Pray for Your Family

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(This is an excerpt from the chapter "Coaching Others" in the book A Return to Virtue.)

I don’t know of any family that doesn’t need the help of heaven. Pray with your family. This is one thing you can do to make your home a refuge against the dark world outside. Again, the Proclamation on the Family states that “successful families are established and maintained on principles of faith and prayer.”

Terrorist activities and ongoing armed conflicts underscore the fact that we live in a world of uncertainty and evil. Never has there been a greater need for righteous mothers, mothers who bless their children with a sense of safety, security, and confidence about the future. Mothers who teach their children where to find peace and truth and that the power of prayer is stronger than any other power on the earth.

When I was young, my father became seriously ill. We thought it was just the flu, but as the days progressed, he became more and more ill. It was during that time that I really learned what it means to “pray always” (2 Nephi 32:9). I had a constant prayer in my heart, and I would seek solitary places where I would pour out my soul in prayer to my Heavenly Father to heal my father.

After a few weeks of illness, my father passed away. I was shocked and frightened. What would our family do without our father whom we loved so dearly? How could we go on? I felt that Heavenly Father had not heard or answered my fervent prayers. My faith was challenged. I went to Heavenly Father and asked the question—“Heavenly Father, are you really there?”

I shall never forget our mother gathering us around her the evening of my father’s funeral. I was in my teens, and my two brothers were younger. She said that we needed to rely on Heavenly Father now more than ever before because we did not have an earthly father in our home. We kneeled and offered family prayer together. I shall never forget the secure feeling those prayers gave me each day.

Over a period of many months after my father’s death, I prayed for help and guidance. I prayed for my family, and I prayed to understand why my father had not been healed. For a time, it seemed to me that the heavens were silent, but as a family we continued to pray for comfort and guidance. I continued to pray also. Then one day, many months later, as I was sitting in a sacrament meeting, my answer came in the form of a scripture. The speaker said: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:5–6). A feeling came over me, and I felt I was the only person in the chapel. That was my answer. Heavenly Father had heard my prayers!

When our circumstances are less than ideal, we as mothers can rely on the power of prayer. We can teach our children that they too can rely on the power of prayer to protect and guide them in today’s world.

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