Wednesday, October 14, 2020

President M. Russell Ballard on a call to faithful prayer

President M. Russell Ballard (born October 8, 1928) was called as a Seventy in 1976, and has served as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles since 1985. He became acting president of the Twelve in January 2018.
"I think often of those of you who are suffering, worried, afraid, or feeling alone. I assure each one of you that the Lord knows you, that He is aware of your concern and anguish, and that He loves you—intimately, personally, deeply, and forever....

"Today I expand my call for prayer to all people from every country around the world. No matter how you pray or to whom you pray, please exercise your faith—whatever your faith may be—and pray for your country and for your national leaders. As I said last October in Massachusetts, we stand today at a major crossroads in history, and the nations of the earth are in desperate need of divine inspiration and guidance. This is not about politics or policy. This is about peace and the healing that can come to individual souls as well as to the soul of countries—their cities, towns, and villages—through the Prince of Peace and the source of all healing, the Lord Jesus Christ.

"During the past few months I have had the impression come to me that the best way to help the current world situation is for all people to rely more fully upon God and to turn their hearts to Him through sincere prayer. Humbling ourselves and seeking heaven's inspiration to endure or conquer what is before us will be our safest and surest way to move confidently forward through these troubling times."

- M. Russell Ballard, "Watch Ye Therefore, and Pray Always," General Conference October 2020, Sunday morning

Like many of the speakers in this general conference, President Ballard acknowledged the very challenging circumstances of our modern times. He recalled a prompting he had last year, well before the COVID-19 pandemic and other problems of 2020, to encourage the Saints to "pray for this country, for our leaders, for our people, and for the families that live in this great nation founded by God." He felt profoundly the great need we all have for faithful prayer on behalf of our leaders and our neighbors. Now, a year after that prompting, he shared the impression with members and friends of the Church in all the world in an expanded call:

As we turn our hearts to God and humbly ask for His help, for His "inspiration to endure or conquer" the challenges we face, we will find greater peace in the times of trouble we are facing. Particularly when we are "suffering, worried, afraid, or feeling alone" we can feel the reassurance that "the Lord knows you, that He is aware of your concern and anguish, and that He loves you—intimately, personally, deeply, and forever." It's a beautiful promise.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2020)

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