My Prayer Sandwich
After reading this month’s Visiting Teaching Message, I also went ahead and read the First Presidency Message. While reading these 2 messages I realized I haven’t fasted in almost 2 years! Here’s the story. When I was first called to serve as our ward’s Young Women President I needed all of the help from heaven, to be more receptive to the Spirit, to help me remember the things I read for the purpose of teaching and inspiring these amazing daughters of God and of course to help me have an increase of love for them like the Savior does. So, I started to fast every Sunday. I didn’t know what a huge blessing that was going to be for my own personal life and the questions and blessings I desired for me and my family too.
If you’ve taught a lesson during fast Sunday, you know the difference when teaching while fasting is night and day. Before I couldn’t remember the things which I had previously studied and read the prior week. I know what you’re thinking, Linda you have to read the talks and lessons in order to teach and you can’t read them on the day you need to teach. LOL I wish! Who can do that? Anyways, I’ll have you know that, I DO read my scriptures, several General Conference Talks for the lessons and more, the lessons for Sunday School & Relief Society (amazing to see how all lessons taught have the same theme, that’s for another post), the Ensign, New Era & Friend Magazines, write in my journal, read the Young Women lesson several times over, make a printable and even after all of that, I can barely remember the quotes or scriptures I loved that fit the lesson so perfectly. You may think that’s CRAZY right? YEP! I have ZERO reading comprehension and retention which is why I need to read, re-read and re-read again the same things in order for them to start to stick. Good thing this Gospel is about repetition. I remember feeling like I could see the quote and author “pop-up” in my head (like a little 3×5 card) which would totally validate a comment one of my Young Women said only to find that the “pop-up” was blurry or hazy and unreadable. You experienced Return Missionaries or other stalwart members probably have never had that happen because you know your scriptures and loved them ages before I started loving mine. Has anyone ever had that happen? It’s SOOOO FRUSTRATING! I would end each class in disappointment, for having tried so hard this week but not quite getting it right because I knew it was going to be awesome if only I could have remembered where the quotes were and the scriptures were? If only! We couldn’t have discussions like I envisioned or even like the ones on The Church’s website because I couldn’t remember simple quotes or scriptures! Should have memorized those Scripture Masteries, I could have used those right then. This quote during General Conference of course helped me understand more fully what was going on:
“The scriptures provide the strength of authority to our declarations when they are cited correctly. They can become stalwart friends that are not limited by geography or calendar. They are always available when needed. Their use provides a foundation of truth that can be awakened by the Holy Ghost. Learning, pondering, searching, and memorizing scriptures is like filling a filing cabinet with friends, values, and truths that can be called upon anytime, anywhere in the world.” Elder Richard G. Scott. #LDSConf OCTOBER 2011 THE POWER OF SCRIPTURE.
So after the first lesson I could notice a slight increase in remembering. Then as each week went by I could see a difference and noticed how the Spirit truly did “bring all things to [my] remembrance” when I needed to share it (John 14:26 & Luke 12:12). Still not ALL things but some more things. You obviously need to put forth the effort in memorizing in order for the Lord to know you truly desire to retain the doctrine to bless those around you, and He will help you. I didn’t always teach every Sunday but if you have ever taught the Youth you know, Sunday Lessons aren’t the only time you can share a scripture or a thought to strengthen them. I always say school is Satan’s battleground! (And I’m not the only one who thinks that! “Get Ready for Battle” New Era Sept 2014).
Back to my new found joy of fasting every Sunday, it was just as Elder Scott had said, it would be awakened by the Holy Ghost. After several weeks of fasting every Sunday I felt my prayers were answered and was able to help my girls and decided I needed to keep this up! And oh how I love those girls so much!! They will always be my girls. I thought, well, shouldn’t be too hard now that I’m used to it for a few weeks. I love consistency, I need it. For example Temple Tuesday works every week for me, but if I try and skip a week, I don’t go all month. It’s crazy but amazing and I love it! So after all of that fasting another miracle happened just after a few short months, which of course to me back then seemed like an eternity when dealing with infertility already for 2 years and 7 before our 1st son was born, we got pregnant! WHAT?! This is fantastic! I didn’t know that would happen. I would have fasted every Sunday before then, why didn’t I try that sooner? I know now! I just love how the Lord teaches us things about ourselves through the callings He asks us to serve in. Had I not felt inadequate serving my Young Women enough to desire to know more and fast every Sunday for them, I know we wouldn’t have gotten pregnant. What a blessing!
Tomorrow marks a year since our little guy was born. After General Conference we have Fast Sunday and this will be the first Sunday I will get to fast again in a year and 9 months. I’ve since been released from being our ward’s Young Women’s President (just in August). As I write this I realize I want to be committed to fast every Sunday from now on again, but now for me, my family and my boys and to teach them when I need to because after all, they are my first priority and of course to also help me in my calling now as Cub Master, but this time the commitment comes from a desire to serve my family better instead of the other way around.
The Gospel teaches us about fasting. “To fast is to go without food and drink voluntarily for a certain period of time. Fasting combined with sincere prayer can strengthen us spiritually, bring us closer to God, and help us prepare ourselves and others to receive His blessings.”
In this month’s First Presidency Message, I found this awesome Prayer Sandwich from the Ensign, October 2014 and have turned it into a fun printable just like it suggested in order to frame it and use dry erase marker.
Download 4×6 or 5×7 Prayer Sandwich Card:
Download this printable in JPG format for printing and give them to the sisters you Visiting Teach or even families you Home Teach (since it’s part of the 1st Pres Message too!), favorite missionary or anyone for FREE by clicking the image link below. There’s 2 sizes! 4×6 & 5×7 (Mainly I did the 5×7 because it was a little tight trying to write in my 4×6 frame.) And bonus 2 colors just in case you didn’t like green.
- Click on image(s) & download the one(s) you want. (They are jpg files).
- Print: Take/upload the image (jpg file) to your local print shop and have them print it 4×6 or 5×7 (YOU NEED TO DOWNLOAD THE SPECIFIC SIZE YOU WANT PRINTED) The 4×6 pic will not look right if printed 5×7, so download the 5×7 pic if that’s the size you want. Hope that makes sense. Print it on photo paper like you would regular pictures. Like at Costco, Walmart, Target, etc.
P.S. I did not design the cute Hamburger, I used the one from LDS.org and enhanced it for printing and framing.