The Bible Dictionary says, “Prayer is a form of work.”
I’ve been thinking today about the level of effort that we can and should put into our communication with God.
Enos describes all three parts of his prayer in terms of hard work:
- He had a “wrestle…before God” when he pleaded for a remission of his sins (Enos 1:2).
- When he prayed for his people, he described himself as “struggling in the spirit” (Enos 1:10).
- He tells us that he then “labored with all diligence” in prayer on behalf of his enemies (Enos 1:11-12).
Why does prayer require so much effort? Because its purpose is change—aligning our will with the will of God—and change is hard. I was impressed by the following passage in this week’s lesson in the “Come, Follow Me” lesson manual:
Enos was willing to pray as long as necessary and even to “wrestle” before God (Enos 1:2). That’s what sincere prayer is: not so much asking for anything we want but a sincere effort to commune with God and align our will to His. When you pray in this way, when your voice has “reached the heavens,” you discover as Enos did that God hears you, and He truly cares about you, your loved ones, and even your enemies (see Enos 1:4–17). In those moments, God can make His will known to you, and you’ll be more willing and able to do His will because you are in harmony with Him.
Sheri Dew has taught that the development of spiritual strength always requires effort:
Sometimes we look upon those who have strong testimonies and wonder if faith somehow comes “naturally” for them. But even those blessed with the gift to believe must wrestle for revelation and greater faith. In fact, it is likely because of their challenges that their testimonies have been forged—and usually in the “furnace of affliction.” (See Isaiah 48:10.)
(“Will You Engage in the Wrestle?” Brigham Young University – Idaho Devotional Address, 17 May 2016, footnote xxiv)
Today, I will follow Enos’s example and really wrestle, struggle, and labor in my prayers. I will strive to align my will with the will of God, and I will continue to pray until I truly understand what He wants to teach me and until I have the faith to face the challenges of the day.