Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

Pray for those things we need

March 24th, 2014 by Zen

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We are given a great deal of direction in how and what to pray for.

We are told, that “for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.” (Matt 6:8) and even the very hairs of our heads are numbered (Luke 12:7)

The D&C reminds us, “Remember that without faith you can do nothing; therefore ask in faith. Trifle not with these things; do not ask for that which you ought not.” (D&C 8:10)

Nephi says “Yea, I know that God will give liberally to him that asketh. Yea, my God will give me, if I ask not amiss”. (2nd Ne. 4:35)

Similarly, James writes, “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.” (James 4:3)

Of particular note, let us draw attention to D&C 88:63-65

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.
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 unto your condemnation.”  (emphasis mine)

This is not a post about prayer. It is about the things we would be inclined to pray for. Even those things we would call needs.

God does not look at needs as we do. If we insist even on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, as a bare minimum, we could be quite wrong. What should we call needs? Human Companionship? Moroni spent 36 years without companionship, so if that is a need, then either God does not care much about needs, or He takes a very different view of it. It is not unconcern, or callousness, but a very different prioritization than we may have.  Other examples of people put into or left in, difficult situations, is not hard to find in either scriptures or Christian history. 

When we insist on what we think are needs, but are not, then we are in the same position as praying for things we do not truly need. And if we are not very careful, it will be to our own condemnation. 

This is an interesting topic because it is seamlessly intertwined with the philosophy of Sex-First.

I have certainly been single long enough (and a single father of teenage daughters) that I can testify that “it is not good for man to be alone”. (Gen 2:18Abr. 5:14) Sexual relations are an important part of a health married life, but at no point since the creation of Adam and Eve has sex been put as a high priority, not any more than eating has.

Following the hubbub of Elder Callister’s talk on sexual morality, there were several detractors. Among them, was the usually much better Natasha Helfer Parker.

Among many other things, she complains that it is not realistic or healthy to expect LGBTQ to be morally pure. It is too hard, and giving up too much. There are similar complaints about

This is the problem with modern philosophies that place sex first in both priority and identity. You are, of course, welcome to do that if you want, but as long as you do, the commandments will be an iron fetter to you. That fetter is the Wicked Traditions of our Fathers. (D&C 123:7-8)

We cannot keep the commandments when we insist and cling to, things we are sure must be needs. These may well turn to our condemnation.

What are our needs then? After the Savior had spent 40 days fasting, and legitimately needed to eat (a need if there ever was one), he was tempted by food. He replied simply and directly, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” (Matt 4:4)

 

Comments (6)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: , , , , , ,
March 24th, 2014 01:16:50
6 comments

Bruce Charlton
March 24, 2014

It is a matter of historical fact (and personal observation and knowledge) that *many* man and women have and do live for many years without sex. This is simply unarguable.

Look at the section “Remarkable Upward Mobility But Relentless Downward Mobility” in http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/how-social-darwinism-made-modern-china-248/. This situation of ‘bare stick’ men probably prevailed in China for dozens of generations.

The question might be whether this is acceptable, of ‘a good thing’ – but anyone who answers that it is not acceptable is placed in a position (in modern society) of having created a ‘right’. In other words sex must be ‘provided’ by society – if not directly (as with some kind of scheme of state run / subsidized prostitution – presumably catering to all preferences ‘equally’) then by encouraging social arrangements where sex is freely and ‘equally available’ (this was satirically described in Huxley’s Brave New World where sterile promiscuity was strongly encouraged – to prevent jealousy, frustration, exclusiveness, friendship etc.).

I sense there are plenty of modern people who would want exactly this – Brave New World now reads more like a political manifesto than a satire.

Of course, the situation nowadays – of a hypersexualized public space and Mass Media propaganda and widespread drunkenness and intoxication – is unprecedented – and constantly tormenting for many people. But these aspects could be remedied if there was any genuine will to make things easier for celibate people – but the opposite is the case. Any attempt is aggressively ridiculed.

How to save people who don’t want to be saved, who fight against being saved – who do not (at least superficially) believe they need saving?


Adam G.
March 24, 2014

I like the earthiness of the revealed gospel. One can and in many circumstances one ought to pray for food, shelter, sex, friendship, and relief from allergies. But the concept of *praying* for needs means that the relationship to God is prior to any of those needs and none of those needs should become an idol that is made prior to Him. A prayer is not a demand.

Jesus’ wisdom in the New Testament is that we will get many of our needs met only when we have reconciled ourselves to not having them met.


Vader
March 24, 2014

Juniper pollen’s pretty bad out your way, too?


Adam G.
March 24, 2014

What’s that? My eyes are too inflamed to read.


Zen
March 24, 2014

I seem to recall a case in England, with a terminally ill boy, who did not want to die a virgin. So, a case worker got a hooker from the Netherlands for him, with the expected criticism, about using home-grown talent instead of our-sourcing everything.


Ben Pratt
March 26, 2014

I haven’t stopped thinking about this topic since I read this post last night. Simply wonderful.

Carry on, gents!

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