Come Listen to a Prophet’s Voice: The Lifeline of Prayer


James E. Faust
From an April 2002 general conference address.

The Lifeline of Prayer

We sometimes take prayer for granted. President James E. Faust reminds us what a great privilege it is to be able to talk directly to Heavenly Father.

I bear witness of the importance of prayer. Access to our Creator through our Savior is surely one of the great privileges and blessings of our lives. There can never be a mechanical or electronic failure when we pray. There is no limit on the number of times or how long we can pray each day. There is no quota of how many needs we wish to pray for in each prayer. He is reachable at any time and any place.

When God placed man on the earth, prayer became the lifeline between mankind and God. …

We are privileged to pray daily for the small and great concerns in our lives. Consider the words of Amulek, who admonished us to pray in our fields over our flocks; in our houses over our households, morning, midday, and evening (see Alma 34:20–21). …

Amulek’s counsel in our day might be the heartfelt prayer of a wife: “Bless Jason and keep him safe as he serves our country in this time of war.” The prayer of a mother: “Please bless dear Jane that she will make the right choices.” The prayer of a father: “Heavenly Father, bless Johnny in his missionary labors.” The prayer of a child, “that I won’t be naughty today,” or “that everybody will have plenty to eat,” or “that Mommy will get well soon.” …

The Savior told us, “Pray in your families unto the Father, always in my name” (3 Ne. 18:21). In our day, the Church urges us to have family prayer every night and every morning. …

Family prayer is a powerful and sustaining influence [a long-lasting power to help us change for good]. During the dark days of World War II, a 500-pound [225-kg] bomb fell outside the little home of Brother Patey, a young father in Liverpool, England, but the bomb did not go off. His wife had died, so he was rearing his five children alone. He gathered them together at this very anxious time for family prayer. They “all prayed … earnestly and when they had finished praying, the children said: ‘Daddy, we will be all right. We will be all right in our home tonight.’

“And so they went to bed, imagine, with that terrific bomb lying just outside the door half submerged in the ground. If it had gone off it would have destroyed probably forty or fifty houses and killed two or three hundred people. …

“The next morning the … whole neighborhood was removed for forty-eight hours and the bomb was finally taken away. …

“On the way back Brother Patey asked the foreman of the [bomb disposal] squad: ‘Well, what did you find?’

“‘Mr. Patey, we got at the bomb outside of your door and found it ready to explode at any moment. There was nothing wrong with it. We are puzzled why it did not go off’” (Andre K. Anastasiou, in Conference Report, Oct. 1946, 26). Miraculous things happen when families pray together.

[illustration] Illustrated by Sam Lawlor