I’ve noticed that my blogs are so much more interesting and powerful when I’m going through a period of trial, and my prayers are the same way. When I recognize my weakness and I’m struggling to improve, I’m far more earnest in my study and prayer as I seek the aid of Heavenly Father. However, “men are that they might have joy“, and therefore I think it’s safe to assume that Heavenly Father doesn’t expect me to be in a constant state of turmoil to learn what He needs to teach me!
“Sometimes it is hard for us to be sufficiently grateful for the greatest gifts we receive: the birth of Jesus Christ, His Atonement, the promise of resurrection, the opportunity to enjoy eternal life with our families, the Restoration of the gospel with the priesthood and its keys. Only with the help of the Holy Ghost can we begin to feel what those blessings mean for us and for those we love. And only then can we hope to be thankful in all things and avoid the offense to God of ingratitude. We must ask in prayer that God, by the power of the Holy Ghost, will help us see our blessings clearly even in the midst of our trials.” (Henry B. Eyring, The Choice to Be Grateful)
I’ve started working to be more grateful in my prayers, and it works! Sometimes I have to go through a pretty long list of things to thank Heavenly Father for, but inevitably- if I keep going long enough- gratitude invites the Spirit. It’s only through the Holy Ghost that I can communicate with Heavenly Father, and so once I feel that comforting presence, I know that my prayers are being heard and answered… Just as powerfully as ever.