Praying Like Enos

The Lord was ready to bless me as soon as I really talked to him.

I knelt by my bed to say my nightly prayers, I felt like my heart would burst—not with joy, but with loneliness and anger. This wasn’t what I had expected at all!

It was my second night at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah, and I was feeling miserable. I didn’t like my companion, I didn’t like learning a new language, and I didn’t like myself much for being such a baby.

I started my prayer, but then realized that I didn’t have anything to say. Although I desperately needed someone to talk to, it just didn’t seem right to express my empty, lonely, and bitter feelings to Heavenly Father. I finally said a standard sort of prayer—“Thank you for my health and for the chance to be here”—and crawled into bed.

Why doesn’t Heavenly Father help me? I thought angrily. If he really knows how I feel before I ask, what is he waiting for?

Then I remembered the book of Enos, which I had read that afternoon. I pictured Enos kneeling in the forest, pleading for the Lord to forgive and help him. His words echoed in my mind: “I did pour out my whole soul unto God” (Enos 1:9).

Had I done the same? Had I really humbly asked for Heavenly Father’s help? I knew I hadn’t.

I knelt again. This time I had plenty to say. I told my Father how frustrated I felt, how I couldn’t learn the language, how I needed to love my companion, and how I wanted to do a good job as a missionary. I cried as I explained that I felt abandoned and that I needed his help.

“And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart” (Jer. 29:13).

This time I didn’t just say a prayer—I really prayed. Again, I felt that my heart would burst, but this time with hope, peace, and love. As I climbed into bed, I still didn’t know how things would work out, but I knew they would.

[photo] Photography by Craig Dimond