Rev. Larry Van Tassell The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
One of my favorite hymns begins, “Ere you left your room this morning, Did you think to pray? In the name of Christ, our Savior, Did you sue for loving favor As a shield today?” Our Savior taught us that we should “Watch and pray, lest (we) enter into temptation” (Mark 14:38). Prayer can truly be a shield against temptation and can assist us in facing the trials of the day. Our prayers can also be of great assistance to our friends and family. I love the power of Luke 22:31-32 where Christ told Peter that Satan desired to sift him as wheat, but then proclaimed “But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not…” James taught that a “fervent prayer of a righteous man (or women) availeth much” (James 5:16). I recall a time when one of my daughters was facing some challenges in her life; challenges that she did not even acknowledge at the time. My wife and I decided to follow our Savior’s promise that “if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them” (Matthew 18:19). As we knelt together every morning and evening and poured our hearts out in prayer for our daughter, we soon noticed that she began to recognize the dangers she was facing and the Lord provided her with experiences that changed her heart and helped her make the right decisions. While the Lord will not take away another’s agency to choose for themselves, I know that our fervent prayers on behalf of others can be a great blessing in their lives.