Let’s talk about prayer for just a minute. I was listening to a favorite podcast this week, Don’t Miss This. I try to listen to David Butler and Emily Freeman while I prepare breakfast in the mornings, so when the children come for breakfast and family scripture study, I have some new insights to share, and maybe some stories about the characters in the scriptures that we are studying. It’s something we look forward to.
This week David Butler talked about the Doctrine and Covenants character, Oliver Cowdry. Oliver had some questions for the Lord. He was looking for some answers. And he didn’t feel like he was really receiving answers.
“God doesn’t want to be another Siri. He wants to be a Father, and walk through this with us! He’s more interested in the relationship.
You may not get an exact answer, but you will have an experience!”David Butler
That is really paraphrasing David’s words. Remember I was listening to this and taking notes while I was scrambling the eggs!
But let’s look at examples.
- QUESTION: How do I get to the promised land?
- SIRI ANSWER: 31.9522 degrees N, 35.2332 degrees E
- LORD’S ANSWER: Let me get you our of Egypt first, Moses. What do you think? Do you have any ideas? Then let’s get across the Red Sea. Really, this is going to be pretty incredible. Who do you want to help you on this journey, Moses? No rush. Your people will get there. I promise.
- QUESTION: Who should I marry?
- SIRI ANSWER: Bryant Blanchard in 2003
- LORD’S ANSWER: Let’s go back to university, Rach, and let’s see what we can learn there, and what experiences we can have there. Let’s see who you meet there. Matt? He is such a nice man, and you can learn from him. It’s totally okay that the relationship didn’t end in marriage. Let’s try Jeff. What do you think about Peter? What do you think about Bryant? I trust your desires.
- QUESTION: Where should we move our family to next?
- SIRI ANSWER: Provo, UT
- LORD’S ANSWER: Well, how are you feeling about your time in NYC so far? How about London? How did you decide to move to those places? I’ll go with you, let’s look at some options, but know that I will be going with you, wherever it is.
Can you think of examples in your life?
There are a few things these experiences – yours and mine – illustrate about prayer. First, it’s about the relationship with God, not about the answer! Second, it’s about our growth, not about the answer! Third, agency agency agency. Fourth, agency agency agency. Fifth, agency agency agency. You get the picture.
Also, if we were to get one short and complete answer, we would stop looking to Him. We’d say, Thanks, God! And then we would carry on. Or we would forget what the answer was or how we came to that answer. Right? Sometimes I have to ask Siri the same question three times, because I’ve forgotten what she said the first time. Ha ha.
Just some thoughts on prayer this morning.
PRINCIPLES STUDIED THIS WEEK:
I want to look at the purpose of the model. What is the purpose? I would probably have answered last year that the purpose of the model was to see and then change my thoughts, so that I could change feelings and change my results. Right? One follows the other. Always. Always.
So. Change one. Change the other. That is probably what I would have said the purpose of the model was.
The more I worked the model though – a hundred or more models later – I started seeing that maybe it worked sometimes, but not always, and not really. Just because I changed the thought and feeling on paper didn’t mean I was getting all the results in my life that I wanted. It became clear to me that I was missing a step.
So my question to my coach this week was this: What do I do with this model? Once I get the unintentional model written out, and it honestly represents what is going on, what do I do with it?
“The goal is awareness.”
What? How does that help me?
Byron Katie teaches that our job, our business, is not to change our thoughts. Thoughts just happen. Our business is to investigate the thought. And by investigating and questioning and not attaching ourselves to that thought, the thought can changes itself, as we are ready.
Doesn’t that sound easier and more natural than forcing a new thought on ourselves!
My coach encouraged me to really look at the thought I am thinking, and the emotion I am feeling. Sit with it.
Where do I feel it in my body?
Can I just sit with it right now?
Saying “no” to the emotion amplifies it. That emotion or that thought is part of the 50/50. And when we resist it, we layer on secondary emotions and really throw off the 50/50. Can you see that visual in your mind?
I played around with an unintentional model that I want to keep. Look at this.
CIRCUMSTANCE: I wore my new black trousers and my new grey sweater.
THOUGHT: I look incredible.
ACTION: I act more like myself.
RESULT: People have a chance to know me for me. I love me for me.
An intentional model is one that we haven’t consciously thought because we’ve decided that is serves us well. It is a “path” already paved in our minds. It is a thought that is almost unconscious. It’s interesting to look at what models are already in our minds. Which ones do we want to keep? Which ones do we want to really look at? Is it a problem? Why?