THE MIND OF CHRIST 3.

FOR TO BE CARNALLY MINDED IS DEATH BUT TO BE SPIRITUALLY MINDED IS LIFE AND PEACE. BECAUSE THE CARNAL MIND IS ENMITY AGAINST GOD, NEITHER INDEED CAN BE. SO THEN THEY THAT ARE IN THE FLESH CANNOT PLEASE GOD. ROMAN 8:6-8.

  1. ADVANTAGES OF THE MIND OF CHRIST … The mind of Christ was the key to his victories on earth and its transfer as a free gift is key to your victory in life too. The full package of our salvation is filled with spiritual concepts that can never be handled by the natural, the intellectual or religious mind. Many believers are struggling today because we try to operate the kingdom of God with an understanding sponsored from the natural mindset. This is a common complaint as people struggle to know who they really are using carnal intelligence. Carnal mindsets can never and will never get us access into the spiritual where the advantage is stored. A lot of confusions and delusions are triggered because the words we use are common to all mindsets but the meanings and interpretations are different when processed by the mind of Christ. The Bible is for example a book that can easily be misunderstood. Using a natural or intellectual mindset you could read from cover to cover without having a clue as to what God is communicating. The religious mindset is worse because you assume that you understand what is written in scriptures but the results show otherwise.

The Mind of Christ grants us access to privileged information and this is an important key in the enablement of divine protection, prosperity, wealth transfers, spiritual growth, divine access and spiritual technology. The church has been talking about the spiritual transfer of wealth and the wealth of the wicked for ages but very little has been recorded since that night in ancient Egypt. The scriptures record diverse testimonies of wealth generation and each one requires the use of the mind of Christ. It’s difficult if not impossible for any believer to acquire significant wealth until he has mastered the mystery of “stewardship in the kingdom” and it’s unfortunate that the modern church is yet to understand that financial miracles should be an exception rather than the rule when God is involved. Mammon is the most lethal foe that is one the globe today and the arcane intelligence behind the financial and economic institutes of the world’s monetary system are skewed against the kingdom of God. To beat mammon flat you must activate the mind of Christ.

Motivational talks and financial breakthrough programs can be exciting but a hard look at facts and figures will show that you cannot beat mammon on the field of carnal intelligence. There is wealth and there is wealth! Jesus Christ was dead serious when he said that a rich man could hardly enter the kingdom. He was not asking you to stay poor he was just warning you about the wealth that adds many sorrows here and hereafter. Here again the Mind of Christ is the game changer for financial issues in a believers life. It takes the mind of Christ to see the escape clause for rich men! With the Mind of Christ you get riches that add no sorrows. You don’t have to sell your birth right like Esau to live in a mansion, drive good cars and travel around the world in a private plane. So stop being envious of the wicked and get on the right track.

In spiritual warfare the Mind of Christ is also very important to decode the strategies of the evil one. Religious minds tend to engage in strenuous and fruitless exercises instead of casting down strongholds while the intellectual lives in denial. Many believers have been destroyed completely because the tried to fight satanic stratagems wit superstition but the Mind of Christ delivers convincing and stress free victories.

THE MIND OF CHRIST 2.

FOR WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, THAT HE WILL INSTRUCT HIM? BUT WE HAVE THE MIND OF CHRIST… 1 COR. 2:16.

HOW PRECIOUS ARE YOUR THOUGHTS TO ME, O GOD! HOW GREAT IS THE SUM OF THEM! IF I SHOULD COUNT THEM, THEY ARE MORE IN NUMBER THAN THE SAND: PSALM 139: 17-18A.

THE MASTERS’ MIND … Before you can appropriate and activate the Mind of Christ there are some basics you have to understand. What exactly is the Mind of Christ? Why is it a defining factor of success? The two significant words we must look into are mind, and the Christ taking note that we are not talking about the Mind of Jesus even though Jesus of Nazareth operated the Mind of Christ. First we would take a basic look at what the mind is. The mind is that instrument or organ in every being that processes thoughts. We know that the mind of a beast processes thoughts at a lower level than the minds of men. Mankind enjoys a superiority in thought processing over beasts and beasts would tame men and have dominion over men if the roles were reversed.

