The last few days have been really interesting for me. It was a little difficult for me to find motivation and to do the things I knew I should do. I just felt tired and weary, and I wanted some respite from the troubles and worries of life. I'm sure you've gone through times where you've felt the same way. It's not a very fun feeling, and it can make it rather difficult to want to do anything worthwhile.
I did my best not to shrink into a puddle of self-pity and sorrow, and I tried to keep a positive attitude about the things that were going on. But like I said, it wasn't easy. I found as I kept focused on the things that matter most, and looked for good things around me, I was able to make it through alright. I was still looking for something more, though. I didn't want to just make it from day to day, barely hanging on to a little bit of happiness. I wanted to find true joy again, to have the promise given in Isaiah 40:31 fulfilled, where it says, "they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."
I wasn't finding that kind of strength in the things I was doing, so I figured that I would need to try something more. I had been praying, but I hadn't been making them as meaningful as they could have been. Sometimes it's easy to slip into a habit of making prayers almost part of a checklist, of sorts, where you say them mostly just to say them. I sincerely desired the answers to my prayers, but I wasn't making a sincere effort to listen or to let Heavenly Father know that I did need and want His divine help.
I made an effort that night, to truly pour out my soul to God, and simply let Him know that I was having a hard time. I knew that I couldn't overcome my struggles on my own, but I trusted that He could guide me through them. I felt peace in my heart as I climbed into bed, and a sense that everything would turn out alright. Since then, I won't say that everything has magically fixed itself and life no longer throws a wrench or two in the cogs of my day, but I have noticed a significant change. I have been able to find greater joy again, and to not be so worried about all of the little things that were bringing me down before.
Prayer is such an amazing gift, one that I often find myself not fully utilizing. We have the opportunity to talk with Our Father in Heaven, to let Him know what we are thankful for, and the things that we stand in need of. Truly "the Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him." However, He asks us to prove to him that we truly desire those things, and one of the ways that we can show that desire is through sincere, humble prayer. Prayer is a form of work, and is an appointed means for obtaining the highest of all blessings.
As I have recognized God's answer to my prayer, and His love for me, I have felt somewhat like Enos, a man in the Book of Mormon. Enos was the son of a prophet, who had often heard the things is father taught. He, for whatever reason, had never really paid full attention to what those prophesies and teachings meant to his life. One day, while Enos was hunting in the wilderness, he reflected upon the things his father had taught, and as he says, "the words which I had often heard my father speak concerning eternal life, and the joy of the saints, sunk deep into my heart."
"And my soul hungered; and I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul; and all the day long did I cry unto him; yea, and when the night came I did still raise my voice high that it reached the heavens." (Enos 1:3-4)
As Enos prayed, he came to know that God truly was there, and that the things which his father had taught him were true. Through my prayer, I have also come to know that God is there, and the He loves us, more than we can ever imagine. I've felt His love in my life, and especially in these last few days, as I have turned to Him for my guidance and strength. My soul hungered for assistance beyond what any mortal could give, and as I humbled myself before God and offered the desires of my heart to Him, He listened. Because He lives and loves us, He listens to and answers our prayers.