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."
"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*
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.