Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pray and not faint

But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray always, and not faint… (2 Nephi 32:9)
Recently I was struck by that part “and not faint” in Nephi’s words about how we should pray. It made me wonder if he meant “pray always and don’t lose consciousness” as we so often read it to mean. Yet who really faints while praying? It seemed too silly (unless he knew about all of us who tend to drift off to sleep while we’re praying…). But if he meant those of us who fall asleep while praying, he would have said "pray always and not sleep." So I suspected maybe Nephi meant “pray always and not faintly. That made a lot more sense. I decided to look up in the dictionary what “faint” meant besides "losing consciousness." Here’s what I found:
  • Deficient in magnitude; barely perceptible; lacking clarity, brightness or loudness
  • Lacking clarity or distinctness
  • Lacking strength or vigor
  • Indistinctly understood, felt, or perceived
  • Lacking conviction, boldness, or courage
It seems that Nephi is telling us to pray distinctly, clearly, vigorously, with understanding and feeling, and with conviction, boldness, and courage. No limp-wristed, namby-pamby prayers for us.

I don’t know about you, but this scripture really helped me. I think I had gotten in a habit of faintly praying, and this was a jolt back in the right direction. I’ve noticed that when I pray with more distinctness and clarity, I perceive better how the Lord answers my prayers. Have you seen this?

7 comments:

Curls said...

Interesting. I agree, when I pray the way Nephi exhorts us to the Spirit enters my life much more forcefully.

Corine said...

That is absolutely awesome! I had a similar experience when studying a scripture about prayer just recently. I think I blogged about it, let me check (it may have been in my journal). Yep... here is a link to it: http://corinesmiles.blogspot.com/2011/10/answers-to-prayers.html

I did not tell in the blog post, but I realized that I needed to pray with total and complete faith; and not only that, when doing something and praying for the lord to bless that activity, I need to pray with total faith that he will bless it. I need to DO that activity with total strength, with NO HESITANCE (which comes from fear or lack of faith that it may not be worth the time); the lord will give us what we ask and work for only when we do it in faith. It isn't harsh. This is the way the power of faith works. He wants us to know this so we will ask and work in faith, and be blessed.

Thank you for sharing this!!!
Corine :D

Corine said...

I just quoted your entire post, on the above referenced post; I hope you don't mind! I did give you credit for it. Thanks again a million!!!
Corine :D

Tiffany said...

What a great observation! Thanks so much for sharing your insights.

RGG said...

I love the latter part of that verse:
9“that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul”

Nephi may have read this scripture from Isaiah 40:28-31

28 Have you known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable.

29 He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might, he increases strength.

30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall,

31 But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.
It is a good thing that we renew our minds and purpose to pray an effectual and ferverent prayer.How we "physically manifest it" varies on the person, but I feel that in the effort,therein lies the potential for weakness, which can be bolstered by the Lord.

In Isaiah 40:29 promises that He will uphold us in our righteous endeavors such as prayer.
The prayers of the righteous are like music to his ears, and why would he not help us to improve our prayers,but by helping us to build our faith in Him, which is our strenth.
Thought provoking as always

2Bis2DO said...

Thank you for sharing your insight. This makes much more sense.

Michaela Stephens said...

Corine, thanks for sharing your post with us. RGG, I agree, Heavenly Father can help us renew the energy of our prayers.