Latter-day Saint Life

3 Principles to Incorporate in Your Prayers

Heber C. Kimball, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, found himself in circumstances where he sought hospitality from a member of the Church, a widow woman. She offered him what she had—bread and milk—and provided a room with a bed for him. He went to retire. She thought: “Here’s my opportunity. I would like to find out what an Apostle says when he prays to the Lord.” So after the door was closed, she crept quietly up to it to listen. She heard Brother Kimball sit down on the bed. She heard each of his shoes fall to the floor. She heard him lean back on the bed and then utter these words: “Oh Lord, bless Heber; he is so tired.”

I love this story. It is reassuring to know that the man didn’t need to heap up frilly phrases. Short, sweet, and to the point. I confess I’ve offered my own version of this prayer a time or two.

The wise and witty writer Anne Lamott has a book called Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers. Lamott encapsulates with Heber-Kimballesque economy the three simple prayers “essential to coming through tough times, difficult days and the hardships of daily life.” Help. Thanks. Wow! What a happy mantra which sparks a lot of deep thought and inspiration.

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