Friend to Friend:

The Miracle of Prayer

by Bishop H. Burke Peterson

of the Presiding Bishopric

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    Bishop H. Burke Peterson

    Several years ago we had four little girls in our home. One evening at dinner one of them said, “I wish we had a baby. A baby would be so much fun. Could we have one?”

    We all wanted a baby, so I suggested, “Let’s ask our Heavenly Father if we can have a new little spirit come to our home. Let’s tell Him how we would love a baby and how glad we would be to take care of one.”

    Everyone agreed that would be a good idea, and so in our family prayers and in our own secret prayers we prayed that we might have a baby to love in our home.

    Seven years went by and sometimes we were a little discouraged, but we never gave up praying for a baby. Then one evening as we were eating dinner, we told our girls that at last our prayers were going to be answered and we would soon have a baby in our home.

    We had no boys in our family and so we thought a baby boy would be especially nice. But when I came home from the hospital after the baby was born, I took a big piece of paper and wrote:

    5 girls

    on it and put it across the front of our house so everyone could see.

    The night we brought our baby home we all sat around looking at her even though she was fast asleep. She was a miracle to us—we had waited and prayed seven years for her.

    Prayer is the best way I know to keep close to our Father in heaven, who is the Source of great strength. Sometimes we are discouraged and forget to pray, but that is when we need to pray the most.

    Sincere prayer is the heart of a happy life. Prayer strengthens faith. Prayer prepares us for the miracles of life. Prayer opens the door to eternal happiness. The Father of us all loves to hear from His children just as any other loving father does.

    Here are some suggestions about praying to our Heavenly Father:

    Go where you can be alone. Go where you can think. Go where you can kneel. Go where you can talk out loud to Him.

    Picture Him in your mind’s eye as you pray. Control your thoughts so you think only about Him.

    Address Him as your Father and your Friend. Tell Him things you really feel like telling Him. Confide in Him. Ask Him for forgiveness. Plead with Him.

    Enjoy Him. Thank Him. Express your love and respect for Him.

    Listen for His answers. Listening is an essential part of prayer. Answers from the Lord come so quietly that only few ever hear Him. Most answers are felt in our hearts or come as thoughts to our minds. But they come only to those who are prepared and who are patient.

    Our family learned that our Heavenly Father answers our prayers when we ask for things that are best for us, when we are willing to patiently wait long enough, and when we have enough faith.

    My dear little friends, don’t stop praying for things you want that are good for you. Sometimes it takes a long time to receive an answer to our prayers, but if we are patient and faithful, an answer will always come.

    Photos by Eldon Linschoten