COVID keeps teaching me new things. Before the temples closed, I was a heavy prayer roll user. I believe in the power of prayer. Anyone in my family who was sick, injured, or struggling was automatically added to the temple prayer roll. I have always seen it as my most powerful tool when connecting to my Heavenly Father. But with the temples all closed, the prayer roll hasn’t been available. So I have started praying on my own, more intently, for those in need in my world.
Power in Prayer
Because of this renewed effort, I have learned so much about prayer that I never knew before. The first and most amazing part is that those who were sick or in need of divine help have been healed and helped. And there haven’t been thousands praying for their relief. It’s just been a few of us.
It truly shocked me because I didn’t think my little prayers could make the difference. I thought the power in prayer came from the large numbers, but I have learned differently. Here are the changes I made in my prayers that have increased their power.
Step 1: Eliminate distractions
In my world there are SO many distractions. I’m sure you feel the same way. I used to multitask in just about every aspect of my life, including prayers.
I would say a prayer silently while I cleaned the kitchen or folded clothes. And although that is an effective use of my time, I found that to really make my prayers more powerful, I had to focus solely on the prayer itself.
I can’t multitask if I need my prayers to be turned up to full volume. So I put my phone down and I walk away. I find a quiet place where I can be alone with my thoughts, even if that it just the backyard or the bathroom. Anywhere can become your sanctuary as long as you can focus on your prayer.
Step 2: Increase Your Focus
The scriptures talk about praying with real intent. I learned in seminary that meant praying with the intention to act on revelation received. But I also think intent can mean intensity, or attention.
Praying with focus, thinking of nothing else, and truly piercing the heavens with our thoughts increases the intensity of our prayers.
And I believe that such increased intensity gives our prayers increased power.
Step 3: Increase Your Love = Greater Spiritual Power
Love is one of the most powerful forces in the universe. To love someone means you are willing to make sacrifices for them, to do more for them than you would normally do. That love can be channeled into our prayers for the people we care about.
That increased love will give our prayers increased power. I find it helpful to sit quietly and imagine a light in my chest growing till it surrounds my whole body. Then as I pray, I imagine that light being sent to that person to help heal them. It may be a trick I play on myself, but I really feel the heat of that light. And I feel like it increases the power of my prayers.
Step 4: Repeat Frequently
One of the most powerful parts of fasting for me is that every time my tummy rumbles asking for food, I am reminded to say a prayer for the thing I am fasting for.
That increased prayer frequency is one of the marvelous parts of fasting. And I believe increased frequency is increased power.
We can increase our frequency without a rumbly tummy. I find when I am worried over someone that whenever I think of them is a good chance to pray for them. Sometimes putting post-it notes up on the mirror or the fridge can also help me remember to pray more frequently for what we need.
Step 5: Visualize your loved one
My dad was in the hospital recently for an intestinal blockage. Thanks to COVID nobody was allowed to be there with him. He was miserable and hurting and alone. It’s the worst way to be sick, in my opinion. I remember often visualizing him there in the hospital, and that visual helped my prayers have more focus and power.
My dad has had many of these problems and they often lead to surgery. Even in the best-case scenario, he is in the hospital for a week. But this time he was in and out in two days. The blockage cleared itself up! And the prayer roll wasn’t even the tool that fixed it: it was the faith and prayers of our family.
Step 6: ALWAYS Express Your Thanks
When my son was young he would often misplace his beloved blanket. We got used to saying a prayer to help us find it, and those prayers never failed.
I know that the faith of young children is super strong because his prayers were always answered in moments. The Lord was always aware of my sweet boy, and I am so grateful for that.
I was taught from a young age that any time a prayer is answered, it is vital to say thank you to the Lord as soon as possible and with the same intensity that you asked for His help. My son never fails to thank the Lord for His help, and I feel that his prayers are answered more quickly because he so freely shows his gratitude.
Step 7: Believe God Has the Power to Help
Faith is the most powerful force known to man. If we trust in the Lord and His timing, His plan, and His love for us, our prayers will increase in power and our faith will grow, even when the answers to our prayers are not what we would have wanted.
God hasn’t forgotten us. This life is not meant to last forever. If it did, we would literally be trapped in hell on this earth. We are spiritual beings learning from our earthly experience. Believing in His power will increase the strength of your prayers.
God is powerful. I have had so many times in my life that He has shown me that. But for some reason, I always felt that I needed an extra crutch to give my prayers the power to help work miracles. I was wrong.
These are extra trying times. We don’t even have the sanctuary of the temple. But God hasn’t left us alone. His power is still as amazing as ever!
He has given us the scriptures, the internet to access good things, and each other. We can keep our minds focused on Him and keep working to strengthen our faith and the power in our prayers. And when this pandemic is all over, I pray we will find it has been a strengthening time for us all — and I pray that you are blessed to find your prayers are growing stronger too.
Abby is capable and caring. She is learning more about Autism and parenthood every day. Having completed training to be an RBT (Registered Behavior Technician) for ABA therapy she is beginning to understand her son. And even though she is the first to admit she makes a lot of mistakes, she is so grateful to be on this journey. She comes from a family with many autistic members. She invites us to join her, as she shares her adventures. She wishes to emphasize that Autism is a difference not a defect. If you or a family member have autism, Abby wants you to know that the challenges can be overcome, and there are blessings in autism. You or your loved one are not sick or broken. Together we will teach the world this new language.