Lately, I’ve seen a sentiment gaining popularity. It’s usually in response to some kind of calamity. For example, after the terrorist attack in Orlando, people started saying, “Pray for Orlando.” The sentiment that followed, was, “Don’t pray for Orlando, Do something.”
I get a little frustrated when I see this kind of statement made. It makes me realize how much prayer is underestimated. Prayer works. Enos is a great example of this.
So – here’s what happens…
Enos Prays for Himself
While hunting, a man named Enos starts to think about the things that his father has told him “eternal life and the joy of the saints.” He must wrestle before God before he completely understands any of what his father teaches him.
So, he starts to pray. He prays for his own soul – that He will receive forgiveness.
The Lord answers:
“And there came a voice unto me, saying: Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed.” – Enos 1:5
The prayer doesn’t end here.
Enos Prays for his People
After feeling the joy that overcomes his soul when he repented of his sins, Enos’s thoughts start to turn outward. He begins to pray for his people.
“Now, it came to pass that when I had heard these words I began to feel a desire for the welfare of my brethren, the Nephites; wherefore, I did pour out my whole soul unto God for them.” – Enos 1:9
As Enos prays for his people, the Lord promises he will bless them.
The prayer still doesn’t end there.
Enos Prays for his Enemies
“And after I, Enos, had heard these words, my faith began to be unshaken in the Lord; and I prayed unto him with many long strugglings for my brethren, the Lamanites*.” – Enos 1:11
* Keep in mind that the Lamanites were the enemies of the Nephites. They often warred and battled each other. The Lamanites regularly stole from and murdered the Nephites.
Yet, Enos prays for them. He prays for their welfare. His heart is full of love and compassion, for his enemies.
Prayer changed Enos’s heart.
Prayer is powerful. A speech, a physical threat, a gun can’t change a heart. But prayer can, and it consistently does.
Imagine if we were more like Enos. Imagine if all Americans (at the very least),
1) Would pray for Forgiveness
2) As we experienced this forgiveness, we were so filled with God’s love, that we prayed for our own people.
3) With unshaken faith in the Lord, we started to pray for the welfare of our enemies.
Imagine what our world would be like if, instead of busying ourselves or saying, “Do something” We would first pray. Imagine if we would change our hearts through the humbling practice of prayer. Imagine a world where we were praying for each other- truly and compassionately praying for each other!