I came across a thread today on a forum I frequent, that made me sad:
I am not posting this to judge or condemn others (and I hope the author of this thread will forgive me), but I’m posting because I feel compelled to make a point. I pray that others will be led to know Him.
I fully admit, I likely would have ticked the 3-5 min option if I had taken this poll a few years ago. The longest amount of time given per-day for prayer in this poll, is 30 minutes. I think most of us spend that much time on the toilet in a day (in the case of my oldest son, even longer).
If we are only spending 30 minutes a day trying to talk with the Lord, how are we supposed to KNOW Him? Maybe I’m odd, but I talk with the Lord more than I talk with my little boy who is pretty much my left leg. He knows me intimately, but I SEEK to know Him better; constantly.
From Denver Snuffer:
“I have labored decades to learn what I have learned, and I spend some time daily now studying, praying, contemplating and pondering. Although I have had remarkable experiences, I continue to study because the the things of God are deep, and require careful, patient, solemn and ponderous thought to acquire some of what He has made available.” (Denver Snuffer, “What’s Wrong?”, emphasis added.)
This recommendation is from a man many of us respect and believe knows the Lord. He’s given us “the formula” in so many of the things he’s written and spoken, and he offers it again here in this quote above. Knowing the Lord is a labor of love, not something that is acquired flippantly or lazily.
“And it came to pass that he cried mightily unto the Lord all that day; and behold, the voice of the Lord came unto him…” (3 Nephi 1:12, emphasis added.)
How many of us are crying mightily unto Him – ALL THE DAY as Nephi did before he heard the voice of the Lord? This is the kind of earnest desire we need to find within ourselves – that we would cry mightily unto Him all the day – until we hear His voice.
“Yea, and cry unto God for all thy support; yea, let all thy doings be unto the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest let it be in the Lord; yea, let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever.
Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and [IF] ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day.” (Alma 37:36-37, emphasis added.)
The pattern for knowing the Lord in this lifetime has been given to us by those who have achieved it. Do we believe them? Do we want this bad enough to cast off the natural flesh and spend that time we might have spent watching a TV show, or going to a game, or surfing LDS Freedom Forum or Facebook, crying mightily unto the Lord all that day and doing ALL things unto Him?
My good friend Jeffrey wrote a wonderful article on the topic of the Second Comforter. I really appreciate what he said in this quote:
“However tempting it may seem, the notion that we have to wait is not of God. Waiting to see Him when you die is not a part of His Plan of Happiness. He has spoken in His written word, and by the mouth of His Prophets, that this experience IS for YOU, while in the flesh.” (Jeffrey Richardson, The Path, “The Second Comforter”)
I agree with him. If you want to know the Lord, be proactive. SEEK Him. The gift and opportunity are available to us in this life, but we must receive it.
The first time I was in the presence of the Lord, I was hiding in my little boy’s bedroom closet so I could pray privately (yes, sometimes it requires hiding in the closet for this mom to find quietude). I went to the Savior to tell Him that I had done all that I understood would bring the gift of His presence into my life, and that I wanted to know Him. I asked what more I needed to do and told Him that I would do it if it would allow me to know Him in this life. I knelt as low as I could, and prayed with my entire soul – as I had done many times before, and I imagined myself at His feet and spoke to Him as if He were there. I sought Him and I EXPECTED Him, and He did come to me that night.
I testify to all who read this, that He is filled with so much love and patience for us. He WANTS us to be bold and passionate about not just following Him, but knowing Him. He IS the greater Comforter. He IS our advocate and our friend.
He is not scary and does not “punish” with cruelty, but mourns for all who have not yet embraced Him and allowed Him to abide with them. He seeks us, but He cannot and will not force us to let go of this world and this flesh, and be converted unto Him.
Start talking with Him people! KNOW Him! He will come to you if you labor to know Him, but we cannot get to know Him and expect Him to come to us and be our comforter and companion, if we do not SEEK to know Him. Thirty minutes of prayer in a day is barely giving acknowledgement; my young son might feel very neglected if I only spent thirty minutes each day with him. This desire should fill our every thought and action. If it doesn’t, you can work toward that. Just like serving others helps US love THEM, seeking the Lord and seeking to serve Him helps us to love and come to know Him. It gives us the opportunity to be received by Him. But we first should seek to know Him. He wants so badly to know us all, but we cannot do that if we only give him as much time as we give the toilet or other superficial or low-ranking activities in our day.
Don’t make knowing the Lord an afterthought; LABOR to know Him, and you will.