Praying for Comfort
    Footnotes

    “Praying for Comfort,” Ensign, April 2017

    Young Adults

    Praying for Comfort

    The author lives in Utah, USA.

    The thought popped into my head: “Why haven’t you been talking to Heavenly Father?”

    young woman praying

    Illustration by Mina Price

    I was home alone on a Friday. I had been invited by some friends to go to a dance, and I had given a tentative “maybe”—I wasn’t sure if I felt like going anywhere. Looking around my darkened apartment a few hours before I had to go, I decided to start reading a book to pass the time. Eagerly I cracked open the book and snuggled into my favorite reading blanket.

    The time seemed to fly by, and in no time at all I had turned the last page of my book. Somewhat ruefully, I looked at the clock again. It was a while after my friends would have left for the dance. I had missed my opportunity to go with them. I twiddled my thumbs for a moment, trying to think of ways to fill my time. I had finished my homework, the house was relatively clean, and my best friend was with her boyfriend.

    I frowned, and unexpectedly a wave of loneliness crashed over me. Looking around my empty apartment, I suddenly felt so alone. It had been a rough year. My friends had left for missions, my longtime boyfriend had broken up with me, and I didn’t get along with my roommates. As I sat there, the thought kept running through my mind: “No one cares about you. No one really knows you. You’re alone.”

    I tried to ignore the thought. I knew it was untrue. I had a great family and some really good, close friends. I wasn’t alone! But the thought wouldn’t go away, and I felt my forced positivity get swallowed up in sadness.

    In my room, I curled up on my bed, trying hard not to cry. I hated feeling weak, like I couldn’t handle my problems. But try as I might, I couldn’t stop the tears from coming. I sat there for a few moments, feeling sorry for myself. Then the thought popped into my head: “You’re never alone. Why haven’t you been talking to Heavenly Father?”

    As I considered the thought, I knew I should probably pray, but I felt silly and childish. I didn’t want Him to see me so weak. Another thought came to me: “Do you think He can’t see you already? Do you think He won’t understand?”

    Chagrined, I got to my knees. I bowed my head and humbly explained to Him how I was feeling. I described how comfortable I felt at home, how I felt tired after being out with people. I explained how I had decided to stay home even though I knew I was lonely and would have a good time with my friends. I described how I felt. Humbly I asked for comfort and love.

    I said these words and immediately heard a knock at the door. I hurriedly closed my prayer and got up. I opened the door and was greeted by big smiles and hugs. My friends hadn’t left for the dance yet after all!

    I ended up going to the dance and having a great time, but that wasn’t the most important part of that night to me. I had always had a pretty strong testimony of prayer, but up until that moment, I hadn’t realized how stale and repetitive my daily prayers had become. When I opened up my heart to my Heavenly Father and really told Him what was going on, I was blessed with real and personal comfort—the kind I had been missing in my life.

    Later, I was reading my scriptures and came across this passage: “Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee” (Job 22:21). Building a strong relationship with Heavenly Father is key to experiencing peace and happiness here on earth. When I don’t talk to my Heavenly Father and listen to His voice through promptings, scripture, and modern-day revelation, I am cutting myself off from the happiness and blessings I could receive from Him.

    I will always remember that moment as the experience that taught me how much God truly loves me and knows me. Even when my prayers aren’t always answered so immediately, I can always feel the difference in my life when I take the time to talk to Him. I know that He will always be there for me when I turn to Him.