Thunker’s Weblog


Prayer and Princesses

Robert Wheadon-126x150

“A dream is a wish your heart makes…,” (Cinderella OST, 1950).

In February 1950, Walt Disney released its twelfth full-length animated feature film, “Cinderella.”  After a string of animated commercial failures, “Cinderella,” was the Disney studio’s first success since the 1937, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”  It saved the Disney studio at the time, as studio was on the verge of bankruptcy.

As children, we watched the animated magic produced by Walt Disney and his artists.  We continue to be dazzled and entertained today by Disney and their animation partner, Pixar.  We take in cultural ideas like Goodness Always Wins, They Lived Happily Ever After, and Love Conquers All.  These themes speak to some of our basic, universal beliefs.  We hope the Good will always conquer the Bad, no matter what the odds.

Yet, reality, experience and the evening news tell us that the Bad sometimes does take the day, despite our yearnings for the opposite outcome. Sometimes the bad guys don’t go to jail, sometimes illness wins over wellness and and sometimes the ice cream melts before we can finish it.

There are so many things in life that go contrary to our wishes.  And that’s okay.  Life would be pretty mundane and pedestrian if everything went exactly how we wanted.  Sometimes what we want is not what is best for us.  I believe we learn and experience more personal growth when we have to struggle through things, work through the pain, and figure out how to conquer our individual weaknesses and demons.

Yet we still wish for things in life.  We wish for health, jobs, good bosses, successful relationships, good grades in school and the occasional delicious cookie.  My son continues to wish for a cherry-red Ferrari.  A wish really is a dream our hearts make…

As children, many of us also learned the simple beauty of prayer.  By folding our arms, bowing our heads and uttering our first, simple supplications, we echo the words of the Old Testament psalmist.

In Psalms 102:1 we read:

“Hear my prayer, O Lord, and let my cry come unto thee.”

As a child, I was in awe of the fact that I, little as I was, could talk to God.  And He would listen to me.

I learned that sincerity was important in prayer.  Sincerity here is really tied to the concept of faith.  Prayer becomes holy when we honestly express our belief, our hope, our reliance on our Heavenly Father’s aid.

The prophet, Jeremiah said in Jeremiah 29:12-13:

“12 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.

13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”

And it’s okay if we are feeling a little low in our faith.  God even helps us with that.  We can ask God to help us with our faith.  Do you recall the anguished father in Mark 9:24?  He had a son, whom he loved dearly.  The son was ill and thrashed about, threw himself into fires, into water and had to be watched constantly.  The son had suffered this way his whole life.  Jesus came into this father’s town and the man ran to the Savior.  The father implored the Master and said, “but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us,” (Mark 9:22.)  Jesus answered him in verse 23.  “Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.”

And the father cried aloud in verse 24: “And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.”

You can see this father, so desperately wanting divine help for his afflicted son.  When Jesus instructs the man to believe, the man immediately affirms his faith and asks the Savior to help him believe more.  We can do the same.

 

As I got older, I learned a key concept regarding prayer.  3 Nephi 18:20 shares this insight:

“And whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given unto you.”

Did you catch the phrase, “which is right,” that the writer snuck in there?  This raises an important question, though.  How do I know what is right?  I don’t want to pray for what is wrong or bad for me or for others.

Do we remember the Old Testament story of the child, Samuel?  One evening, the young boy had retired for the evening.  The priest, Eli, was Samuel’s mentor.  The Lord called to Samuel.  In Samuel 3:4, “That the Lord called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I.”  Samuel listened.

The act of spiritually listening is an integral part of prayer.  Prayer can be a two-way conversation.  Most of the time, we just participate in one part.  We tell God our desires and our feelings of gratitude and ask for the wishes of our heart.  How often do we stay and listen?  How often do we spare a little time to listen for God?

God spoke to Joseph Smith and said: “Learn of me, and listen to my words; walk in the meekness of my Spirit, and you shall have peace in me,” (D&C 19:23.)

If you will take a moment, put a stopper in the bottle of the daily chaos, and pray with your heart, God will speak peace to you.  Take a few moments.  It will so be worth your time.

 

 

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2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

As I get older and pray, the most important part for me is gratitude for all the Lord has blessed us with, and I try to give thanks more than I ask of God.

Comment by Sydney Wheadon

So true. So very true.

Comment by thunker




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