Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Power in FAITH

Today I am sharing more of my notes from our Regional Women's Conference. It was so incredible!  I apologize to all of the Vernal-ites out there who went and have already heard this.  I have to share this..it is too good to keep to myself.  I even e-mailed it to my missionary daughter this morning, and it was exactly what she needed. And I have decided it is just what everyone needs. So inspiring and so powerful!!

In my last post I wrote Live "As If", which was about POWER in  PATIENCE.  I encourage you to go back and read that if you haven't already. This conference was really life changing-good. 

The other two principles Laurel Christensen, our speaker, covered were  POWER in FAITH and POWER in COURAGE.  Today I am covering the POWER in FAITH.

Laurel and the other speakers taught an important concept that I guess I needed, because Elder Bednar also spoke of it at the CES fireside last night as well, and that is that having faith doesn't mean we have faith in a specific OUTCOME necessarily, but our faith is in the the Lord REGARDLESS of the outcome. That is so vital because if that outcome doesn't come to play, if our faith is centered in Christ and not the outcome, we don't lose our testimonies over it. I really liked that thought.
Laurel shared some great scripture insight.. One was the parable of the bread and the stone in Matthew 7.   The principle is  that the Lord wants to give us everything--the best blessings and the best gifts, but that we also need to ask for it. The bread symbolized the BEST gift or the BEST blessing.   If we ask for what we want the most (bread)  He is not going to give us a stone. We need to trust in the Lord to know that HE WANTS to give us bread. He is not going to give us a stone if we ask for bread.
Find out what is the RIGHT  thing and pray for what you need and what you want.  She commented that the tragedy isn't in  not getting it, the tragedy is when we  stop praying for it, or when we stop wanting the righteous desires of our hearts.
I love this scripture illustrating this principle:

Hebrews 4:16 "Come BOLDLY unto the throne of grace and ASK in time of need"

It is not only OK to ask for what we really really want, but to trust that the Lord WANTS to bless us with it. But we have to ask. She called this intentionally praying.
We need to have intentional prayers.
Following of coarse this counsel given:

Doctrine and Covenants 9:7-8: "But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right.
But if it be not right you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong."
Praying for the "RIGHT" things  is a great concept.  But how do we know what is right when we want something so badly?  For me when I am in a situation when I really need a blessing, or want something very badly, I have to go back and really evaluate:
What I have FELT from the spirit? What has the spirit tried to TELL me?  What PROMISES of the Lord have I felt?  What are the righteous DESIRES of my heart?  What feels right to pray about?
 Then go forward in intentional faith praying for what we should pray about.  When we pray for the right blessings, it can change our life..and we will realize that prayer when accompanied with faith has a true POWER. 

"The fervent prayer of a righteous woman availeth much"
It reminds me of a time in my life when my husband and I wanted something very badly. It felt right. And we recieved that promise from the Lord through the spirit, that it was going to happen, it was only a matter of time.  During this time we exercised great faith in prayer as we prayed for what seemed the "right thing" and waiting on the Lord for it to happen.
It wasn't immediate, and although it did happen just as the Lord promised us it would, it wasn't easy.  But  we learned how to pray for the "right thing" and instead of thinking I don't deserve this, or I am asking for "too much", we prayed knowing the Lord  heard us and knowing He wanted it for us as much as we wanted it for ourselves.
Although we wanted a specific outcome, our faith was in the Lord, that He knew the right timing and His will be done regardless of the outcome.  That is a very hard thing to exercise faith in, but it is really our only choice because the Lord is ultimately in charge.
He knows all and sees all and stands at the door ready to give if we will just let Him in.
And remember, He comes bearing bread, not stones.

See a previous post: God's Way/My Way