This evening I enjoyed being with my boys as they worked on the dishes. At our house, Sundays are the days boys are responsible to do all the dishes. Gavin, without fail, always pulls up and turns on some Sabbath music. He was playing different hymns through YouTube. That got me wanting to create a playlist that I could use for this – one with good Sabbath music. So, I added it to my YouTube channel and started searching for a lot of the songs Gavin likes to hear on the Sabbath. Then, after most of the kids were in bed, I continued adding some songs. This one in particular really strikes a chord with me every time I hear it:
So here’s the story behind it: The year: 1992. Location: General Alvear, Mendoza, Argentina. It was a Sunday morning and church services were starting. The branch president had asked me about a month previous to give a talk that day in sacrament meeting. I spent several hours over the previous week preparing a talk. However, when the branch president got up and announced the program that day, he announced different speakers, completely leaving me out. A flood of anger washed over me. How could he do this to me? I spent hours preparing my talk. He asked me in advance to do this and now he forgets? I was boiling inside, yet I knew I shouldn’t be.
The opening song started, and it was this one: Did You Think to Pray? I was just singing words that didn’t mean anything to me as the anger simmered inside. Then came the second verse:
When your heart was filled with anger, did you think to pray?
Did you plead for grace, my brother, that you might forgive another
Who had crossed your way?
Oh, how praying rests the weary!
Prayer will change the night to day.
So, when life gets dark and dreary,
Don’t forget to pray.
It hit me like a steam train. This was a message from God right to me at that very moment. I needed to pray for grace to forgive the branch president. I knew he didn’t do this to me maliciously. It was just a simple oversight, a human bout of forgetfulness. We all have this happen at one time or another. Tears rolled down my checks as God’s love rushed into my heart and I looked up with love at the branch president. He had no idea that this had even happened to me, and yet my heart swelled with love for him and his diligent service to the Lord.
Now every time I hear this hymn, it is like I feel God’s voice speaking directly to my soul. It moves me still almost to tears. I am so grateful that Heavenly Father loves us enough to help us get past our human foibles and has mercy enough to forget what we’ve done wrong in the past and see what we can become – he sees our potential. I am grateful that he loves me enough to encourage me on despite how many times I’ve let him down in the past. He loves us all this much. Let’s hear his voice and strive harder to be what he knows we can become. He reminds us all, “Don’t Forget to Pray!”