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Faith without works is dead

Friday 11 February 2022 | Written by Supplied | Published in Church Talk, Features

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Faith without works is dead
PHOTO: BBC/22021012

Prayer not only brings down blessings from heaven; it also brings out the best in us, writes Angaroakau Williams – Avarua Cook Islands District first counselor of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints – Communication Director.

Over the past year, many of us have felt a need to call upon heaven’s help more than ever. When the world is in turmoil or in lockdown, when our normal way of life seems to be turned upside down or inside out, we realise, like never before, that our own strength and wisdom are not enough. When we are stunned to see how quickly the world can change, we naturally seek something or someone reliable and unchanging.

In other words, our thoughts have turned more to God. Many who hadn’t prayed much in the past have started, and many who already prayed have found their prayers becoming more fervent and sincerer.

So maybe to be a bit shaken, as we all have recently, is not all bad. We wouldn’t ask to go through it again, but we’re thankful for our stronger connection to God. And we’re thankful for what we’ve learned about the relationship between prayer and work.

One thing we’ve learned was expressed by religious leader M. Russell Ballard not long ago. He said: “No matter where you live, what language you speak, or the challenges you face, God hears and answers you in His own way and in His own time. Because we are His children, we can approach Him to seek help, solace, and a renewed desire to make a positive difference in the world.”

However, he then added this important reminder: “Praying for justice, peace, the poor, and the sick is often not enough. After we kneel in prayer, we need to get up from our knees and do what we can to help – to help both ourselves and others. It has been said that faith without work is dead.”

Consider, for example, the vaccines that have so miraculously come to the world in such a short amount of time. This miracle, like all miracles, surely came from a combination of millions of sincere prayers and millions of hours of hard work. Prayer and work are so often close companions. We trust that God, in His goodness, will answer our prayers, even while we do all in our power to make good things happen.

Prayer not only brings down blessings from heaven; it also brings out the best in us. We are more likely – and more inspired – to do mighty works after rising from mighty prayer. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.