One cold, rainy October day, Mette Hansen, a young mother in Copenhagen, Denmark, was riding her bicycle home from work when a car hit her. Her husband was out of the country on an assignment, and for five hours she lay in a hospital, unable to contact her two small children, who were at a day-care center. She pleaded with the Lord to let her children know she was all right and to give them peace and protection.
After Sister Hansen was treated, she arrived home at 10:15 P.M. to find that her tired children had walked home when she hadn’t picked them up. Because they didn’t have a key to get into the apartment, they had knelt on the doormat and said a prayer, then sat without talking for a little while.
“And then a nice thing happened to me,” her son said. “I felt a big, warm hand touching the top of my head, and I heard a friendly voice saying, ‘Your mother is well. … It will be a while before she comes home, and it will be dark outside, but just stay calm.’”
Over the years since that occurrence, Sister Hansen and her family have known that their Heavenly Father is only a prayer away. (See Ensign, Sept. 1987, pp. 52–53.)
When we pray to our Heavenly Father, we do it in the name of Jesus Christ, and we receive answers through the Holy Ghost. Thus, all three members of the Godhead are involved in our lives through prayer.
Some prayers are expressions of gratitude. Others are simple requests like those asking for a blessing on the food. Still others are heartfelt cries for help. Of these kinds of prayers, Jesus commanded us to pray having “a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ.” (Moro. 10:4.) Patricia T. Holland observes: “We are women now, not children, and we are expected to pray with maturity. The words most often used to describe urgent, prayerful labor are wrestle, plead, cry, and hunger. In some sense, prayer may be the hardest work we ever will engage in, and perhaps it should be.” (Ensign, Oct. 1987, p. 31.)
All of us need our Father’s guidance and comfort. The standard works are filled with stories of the Lord directing those who ask. When our biblical sister Rebekah was experiencing problems with her pregnancy, “she went to enquire of the Lord” and learned of the two nations that would be born of her. (See Gen. 25:21–23.) Joseph Smith’s inquiry of God led to the restoration of the gospel. (See JS—H 1.)
We have been admonished to seek Heavenly Father in prayer at all times, not just when we are feeling overwhelming needs. (See Alma 34:20–21, 26.)
Whenever it is given, and for whatever reasons, prayer, as President Thomas S. Monson has said, “can solve more problems, alleviate more suffering, prevent more transgression, and bring about greater peace and contentment in the human soul than can be obtained in any other way.” (Church News, 25 Apr. 1987, p. 2.)
Indeed, it is the peace of the Savior we all seek—and it is available to all of us through prayer.
Read Alma 34:17–27 with the sister you are visiting. How does this counsel apply to us today? What concerns do we have that would cause us to “pour out our souls” to God?
What can we learn from each other’s example to make our own prayers more meaningful?
(See Family Home Evening Resource Book, pp. 27–30, 80–83, for related materials.)