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?
*(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.