Wednesday, January 8, 2014

"Thou Hast Heard My Prayer"

I treasure the chapters in the Book of Mormon that tell of Alma's mission to a group of people, the Zormanites, who had had adopted many apostate practices and in so doing had perverted the gospel of Jesus Christ. In these chapters Alma and his companion Amulek testify of Christ and teach about faith, repentance, and prayer. I have read these chapters numerous times. When I recently re-read them, Alma's quotation of the prophet Zenos, of whom we know little, resonated with me. According to Alma, Zenos said,

"Thou art merciful, O God, for thou hast heard my prayer, even when I was in the wilderness; yea, thou wast merciful when I prayed concerning those who were mine enemies, and thou didst turn them to me. Yea, O God, and thou wast merciful unto me when I did cry unto thee in my field; when I did cry unto thee in my prayer, and thou didst hear me. And again, O God, when I did turn to my house thou didst hear me in my prayer. And when I did turn unto my closet, O Lord, and prayed unto thee, thou didst hear me. Yea, thou art merciful unto thy children when they cry unto thee, to be heard of thee and not of men, and thou wilt hear them. Yea, O God, thou hast been merciful unto me, and heard my cries in the midst of thy congregations. Yea, and thou hast also heard me when I have been cast out and have been despised by mine enemies; yea, thou didst hear my cries, and wast angry with mine enemies, and thou didst visit them in thine anger with speedy destruction. And thou didst hear me because of mine afflictions and my sincerity; and it is because of thy Son that thou hast been thus merciful unto me, therefore I will cry unto thee in all mine afflictions, for in thee is my joy; for thou hast turned thy judgments away from me, because of thy Son" (Alma 33:4-11, emphasis added).

I can echo the words of Zenos for repeatedly have my prayers been heard and answered. They haven't always been answered in the way I was hoping . With the perspective of time though, I can see where they have always been answered in the way that was best for me and my growth. Whether it has been family concerns, health, employment, or Church assignments, He has never failed to answer my prayer. I believe that every answered prayer is a miracle and a manifestation of Heavenly Father's tender mercy.
I know that Heavenly Father is close and wants to help me. I just need to sincerely ask and then watch as my petitions are answered in His way on His timetable. I am grateful for such mercy.


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