Music & the Spoken Word: Prayer and work

Editor’s note: “The Spoken Word” is shared by Lloyd Newell each Sunday during the weekly Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square broadcast. This is an encore performance of “Music & the Spoken Word” with a new “Spoken Word” selected and recorded while the choir is practicing social distancing. This will be given Sunday, May 2, 2021.

Over the past year, many of us have felt a need to call upon heaven’s help more than ever. When the world is in turmoil or in lockdown, when our normal way of life seems to be turned upside down or inside out, we realize, like never before, that our own strength and wisdom are not enough. When we are stunned to see how quickly the world can change, we naturally seek something or Someone reliable and unchanging. In other words, our thoughts have turned more to God. Many who hadn’t prayed much in the past have started, and many who already prayed have found their prayers becoming more fervent and more sincere. 

So maybe to be a bit shaken, as we all have recently, is not all bad. We wouldn’t ask to go through it again, but we’re thankful for our stronger connection to God. And we’re thankful for what we’ve learned about the relationship between prayer and work. 

One thing we’ve learned was expressed by religious leader President M. Russell Ballard not long ago. He said: “No matter where you live, what language you speak, or the challenges you face, God hears and answers you in His own way and in His own time. Because we are His children, we can approach Him to seek help, solace and a renewed desire to make a positive difference in the world” (see “Watch Ye Therefore, and Pray Always,” Ensign or Liahona, November 2020). 

However, he then added this important reminder: “Praying for justice, peace, the poor and the sick is often not enough. After we kneel in prayer, we need to get up from our knees and do what we can to help — to help both ourselves and others.” 

Consider, for example, the vaccines that have so miraculously come to the world in such a short amount of time. This miracle, like all miracles, surely came from a combination of millions of sincere prayers and millions of hours of hard work. Prayer and work are so often close companions. We trust that God, in His goodness, will answer our prayers, even while we do all in our power to make good things happen. 

Prayer not only brings down blessings from heaven; it also brings out the best in us. We are more likely — and more inspired — to do mighty works after rising from mighty prayer. 

Tuning in …

The “Music & the Spoken Word” broadcast is available on KSL-TV, KSL Radio 1160AM/102.7FM, KSL.comBYUtv, BYUradio, Dish and DirecTV, SiriusXM Radio (Ch. 143), thetabernaclechoir.orgYouTube and Amazon Alexa (must enable skill). The program is aired live on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. MST on many of these outlets. Look up broadcast information by state and city at

See the Church News’ archive of ‘Spoken Word’ messages

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