I was sitting in Sacrament Meeting a couple of weeks ago, as our Primary President was giving a talk about the power of the priesthood. She was describing a time when she had multiple concerns and had asked her husband for a blessing. “So I stepped into a private room to pray, because I always do that before a blessing, then I went back into the family room for the blessing…”

I was stunned– happily stunned, as I love making new discoveries about how to enact the power of the Savior and His Priesthood in my life. I had never thought to have a private prayer before a blessing. Maybe you do this, and you’re wondering how I missed the memo. But in case I’m not the only person with “Wow!” written all over her face, I want to share this new idea with you.

We’ve all wanted the Lord to speak to us, to give us specific direction and advice. Sometimes we’ve needed comfort. Sometimes we’ve needed healing. And while those issues are prayed about fervently for many days, months, and years, I don’t think we always take a few minutes just before a blessing, to pray for our specific need at that moment. In addition, we can pray for the priesthood holder and for ourselves, that channels will be open and that words will be clearly understood.

What a perfect way to prepare for what is actually a monumental event—direct revelation from God. Of course we should pray for the ability to listen, learn, and respond to His guidance. We should invite the Spirit in every way we can.

The speaker said that her husband—who had no idea what she had said in her private prayer—then gave her a blessing that literally went down her list, addressing every single item. She said it felt as if she had sent an email to Heavenly Father and he had hit “reply” and immediately answered each and every concern. Her husband had no way of knowing the thoughts of her heart, and it confirmed again how truly God listens, how specifically he knows us, and how deeply he loves us.

Maybe you’ve been doing this all your life. But it’s a new concept for me, and I can tell you this: I will never have another blessing about which I do not first have a private prayer. Just as we should pray before studying the scriptures, before sharing the gospel, before doing genealogy, and before many of our activities, we should pray before blessings as well. What a lovely way to prepare for a miracle.

Hilton’s LDS Nursery Rhymes is available at the BYU Store, or at Amazon. You can find her other books here.

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Hilton currently serves as a Relief Society President.