I finished reading the Chronicles of Narnia series yesterday. I love those books; partly because it takes me back to my childhood, and mostly because C.S. Lewis has an impressive knack for putting Christianity onto paper without being overbearing or stiff.
Anyway, I was thinking about something Polly, Digory, and Fledge (a winged horse, who could eat grass–children can’t) were discussing on their journey for the magical apple in The Magician’s Nephew:
“Well, I do think someone might have arranged about our meals,” said Digory.
“I’m sure Aslan would have, if you’d asked him,” said Fledge.
“Wouldn’t he know without being asked?” said Polly.
“I’ve no doubt he would,” said the Horse (still with his mouth full). “But I’ve a sort of idea he likes to be asked.”
This concept is a difficult one for some to grasp. God knows everything and has all power, so why doesn’t He give me what I desire, automatically? Why must I pray at all? The LDS Bible Dictionary puts it so plainly,
“The object of prayer is not to change the will of God, but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant, but that are made conditional on our asking for them. Blessings require some work or effort on our part before we can obtain them. Prayer is a form of work, and is an appointed means for obtaining the highest of all blessings.”
Prayer also has a transformative effect on those who pray. It makes us humble and aligns our wills with God’s. Did you ever wonder why we are so emphatic about praying in the name of Christ? (see John 16:23) When we say, “…in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.” it means, “This prayer is offered as if Jesus Christ were saying it. We are certain He would give it His stamp of approval.” In a public prayer, when everyone else says, “Amen.” they mean, “I agree with what has been said.”
The more you pray, the more you’ll feel the Holy Ghost silently, softly directing your prayers away from worldly desires (see 2 Nephi 32:8-9). With more effort and forethought invested in each prayer, your sights will be lifted beyond hopes and desires you thought possible. You will see that God has higher dreams for your end-goals than you ever did. You will find it easier and more intuitive to guess the mind of Christ, and knowing God means eternal life (see John 17:3).
Take a moment right now to speak to God. Go on. It isn’t like you’re in the middle of something. Tell Him who you are now and who you hope to become. Thank Him for the good circumstances you live in and the loving relationships you enjoy. Ask Him for help with a problem you face. Ask for advice. And tell Him you’ll check in again soon.
…and remember to end it in the name of Jesus Christ.