Sunday, July 21, 2013

Heaven's Just A Prayer Away by Diony George

Diony George, author of Torn Apart, has compiled a refreshing book of stories and thoughts on prayer, Heaven's Just a Prayer Away.

Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let they heart be full of thanks unto God. –Alma 37:37

Before we came to earth, we lived in heavenly realms. We knew our Heavenly Father. We walked and talked with Him. We heard His voice. We felt His love. In Heaven’s Just a Prayer Away, beloved author Diony George teaches us how to reestablish that relationship with Him here on earth.

With the help of this book you will:

• Learn that nothing is too small or unimportant to discuss with Heavenly Father

• Find peace and contentment through daily communication with God

• Gain a better understanding of why some prayers seem to go unanswered

• Develop a greater knowledge of the power of prayer

The inspirational and enlightening experiences found within these pages will change your life forever by strengthening your relationship with God and filling your life with peace, teaching us that heaven really is just a prayer away.
Praise for Heaven's Just A Prayer Away:

"Heaven’s Just a Prayer Away is a sweet, heartfelt book with author Diony George’s personal experiences intermixed with compelling stories about how prayer can shape our lives. I found myself either smiling or teary-eyed as I immersed myself in the stories, reminded that prayer is healing and sanctifying, prayer can bring inspiration, prayer can ease burdens, and prayer lets us feel the love of God for ourselves and those around us.

—Heather B. Moore, author of Christ’s Gifts to Women

Author Diony George

In Heaven’s Just a Prayer Away, Diony provides a comprehensive discussion on prayer through inspiring stories, basic principles, and heartfelt testimony. Her personal approach makes answers to prayer and divine blessings seem more within reach.
                                                —John McConkie, stake president

Meet the Author:

Diony George is a wife, stay-at-home mom of seven, grandmother of three, motivational speaker, and the author of four books. Through her writing and public speaking she loves helping others draw closer to God. An avid reader whose favorite genre is romantic suspense, Diony also loves to travel, sew, and bake—especially pies and homemade bread. Born and raised in Alaska, she currently resides in Salt Lake City with her husband and family. Mrs. George can be reached through her personal website.

Here are three excerpts from Heaven's Just A Prayer Away
Excerpt #1

It was the middle of December, and it looked it. Snow was steadily falling, in the Salt Lake Valley and had been for several days. When I went to bed that night, snuggling close to my husband I was glad to be in a warm house.

Later on something woke me up. I glanced at the clock by my bed; it was after three in the morning. I realized I hadn’t heard my nineteen-year-old son, come home. I whispered to my husband, he hadn’t heard him either. I was worried, work never kept him out this late. I reached for my cell phone and sent him a text.

“Are you okay?”      

“No,” he replied.

My heart started to pound. “No?” All kinds of thoughts started rushing through my head. I quickly showed my husband the message. He sat up in bed and immediately called.

Our son had been in an accident and just barely gotten phone service again. He needed someone to come get him. My husband quickly got dressed, grabbed some warm blankets and left.
He had been coming down the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon after his shift ended and unknowingly hit a patch of black ice. He lost control of his car and it slid off the road hitting a concrete barrier. The front of the vehicle pointed up at a forty-five degree angle. Less than a foot off to the left was a twenty-foot drop into an icy creek.
The air bags had deployed causing minor injuries he had been dazed but remained conscious. He told us he had fumbled around for his cell phone to call for help, but when he found it there was no reception. Slowly, he had gotten out of the car, feeling shaken, and began walking down the road out of the mouth of the canyon. It was pitch black, bitter cold and snowing hard.  A mile and a half later he found a small gas station and was able to use his phone.
The next forty-five minutes of waiting passed interminably slow. When I finally heard the garage door open, signaling my husband was back I was filled with gratitude and relief. I met him as he came inside and immediately hugged my son close. He was tired, pale and understandably upset about his car, but home safe. He asked for a father’s blessing. After my husband finished, he was visibly calmer and able to go to sleep.

Before I went back to bed, I knelt down with a full and grateful heart and thanked my Heavenly Father. Earlier that day, worried over the weather, I had specifically said a prayer asking that my son would be safe traveling to and from work.

Some might argue—but he was in an accident and his car was totaled—I say my prayer was answered like many others before and once again I was overwhelmed with gratitude.  
“It can be tempting to complain when life is challenging. The act of thanking and praising has great power to help us endure and is one of the surest methods for increasing happiness. It is also a way to define our relationship with God, from whom all blessings flow.”   

Excerpt #2:

Through prayer, we have the ability to feel peace and love and be close to Heavenly Father continuously.
One Friday evening in June, the sun was beginning to edge out of the sky. It was still warm, but a slight breeze softened the heat. The street was momentarily empty and I drank in the view from the porch of my border flower beds—yellows, pinks, whites, and purples mixed with vibrant green. The fragrance was sweet.
In the distance the sound of cars cruising down the freeway reminded me of the busyness of life, muted but close. It had been a long and challenging week caring for my husband and houseful of children—teenagers down to an eight-month-old daughter. In that rare few moments of respite my spirit was enveloped in a comforting peace and it was the perfect time to pray.
The scriptures teach us to “…pray always.” (Luke 36:21)

Excerpt #3:

