Recently, my prayers have been guilt-inducing. As I’ve prayed and asked God for specific blessings, my mind filled with situations of people I know who face trials severe and heart wrenching. I felt bad sending my personal petitions to God when I thought of others throughout the world in greater need.
However, I recently had two experiences that let me know God wants me to ask for blessings; He wants all of us to do so no matter our life circumstance.
The first experience came as I was reading in the Book of Mormon. I was reading chapter 7 in the book of Alma, where it says, “And now I would that ye should be humble, and be submissive and gentle; easy to be entreated; full of patience and long-suffering; being temperate in all things; being diligent in keeping the commandments of God at all times; asking for whatsoever things ye stand in need, both spiritual and temporal; always returning thanks unto God for whatsoever things ye do receive,” (Alma 7:20).
What struck me about this passage of scripture was that we are taught to ask for whatsoever things we need. There were no size qualifications listed. It doesn’t matter if the blessings we seek are big or small. Our Father in Heaven always wants us to ask Him for what we need.
The second experience came in the form of a visit from a friend who came over to my home the same day I read that passage of scripture. She had no idea about the guilt I felt, nor about my experience reading the scriptures earlier that day.
When she came over, she shared her feelings of guilt when praying because of the number of people in greater need of blessings than her. She then shared that while studying the scriptures, she had learned that she looked at prayer and God’s ability to bless His children from a mortal and incorrect perspective. She came to learn that she limited God’s power to bless His children by viewing His ability to grant blessings as finite.
I realized while listening to her that I too had limited God’s power in my guilt. I too had viewed God as having a finite number of blessings to bestow. However, His ability to bless His children is unlimited and infinite. When we ask for blessings, we are not taking away blessings from someone else. God has an unlimited supply of blessings.
Instead of worrying about if I am asking for more than my “fair share” of blessings (since that’s not actually a thing), I need to focus my energy on heeding the counsel in the last line of Alma 7:20 which says, “…always returning thanks unto God for whatsoever things ye do receive.” My new goal is to focus on expressing gratitude for all the blessings I receive – whether big or small.
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