Mommy, the Prayer Didn’t Work!

    “Mommy, the Prayer Didn’t Work!” Ensign, Jan. 1993, 68–69

    “Mommy, the Prayer Didn’t Work!”

    We have always taught our children the importance of praying and listening to the Holy Ghost’s promptings. They have learned from Primary and family home evening that after we have done all we can to solve a problem, then it is time for prayer. Our children believe in prayer and love the Lord with all their hearts. One day their faith was put to the test.

    I was with my husband and son Jarid watching a television program in the living room while my two daughters, Lori and Julie, were playing upstairs. While I was sitting there, the thought came to me, Are the girls locked in the closet upstairs?

    I knew I would hear them calling if they were in trouble, so I brushed the thought aside. The television program was boring, so I picked up the Book of Mormon and went into my bedroom to read.

    Again, the thought came to me, Are the girls locked in the closet? But I could hear nothing. Again I brushed the thought aside.

    While I was reading, Jarid came into our bedroom from the hallway. “Mom, I hear the girls crying upstairs.”

    Immediately, I ran up the stairs and heard them calling from their bedroom closet. I opened the door, and two sobbing girls fell into my arms. After their crying subsided, six-year-old Lori looked up at me with tear-stained cheeks and whispered, “Mom, we prayed to Heavenly Father and it didn’t work.”

    Since then, we have discussed many times what happened and how their prayer had worked. The Holy Ghost had told me they needed help. I just hadn’t acted on that prompting.

    I learned that night that the Lord often works through us to help and sustain others. When the Holy Ghost speaks to me, that moment is when someone needs my love and help. If I let it pass, the opportunity may not come again. But if I act then, not only will a brother or sister be uplifted, but the knowledge that I listened and responded might bring a spark of light to a dark closet.

    • Sheila Jones is a Sunday School teacher in the Shelley Seventh Ward, Shelley Idaho South Stake.