Saturday, 7 March 2009

Have You Tried Prayer?

"There is no more beautiful sight in all this world than to see a family praying together. There is real meaning behind the oft-quoted "The family that prays together stays together."
~President Thomas S. Monson

Last night, as seems to be happening all too frequently lately, I found myself waking up around midnight, and quite unable to fall back asleep right away. Rather than disturb Todd, I grabbed something to read, and went into the spare bedroom for a little while. Our church has a wonderful magazine called The Ensign that it puts out every month, which Todd and I have subscribed to it for years now. This was what was immediately at hand in the dark and what I chose to bring into the other room with me. It is filled with lovely inspirational messages and stories from our church leaders and other members of our church . . . messages and stories that have a relevance for everyone, whether you happen to be a Latter Day Saint or not. I always find something to feed my spirit and mind as I read through the words on it's pages.

Normally each month, one of the first articles in the magazine is a message from the first Presidency of our church, and this month's message happened to be one from President Monson, who is our present prophet. Entitled "Come Unto Him in Prayer and Faith," it immediately grabbed my attention. As you all know, I am a praying woman and I can attest to the fact that Heavenly Father does answer our prayers, and sometimes in the most unexpected and beautiful ways.

President Monson talks about families kneeling together in prayer, and the sweet spirit of love, unity and peace that fills the home of a praying family. Recently, I was able experience some of those feelings myself when I was visiting and staying with a lovely family in America. It was an experience that was both inspiring and bittersweet for me. As I listened to this Godly mother sit and read the scriptures to her children as they ate their breakfasts together before school in the mornings, and then again, as they all prayed together at the start of every day, I could not help but think of the difference something like this would have made in my own family life, when I was bringing my own children up. What a wonderful blessing it was to be included in their special reading time together in the evening, and also to kneel together with them all as a family at the end of the day in prayer, before we all toddled off to our respective beds. I like to think , had Todd and I been blessed enough to be able to have children of our own, that is the way it would be for us. And even though I know that we have been denied that blessing here on earth, I do give thanks each day that I have been blessed with a praying husband . . . a man who is not afraid to show me his strength in, and love for . . . the Lord. This is something that I, myself, had prayed to have in my home for many, many years.

There is a mighty power in prayer.

"Satan trembles when he sees the weakest Saint upon his knees."
~William Cowper

"Those who feel that prayer might denote a physical or intellectual weakness should remember that a man never stands taller than when he is upon his knees."
~President Thomas S Monson

Prayer is no guarantee that things in life will run smoothly, or that troubles will never knock upon one's door, but it does mean that when the tough times land, and the troubles knock, we are better prepared as a people to meet them head on, and that we have the most important tools necessary to help to carry us through whatever it is that the world might throw our way . . . and that is the spiritual power and peace that is a priceless and personal gift that comes from being able to kneel down in prayer and speak to our Heavenly Father in faith . . . nothing wavering, remembering the following examples we have been given:

It was by faith, nothing wavering that the brother of Jared saw the finger of God touch the stones in response to his plea.

It was by faith, nothing wavering, that Noah erected an ark in obedience to the command from God.

It was by faith, nothing wavering, that Abraham was willing to offer up his beloved Isaac as a sacrifice.

It was by faith, nothing wavering, that Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt and through the red sea.

It was by faith, nothing wavering, that Joshua and his followers brought down the walls of Jericho . . .

The scriptures are full of examples of men and women who by faith, and with nothing wavering, were able to call down the powers of heaven and to bring about great miracles in their own lives and the lives of others . . . in many cases, miracles that continue to touch our very own lives today . . .

One might be tempted in these modern times to say that these mighty accounts of unwavering faith happened so long ago, and that they bear no relevance to today's world. Look around you . . . nothing has changed . . . . people still love their children, and want them to live good lives. Evil still prevails. People still need the divine protection and care of God . . . in fact . . . we probably need it more now than ever we have . . .

Todd was out with the boy's last night . . . watching a movie and sharing a pizza along with some other men from our ward, and so I was left on my lonesome here at home. I was able to make my own comfort meal that will sound rather crazy to some, but is something that really warms the cockles of my own heart and I find very homey and comforting. It's quite simple really . . . a tin of Heinz Tomato soup, heated and poured into a bowl, along with a bunch of crushed saltines, some ground pepper and a little knob of butter . . . I am in heaven.

I did, however, make something quite wonderful for us for our supper the night before. This is an old standby and one of my favourites from my Big Blue Binder.

*Cabbage Roll Casserole*
Serves 4

This easy to do casserole combines simple ingredients and all of the lovely flavour of homemade cabbage rolls without all the effort that cabbage rolls usually take! I guarantee this will become a fast and firm family favourite.

