“In our LDS culture, we’re realllly good at feeling guilty. And I think, sometimes, we unconsciously prefer to feel a little guilty because we think it’s easier than doing something like praying with real intent. But guess what- guilt is actually just varying degrees of self-anger. And an emotion like anger is simply a cover-up for sadness or fear- things that eat away at us (eat away at ME) over time and start becoming really heavy and impactful in my life. This isn’t something Heavenly Father wants for us and, when I think about it, it’s not something that I want for myself either.
What I DO want for myself is no guilt, less stress, more peace, and all the amazing blessings my Heavenly Father is just eagerly waiting to give me, if only I can make the small effort to show him I WANT those blessings.”
–Samantha Kelly, Instagram post
Sam and her husband Chas are two of the radest people I know, but don’t really know. Chas was our videographer at our wedding, and I’m obsessed with their adorable family. I’m also obsessed with this post Sam shared a few weeks ago because it spoke to my soul.
It’s true that in our culture, we are really good about feeling guilty. I woke up last Sunday and felt guilty because the very first thing I did was check my Instagram where I was reminded (and felt guilty) that I’m a day behind on my ward’s Book of Mormon reading challenge. I felt guilty today because I spent too much time on random things rather than things that really matter. I can list of a myriad of reasons I feel guilty every single week.
This is why Sam’s post hit me. We feel this guilt, because it’s easier for most of us than praying with real intent. Than showing our Heavenly Father we really want those blessings. Praying with real intent is hard, girls. I can count on my hands the number of times I think I’ve truly poured out my should to my Heavenly Father in real intent.
One of the reasons I think I struggle with real intent in my prayers, is that I sometimes feel like praying with real intent means expecting miracles and visions. If any of you watched the Face to Face event with Elder Holland and President Eyring, you’ll have heard that their advice on prayer was to, “be modest in your expectations” of receiving answers to prayers. If I’m modest in my expectations, then I can expect to pray with real intent, and have modest expectations that the Lord hears me, and that everything will be okay. I shouldn’t shy away from real intent in my prayers because I don’t think I have anything valuable to say to my Heavenly Father. I, in and of myself, am valuable to my Heavenly Father.
So let’s band together, as sisters in Zion, and try to rid ourselves of guilt, by showing our Heavenly Father that we want the blessings he has to offer. Let’s rid ourselves of guilt by praying intently to him. Let’s see how it changes our lives.