But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray always, and not faint… (2 Nephi 32:9)
Recently I was struck by that part “and not faint” in Nephi’s words about how we should pray. It made me wonder if he meant “pray always and don’t lose consciousness” as we so often read it to mean. Yet who really faints while praying? It seemed too silly (unless he knew about all of us who tend to drift off to sleep while we’re praying…). But if he meant those of us who fall asleep while praying, he would have said "pray always and not sleep." So I suspected maybe Nephi meant “pray always and not faintly. That made a lot more sense. I decided to look up in the dictionary what “faint” meant besides "losing consciousness." Here’s what I found:
  • Deficient in magnitude; barely perceptible; lacking clarity, brightness or loudness
  • Lacking clarity or distinctness
  • Lacking strength or vigor
  • Indistinctly understood, felt, or perceived
  • Lacking conviction, boldness, or courage
It seems that Nephi is telling us to pray distinctly, clearly, vigorously, with understanding and feeling, and with conviction, boldness, and courage. No limp-wristed, namby-pamby prayers for us.

I don’t know about you, but this scripture really helped me. I think I had gotten in a habit of faintly praying, and this was a jolt back in the right direction. I’ve noticed that when I pray with more distinctness and clarity, I perceive better how the Lord answers my prayers. Have you seen this?
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