1 pound extra lean ground beef
1 TBS oil
1 medium onion, peeled and minced
1 fat clove of garlic, peeled and minced
salt and black pepper to taste
1/2 cup raw long rain rice
1 tin of condensed tomato soup
1 soup can of water
3 cups of shredded cabbage
(I prefer the white cabbage)

Pre-heat the oven to 165*C/325*F. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat, and add the ground beef. Cook, stirring, until the meat is nicely browned and no pink remains. Add the onion and garlic and cook for a few minutes longer until they are softened. Season to taste with salt and pepper and then stir in the raw rice. Add the soup and the can of water. Allow to simmer for a few minutes.

Shred the cabbage and place it into the bottom of a medium sized casserole dish. Pour the meat/soup/rice mixture over top. Do not stir. Cover tightly and bake for 1 1/2 hours.



  1. Hello Marie. Thank you for the kind comments about the cake. I will certainly think of you while I am in London today. I hope the weather is kind! I LOVE the soup idea. When we were kids, my sister and me used to LOVE soup with mashed potato. Yum! Have a lovely day. Amanda x

  2. Gosh, I fancy Manda's soup and mash. Can't tell Keith about that or I will have to make it for him now, today. Can't tell him about your biscuits and soup AND butter either for obvious reasons!

    His own personal soupy comfort food is to spread half a dozen slices of bread thickly with butter, break it up into a bowl, pour on hot soup (any sort will do) and mash it all up together. Ugh, it looks horrid but gets even worse when he puts slices of any old bits of cheese over the top and sticks it under the grill. He reckons even Gordon Ramsay would love it if no-one was looking!

    But that cabbage dish...that's a different matter. Poor old Gordon wouldn't get a look in!

    love, Angie, xx

  3. Nice post Marie as well!! I love to pray but sometimes as today I wake up with sadness in my heart, please can you pray by me today I believe in the prayer power!!! xxGloria

  4. You are so right in saying Prayer is a powerful thing. I read a quote the other day that said something about if you can sleep - don't count sheep, pray instead. I'm always praying it seems. Sometimes we don't think our prayers are being answered but I've found that God's timing is not the sames as ours for sure. My family has always prayed together and I like to think it does keep us together. I have had your cabbage dish many times over the years. One thing I do differently is to put it in the crockpot and let it go all day til dinner time. I'd never heard of white cabbage. I've only ever had green. That is something new to me.
    Hope your Saturday is a lovely day
    'On Ya'-ma

  5. Thanks Marie,Pretty cute flower collections and yummy dishes.Wish you and all women around the globe a joyful Women's day.

    Send gifts to chennai|Send gifts to Bangalore|Send gifts to India

  6. Marie,
    As I am a lurker(and a fellow zaar member :) ), I don't believe I have ever left a comment. Today I feel I need to. I read your blog every day, and out of all the blogs I do read, if I could only read one it would be yours. We've been going thru some rough spots over here lately and your recent posts have reminded me to stay faithful, be thankful, and we'll get thru this. You have been an inspiration to me for many months and I just wanted to thank you. :)

  7. i love those president monson quotes! thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on prayer. you are wonderful!

  8. The recipe looks yummy, as usual.

    You are so right about prayer. We do need it so much...and I think too, more and more as the world crumbles around us!!

  9. Hello dear,
    Yesterday was our monthiversary. I can hardly believe that it has been one month since I first met you in real life and was able to hug. Fri. the 6th of Feb... and the week that follows will always be special to me as I remember the week we shared.

    I too loved hearing Lynell read to the family each morning and night.... and kneeling in prayer with them is special to me too.

    I often wonder how any one has the courage to start or end the day without asking for God's blessing. I know that I need His guidance and protection every minute.

    WE ARE SO ALIKE!!! My mom served me tomato soup with crackers often for dinner.... and to this day it is comfort food for me. Sometime she would put a chopped up hard boilded egg in it for extra protein. I love that too. We were poor but hot tomato soup filled my tummy and warmed my soul.

    I am trying your cabbage dish for dinner tonight. Hop on over and join us. I will gladly share with you and Todd.

    Have a good weekend. Love, Lura

  10. I know that the prayers of others and our own have gotten us through this tough time.

  11. I do love cabbage roll casserole, but with a good helping of cheedar cheese on top! (sometimes even a tin of cheese soup mixed in...)

  12. Prayer is the soul's sincere desire and my own prayers were answered this week. It is a powerful gift we have been gien on this earth. Thanks for sharing your insite into it. Love primroses and can't wait til spring. Actually I saw some of my daffodills emerging as I looked out the window today so Spring is pending.

  13. Hi Marie! What a wonderful post about prayer. I am so glad that you were able to find your Todd - someone that loves you and appreciates you!

    I have been praying for that sweet little family who lost their little Gracie this week. It just breaks my heart imagining what they are going through right now.

    Thank you for your sweet words.


  14. Some of my favorite moments in prayer are when I pause for a minute, silence my mind and just enjoy the peace I feel. What an incredible blessing and priveledge it is for us to have the opportunity to have these sacred moments with our Heavenly Father. We are so blessed!


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