How Do You Stay Strong and Resolved?
This question asked by a friend of mine has prompted a lot of thought. A few recent experiences have taught me a really cool and powerful principle that answers this question....
When we are tempted to do something we know we shouldn't, we can pray and ask God to dismiss that influence and give us added strength to be strong. Afterward, we have to listen to the positive thoughts that come into our mind and act on them.
In a previous post called... There is an unseen war going on here, I talked about the idea of God's angels and Satan's forces surrounding us. Satan's forces are trying to discourage, tempt and degrade us, while God's forces try to encourage, protect and enlighten us. Those angels that surround us have the power to banish Satan's forces if we ask God for help. When Satan's forces are gone, we can better hear the Holy Spirit and His direction of what to do to avoid that temptation. If we pray and then act on received prompting, we will be protected.
This doesn't just work with temptation to do something wrong, but in anyway that Satan and his crew work to try to thwart us.
If you are suddenly feeling irritated or sad and depressed, you can do the same thing.
Say, "Heavenly Father, I am feeling... Please dismiss that influence and help me to be happy so that I can ... take care of my kids, do my job at work (whatever good, important thing you need to do)".
Then again, we must listen to that voice in our minds and act on that positive thought.
This is our way out...
out of sin, temptation, discouragement, anger, resentment, etc.
We really are not alone in our fight. God's forces are just waiting for
their activation orders. Prayer activates them in our behalf. They will not go against our agency, so we have to ask to receive that help.
"Ask and ye shall receive, knock and it shall be opened unto you."
This is why the Savior counseled us through example to pray like this...
He was trying to teach us that we could pray for that "power" from Him to literally deliever us from evil influence.
aAnd blead us not into ctemptation, dbut deliver us from evil."
Such is the power of prayer!
Wow! That really is power.
If you don't believe me,
take my challenge and try it out.
That's what I have been doing, and it really does work if you...
1. Pray2. Act ( don't forget that part)
Do it and then come back and post your experience.
Here is my experience with this principle...
This weekend we made a six-hour drive for a family event on Saturday. I hate driving! I have problems sitting for long periods due to a complication from my third baby delivery. To make matters worse, we left late because my children did not get their packing done the night before like I had asked. I was also hungry, and I didn’t get all of my housework done before we left. I was feeling really irritated.
Okay...now the real truth.
Those were the things I thought were irritating me, but in truth I was just feeling sad that day. Going on a trip, especially to our hometown reminded me that I was without my husband.
I really do pretty well most of the time, but this day the sadness was just permeating. It didn’t help that we were bringing my son’s girlfriend to meet the family. I guess I was feeling kind of jealous watching them together. My son’s attention was all on her, and it reminded me that I was alone.
So I was just short and grumpy. About halfway through the drive I began to feel guilty. I knew that I was not making my son’s girlfriend feel very welcome. I quickly rationalized that my son was not being very nice to me. After all, turn about is fair play, right?
No, that’s not right and it’s definitely not nice. I decided to pray. That is my go to solution for all of my problems now. The scriptures teach us that we can pray anywhere and that we should always have a prayer in our heart.
Ephesians 6:18 “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching there unto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;”Psalms 62:8 “Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.”Since my husband’s death, I pretty much pray most of the day…while I’m washing dishes, driving, taking a bath, or drifting off to sleep. I pretty much just talk to God like He is my Father. I know that He loves me, He cares for me, and He wants to help me.
“Heavenly Father, I’m feeling so sad and irritated today,” I said in my mind as I drove down the highway. His answer came clearly into my thoughts.“You need to choose not to act irritated. You need to choose to be happy and smile. I know you are sad, but you can choose how to respond.”Honestly I knew that I was behaving poorly and rather immaturely. I felt humbled, and I swallowed some of my pride.
I thought, “What can I do to start to act happy?”
The thought came into my mind, “Play the Alphabet game.”
In a cheerful voice I announced, “Let’s play the Alphabet game. ‘A’ Ahead, ‘B’ Bridge.” Quickly everyone joined in and the tone of the car changed.
So I wrote this story down intending it to be a post about choosing how to act instead of react in a situation. We had a great trip and that night I had a wonderful conversation with my son's girlfriend. It wasn't until the next day when I was talking with my sisters and my son's girlfriend about my earlier ideas in this post, that I recognized that I had been ganged up on by Satan that night in the car. I asked everyone in the car how they had felt at the beginning of the trip. They all confirmed that they were extra irritated for no apparent reason. I then asked how they felt after we started playing the game. They all agreed that the tone completely changed in the car. I realized that by choosing to pray and ask for help, that I had caused those evil forces influencing us to leave my car. As I thought further on the matter, I realized that I would not have had that important conversation with my son's girlfriend. I told her this and she completely agreed in amazement.
Satan is so manipulative, calculating and strategic!
Looking back on other experiences, I see the same pattern. Now when I feel that negative influence, I say to myself,
"Satan's doing double coverage, so there must be something really important for me to do! I've got to look for it and figure that out."
Then I pray and ask for that influence to be banished so that I can get to work. Very soon, I know what I am supposed to be doing. There is an unseen war going on here, but if we are aware of Satan's tactics, then we can be on the defensive. We can sound the horn and go offensive on him.
That is why I am writing this post. I can fight this battle on an individual level, but if we want to win in our families and communities, we need lots of us fighting together. So get the word out. Let's build our forces.
If you still don't believe me....
as I said earlier, just try it out.