Rachael's Mission

Mexico Torreon Mission October 2015 - April 2017

Rachael's Picture

Rachael's Picture

Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Farewell

Today was an incredible day! Yes, it was a payback day!!! Family and friends came today to hear Rachael speak. I was very touched by all the support for her especially from her BYU Bishop-Bishop Olsen and his wife Debra. They couldn't say enough great things about Rachael. She gave a beautiful talk on prayer and bore an emotional testimony. She followed the youth speaker Jordan Brockbank and preceded George Ungritch. The special musical number "May the Road Rise to Meet You" was performed by a quartet that included Frederick. We stayed for all three meetings and then met up with family and friends at the house for lunch. We enjoyed a fun-filled afternoon eating delicious food like Kris' cupcakes, laughing, talking, and writing advice in Rachael's book from Sherrene.

Rachael and Jakob

Natalie, Hannah, and Marissa

Dad enjoying the food
Mission Farewell Talk on Prayer
Good Morning Brothers and Sisters. For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Rachael Lutze. For the last year I have been at BYU studying pre-nursing. During that time, I received a call to serve in the Mexico Torreon Mission. I will be leaving October 14th for the Mexico MTC. Have you ever known someone where the only time they really talked to you, is when they wanted something from you? I have known a few people like that in my life. I would like to be good friends with these people. However, since I feel like I am only a means to an end, it is hard to develop a good relationship with them. As I prepared this talk, I began to question whether or not I was that type of friend to my Heavenly Father? Do I only talk to him earnestly when I need something? And if so? How can I make my prayers a meaningful discussion with Him and not simply an endless request for blessings?

 What is Prayer? If you were to look up prayer in the dictionary you might find definitions such as “a solemn request for help” or “an expression of thanks addressed to God” or “an earnest hope or wish.” In the Church we still view prayer as a request for help and an expression of thanks to God. However, we take it a step further by believing that we may actually converse with God himself.

