn't pray for those things, but He prayed and gave thanks to Our Father in Heaven. So, with an already strong testimony of gratitude, I wanted to see if I couldn't strengthen it even more. So, My Challenge: Every prayer that I say, all day long, will be a prayer of gratitude. The first few prayers of the morning were good. It was neat to be able to search for things I often overlook and to be able to recognize and give thanks to. But- It was harder than I thought it was going to be as the day progressed. It just 'happened' to be one of those days where you feel like you need to ask Him for His help with everything! One of those days were you felt like you were just treading against the current. It was for sure a rough start. Work was tough to get through. I have this severe pain since I was 14 that sends me to the Emergency Room, that randomly kicked in. Just, I don't know, things were tough. Everything that could have happened-did. But I suppose it was the perfect day to try the experiment. At first I became frustrated that I couldn't ask for help because I knew that would help. Every time I wanted to ask Him for something, every moment where I was struggling to push through the day, and every time the thought came into my mind of 'I wish I could pray and ask for this..." is when I immediately followed that thought with a prayer of gratitude. I prayed a lot.
And then, something truly trying-I had to give a fireside that night! Still faithful to keep going and that I would be blessed, but a bit nervous that I couldn't ask for the spirit to be with me. I couldn't ask to help those listening according to His will, or anything. Or maybe not nervous, but anxious to see the outcome. My prayers quickly turned into very powerful testimonies. Instead of asking for the spirit, I found myself, just saying, Ya know, I really am SO grateful that I know thou will help me tonight. I'm grateful that I know that thou cares for thine children and will help them, because I know that thou loves them so much... I really did know that though. I really did feel it. And I felt it so overwhelmingly when I said it too. I was physically reconfirmed that that's exactly what would happen too.
About mid-day I finally learned what i was suppose to learn; that I don't need to be nervous, that I don't need to be anxious or apprehensive about a single thing. Then my prayers of gratitude turned into a powerful, powerful strength that I needed, excitement came. And I mean it really came! I felt unstoppable. I couldn't stop smiling. Not even for a second. I started to pray more and more, and each time I did, my pain diminished little by little until it completely disappeared and never returned. Things that I have been diligently worrying about and praying and fasting for, just "happened" to all come together finally! New ideas and inspirations came to mind, that I had to spend over an hour in my journal to write them all down! Things I needed to change in my life came to mind. New ideas to stay strong came to mind. Questions I had were answered. Testimony strengthen. His love, was physically felt. What a sacred day it turned out to be. I'm so glad I didn't give up. I'm so glad I didn't cheat. I'm so glad..I followed my Savior's example. And surely, my final prayer of the night, my prayer of gratitude just spilled right out of my mouth! The spirit that was with me was so abundant that I was overflowing with it! The spirit was spilling out of my mouth and my ears and my pockets and forming a puddle on the floor! Surely those challenges I faced today, those imperfections of the day, were perfectly given to me. Those "imperfections" were perfectly there for me, to learn more of what Heavenly Father can do to help me. I couldn't imagine them not being there, now as I'm looking back. I wouldn't have changed a thing. I wouldn't have traded those moments, because what I feel now, and what I felt last night, what i learned, what I gained, is worth facing anything. Don't you stop. Don't you give up. Not ever. Not even for a second. Challenges are there so briefly. And that happiness and love, is there so consistently. It does not go away. It doesn't. I know this. I do. Stay committed. Do not back down. You are taken care of. You are. He knows what you need. He will not let you fall. He will not leave you. He never has. All we need to do, is be there for Him. Trust. But trust always. Especially in the 'imperfections' in our life. Because they are there so perfectly, that we may feel His perfect love He has for us individually, and personally. And it is perfectly incredible. And perfectly worth it. All of it.