20 October 2014 – In preparing a recent lesson for my high priest quorum, I was impressed by the following statement from the lesson manual and the idea of praying through actions and not just words or thoughts:
“We should not pray merely with our lips; but in every act, in our conversation, in all that we undertake to do, we should try to carry out the expressions of our prayers, and be in harmony with the thoughts that we declare to the Lord in our daily supplications” (Joseph Fielding Smith, in Conference Report, Oct. 1913, 73).
In the October 2014 general conference, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland reviewed a teaching from King Benjamin that gives an example of prayer through action. In the words of Elder Holland:
“Don’t we all cry out for help and hope and answers to prayers? … Little wonder that King Benjamin says we obtain a remission of our sins by pleading to God, who compassionately responds, but we retain a remission of our sins by compassionately responding to the poor who plead to us (see Mosiah 4:11-12, 20, 26)” (October 2014 general conference proceedings).
When we care for others in need, our actions become an extension of our pleading for forgiveness. Our actions become part of our prayers.
Consider these questions: What kinds of prayers are we offering through our actions? Are these prayers consistent with our verbal prayers? How can we better align our actions with our spoken prayers?