A Prayer Before Study
Who, from the treasures of Your wisdom,
has established three hierarchies of angels,
has arrayed them in marvelous order
above the fiery heavens,
and has marshaled the regions
of the universe with such artfl skill,
You are proclaimed
the true font of light and wisdom,
and the primal origin
raised high beyond all things.
Pour forth a ray of Your brightness
into the darknened places of my mind;
disperse from my soul
the twofold darkness
into which I was born:
sin and ignorance.
You make eloquent the tongues of infants.
Refine my speech
and pour forth upon my lips
the goodness of Your blessing.
Grant to me
keenness of mind,
capacity to remember,
skill in learning,
subtlety to interpret,
and eloquence in speech.
guide the beginning of my work,
direct its progress,
and bring it to completion.
You Who are true God and tru Man,
Who live and reign, world without end.
The time of business does not with me differ from the time of prayer; and in the noise and clutter of my kitchen, while several persons are at the same time calling for different things, I possess God in as great tranquility as if I were upon my knees at the Blessed Sacrament.
You who pray sometimes, why not pray more regularly, more often, more devoutly? Is time so precious, life so short, or faith so scant? . . . Do you pray occasionally when you should be praying regularly, often, constantly? . . . Do you just speak, or do you also listen? . . . Do you give thanks or merely ask for favors?
Lord, if any have to die this day, let it be me, for I am ready.
It becomes Christians to pray for peace and quiet, but not to abandon steadfast faith and truth, even at the peril of death.
I asked for wisdom...
And God gave me problems to solve.
I asked for prosperity...
And God gave me brains and the strength to work.
I asked for courage...
And God gave me danger to overcome.
I asked for love...
And God gave me troubled people to help.
I asked for favors...
And God gave me opportunities.
I received nothing I wanted.
I received everything I needed.
My Prayer has been answered.
For prayers to be efficacious, they must be in harmony with the plan of heaven. The prayer of faith bears fruit when such harmony exists, and this harmony exists when prayers are inspired by the Holy Spirit.
Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak, and brave enough to face himself when he is afraid; one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, and humble and gentle in victory. Build me a son, whose wishes will not take the place of deeds; a son who will know Thee -- and that to know himself is the foundation stone of knowledge. Lead him, I pray, not in the path of ease and comfort, but under the stress and spur of difficulties and challenge. Here let him learn to stand up in the storm; here let him learn compassion for those who fail. Build me a son whose heart will be clear, whose goal will be high; a son who will master himself before he seeks to master other men, one who will reach into the future, yet never forget the past. And, after all these things are his, add, I pray, enough of a sense of humor, so that he may always be serious, yet never take himself too seriously. Give him humility, so that he may always remember the simplicity of true greatness, the open mind of true wisdom, and the weakness of true strength. Then I, his father, will dare to whisper, "I have not lived in vain."
4. Closely related to this example is the person who has a strong desire to be led by the Spirit of the Lord but unwisely extends that strength to the point of desiring to be led in all things. A desire to be led by the Lord is a strength, but it needs to be accompanied by an understanding that our Heavenly Father leaves many decisions for our personal choices. Personal decision making is one of the sources of the growth we are meant to experience in mortality. Persons who try to shift all decision making to the Lord and plead for revelation in every choice will soon find circumstances where they pray for guidance and don't receive it. For example, this is likely to occur in those numerous circumstances where the choices are trivial or w here either choice is acceptable. We should study things out in our minds, using the reasoning powers our Creator has placed within us. Then we should pray for guidance and act upon it if we receive it, and upon our best judgment if we do not. Persons who persist in seeking revelatory guidance on subjects on which the Lord has not chosen to direct us may concoct an answer out of their own fantasy or bias, or they may even receive an answer through the medium of false revelation. Revelation from God is a sacred reality, but like other sacred things it must be cherished and used properly so that a great strength does not become a disabling weakness.