21 And it came to pass that the brother of Jared did so, according as the Lord had commanded.
22 And he cried again unto the Lord saying: O Lord, behold I have done even as thou hast commanded me; and I have prepared the vessels for my people, and behold there is no light in them. Behold, O Lord, wilt thou suffer that we shall cross this great water in darkness?
Earlier in this chapter, the Lord chastened the brother of Jared for four hours “because he remembered not to call upon the name of the Lord” (Ether 2:14
). The brother of Jared learned his lesson and began to pray regularly. These prayers were not formulaic; they were real conversations about real issues, even issues that were hard to talk about, and that might sound provocative or audacious.
I admire the courage of the brother of Jared in the passage above. He had resolved not to avoid the tough issues and the difficult conversations, and he was now willing to ask the Lord difficult and personal questions. In the following chapter, we see more clearly the internal conflict between his reverence for the Lord and his desire to obey the commandment:
Now behold, O Lord, and do not be angry with thy servant because of his weakness before thee; for we know that thou art holy and dwellest in the heavens, and that we are unworthy before thee; because of the fall our natures have become evil continually; nevertheless, O Lord, thou hast given us a commandment that we must call upon thee, that from thee we may receive according to our desires…. Therefore touch these stones, O Lord, with thy finger (Ether 3:2, 4).
Today, I will follow the example of the brother of Jared. I will speak honestly with God about the real issues in my life. I will ask Him for counsel. I will ask Him for blessings. I will not shy away from discussing difficult issues, knowing that He is capable of helping me and that He has commanded me to reach out to him in prayer. I will pray to Him with courage and faith.