I’ve become a better wife through prayer. It’s amazing how quickly harsh or judging words can break the heart of someone we love. So many times I’ve wished I had simply kept quiet instead of saying something confrontational to my husband.
…Angrily, I watched my husband’s retreating back as he left the room. I hadn’t finished making my point. I grabbed the nearest box of Kleenexes and my purse and car keys. I couldn’t stay in the house one more minute with him. Backing out of the garage I nursed my wounded heart, wanting to scream out in frustration.
My mind raced with conflicting emotions as I drove. I hated the turmoil and wanted relief. I knew just the place to find it—along with a clearer perspective. The drive to the Bountiful Temple was roughly fifteen minutes from my home, a blessing I never took for granted, especially having lived over thirty-years in Alaska without one.
I crested the hill, instantly invigorated by the sprawling view of the Valley and the Great Salt Lake beyond. As the brilliant white of the temple spires rose up in front of me I released a deep calming breath. I pulled of the road, parked in front of the gates and stared. The grounds were in full bloom. New tears coursed down my cheek. I grabbed another Kleenex, bowed my head and started to pray.
“Dear Heavenly Father, I’m so upset with…” Silently I began a list of complaints about my husband, holding nothing back. Each irritation I recited lightened the burden I’d felt. When I said all I needed to say, the spirit began to teach. I had made mistakes, too. An understanding of my husband clarified, and the changes I needed to make in myself. I ended my prayer with gratitude and the promise to do better.
 Good marriages don’t happen, they grow. One moment, one hour, one week, one month, one year, at a time.
President Hinckley has said, “I know of no single practice that will have a more salutary effect upon your lives than the practice of kneeling together as you begin and close each day. Somehow the little storms that seem to afflict every marriage are dissipated when, kneeling before the Lord, you thank him for one another, in the presence of one another, and then together invoke his blessings upon your lives, your home, your loved ones, and your dreams.

Repeatedly through prayer I’ve received wisdom to handle situations in my life I wasn’t dealing well with on my own, especially in my role as a Mother.
My bedroom was quiet, and warm from the afternoon sun, but I didn’t find it comforting as I shut the door behind me. I was exhausted, filled with so much frustration I wanted to scream. I started to cry instead.
My son had lied to me again.
I had tried to do everything I knew how to get him to stop. Nothing worked. Not losing friends, video games or television. Not writing sentences, or doing dishes for a week. And none of the many talks or family home evening lessons we’d had about honesty. My discouragement ran deep and I had run out of ideas. How could I get him to understand the immense value of this principle? How could I believe anything he told me?
I’d prayed about it many times, at least I thought I had, in a general way, but the problem persisted and my discouragement and feelings of helplessness to change it increased.
I knelt down by my bed. The filtered rays of sunshine coming through the bedroom window warmed my back and I started another prayer. I felt tired, sad, and at a loss of where to go next. “Father in Heaven, I don’t know what to do. Please help me…”
I told him all of my concerns until my knees were sore. When I finished, I opened my eyes and grabbed a Kleenex to wipe the tears off my face. I got up and sat on the edge of my bed. Releasing the emotions helped lighten my heavy heart, but I still didn’t know what to do.
It wasn’t long before a thought entered my mind.
Really, Heavenly Father, I questioned. You want me to do that? How can that possibly work? What about the next time and the next time he tells me something?
I was to tell my son I was not going to look back anymore at the times he’d been dishonest, the times he’d covered the truth with excuses or denials. That was over and done with. From then on, I would believe he was telling me the truth. I was going to trust him.
I called my son to my bedroom so we could talk and I told him right then I was drawing a line, separating the past from the future. I watched his eyes grow bigger as he listened. With parted lips, he searched my face.
 “Unless you do or say something to break my trust, I am now giving it to you completely.” Heavenly Father are you sure, I questioned again, feeling afraid.
His answer was a warm feeling of peace.
My son’s eyes watered and he hugged me. “Thanks Mom, I love you.” He turned and left the room.
My tears fell again.
 Over the next several months I saw my son change. The first few times I asked if he was sure he was being honest or telling the truth, there was hesitation. Occasionally he changed his answers. As time passed the hesitations disappeared and his responses were strong and firm.
I would never have thought to handle that situation the way I did, on my own. That inspiration and guidance came directly from Heavenly Father as an answer to my prayers.


            I was sitting in sacrament meeting feeling emotional and very overwhelmed by difficult challenges I currently faced. That morning I’d been tempted to stay home and wallow in self-pity. I wasn’t up to pasting on my “Sunday Smile,” I rationalized. Besides I would commit to spend extra time studying my scriptures, surely that would be just as spiritual.
            I didn’t consider it for long, despite how tempting it was. I needed to get up and go at least for my children’s sake. Staying home without being sick would not be the best example. I got ready for church and even with my slow start we made it on time. Relief Society was good as always, and in Sunday School we were studying the New Testament, one of my favorite books of scripture. I never tire of learning about the Savior and his life. Still, my problems weighed heavily.
            After the sacrament was blessed and passed it was time for testimonies. A few young children in the ward went first their words eliciting a ripple of chuckles through the congregation—it was hard to join in. I glanced at the clock, disappointed to see how little time had passed then felt a stab of guilt for being impatient. I was where Heavenly Father wanted me to be.
            The next person to stand up was a young man who had recently returned from his mission. The story he proceeded to share seemed to be meant just for me. The Spirit touched me and I was flooded with warmth and hope. Truths I had known but forgotten quickly filled my mind and tears pricked my eyes. I felt light. My gratitude towards this young man for sharing his testimony linked with my gratitude for my Heavenly Father—thank goodness I hadn’t stayed home.
            If we trust in the Lord and remain obedient even when it’s not easy the blessings will come, often in unexpected ways. When He needs us and we’re listening we can be the answers to others prayers, and often others are the answers to ours.

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