Prayer Unites Wills
“Prayer is the act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other.” – LDS Bible Dictionary
This description of prayer in the LDS Bible Dictionary is incredibly straightforward and profound, and I love the implications. The Bible dictionary further suggests that “Many of the so-called difficulties about prayer arise from forgetting” the “true relationship in which we stand toward God (namely, God is our Father, and we are His children).” We may think that ending our prayers with the phrase “in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen” is how one “prays in the name of Jesus Christ” but the dictionary states that “We pray in Christ’s name when our mind is the mind of Christ, and our wishes the wishes of Christ—when His words abide in us…”
When imagining prayer, we may picture a single person kneeling reverently, but prayer is not an individual act; there are always at least two minds involved. A prayer to God assumes an audience, and a group of people gathered in prayer all have a common desire in mind to which they affirm with the word: “Amen.”
I think that I have taken this for granted for too long. When pondering the temple phrase “true order of prayer,” I contemplated what is it about that ‘order’ that makes it ‘true’ in contrast to any other form of prayer.
I have found the most insight in distilling these thoughts into what I believe is a profound and simple truth: “prayer unites wills.”
This opens a world of possibilities. How does this idea change how I approach God and what I bring to that setting? How does this idea impact the unifying power that could come to family prayer? How does this idea influence my role as mouthpiece of group prayer and everyone involved?
Lecture 7:3 states:
“God said, Let there be light, and there was light—Joshua spake and the great lights which God had created stood still — Elijah commanded and the heavens were stayed for the space of three years and six months, so that it did not rain: He again commanded, and the heavens gave forth rain,—all this was done by faith; and the Savior says, If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, say to this mountain, remove, and it will remove; or say to that sycamine tree, Be ye plucked up and planted in the midst of the sea, and it shall obey you. Faith, then, works by words; and with these its mightiest works have been, and will be performed.”
Words make the mind visible and therefore knowable. How might we use that power better and with more precise intent?