I have become aware with increasing clarity that Heavenly Father’s greatest desire is to bless all of his children. Effective prayer is the key to accessing the help God is eager to extend to us. Because prayer is a conversation with God, our Heavenly Father, surely he would want to help us discover—from the scriptures, the experiences of others, and from our own experiences—some of the principles which underlie effective prayer.
Prayer Turned Our Marriage Around
By Stephen M. Bird | December 15, 2012
One night, in response to prayer, the Lord blessed me with a greater understanding than I had ever known. I had never been a listener in our family. It just wasn’t part of my nature. My new perspective was granted in February of 1982. I was a new graduate student at Brigham Young University pursuing a master's degree in counseling. My wife and I had been married for seven years, and we lived in a tiny trailer with our three children. I felt burdened by schoolwork and school loans. I also felt a rising resentment toward my lovely wife because I thought she was failing in her homemaking responsibilities. I voiced my disappointment freely, but though I didn't know it, my faultfinding was driving a big wedge between us.
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Humility Precedes the Miracles: Part 1
By Stephen M. Bird | April 4, 2013
Look at the prodigal son’s approach to his father when he returned home for help. The scriptures record that “when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: Make me as one of thy hired servants” (Luke 15:17-19).
Notice his humility and reverence. What a contrast with the beggars of Macao [who demanded alms]. Notice how he was humbled and prepared to receive whatever his father might offer. His highest hope was to work as a servant for his dad. Ironically, his humble return to his father resulted in a gift and celebration far greater than that which would be given for a servant, for his father received him as his son. Similarly, we will be received as God's children when we humble ourselves before him.
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Every Day Is Thanksgiving
By Stephen M. Bird | November 25, 2014
One of the biggest reasons we don’t get more miracles is that we don’t recognize or appreciate the ones we already have. We don’t give the fitting and required credit to God. Thanksgiving, praise, glory, and credit are things we owe our Heavenly Father, and they are things he requires of us. Thankfulness simply acknowledges our debt to God. A lack of thankfulness tells him either that we think that we owe him nothing at all or that we don’t appreciate what he has given us. To credit a blessing to our own hard work is a denial of the truth. It robs us of honest humility and it robs God of the appreciation we owe him. Such a course is not likely to encourage his help.
When we are ungrateful, God sees our rudeness. Remember the time Christ healed the ten lepers? Only one returned to glorify and thank him. Then Jesus asked, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?” (Luke 17:12-19). How would Jesus have responded if those nine approached him with another request? How about the one who did thank him? Don’t you think God would be open to creating more miracles for him? Jesus bid the man arise and said, “Go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole” (Luke 17:19).
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