Friday, April 14

Praying

I have a confession. I never prayed about my choice to be a stay at home mom. It is what the prophets say to do, so since I didn't have a problem with it I didn't see a reason to pray to about it. I suppose if someone had suggested pray about it specifically, I would have done so, but the thought never occurred to me that it might not be what the Lord wanted me to do. I feel now, that my struggles with being at home may have been made much easier if I already had a testimony, as opposed to intellectual understanding, that it was what the Lord wanted me to do.

This brings up the question of how much do we need to pray about things that we are commanded to do? Everyone knows that we should pray if we feel we are an exception to the rule (ie, if I wanted to work instead of stay home then I should pray to be sure it's right). But what about things that we already understand and have a basic testimony of? In my case, I have a testimony that the men who counselled women to be SAHMs were prophets of God. I have a testimony that mothering is important work that has been entrusted to women. What I didn't have was a testimony that the Lord wanted me to be a mother who didn't work outside the home, and that what I would be doing is greatly important. I had a testimony of the principle, but not of it's specific application to my situation.

I wonder then, how many other things we should be praying about, perhaps not only to confirm that we are an exception to the rule, but also to confirm that we aren't an exception to the rule. Sure we'll pray about them when it gets tough, but might we be able to avoid some of the tough times be gaining a pre-emptive testimony?

I know that we are commanded to pray about everything. But does that mean that I should pray about which pen to use on my to do list? There are times when such a thing might concievably change my day and alter the course of my life. But 99% of the time stuff like that won't matter. Where does the line get drawn? Are there any guidelines. All that I could find is this:

30 But know this, it shall be given you what you shall ask; and as ye are appointed to the head, the spirits shall be subject unto you.


But how can one apply that in their day to day life?

3 comments:

Rich said...

I believe prayer isn't so much about having HF dictate to me what I should do, but a time of meditation for me to make wise choices, reflecting on what the consequences or outcomes might be, and how they might impact my life.

I think that's a central idea as to how agency is supposed to play out in our lives. We aren't here (in mortality) to be mere automotons, constantly being told what we should do or where we should go, rather, we should apply thoughful reflection to our decisions, especially the really meaningful/important ones, to obtain the desired outcomes (e.g., happiness, contentment, fulfillment, etc.). I think HF gives us insight and an occasional gentle nudge, but I believe He really wants us to be the ones making the decisions, and thereby fulfulling the 'Zweck des Lebens' (purpose or meaning of life); learning to become like Him, doing what He would do, etc.

VirtualM said...

I just wanted to say thanks for making me think about prayer and the role of a stay-at-home mom. As I think I said before, my job terminates 2 weeks before my due date, which has left me in a bit of a stir about what to do next. I never thought I'd be a SAHM, and for some reason, it clicked when I read your post that perhaps I should take it to the Lord. I've been praying as to what my _spouse_ should do (we have the opportunity to move (back to Utah- bleh) for another job or continue to try to make it in our current locale), but I kind of forgot about my own role in trying to figure out his employment situation.

Starfoxy said...

Rich, I whole heartedly agree with you that we aren't to be automotons, and that prayer is most often about quiet reflection rather than being told what to do. However, that is just the thing, I never prayed about being a stay at home mom. Meaning, I never sought revelation about it, nor did I ever quietly reflect on it. I just did it, and I did it that way because it was what I had been counselled to do. Classic 'mindless obedience.' The main question I'm asking is this: Say John Doe reads doctrine X, interprets it poorly to mean something he likes, and never prays for confirmation of it, and so lives his whole life acting on his incorrect belief. We aren't inclined to pray about what we like, so how do we know it's right? And how do we know what all needs to be prayed about?

virtualm, I wish you the best of luck with your baby and career options (for both you and your husband), and I'm glad to be of service! :)

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