Tender Mercy #13: An answered prayer

This tender mercy encompasses most others. So many specific blessings begin with the seed of prayer. . .

The possibility of prayer is a tender mercy in itself! Think of it–the Creator of all personally knows and tends to His creations, including you and me (see Matthew 6:26). Beyond that, our prayers do have an effect. The scriptures state that the “fervent prayer of a righteous man [or woman] availeth much” (James 5:16)*.  This can be you praying for strength as a mother, you praying for a struggling child, or someone praying for you; this can be a prayer uttered years ago or the prayer in your heart this very moment; this is faith layered on faith with a measure of patience and grit.

My prayers have been answered in various ways–some right away (or even before I got the words out) and some after a long, long time. (In fact, I have a few prayers out there still pending.) Invariably, however, the answers have come “in time.”

In 2015, I was pregnant with my eighth baby. My sister and I were taking turns caring for my mom who suffered a stroke the previous year. There was a 6-week period near the end of my pregnancy when my sister was not available to do the care. I felt stuck. There was no way I could step in. No way. My mom needed to be tube fed, turned and changed every few hours, and transferred with a Hoyer lift. We explored all the options we could think of and there seemed to be no easy solution. After a few anxious days, I stopped. I set down all my worries and questions and prayed for help. A brilliant, hopeful idea came to me–an inspiration. I realized that the tasks required could be broken up. Some I could do, but the ones I could not do I could hire my lovely, strong teenage sons to do. It was summer and they were around anyway. They were happy for some extra spending money. I was happy to have the puzzle solved. They provided a meaningful service for their grandma and everyone benefited. Divine genius was at work–all because of a little (but very fervent) prayer!

Sometimes we don’t get answers right away–that can be divine genius too.

When has an answered prayer blessed you?

~MW

*(A little qualifier to James 5:16: Though we “know perfectly well we are not perfect,” we can still access God through the grace of Christ. See the conference address “Latter-day Saints Keep Trying” by Elder Renlund).

This is #13 of a 15 part series, The Tender Mercies Project.

Tender Mercy #12: Enhanced meaning

The following excerpt (from Faithful Nurturing: Mothering from the Heart to the Heart, chapter 12) tells of a time when a particular line of a song gained personal meaning to me:

“An awareness of God’s personal care can bring great solace and comfort. Specific experiences that demonstrate His involvement in our own lives are at least part of the “tender mercies” spoken of scripturally. Once I was up late at night going through a book of hymns. As I sang through one line of a certain hymn, the words were highlighted to my heart so powerfully that I knew God was assuring the truth of them to me personally. On that particular night, I needed desperately to know: “As thy days may demand, so thy succor shall be” (from Hymns of the LDS Church # 85, “How Firm a Foundation”). If it is true that “to suffer is to be alone,” the corollary is also true: the moment we find we are not completely alone, our suffering is at least partially, but often profoundly, alleviated. . .”

The above experience occurred during a time where I was struggling with balancing my time caring for my kids and my elderly mom. Both were all-consuming and I wondered if I was up to the task. The words to the hymn came like a promise and assurance that gave me great peace at the time and stays with me still. I know it is true that whatever difficulty comes at us, God will provide an adequate measure of “succor” (help, support) as we turn to Him. Just as the words to the song seemed “highlighted to my heart,” I have had a similar experience with scriptural verses or even wise things people around me have said.

When have certain words or experiences gained enhanced meaning and guided you in your life?

(Part 12 of a 15 part series: The Tender Mercies Project. See the original post from Feb 2107).

* See the following links: “The Tender Mercies of the Lord” by David Bednar Ensign, May 2005; see also How Firm a Foundation