In the same vein the thoughts of God are far above the thoughts of men in both latitude and processing speed. God thinks and He out thinks all creation in fact part of the reason why He is the Almighty is because He monitors the thoughts of all beings in existence. The raw natural mind becomes an intelligent mindset through the process of education where man learns to process thoughts constructively. The intelligent mind is however limited and cannot handle the thoughts of God beyond the natural senses. The religious mindset on the other hand discourages thinking to promote uniform adherence and cultish obedience! God in His mercy and grace has enabled us to share in His thoughts with man by equipping us with the mind of Christ.

Many believers think it’s is unspiritual to think, they believe that you must quit thinking to be in the spirit! The very opposite is true, because God is Spirit and God thinks more than every created being. Thoughts are spiritual and the believer cannot walk in the spirit unless he processes the thoughts of God. The thoughts of God operate at levels that go beyond the thresholds of intellectual thinking. Moses at the Red Sea would never have explored the thought that salvation would come in the direction God was thinking! You just imagine what would happen to your life if the Mind of Christ were to be activated within you? There are other functions that the mind performs that will be discussed later on.

LET THIS MIND BE IN YOU, WHICH WAS ALSO IN CHRIST JESUS! … PHILLIPIANS 2:5. 

IGNITING THE MIND OF CHRIST … The Christ by definition is the anointed or chosen one! The Mind of Christ would then be the mindset of the anointed one. God generated Himself a son and sent him with a unique anointing to deliver us. To be successful on his mission the chosen one needed a mind that could defeat satanic intelligence and it was only the mind of God that could do that so God gave the Christ a mindset that could handle the thoughts of God. It is interesting to note that the Mind of Christ was not active but dormant when Jesus Christ was a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes. The principles by which the mind of Christ is acquired and activated are no different for us! All mankind comes into this world with a basic mindset programmed with potentials after the fallen Adam. We practically make our entrance into the physical world with a clean slate but you will observe that human children don’t need to be taught disobedience and generally grow to tell lies instinctively!

This is why all intelligent cultures have a program that instructs children to become truthful and accountable for the sake of the larger society. Jesus Christ was born of a virgin by the Word of God and this came with a mindset that had potentials towards the thoughts of God. We too are equipped with the same mind of Christ at the new birth but it remains dormant until we do what Jesus Christ did to provoke that mindset into action. Jesus of Nazareth did not know that he was Jesus the Christ when he was a baby! As a baby he did not know about the divine dimension of his conception but discovered it, meditated on it and accepted it as truth when he grew up. Because of the Immaculate Conception Jesus Christ was 100% divine and he was also equally 100% man because Mary produced the seed of the woman. Natural babies do not remember the day of their birth because their minds are dormant and cannot process the data. Have you ever met anyone that could describe the circumstances of their birth? The natural man too accepts the birthdate on his birth certificate because he was told by someone and the information was stored in the birth records.

Jesus of Nazareth was tactfully informed about the circumstances of his birth and he studied the scriptures to confirm the implications of his virgin birth. Is it not interesting that we are persuaded of our birthdates based on the witness of others and written records? Yet we struggle with the dynamics of the new birth? To be a part of the new birth experience we too must believe what Jesus discovered and believed. Is it easy for any logical thinking person with a college degree to accept a Savior that was born of virgin? That assertion runs contrary to the logic of the world! We can now conclude that the kingdom of God operates on a logic that’s much higher than that of the natural world and we cannot access the advantages as Jesus Christ did until we change tracks from the natural, intellectual or religious mind set unto the higher logic of the Mind of Christ. Perhaps this is why the scriptures say “My people perish for lack of knowledge!”

It all reminds me of a story about a Nigerian who came in with his blue tooth technology ear piece. Stepping aside in the Alaba market to take a call he never noticed that a crowd had gathered to gawk at the spectacle of a well-dressed man that was talking to himself in broad daylight! The crowd felt sorry for him persuaded that he must have wronged the wizards and witches in his village. This is what a superior technology often attracts from the ignorant and the advantages delivered by the activation of the Mind of Christ often attract such reactions from the limited understanding of the world.

