What Should I Pray For?

With the enabling power of Christ’s Atonement, we can pray for strength to change our circumstances rather than for our circumstances to be changed.

Photo by Jonathan Nelson

As I lay on my bed suffering from what I later learned was a herniated disk in my lower back, I didn’t know what to pray for. I could hardly walk, I couldn’t bend to get in a car, I could barely sit down long enough to finish a meal, and I couldn’t even lie in bed to relieve the pain. I essentially dropped out of my normal life and stayed home to manage the debilitating and excruciating pain that ran down my right leg. I didn’t dare pray to be healed, because if I wasn’t, I feared I would have a crisis of faith. 

During this ordeal, a friend of mine told me to listen to Elder David A. Bednar’s devotional “In the Strength of the Lord.” That talk changed my life. I learned that the Atonement of Jesus Christ was not only for sinners but also for sufferers. Elder Bednar uses several Book of Mormon examples to show how the Lord doesn’t always change the circumstances of the people but strengthens the people through the enabling power of Christ’s Atonement to bear their burdens. The Savior “can reach out, touch, and succor—literally run to us—and strengthen us to be more than we could ever be and help us to do that which we could never do through relying only upon our own power.”

For me, there was no immediate healing miracle, but I learned what to pray for—the strengthening and enabling power of Christ’s Atonement. Now whenever I find myself in a difficult spot, I know I can rely on the Savior and pray for strength and power to work through any challenge that comes my way. 

Read more from Elder David A. Bednar’s speech “In the Strength of the Lord” to learn more about the enabling power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

Source: BYU Speeches

—Pamela Nelson, Latter-day Saint Insights


Find more insights

Read Elder Brook P. Hales’s article Answers to Prayers” to learn how to recognize when Heavenly Father is speaking to us.

Take a look at the article by Sister Ann M. Dibbs, Be of Good Courage” and learn why we need to be patient while we wait on the Lord.

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  1. Pingback: How to “Pray Always” - Latter-day Saint Insights

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