Pray...and Listen

The heavens are not closed;

and those who earnestly seek to know
and feel closer to God,
 will find Him. 

God constantly views all of our trials,
and he stands ready to comfort, guide, strengthen,
lift, heal, and bless us. 
He will even raise up friends to help us. 

Pray with Faith 

Ask the Lord to help you forgive and love all who have wronged you, especially those who are difficult to love.  In addition, pray for those you have injured or mistreated, and pray for the courage to sincerely apologize. 

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:  For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”  (Matthew 7:7-8)  
Pray to Feel Love

The actual power which drives forgiveness is love—our love for God, God’s love for us, love for ourselves, and love for others.  The only way to increase our capacity to love, lift, build, strengthen and comfort others—is to first pray to feel the love of God ourselves.   

“…the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”  (Romans 5:5) 

The Father and his Son love us and are mindful of our needs.  They have taught us what we need to learn to return to their presence.  They have given us prophets and   scriptures to guide us—all this, because they love us.  Pray to feel their love, so you can share that love with all of those around you. Prayerfully work on your relationship with your Heavenly Father and his Son by daily praying, studying the scriptures, and attending Church.  

Some people, especially those who have been abused by their father, have great difficulty with feeling love from and for their Heavenly Father.   Prayerfully ask God to help you feel his love, and seek to draw closer to him through scripture study.  Act as though you love God, doing those things you would do if your love was strong; then, you will begin to draw closer to him, and your love for him will increase.      
Pray for Faith in the Atonement

Some injuries are so hurtful and deep, that healing comes only with help from a higher power.

Love gives us the desire to forgive and find peace;
and the atonement gives us the strength to forgive.  Allow love, mercy, and the atonement to change your heart.  Be willing to give all of your pain and suffering to God, in return for peace, love, joy and eternal life with Him.  After all we can do to forgive and be forgiven, only Christ can completely heal both the offender and the offended by removing their pain and replacing it with love.  Pray for faith in the atonement which will form the foundation for a forgiving heart.  Ask the Lord to change and heal your broken heart, and leave judgment and penalties to God.    

Pray to Find Answers in the Scriptures

The answers to our problems are in the scriptures.  As we ponder them, we can ask God to help us understand the trial of forgiving others.  Daily scripture study will increase our love for Christ and his teachings, and our desire to do all that he asks.  The scriptures provide a moral compass for our lives, reminding us every day of who we are—children of a powerful God who loves us and all others—and this knowledge will increase our capacity to also love our spiritual brothers and sisters.

Pray with Gratitude

You cannot be resentful and grateful at the same time.  Express gratitude to God for the healing effect of the atonement in your life and the lives of others.  Express gratitude for all of your blessings and the things you love and appreciate—children, parents, family, friends, nature, art, reading, education, music, health, animals, employment, scriptures, freedom, America…

Pray to Recognize Personal Weaknesses

Humbly ask God to help you recognize your weaknesses, and seek forgiveness of your own sins and unrighteous heart.  Compassion and forgiveness result when we realize we have many of the same faults we see in others.  Being aware of our own weaknesses makes us more tolerant of the weaknesses of others.  From the Lord’s Prayer—

“And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” (Matthew 6:12) 

Pray for Your Enemies

Some may find it easier to pray for those they don’t know, and those who don’t have a face—than to pray for their own family or personal enemies.  However, the Lord clearly directed that we are to love and pray for our enemies and those who “hate you…despitefully use you…and persecute you.”  Ask God to soften and change your heart and the hearts of others.  Do not wait for others to apologize first for an offense, or restore what they damaged, or admit to a wrong.  The forgiver can unconditionally offer the gift of forgiveness regardless of the offender’s current attitude. 

“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.”  (Matthew 5:44) 

Pray to Acquire Christ-like Attributes

Pray for understanding, compassion, patience, strength, and other Christ-like attributes to completely forgive and love those who have and will continue to mistreat you, regardless of their attitude or their repentance.  Remember how quickly little children forgive and show love.   
“Except ye be converted, and become as little children (humble, submissive, meek, patient, obedient, and full of love), ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.  Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”  (Matthew 18:3-4) 

Pray for Strength

Forgiveness is hard work and takes time, but we can choose to do hard things.  God will not allow us to be tempted beyond our ability to resist, and he is standing ready to assist us if we ask.  Pray for the strength and ability to obey the commandment to forgive.  Ask God to help you lose the desire for revenge, hate and anger.  Ask God to lift the burden of anger off of your shoulders so you cannot feel it—and remember, nothing is too hard for God.  (Genesis 18:14; Philippians 4:13)       

“Fear not…For with God nothing shall be impossible.”  (Luke 1:30, 37) 

Pray with Active Faith

Sometimes, when endless prayer and fasting seem to be of no avail in seeking God’s help for a particular, righteous purpose, the Lord may be asking for something from us in return for his help—and that is where making a vow can make all of the difference.  Ponder the story of Hannah, and prayerfully consider making a vow or sacrifice in return for God’s help with forgiveness, or any other trial. (1 Samuel 1:1-28) 

“Faith without works is dead.”  James 2:17-26

Pray to Recognize Answers to Prayer

Prepare your mind to receive personal revelation, and expect to receive answers to your prayers.  Pay attention to promptings from the Holy Ghost which come into our hearts and minds as a feeling, a sudden thought or idea, or an impression; and then act on the inspiration received.

Although our Heavenly Father watches over us and hears our prayers, he usually inspires another person (family, friend, neighbor, church leader, or stranger) to answer our prayers and meet our needs—another reason it is important that we serve each other.  Be sensitive to the needs of others, and pray to recognize opportunities to serve them.  Allow God to guide your thoughts and actions, knowing you are an instrument in His hands to help answer the prayers of others.