In a worldwide devotional in 2017 Russell M. Nelson said, “Pray to discern between God’s laws and the philosophies of men, including those cunning counterfeits of the adversary. Through eons of time, Lucifer has honed his craft. He is skilled at distraction, distortion, deception, and misdirection. I plead with you to avoid his cunning snares as you would avoid a plague!”1 As you read that last sentence with today’s perspective, it is impossible to misunderstand the urgency of President Nelson’s plea.
Think how dramatically the current pandemic has altered our lives. In a split second, everything changed. In one way or another, each of us has been affected by this plague. There have been lost freedoms, lost jobs, and lost lives. It will take years to recover.
The same will be true if we get caught in Satan’s cunning snares. I find President Nelson’s use of the word skilled chilling. Satan is skilled at distracting us and deceiving us. He will distort the truth. And he would love to divert us from looking in the right places for answers to our spiritual questions. Those are his cunning snares! We must avoid them as we would avoid a plague!
We simply cannot navigate through the challenges of life alone. We can’t! We need constant help from heaven. Recently M. Russell Ballard encouraged us to “rely more fully upon God and to turn [our] hearts to Him through sincere prayer. Seeking heaven’s inspiration to endure or conquer what is before us will be our safest and surest way to move confidently forward through these troubling times.”2
I love this reminder from Boyd K. Packer, “Prayer is your personal key to heaven.”3 We really do have a loving Father in Heaven who is eager to help us and to answer our prayers. I know that! Whenever I sincerely ask for answers to pressing questions, the answers always come. There have been times when my prayers were not answered in the way I desired, but He softened my heart to accept His will.
Prayer is powerful! It can change us. It can give us courage. It can give us strength. “Let us remember and appreciate the power of prayer.”2
1. Prophets, Leadership, and Divine Law – Russel M. Nelson
2. Watch Ye Therefore, and Pray Always – M. Russell Ballard
3. Prayer and Promptings – Boyd K. Packer