Thursday, August 12, 2010

A story about prayer.

Disclaimer: This post is self-indulgent and most entirely for my personal benefit.

I prayed and prayed and prayed to find my camera battery.

This may be a foreign idea to many people, but I almost always pray when I lose things, and as I pray I am almost always 100% certain that I will get an answer.

The origin of my confidence:

When I was about 8 years old, I was looking for my favorite skirt to wear to church. I looked for a very long time and exhausted all my mental facilities looking. I was about to give up when I thought to myself that I should pray. (I probably had recently attended a Sunday School about prayer.) I knelt in the middle of my messy room, asked Heavenly Father for help, and the moment I said amen I knew exactly where it was. It was somehow squashed in-between my night-table and my bed, hidden from sight.

I cannot tell you how many times I've received answers, but I can tell you that I lose things a lot and the first thing I think to do is pray, and as I kneel I believe I will get an immediate answer.

Well, when I prayed about my battery, the first thought I had was, "You are not supposed to find it." What? Surely, no. Pictures are important. I tried again and felt the same thing. So, supposing that the Lord was saving my camera from an untimely demise (since we were going swimming) I stopped praying and looking.

Surely, I thought, I would get an answer tomorrow.
No response. So I moped.

And I moped.

Then I deep-cleaned the whole house and couldn't find it anywhere. I prayed again, feeling absolutely sure that I would get help. Absolutely sure. Nothing wavering. At amen I thought "ask the kids."

Asking toddlers if they've seen something, or if they know where something is, can be really obnoxious. They mean well when they answer "yes" and then parade you around the house for ten minutes and eventually tell you that they have no idea what you are even talking about; they just want to help.

By this point I was getting grumpy. I thought of all the reasons that God could have for withholding things from me (which is really a stupid thought to have). I wondered what I was supposed to be learning from all of this (which was a much better thought to have). I realized that I had developed a sense of entitlement, and that I needed to be humble. And then I thought (possibly the dumbest thing ever) that now that I'd learned my lesson that I could have what I wanted. Very humble of you, Megan.

One evening the boys could not sleep so I read them a story called "Thunder in the Night" from a children's magazine, which turned out to be about prayer. Then I had an idea. Yes, I asked the boys to say a prayer to find my battery. They said a prayer, my oldest told me he wanted to go downstairs to look under my bed, and then while I was looking the other way, they escaped bed-time. Sneaky buggers. Serves me right though. Not that I think it's bad to teach children to pray, but I had such an agenda on this one.

I prayed more, each time believing that it was time to get an answer (though it didn't come), and I kept working on getting the house in order. Finally, looking at a tiny, wooden elephant statue that had been sitting in a corner, something said, "you did it."

"No way." I said back to that little impression. And although I felt a slight inclination to pridefully refuse to look, I knew it was behind my pachyderm friend.

This is the scripture that Duke turned to randomly and read that evening:

"And it came to pass that after I had prayed and labored with all diligence, the Lord said unto me: I will grant unto thee according to thy desires, because of thy faith. " (Enos 1:12)

In reflection I realize that I wrote previously of my quest to persevere through discouragement, and of my past failure to do so. At one point I prayed for help with this aspect of my character.

Perhaps the granting of one request required that He ignore another.

I am thankful that His ways are not our ways.

I am thankful that He is trying to keep me from becoming spoiled.

I am thankful that along the road I had the chance to clean my house and invite a better spirit of peace here.

I am thankful that I was given an opportunity to teach my boys more about prayer.

I am thankful for a chance to prove myself... to myself.

I am thankful I did not drop my camera in a river.

Who knows exactly why He does what He does, really.

All I know is that He does it because He loves us.


Holly Bierly Young said...

"Perhaps the granting of one request required that he ignore another."

I LOVE it. I LOVE it. I LOVE it. This is probably one of my top 5 favorite posts of ALL TIME. : ) You, my dear, are an answer to prayer. Take care! p.s. I also pray when I lose things!

Samantha and Dustin said...


*Lesli* said...

i am in love with this post. it reminds me of a story that a lady gave during he testimony at church one time. she had been left by her husband, horrible relationship, no job, with kids and no money. she desperately needed 17.93 to pay her electric bill or it was going to get shut off. She prayed and prayed and then the next day when she checked the mail there was 17.93 in her mailbox. :) This happens to me a lot. I'm sure glad He is looking out for me. This post will make me think about what I have learned in the process of Him providing for me. Happy Weekend Megan!

Kaci Jo said...

I loved this post too!

prettybaby said...

i started smiling as soon as you began to tell the story of how you prayed for your skirt. although i was a lot older (19), i too decided to pray to find something after i had looked everywhere i could imagine. and literally right after i spoke "amen" the words "that big yellow envelope" entered my brain. and sure enough, there was my lost (very important) paper, amidst old birthday cards and silly love letters to ex-crushes. and i have prayed for lost things ever since. i don't always find it the instant after my prayer like the first time, but i almost always find it in the same manner, the words just entering my mind in a "washing over me" way. it's delightful.

beautiful post... great writing. xx

Kathy said...

I love this post, especially the very profound insight:
"Perhaps the granting of one request required that he ignore another".
I am not sure it is that we are being ignored; but that He, in his wisdom, understands what it is that we need most at any given time.
You have such a clear perspective for one who is still so relatively young. I am in awe - truly. Thank you for sharing your wisdom in such a beautiful way.
ps - I am going to adopt you! :)