I love the war chapters in the Book of Mormon. There are so many things in them that can be applied to our lives today. A few weeks ago one of those life lessons came to me while I was reading in Alma 43. In this chapter the Lamanites are angry at the Nephites go to fight against them. The Lamanites fight stronger than they have ever fought before and the Nephites become very scared and start to flee but their captain, Moroni, reminds them that "they [are] doing that which they [feel] [is]their duty which they owe to their God for ... the Lord has said that: Ye shall defend your families even unto bloodshed therefore for this cause were the Nephites contending with the Lamanites, to defend themselves, and their families and their lands their country and their rights, and their religion." When they hear this the Nephites, "[cry] with one voice unto the Lord their God, for their liberty and their freedom from bondage. And they began to stand against the Lamanites with power; and in that selfsame hour that they cried unto the Lord for their freedom, the Lamanites began to flee before them."
As I read this chapter I felt like this story was in the scriptures for me. The Nephites are righteous, they are doing what they believe is their duty to God. But they still fear and begin to lose the battle. Their righteousness and obedience alone cannot protect them. It's not until they cry unto the Lord- or pray- that they recieve the power to defeat their enemies. I think this part really hit me because this is something that I do so often in my life. I work hard and do what I should but I forget to call upon the Lord in my specific times of need. In the Bible Dictionary under prayer it says "The object of prayer is not to change the will of God, but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant, but that are made conditional on our asking for them." Sometimes we have to ask God for help before He is able to grant it. I know that God loves us and wants to help us in our lives so that we can accomplish our righteous desires. I know that in my quest to achieve those things I should not forget to pray to my Heavenly Father and ask for help. I'm grateful for a loving Heavenly Father, for the ability to pray to Him at any time. I'm grateful for the scriptures and that I can read from them and find answers and direction that I need for my life.