THE MIND OF CHRIST.

 

INTRODUCTION.

THE MASTERMINDS … There is an arcane intelligence behind all the darkness, confusions and depressions troubling the land. The chaos is sponsored by master minds who all report to the mastermind of darkness. Any nation, people or community that will beat these satanic wiles will have to produce a set of believers that can rise above religious rhythms, rites and rituals to provoke and activate the masters’ mind … the Mind of Christ! This is the game changer that every believer needs to connect their glorious destinies. Without breaking stride we must establish the fact that it’s this mindset that separates victors from victims, winners from losers, men from beasts and champions from failures.

Just for information, there are basically 4 mindsets that you have to choose from to operate in life.

  • The raw natural mindset
  • The intelligent mindset
  • The religious mindset
  • And the Mind of Christ.

The Mind of Christ is off course the greatest level and it’s the only mindset that has direct access to the Mind of God. Most people naturally gravitate towards the religious mindset and its sedative effects when life does not turn out right. It’s a way of generating unending hope to cover up the bitter disappointments when the great promises of God don’t seem to be yielding fruit in this life. We forget that Jesus of Nazareth too could do nothing significant until the Mind of Christ was activated in him. There is a question you need to answer before we proceed further. Did God create the heavens and earth first and think after or did He think first before creation commenced? Well, thoughts are spiritual and your destiny will hang in the balance until you absorb the thoughts of God using the Mind of Christ that probably lies dormant within you.

The Mind of Christ is the game changer you need but its activation requires a degree of diligence that those who settle for mere religion cannot give. The awesome potential that is caged inside you will attract testimonies beyond your wildest dreams once it is unleashed. All the potentials we are talking about are actually couched inside the new spirit that God gives to every believer at the new birth but this potential can only be activated by the Mind of Christ. By statistics there are very few believers that get to activate the Mind of Christ yet it is not difficult but most do not want to apply the diligence required. Without the operation of the Mind of Christ it’s impossible to grasp the mysteries of the kingdom or use the keys of the kingdom. Without the mind of Christ you will never really understand spiritual dimensions and everything from holiness, salvation, grace and prosperity to eternal life are misinterpreted completely. The attempt to master spiritual dimensions with the carnal mind is the root of the greatest frustrations in the modern church.

Clear Signs God Is Saying Yes to Your Prayers

I love to hear from God! There have been times when He has spoken to me so clearly that to doubt would be sin. Sometimes He speaks to me through a verse in Scripture. It will almost literally jump through the pages at me. I remember one time when I sensed God was speaking to me concerning a particular chapter in the Bible. It was a mighty word of blessing and favor.

I asked, “Lord, are you really speaking to me through this chapter? Can I really claim these words?” I recorded all of this in my prayer journal. That evening we visited a church service and the pastor preached a sermon based on a verse-by-verse study of the very chapter I had read that morning. I sat in tears as I was ministered to by God in a powerful way.

Some of His words have come through others, maybe through a sermon or a song. There have been times when others have shared a “word from the Lord.” How I appreciate it when brothers and sisters have obeyed the leading of the Lord and shared these messages with me. But I can honestly say that the times I’ve heard the Lord’s voice the most was in the quiet of my prayer times alone with Him.

Sometimes the words come with a sense of His presence so strong that I don’t want to move. I hardly want to breathe. Other times His voice is just a knowing, an awareness. I don’t hear from the Lord every time I pray, but when I do, it is more than special to me. When He speaks to me it’s often through what people describe as that “still small voice” (1 Kings 19:12). It’s an awareness of information. I just know that I know! Scripture teaches that “His sheep … know His voice” (John 10:4). I recognize His words, be they ever so soft!

