…in Whose Name You Pray

By Donna Boyd of Independence, Missouri, USA

Hear, O my people of the church, I am Jesus Christ of whom you have sung and testified and in whose name you pray. I am the spirit of love and peace which is in the world and yet not known by the world.  Doctrine and Covenants 157:11

Jesus prayed and taught his disciples to pray. Prayer is a hub of Christian life and growth. I would like you to journey with me through the maturing of our prayers. Remember the first prayers you heard, the first prayers you were taught. Who were some of those who made this investment in your spiritual formation?

You may recall some specific occasions when prayers were offered outside church gatherings. You may have some strong preferences about when and where to pray, whether alone or in public, whether a formal prayer, or words that flow spontaneously from your heart.

How have our prayers changed from early childhood? Remember how in some prayers we followed the leader as we repeated phrases after our parents. Do you remember some “gimme” prayers that may have confused God with Santa? Do you remember bargaining with God as we promised everything—if our pet lived, we passed the test, we got the job, or we received a needed healing?

There were inspiring prayers that lifted us to fuller awareness of God’s presence. There were lengthy prayers that seemed repetitive. There were tearful prayers as people poured out their hearts to God. We prayed, at times, without confidence, fearful of not having the right words. We may have stood silently with a friend or loved one overcome with grief when the prayer of presence was all we had to offer.

We grow and learn in our prayer lives. Prayers are conversations with the Divine. Have we learned to wait for God’s response?

Prayer for Peace:

In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.

Spiritual Practice for the Week: Offering Blessings of Community

Each day this week receive and share blessings of community. Begin with a prayer of gratitude for the network of relationships in your life. See and feel connections with family members, spiritual friends, people in your congregation and community, people and creatures in God’s sacred web of life.

What blessings flow to you from these circles? Reflect, pray, and write in your journal about the call to be “Community of Christ.” Go deeper each day as you “discern and embrace” the “divine blessing” of this name that opens you to “become a blessing to the whole creation” (Doctrine and Covenants 163:1). What act of blessing are you invited to complete?

Peace Covenant:

Today, God, I will listen for your response.

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