As a committed philanthropist I often like to add a personal prayer to help fulfill the desired need of my ‘targeted’ person or group.
Prayer, if managed correctly, is one of the most powerful tools ever given to us by a loving Creator! Sadly, many of us don’t know how to pray properly, therefore we dismiss its effectiveness and its ability to help ourselves and others. Thus, unfortunately, many considered prayer to be no more than religious hocus-pocus–superstition.
To make prayer effective, the first point to consider is, how unselfish is our request? Praying for your spouse to make lots of money so that the two of you can all live the lottery dream is not praying unselfishly, and your chance of getting there by praying in this manner are one in tens of millions. Again, it is this type of prayer that far too many people pray and when they see no results, they dismiss prayer as useless in their lives.
Unselfish love is the prime mover in making prayer effective. Our problem then becomes, to understand what “unselfish love” really is. Let’s say you have a friend who is quite sick, so you’re going to pray that s/he gets better. On the surface, sounds like an unselfish act, and if the friend continues to be sick, we dismiss prayer as ineffective. But, if we really had true, compassionate love for our friend, it might be more proper to first ask, why is that friend sick? Is s/he living an unhealthy lifestyle? If so, our compassion then should focus on helping that friend to live healthier so that the body can repair itself–oh, and confronting the friend and ‘point out’ their unhealthy lifestyle and insist that they change, isn’t exactly ‘compassionate love’ either!
Humanity is unique in that each and every one of us have been given the Universal Power to make our own decisions, and reap its consequences. Therefore, not even the Power of Prayer can force an idea or thought onto that person. But, what Prayer can do is surround that person in an aura of influence–that influence being not what we think is best for the person, but what actually is best, and let our prayer, our aura of love, become a shield that, when the person is ready to receive, will then benefit from that prayer.
Let’s go back to our sick friend, and let’s assume that it’s from living an unhealthy lifestyle of eating too much junk food. All the arguing and insisting (and praying) is not going to change your friend’s lifestyle until s/he, on their own accord, desires to make a change. At that moment, when the desire is there for change, there isn’t another power in heaven nor on earth that can prevent that aura of compassionate love –that Prayer that you offered, to manifest itself and have a positive influence on your friend. It may take a month, it may take a year or most of a lifetime, but manifest, that prayer must!
“… Be humble and full of love, having faith, hope, and charity…” Doctrine and Covenants 12:8
And one should include patience. As Julius Caesar said, “It is easier to find men who are willing to die, than to find those who are willing to endure pain with patience.”
And, herein lies the undefeatable power of Prayer!