I remember when we first moved to Houston. We were doing church planting, so needless to say our money was more than tight! About a quarter of a mile from our house was a small strip mall with a large corner room for rent. The Lord began to minister to me to claim this place as our place of ministry. I remember arguing with the Lord that it was impossible. “Are You sure I’m hearing You? Are You sure?” I have to confess that I doubted God in this. It was so far beyond what we were able to do. However, I shared this information with my husband and we began praying for this place and claiming it as ours. For the first few weeks I regularly drove into the parking lot, either alone or with others, and thanked the Lord for it, praying for protection for the building and blessing for our future ministry.

As the weeks turned into months, my times of prayer for this possible opportunity began growing farther and farther apart. Soon I was barely praying and in several months, I gave up. One day, as I drove by, the Holy Spirit spoke as clearly as if He was sitting next to me: “When did I tell you to stop praying for this building?” I confessed my sin of unbelief to Him and began claiming it again. Within six months we were renting this property. What a blessing it has been in our ministry! I have to tell you, the best part was not the building, but seeing the miracle of how God provided and knowing He spoke it into my life! What a joy to hear from the Lord!

There are times when we need to pray in faith without constant reassurance from God that what we’re praying for is in His will. As I pray, I ask the Lord for guidance. Many times He confirms His leading through Scripture, agreement from another Christian brother or sister, or another way of His choosing.

There are those times, though, when I need to pray solely according to how I sense He’s leading me. During these times, I trust Him to redirect me if I’m not praying on the right path. I remind myself that His strength is made perfect in my weakness, that He knows my flaws and human boundaries, and that His ability to work things together for good far outweighs any of my human limitations. The important thing is that I want His will, I’m fully surrendered to Him, and I understand my role is that of a tool in His hands. My desire is to completely follow His leading. The answer depends on Him and Him alone!


It’s as if we’re coming before the Lord with our prayers and leaving them at His throne. We’re saying, “God, this is what I believe You want done in this situation. I trust you to answer as You see fit. I trust You! Show me if there’s something I’m not seeing. This is all about You.” That, my friend, takes both faith and hearing from Him, as we lift our requests to the Lord.

I believe every person who serves Christ should hear from Him. I have seen this principle misused, however. I was in one meeting where “the voice of God” spoke through nonbelievers giving direction for the church. This was not only accepted but encouraged. I’ve been in other meetings when a person was “spoken to from God” and frankly humiliated in front of the church body. There have been times when a brother or sister has shared a “revelation” they’ve received from God that I knew was not His voice. I knew this either from the content of the message or because of the details I knew about the person’s life. I have to tell you I seriously doubt the validity of these “messages from God.”

Keys to Effective Prayer

Does God answer prayers today? Does He answer your prayers? You can have your prayers answered—and the results can be dramatic!

According to a Barna Research poll: “More than four out of five [U.S.] adults (82%) pray during a typical week.” That may sound impressive, but how many pray every day? Remember that in the “outline prayer,” Jesus taught us to pray daily (Matthew 6:11).

Does prayer actually change things? According to Barna Research, “Americans believe in the power and impact of prayer. Four out of five (82%) believe that ‘prayer can change what happens in a person’s life.’ (1994).” Do you personally believe that?

The Bible gives many examples of God’s intervention in the lives of those who seek Him and trust in Him! Note the example of the prophet Daniel: “Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days” (Daniel 6:10). Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den, but God rescued prayerful Daniel and preserved his life (vv. 11–12)!

Your Bible also reveals the power of prayer. Many recall that Jesus’ prayer raised Lazarus from the dead (cf. John 11). But His disciples also experienced such power in prayer. When the Apostle Peter was in Joppa, he saw a dead Christian woman, much beloved by the widows who mourned her death. We read that “Peter put them [the mourning widows] all out, and knelt down and prayed. And turning to the body he said, ‘Tabitha, arise.’ And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. Then he gave her his hand and lifted her up; and when he had called the saints and widows, he presented her alive. And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed on the Lord” (Acts 9:40–42). Yes, the Apostle Peter raised a woman from death!

