“The first, the middle, and the last thing to do is pray.”

art by Yongsung Kim

Yesterday, we were at a creek. My son wanted to catch a tadpole really bad. He had been trying for a half hour.

I suddenly heard a shriek of delight followed by “God answered my prayer! I prayed and I knew just where to go!”

This son prays over many things. If something is lost, he prays. If he wants something, he prays.

And it used to completely stress me out.

Because sometimes, he gets experiences like yesterday. But other days he doesn’t. And I want him to have a testimony of prayer! So I found myself, to an extent, trying to make sure the [reasonable] things he prayed for happened.

I began to wish that he would pray a little less. It was getting exhausting.

But one day, my husband said to me, “Mary, his prayer is between Him and God. But isn’t God enough? Don’t put yourself between—God is listening to our son. We just need to have faith that He will give our son an answer.”

It was such a faith-filled response and it gave me relief. Instead of searching for his answer myself, I got to teach him how to listen for the answer.

I wondered, why was I so afraid of God giving my son a “no” for an answer when I experience that all the time myself!

I still help him, but I try to teach him skills to recognize the Holy Ghost—new ideas that come after a prayer, a feeling of comfort or direction.

Then, I try to let him find his own answer.

And God will answer—

As He is in the sun,

As also He in the moon,

As also the light of the stars,

And the earth also—(D&C 88:7-11)

He is in my son.

He is in me.

I’ve learned so much watching my son pray and I’m glad he does it so often. Because, whether the answer is yes or no, he is including God.

As President Eyring said, “The first, the middle, and the last thing to do is pray.”

Because God has promised “He will enlighten our eyes and quicken our understanding.” (v. 11)

We can count on that promise.

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