When I was a little girl, I used to picture how prayer worked, but in a very different way. I thought that up in heaven there was a huge Prayer Call Center because in Primary they always said that talking to Heavenly Father was like talking on the phone. I’m sure there’s an app for that now. I pictured in my mind that whenever I prayed, my prayer would go to one of the many angels sitting at their desk with a phone to answer. I would call with my prayer and they would answer, “Hello, Heavenly Father’s Office, How can I help you. They would take notes on my prayer and then end with “Thank you for calling”.  The angels would collect that note and add it to the massive pile of prayers that Heavenly Father had to go through. Eventually he would get to my prayer and send me a response. Sometimes it was snail mail and sometimes it was instant message. I think I had Him mixed up with Santa somehow. Luckily prayer does not work like that. Our Heavenly Father hears each of our individual prayers. He listens, has empathy for us, and when the time is right, if we are listening and paying attention, he will answer our prayer… always.
Sometimes our Heavenly Father answers yes, other times the answer is no. However, if we are going to ask, we need to be willing to accept the answer. At times I find I try to council Heavenly Father on how I want my prayers answered. William G. Dyer explains this principle well in his talk “Keys, Contacts, and the Purpose of Prayer”. He says:
As we pray, Jesus advises us to ask always that God’s will be done. Many people do not include this as a part of praying. Even for lost keys or contact lenses we often want our will to be done—we want them found right now, please. When even more important matters are of concern—a loved one is ill, a child is away from home, a difficult decision must be made—many people want the Lord to answer their prayers in a specific way. They are afraid that if they ask for God’s will to be done, his will or plan may be different from theirs. It takes great maturity or faith to pray that our own desires be put aside and the Lord’s will be done. Even in little matters like lost contact lenses, the Lord might feel that the lessons learned from not locating them at all may be more important than giving a person what he wants immediately. In the Lord’s perspective of things, what is needed may be far more important than what is wanted. End quote.
Brothers and Sisters if we are going to ask for the answer we need to do our best to be willing, even eager, to follow God’s will. Just as the 2000 Stripling Warriors declared to Helaman, in Alma 56: 46 “Father, behold our God is with us and he will not suffer that we should fall; then let us go forth”. Follow their advice and go forth trusting in God. He knows what will be of most benefit to you and your families.
            These answers may come in many varying forms. They may come through personal revelation or scripture study. It may perhaps come in the circumstances of your life or from the kind acts of service from those around you. However it occurs, you will find that the Lord will be your “refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).
            Since Heavenly Father will always answer our prayers, what do we pray for? It’s not like the Genie where we only get 3 wishes and we are done. If that was the case my wishes would have been gone before I was even baptized on things such as living at Disneyland, getting a puppy and every day being Halloween. Halloween is also my birthday so it gets bonus points.  Instead we get unlimited opportunities to ask our Heavenly Father for advice when making decisions, comfort and strength in our trials, safety upon those we love, providing for the needs of others, and maybe most importantly, the opportunity to Thank him for everything he has done for us. For truly we cannot grasp everything that he has done for us. Furthermore, by praying to our Heavenly Father we grow closer to Him and therefore become more like Him. As it says in the Doctrine & Covenants 88:63 “Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you”. It is as if we are playing the game “Who Wants to Be a Celestial Being?” and we have unlimited “Life-lines” to an all-knowing being. Whether we are dropping to our knees begging for his grace or jumping up rejoicing in God, we will always need his help to return to him.
            So, if God is all-knowing, it begs the questions “Why do I need to ask? Shouldn’t Heavenly Father already know what we need, when we need it and therefore just deliver it to me on a silver platter?” Heavenly Father desperately wants to help us. However he will wait for us to pray to him and ask for what we need. The reasoning behind this is that if we are praying for things, we have taken the time to ponder what we need most in our lives. If we are praying correctly, it helps us prioritize what is the most important things in our lives. Not only that, but when we pray and that prayer is answered, we are able to more fully recognize the hand of God in our lives. Thus increasing our love for our Heavenly Father.  The more we recognize his hand, the more we will realize that he is even blessing us with things we haven’t asked for but he knows we need. As we pray and are obedient to our Heavenly Father, we will be prepared to receive other great blessings he has in store for us.
            Given that our Heavenly Father wants us to pray to him and ask for things, we need to make sure that we are doing our part by praying for the right things in our life. Jesus tells us in 3 Nephi 18:20 “Whatsoever ye shall ask the father in my name which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given unto you.” Savior further elaborated on this point with Joseph Smith in Doctrine and Covenants 88:64-65 by stating, “Whatsoever ye ask the Father in my name it shall be given unto you, that is expedient for you; And if ye ask anything that is not expedient for you, it shall turn into your condemnation.”  I love what William G. Dyer expresses on praying for the right things. He says
Should we pray for such simple things as lost articles? Certainly. The Lord is aware of everything that happens to us. Jesus clearly taught that the very hairs of our head are numbered. We are advised to pray always, about all of our concerns, our fears, our sorrows, hopes, aspirations, and problems. In the Book of Mormon we are told to pray over all things in our daily lives. In the case of the Book of Mormon people, they were told to pray over their flocks and fields, representing the concerns of each day just as the Savior said we should ask for our daily bread. But recall that the admonition is to pray for the necessities, not luxuries, the unnecessary things or what you might like to have today. When you are not sure whether you are praying for a necessity, the basic rule is always to pray but ask that “thy will be done.”
The Lord loves us and wants to be involved in all aspects of our lives. If it is important to us, it is important to him. If we are unsure of what to pray for it is always wise to follow the advice found in Doctrine and Covenants 46:30 which says “He that asketh in the Spirit asketh according to the will of God; wherefore it is done even as he asketh.”
            There is some work required on our part when it comes to answers to prayers. It says in the True to the Faith “Our prayers will be only as effective as our efforts to be receptive to the whisperings of the Holy Ghost......If we have a difficult task before us, Heavenly Father is pleased when we get on our knees and ask for help and then get on our feet and go to work. He will help us in all our righteous pursuits, but he seldom will do something for us that we can do ourselves.”
            Last I would like to talk about the types of prayer in our lives and their blessings. The first is personal prayer. In Matthew 6:6 it says “Enter into thy closet and when thou hast shut thy door pray to thy father which is in secret and thy father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly:” Take time for you to communicate with your Heavenly Father one on one. Free of distraction. It is essential for our personal spiritual development and for strengthening our relationship with our Heavenly Father.
            In 3 Nephi 18:21 it says “Pray in your families unto the Father, always in my name that your wives and your children may be blessed.” Again family prayer can draw you closer to our Heavenly Father, but also closer to each other. Especially as the family prays for family member’s individual needs. It shows that we are listening to them and love them. Also, family prayer helps young children become comfortable with the respectful language of prayer and talking with their Heavenly Father. Family Prayer is where they learn to pray. Furthermore, family prayer is able to turn your home into a place of spiritual strength, a refuge from the evil influences of the world. Much like the temples, family prayer can help make each home a “House of the Lord”.
            Last is public prayer. Many people struggle with the thought that this prayer needs to be long, impressive and make great use of our extensive vocabulary. In actuality it is supposed to be a short, heartfelt prayer. Let the spirit guide you and remember that you are still just talking to our Heavenly Father. One of the greatest blessings of public prayer is that we are able to unite ourselves in our love and faith to help this prayer be answered.
In the Name of Jesus Christ Amen.

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