“But these were great men of faith,” you may say. “What if I don’t have that much faith?” God’s Word gives us the good news that we can have faith. Throughout the Bible, God gives many principles, or “keys,” to effective prayer. If we use these keys, we can have our prayers answered.
Key #1: Pray Sincerely to the True God

Many people use memorized prayers. As a boy, I prayed the “Now I lay me down to sleep” prayer, but my parents also helped me to pray for others in my own words. When you pray, speak to God in your own words, and be sincere.

Remember that you must speak to the true God! There are many false gods, and many people do not believe in any God at all. You need to prove to yourself whether God exists! God is the Creator. He is the lawgiver, both of natural law as Einstein saw it, and spiritual law as the Bible reveals. Nobel prize winner Albert Einstein could see the design and awesome intelligence in the creation. He wrote that the scientist’s “religious feeling takes the form of a rapturous amazement at the harmony of natural law, which reveals an intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection.” (Einstein: A Centenary Volume, ed. A. P. French, p. 305)

God has given us overwhelming evidence of His existence and purpose. Still, some vain, egotistical, arrogant and ignorant people claim that there is no God. Do you know what God calls atheists? “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God'” (Psalm 14:1). Although some “intellectuals” may ridicule faith in God as foolish, it is they who are revealed as fools.

God is ready to have a conversation with all who truly seek Him, even in the most desperate circumstances. When Nebuchadnezzar had taken the people of Judah into captivity in Babylon, Jeremiah explained that they still had hope. “For thus says the Lord: After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord” (Jeremiah 29:10–14).

That same principle applies to you! You can have a conversation with the Creator of the universe! He says that you can find Him, if you seek Him with your whole heart. You can pray or talk to Him, and He says: “I will listen to you!” How wonderful that is!
Key #2: Study the Bible

As you read of how God helped people, and delivered them from great stress and trials, you can have more faith. Read the account of the ancient Israelites’ escape through the Red Sea, of Daniel’s deliverance from the lions’ den and of Shadrach, Meshech, and Abed-nego being saved from Nebuchadnezzar’s fiery furnace. Read of the miracles that Jesus performed—healing the diseased, the blind, the deaf and the lame. The Apostle Paul wrote that “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). The Bible is the Word of God. Read it every day! Understand what the Creator God has actually accomplished in the past—and what He promises you today!

God gives us promises that money cannot buy. One of my favorite scripture verses gives a wonderful perspective on what God can do: “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen” (Ephesians 3:20–21).

What kind of problems do you have? Health problems? Financial problems? Employment problems? Family problems? Academic problems? Mental health problems? God can solve any problem you have! We have to do our part, of course—He cannot solve our problems if we are actively working against His help—but we can be comforted in knowing that He can work miracles for us, “exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think.” As you study the Bible, you will find examples of answered prayer, and encouragement that your own prayers will be answered, as God has promised.

LEARNING HOW TO RECOGNIZE ANSWERS TO PRAYER

Across from me a woman sat sobbing. With tear-filled eyes, she told me, “I don’t know what I believe anymore.” She spoke of having struggled and prayed many days to know how to make a vitally important decision in her life, without success. She anguished, “I don’t know what to do. If you’ll tell me what to do, I’ll do it.” With her hand on the scriptures, she said, “God told us He would help us. He answers everybody else’s prayers. Why won’t He answer mine?”

When one is caught in a whirlpool of emotion, it is difficult to find a way out alone. My prayer is to help you who have similar feelings.

When answers to urgent prayer don’t seem to come, it can be that we don’t understand some truths about prayer, or because we don’t recognize answers when they come.

Our Heavenly Father did not put us on earth to fail but to succeed gloriously. It may seem paradoxical, but that is why recognizing answers to prayer can sometimes be very difficult. Some face life with only their own experience and capacity to help them. Others seek, through prayer, divine inspiration to know what to do. When required, they qualify for power beyond their own capacity to do it.

Communication with our Father in Heaven is not a trivial matter. It is a sacred privilege. It is based upon unchanging principles. When we receive help from our Father in Heaven, it is in response to faith, obedience, and the proper use of agency.

