Our stake president asked me to design a refrigerator magnet for an upcoming ward conference. The objective was to design something that would remind the members of 3 spiritual and 3 temporal goals that the stake wanted to emphasize.
I started with something kind of standard and boring but then decided to spice it up a bit and do something a little more colorful and fun so this was the result. I’ve included a vector PDF with the original artwork if anyone would like to use it for any reason, you can do so without attribution.
Download Spiritual and Temporal Goals PDF
Awesome artwork! I love the way you share your talents with others. Just about everything you do you make available for the benefit of your fellow man. That’s a compliment that’s hard to give these days…
Anyway, so I was pondering about “Prayer” itself. What are some ways you and your audience can suggest on not only making prayers more purposeful, but also less “ROUTINE?” Sometimes as a church we focus on making sure to “have our morning prayers,” “have our evening prayers,” “have our mealtime prayers,” or whatever… I often fall into the “routine” of THINKING that, “Oh, it’s mealtime, and that means I HAVE to say a prayer.” Even if I think to myself, “It’s mealtime, I GET to say a prayer,” it still seems somewhat forced instead of being completely genuine. Maybe this has something to do with my 18 years as a Roman Catholic and being taught to pray in repetition. I don’t know. But I don’t think I’m alone among my LDS friends in saying that it’s hard to get out of the rut of routine.
Now routine can also be a good thing. It’s better to say prayers than not to say them. But sometimes I feel that even though I’m grateful for the food that is placed before me, and even though I’m grateful for the roof over my head and the clothes on my back, and even though my HEART is continually filled with prayer, sometimes I feel like I’m “forced” to do this half-hearted religious act that seems a lot more something that I “should” be doing than something that I “want” to be doing. Don’t get me wrong, I usually “want” to pray. But the very thought of “this is something that is EXPECTED” sort of takes the meaning out of it for me. It’s like me surrendering my agency. I want prayer to come from ME, it’s something I can do in and of myself. It’s what’s MINE to give Heavenly Father. I don’t want that to come from compulsory means. But yet, almost like priesthood ordinances, we are commanded to pray at specific times.
And the strangest thing is that Heavenly Father gave US prayer, just like He gave us the Sabbath, not the other way around. This means that we should be benefiting greatly from prayer. I want to be completely honest and say that sometimes when I’m in a situation where there is “supposed” to be a prayer, I don’t get nearly as much out of it as when I fall on my face and surrender my soul to the Savior. Now obviously there are different levels and types of prayer, but I think the temple and the scriptures teach us that when our heart is not fully given to the savior, “we have our reward,” so to speak.
I desire to be obedient, so I pray always and in all ways. But how can I make the “supposed to” type of prayers as meaningful as the “want to” type of prayers?
I really thought this would spark some interest on the subject of prayer! We as humans should be more willing to openly discuss purposeful prayer.
I missed this comment, you havd some great questions and I have some ideas for you. Should I take a crack at addressing your questions point by point in a separate blog post?
That would be marvelous!