We know we can pray for help in gaining spiritual knowledge, but is it wrong to pray for help in gaining academic knowledge?
We’ve all been there: writing draft after draft, doing calculation after calculation, working hour after hour, but it still seems impossible to compose the right thesis, solve the difficult equation, or find the needed research. Even college professors experience these challenges.
The pursuit of education can cause struggles, frustration, and occasional humiliation, as Brigham Young University (BYU) English professor Trenton L. Hickman explains in a devotional titled “Weaknesses into Strength in Our Search for Knowledge.”
So what can we do when we face difficulties related to our education? Is it wrong to pray for help? Hickman asked himself a similar question right before he knelt down in his office and prayed over an essay he was struggling to compose. He recounts, “When I finished my prayer and sat back at my desk,…I had concepts coming into my mind as if a faucet had turned on in my brain.” He also mentions he should have prayed long before he was compelled to.
Likewise, we shouldn’t wait to pray for help on a paper, research project, or other assignment until we’ve exhausted all other resources. As Hickman explains, God “cares about you and your pursuit of knowledge, and he will open your eyes to new ways of thinking about the intellectual challenges you face if you will allow the Spirit to provide you the revelation that you need.”
Heavenly Father truly wants to help us with our education. In Ether 12:27, we’re promised that he will help us if we are humble and come to him; this promise will be fulfilled as we search for knowledge—both secular and spiritual.
To learn more about how Heavenly Father can help us in our educational pursuits, watch or read Trenton L. Hickman’s entire devotional address, “Weaknesses into Strength in Our Search for Knowledge.”
Source: BYU Speeches
—Leslie Owusu, Mormon Insights
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Find more insights
For more information about how faith can enhance your education, read Elder James E. Faust’s talk “Enhancing Secular Knowledge through Spiritual Knowledge and Faith.”
Read Elder Henry B. Eyring’s talk “Education for Real Life” to learn how putting spiritual learning first gives your secular learning purpose
Watch the video “Education for a Better Life” to discover how secular knowledge blessed Elder Joseph W. Sitati’s life.
To understand more about how increasing your knowledge can help you accomplish the Lord’s purposes, read Elder Craig A. Cardon’s New Era article titled “Education.”