It is a mistake to assume that every prayer we offer will be answered immediately. Some prayers require considerable effort on our part. True, sometimes impressions come when we have not specifically sought them. They generally concern something we need to know and are not otherwise able to find out.

We are here on earth to gain experience we can obtain in no other way. We are given the opportunity to grow, to develop, and to gain spiritual maturity. To do that, we must learn to apply truth. How we face challenges and resolve difficult problems is crucially important to our happiness.

To better understand prayer, I have listened to the counsel of others, pondered the scriptures, and studied the lives of prophets and others. Yet what seems most helpful is seeing in my mind a child approaching trustingly a loving, kind, wise, understanding Father, who wants us to succeed.

Don’t worry about your clumsily expressed feelings. Just talk to your Father. He hears every prayer and answers it in His way.

When we explain a problem and a proposed solution, sometimes He answers yes, sometimes no. Often He withholds an answer, not for lack of concern, but because He loves us—perfectly. He wants us to apply truths He has given us. For us to grow, we need to trust our ability to make correct decisions. We need to do what we feel is right. In time, He will answer. He will not fail us.

I have described the absolute reality of our relationship with our Father. There is nothing about us He does not know. He is conscious of our every need and could provide all of the answers. Yet, because His purpose is our eternal happiness, He encourages us to make the correct choices.

Sometimes, like a child, we misbehave, act unwisely, and feel we cannot approach our Father with a problem. When communication is strained, how wonderful it is to have a Mediator who works things out when we obey His counsel and repent. Such is our Elder Brother, the Savior.

Perhaps Oliver Cowdery’s experiences were recorded for us to understand how to pray and how to recognize answer to prayer. Oliver was told: “That assuredly as the Lord liveth, … even so surely shall you receive a knowledge of whatsoever things you shall ask in faith, with an honest heart, believing that you shall receive. …

“I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost.” (D&C 8:1–2; italics added.)

When we receive an impression in our heart, we can use our mind either to rationalize it away or to accomplish it. Be careful what you do with an impression from the Lord.

Oliver was further taught: “Remember that without faith you can do nothing; therefore ask in faith. Trifle not with these things; do not ask for that which you ought not. …

“According to your faith shall it be done unto you.” (D&C 8:10–11; italics added.)

“Ask in faith” means ask with confidence in our holy Father. Like many of us, Oliver did not recognize the evidence of answers to prayers already given by the Lord. To open his, and our, eyes, this revelation was given through Joseph Smith:

“Blessed art thou for what thou hast done; for thou hast inquired of me, and behold, as often as thou hast inquired thou hast received instruction of my Spirit. If it had not been so, thou wouldst not have come to the place where thou art at this time.

“Behold, thou knowest that thou hast inquired of me and I did enlighten thy mind; and now I tell thee these things that thou mayest know that thou hast been enlightened by the Spirit of truth.” (D&C 6:14–15; italics added.)

If you feel that God has not answered your prayers, ponder these scriptures—then carefully look for evidence in your own life of His having already answered you.

To help each of us recognize answers given, the Lord said: “If you desire a further witness, cast your mind upon the night that you cried unto me in your heart, that you might know concerning the truth of these things.

“Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter?” (D&C 6:22–23; italics added).

The Lord provides further insight by counseling us to study a problem out in our mind and then to ask if it be right: “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.” (D&C 9:8–9; italics added.)

It is vitally important to recognize that the Lord also responds a third way to prayer by withholding an answer when the prayer is offered. Why would He do that?

He is our perfect Father. He loves us beyond our capacity to understand. He knows what is best for us. He sees the end from the beginning. He wants us to act to gain needed experience:

When He answers yes, it is to give us confidence.

When He answers no, it is to prevent error.

When He withholds an answer, it is to have us grow through faith in Him, obedience to His commandments, and a willingness to act on truth. We are expected to assume accountability by acting on a decision that is consistent with His teachings without prior confirmation. We are not to sit passively waiting or to murmur because the Lord has not spoken. We are to act.

