27 Yea, and when you do not cry unto the Lord, let your hearts be full, drawn out in prayer unto him continually for your welfare, and also for the welfare of those who are around you.
28 And now behold, my beloved brethren, I say unto you, do not suppose that this is all; for after ye have done all these things, if ye turn away the needy, and the naked, and visit not the sick and afflicted, and impart of your substance, if ye have, to those who stand in need—I say unto you, if ye do not any of these things, behold, your prayer is vain, and availeth you nothing, and ye are as hypocrites who do deny the faith.
As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are learning to emulate Him. There is no characteristic more central to His character than His love for us. This is such a fundamental part of His character that the Apostle John said simply, “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love” (1 John 4:8).
In the passage above, Amulek gives us two activities we can do to both demonstrate and develop our love for other people: pray for them and give to them.
- After telling us that we should pray for all of our needs, including our responsibilities at work and at home, the projects we’re working on, and challenges in our relationships with other people, Amulek tells us that we should always have a prayer in our hearts: “Let your hearts be full, drawn out in prayer unto him continually.” This constant prayer in our hearts should be for the blessings we need, but also for the people around us. How often do I pray for other people in my mind throughout the day? If I did so more often, would I learn to love them more, and would they receive blessings in answer to my spontaneous prayers on their behalf?
- Amulek tells us that our prayers are useless if we aren’t willing to help the people around us. Asking God to bless them and then failing to do what we can for them is hypocritical, and calls into question the sincerity of the prayer. As I pray for others throughout the day, I can ask myself if there is anything I can do for them. As I give to those in need, my love for them will grow, and they will be blessed by my service.
Today, I will follow Amulek’s counsel to pray for others and to give to them. I will take these simple actions throughout the day, recognizing that they will help me to learn to love as the Savior loves and thus to emulate Him more fully.