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President Hancock's devotional about Prayer at BYU-Idaho
June 19, 2002
Elder Wayne M. Hancock speaks on power, blessings from prayer
REXBURG, Idaho Elder Wayne M. Hancock outlined the power of and blessings of prayer during his devotional address at Brigham Young University-Idaho Tuesday.
If we have not been praying regularly, we will likely not be capable of recognizing and hearing Gods answer through the still, small voice, he said. By consistent, frequent prayer, we learn how to dial ourselves into the finely tuned spiritual frequency through which He communicates to us.
He related an experience from his own family. While living in Phoenix, Ariz., he and his wife began to be troubled about earning enough money to provide a college education for their children. Future prospects were uncertain, so together they fasted and prayed each month seeking inspiration and an employment opportunity to resolve their concern.
At the conclusion of each fast day of supplication, we both received the same impression be patient and it will work out, Elder Hancock said. Sure enough, over a two-year period, an incredible sequence of amazing events occurred. . . . The Lord generously blessed our family both spiritually and temporally as it expanded to eight children.
He compared his circumstances to falling dominoes.
In our situation, all of the dominoes of discontent, fasting and prayer, patience and unfolding of amazing events had to occur in their right sequence so that they could then fall into place and cause us to be where the Lord wanted us to be. The key domino or trigger was that we had to be sufficiently worried and unhappy in order to be prepared to accept an unanticipated relocation that we in and of ourselves would not have planned. Had we been totally happy in Phoenix, the dominoes would have remained standing and the blessings and opportunities awaiting us would have never been realized, he said.
Joseph had a similar experience. While the series of events that took him to Egypt were full of adversity and trial, they also allowed him to eventually save not only his own immediate family but also the children of Israel, their descendants.
Undoubtedly, Joseph had prayed for freedom from the pit, from the enmity of his brethren and from the Egyptian prison. In responding to his prayers, God did so in His own way and for His own purposes. A great lesson to learn in life is that our plans are not always Gods plans, Elder Hancock said. Though we are expected to do all that we can do in preparing for and planning our lifes pursuits, we should remain flexible to allow unscheduled changes to occur in our lives so that the Lord, the Master Planner, can use as instruments in His hands to achieve His greater purposes.
Elder Hancock said that occasionally, a missionary or member would come to him troubled with guilt and he frequently suggested a simple preventative.
Whenever inappropriate thoughts, urges, or desires come unto ones mind, find a quiet place, kneel down and fervently pray to Father in Heaven. It is virtually impossible to entertain unclean thoughts and pursue immoral acts when on ones knees praying in the presence of God. I would offer this same counsel to you noble young people to apply not only in your personal lives, but also in your dating and courtship activities with a choice son or daughter of God.
He concluded by summarizing his talk with seven principles of prayer:
1. In order to receive blessings from God we must ask Him.
2. Faith and prayer are the keys to unlocking the vast storehouse of blessings that the Lord has prepared for each of us.
3. Regular daily prayers empower us to be spiritually attuned to hear and understand the still small voice of deity.
4. The bounties of blessings that come from sincere prayer are far more extensive than we might ever imagine or anticipate.
5. Adversities are frequently a conditioning means to sufficiently humble us and thereby permit the Lord to bring about changes in our lives to serve His greater purposes.
6. Consistent prayer practices insulate us from deceptive seduction by Satan and draw us within the protective and directive care of our Heavenly Father.
7. Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer, will respond to the pleadings of a broken heart and a contrite spirit and extend forgiving relief and hope through the matchless gift of His atoning sacrifice that washes clean and sanctifies the repentant soul.
Elder Hancock was sustained as a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy in April of 1997. He served as the president of the Europe East Area in Moscow, Russia, having previously served as a counselor in that Area Presidency in Frankfurt, Germany. On October 6, 2001, he was released from the Quorum of the Seventy.
He is married to Connie Ann Cameron, formerly of St. Anthony, Idaho. They have five sons and three daughters and presently have 24 grandchildren.
Devotionals are broadcast live on KBYI 100.5 FM Tuesdays at 2 p.m. and are rebroadcast Tuesdays and Sundays at 9 p.m. Next weeks devotional speaker is Scott Samuelson, a faculty member in the BYU-Idaho English department.
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