Most often what we have chosen to do is right. He will confirm the correctness of our choices His way. That confirmation generally comes through packets of help found along the way. We discover them by being spiritually sensitive. They are like notes from a loving Father as evidence of His approval. If, in trust, we begin something which is not right, He will let us know before we have gone too far. We sense that help by recognizing troubled or uneasy feelings.

Nephi’s efforts to obtain the plates of brass show how the principles work. When the older brethren were asked to go, they “murmured” and received no help. Nephi was assured, “Thou shalt be favored of the Lord, because thou hast not murmured.” (1 Ne. 3:6.) Nephi’s words, “I will go and do,” reveal a positive commitment to act and to succeed by using spiritual law. (1 Ne. 3:7.)

After two unsuccessful attempts, Nephi remained confident. He crept into the city toward the house of Laban without all the answers. He observed, “I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do,” significantly adding, “Nevertheless I went forth.” (1 Ne. 4:6–7; italics added.)

Nephi was willing to try time and again, using his best efforts. He expressed faith that he would be helped. He refused to be discouraged. But because he acted, had confidence in the Lord, was obedient, and properly used his agency, he received guidance. He was inspired step after step to success, and in his mother’s words was “given … power [to] accomplish the thing which the Lord hath commanded.” (1 Ne. 5:8; italics added.)

Nephi knew he was required to confide in God, to exercise faith, and to act so that he could receive help, step by step. He did not murmur nor ask for a full explanation. But, observe particularly, he did not wait passively for help. He acted! By following spiritual law, he was inspired and given power to act.

Sometimes answers to prayer are not recognized because we are too intent on wanting confirmation of our own desires. We fail to see that the Lord would have us do something else. Be careful to seek His will.

I confess I don’t know how to make a correct decision except where there is righteousness and trust in a Heavenly Father. The principles simply will not work when agency is intentionally used at variance with the will of God. If there is unrepented sin, we are left to our own devices to flounder and struggle on our own. We can be rescued through our own repentance.

When we seek inspiration to help make decisions, the Lord gives gentle promptings. These require us to think, to exercise faith, to work, to struggle at times, and to act. Seldom does the whole answer to a decisively important matter or complex problem come all at once. More often, it comes a piece at a time, without the end in sight.

I have saved the most important part about prayer until the end. It is gratitude! Our sincere efforts to thank our beloved Father generate wondrous feelings of peace, self-worth, and love. No matter how challenging our circumstances, honest appreciation fills our mind to overflowing with gratitude.

Why is it that the most impoverished seem to know best how to thank the Lord? In the highlands of Guatemala, members barely subsist. Going to the temple requires great sacrifice. A visit takes a year of preparation. There is hard work, sacrifice to save money and food, the spinning, dyeing, and weaving of new clothing. There is the long, barefoot walk out of the mountains, the crossing of Lake Isabel, the bus rides with little food. Tired and worn, they arrive at the temple. They scrub until they shine, dress in their new clothing, and enter the house of the Lord.

Reclothed in white, they are taught by the Spirit, receive ordinances, and make covenants. One highland woman was greatly touched by the spirit and meaning of the endowment. Entering the celestial room, she saw others seated, with heads reverently bowed. Innocently, she knelt at the entrance to the room, oblivious to others. She bowed her head, sobbed, and for twenty minutes poured out her heart to her Father in Heaven. Finally, with her dress soaked with tears, she raised her head. The sensitive temple matron asked, “May I help?” She responded, “Oh, would you? This is my problem: I’ve tried to tell Father in Heaven of my gratitude for all of my blessings, but I don’t feel that I’ve communicated. Will you help me tell Him how grateful I am?”

The counsel about prayer is true. I have tested it thoroughly in the laboratory of my own personal life. I have discovered that what sometimes seems an impenetrable barrier to communication is a giant step to be taken in trust.

If you seek His help, be sure your life is clean, your motives are worthy, and you’re willing to do what He asks—for He will answer your prayers. He is your loving Father; you are His beloved child. He loves you perfectly and wants to help you.

In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Non stop prayers all year long