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On Prayer

by Tom Johnson on Jun 22, 2011 •
categories: family

In reading the Book of Mormon (children's edition) to Callie and Lucy, I noticed that both Lehi and Nephi prayed to received their revelations. I don't pray nearly enough. I usually wait until I'm tired and then say a 15 second prayer.

I used to be much better at praying. On my mission I discovered that if I sang and prayed, sang another hymn and prayed, sang another hymn and prayed, until about 10 minutes, I could invoke the warmth of the spirit. But there's never a good time or place to do this. Prayer requires a degree of solitude and alone time. Being a father of four, who works all day, and interacts with his family at night, when am I supposed to pray? When is my wife supposed to pray?

I would like to pray more at work, but I feel uneasy about being paid while I pray.

I'm just not entirely sure where to go, or what to say. Do I deserve everything I'll ask for?

A while ago, while praying, I received the impression that, however much I studied the gospel, I needed to have a strong testimony. This answer came while I was studying the gospel pretty intensively. Ironically, sometimes reading the scriptures critically makes it harder to have a testimony. When I question assumptions, dig deep, learn multiple perspectives, I become more jaded and suspicious. It's harder to be spiritual. That's why this impression -- that I need to have a stronger testimony, hit me so hard. Can studying the gospel be antithetical to developing faith? If not, how does one develop faith? Perhaps it's not by immersing yourself in the scriptures, but by immersing yourself in prayer?

Recently I have had tremendous experiences with prayer. They deserve the telling of another post, so that I won't forget them. Let me just say that I need to pray more, however I can manage it.

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About Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

I'm a technical writer / API doc specialist based in the Seattle area. In this blog, I write about topics related to technical writing and communication — such as software documentation, API documentation, visual communication, information architecture, writing techniques, plain language, tech comm careers, and more. Check out simplifying complexity and API documentation for some deep dives into these topics. If you're a technical writer and want to keep on top of the latest trends in the field, be sure to subscribe to email updates. You can also learn more about me or contact me.