Emily Belle Freeman
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THIS IS MY JOY

AND MY GREAT REJOICING

Drawn Out in Prayer

Summer of Many MerciesAlma 34 - Alma 37

Several weeks ago I kept receiving the same prompting over and over again, "You need to visit the temple."  So I rearranged my schedule and I went.

I spent most of the morning there.

I love going to the temple.  I love the way I feel the world slipping away from me, and the Spirit filling me full.  While I was there I pondered, what was it that I needed from this visit to the temple?

Perhaps it was peace.  Because I always long for peace.  But, it felt like maybe there was something more.

As I read the scriptures and allowed my heart to ponder I felt the quiet whisper of the Spirit, "What do you need?"

I thought long and hard about that.  Three things came to mind.  So I poured out my heart in prayer with each of those things in mind.  Then I asked the Lord for direction.  What did I need to do?

One word came into my mind.  Desire.

For the past several weeks I have been studying the word desire.

In the world's dictionary it is described as wishing.  But the Lord's definition is different.  It requires action.  It requires the heart.  It requires good.

And it has a lot to do with prayer and with mercy.

The more I have studied the more I realize that I have a lot to work on when it comes to desire.

I love the scripture found in Alma 34...

"Therefore may God grant unto you...that ye may begin to exercise your faith...that ye begin to call upon his holy name, that he would have mercy upon you;  Yea, cry unto him for mercy; for his is might to save.  Yea, humble yourselves, and continue in prayer unto him.  Cry unto him when ye are in your fields, yea, over all your flocks.  Cry unto him in your houses, yea, over all your household, both morning, mid-day, and evening.  Yea, cry unto him against the power of your enemies.  Yea, cry unto him against the devil, who is an enemy to all righteousness.  Cry unto him over the crops of your fields, that ye may prosper in them.  Cry over the flocks of your fields that they may increase.  But this is not all; ye must pour out your souls in your closets, and your secret places, and in your wilderness.  Yea, and when you do not cry unto the Lord, let your hearts be full, drawn out in prayer unto him continually..." (Alma 34:17-27)

When I read that list I realize I have desires in every one of those areas.  Did you notice what those verses teach about prayer?  Continue in prayer.  Cry unto him both morning, mid-day and evening.  Pour out your souls.  Let your hearts be full, drawn out in prayer unto him continually.

Maybe that is what desire requires.

Heartfelt prayer.

Not a list.

But a conversation.

One in which we pour out the desires of our heart.

Continually.