Heavenly Father, Are You Really There?

15 October 2011


   Today is Tyler’s 15th birthday.  It has also been five months today that he was diagnosed with cancer.  Wow…on one hand it feels like yesterday that I was standing in McKay-Dee Hospital being told his abdomen was full of cancer – on the other hand, it feels like we’ve been on this journey forever.  I feel stuck in a time warp.  I wonder if there will ever be a normal ‘normal’ again. 

  I have thought a lot about prayer lately and its power in our family’s life right now.  I have never known our prayers, both collectively as a family and individually to be more fervent or heart-felt.  I always thought I was okay at saying my prayers, but I have learned that my prayers were very guilty of the ‘vain repetitions’ spoken of in the scriptures.  It’s so true that when life is going along well, we tend to (at least I do) lose that connection with our Father in Heaven that is so needed.  I hope I never get in that rut again.  I have never prayed with such sincerity and purpose in my whole life.

   I learned as a child myself, and I have taught my children that Heavenly Father hears and answers prayers.  When I was small, this probably meant finding a lost dollar, a ring, or a tangible thing like that.  I prayed for help on schoolwork, and to do well in competitions that I was in.  I always felt my prayers were answered and I found what I was looking for, or did well on a test.  I never remember pleading with Heavenly Father for something I so desperately wanted or needed until now.  I also have had to examine what the meaning of ‘answering our prayers’ is all over again.  This isn’t one of those prayers where I’ll suddenly remember to look in the bottom drawer and my ring will be there… I am learning to ask ‘not my will, but thine’ and it’s not a comfortable place for me to be at yet.  The Bible dictionary defines prayer as “…the act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other.  The object of prayer is not to change the will of God, but to secure for ourselves and for others blessing that God is already willing to grant, but that are made conditional on our asking for them.”

    Ouch…’not my will, but thine’..that phrase again.  It is so much harder than I thought to say that and really mean it.  Elder Richard L. Evans wrote, “It is not the usual purpose of prayer to serve us like Aladdin’s lamp, to bring us ease without effort.  Prayer is not a matter of asking only.  It should not be always as the beggar’s upturned hand.  Often the purpose of prayer is to give us strength to do what needs to be done, wisdom to see the way to solve our problems, and ability to do our best in our tasks.”

   So I will continue to pray for strength to be able to do what He knows is best for me – not really what I wanted, but what I know He knows I need.  And I will continue to ask “Not my will, but Thine” and know that the more I pray and feel that, the more my will and His will be brought into alignment.  I am grateful that I have prayer to bring me comfort and peace at all.  Abraham Lincoln wrote, “I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go.”  I know the feeling…

   I hope you can hear this song I tried to download. Click here 03 He’s My Son  I’m not too computer savvy, so hopefully it will work for you.  It is a Father’s prayer for his son and it is absolutely beautiful.  I couldn’t listen to it for a month without completely breaking down – now it brings me so much peace.  I hope it does the same for you, whatever it is you are going through.


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