So this is a somewhat unusual post, but it's something that's been very important for me.
I'm amazed at the power of prayer. I think a lot of the world thinks of prayer only in dire circumstances, or as an in-church ritual (maybe I'm wrong). For me, prayer is a daily activity that blesses my life in enormous ways.
I've always been taught to pray, and even though I haven't always been perfectly consistent in my daily personal prayers, as I've grown and matured, I've noticed a difference in my attitude about life between those times when I'm consistently praying, and when I'm not. The first time I noticed a huge blessing from prayer was in 10th grade in High School. I was taking an honor's english class from a teacher who was well-known for having extremely high standards in grading. We had to write an essay that was due the first day of class on a book we were to read over the summer. The grading scale was 0-9, with 9 being the highest possible score. Well, I got a 4 on that summer assignment. The next essay we had to write was to be an in-class essay on the next book we were assigned to read. I'd never written an in-class essay. 50 minutes to answer a specific question and compile all of my thoughts about a book intelligently into a well-written masterpiece was somewhat frightening.
So, I prayed. I didn't just pray, I read the book. During the week before the in-class essay, I reviewed the important parts of the book, and prayed, and thought about what possible questions I might be asked to write about. I did this consistently each night, with lots of prayer. The day of the essay, I prayed again, and again, and again before the essay (in my mind). It was so cool to look at the paper and notice that the question was very similar to one that I had thought of in my studies that week! I started writing, and felt I had done well. I would have been happy with a 6.
A couple of weeks later, the essays were graded, and this teacher posted a few "excellent" examples of essays (without names) on the wall. As I walked into class, I heard some people by the wall say "Someone got a 9! That's crazy!" I walked over, and saw that it was my handwriting!
I know that's a really simple example, and a lot of people will say that it was just due to the fact that I studied hard. I partially agree. However, I know I couldn't have done that without the help of Heavenly Father. Since then, I have had many similar experiences with my prayers being answered as I tried my best to fulfill my end of the "deal".
My life is busy. Not nearly as busy as some people I know, but busy enough for me. I wouldn't be able to keep my head above water without prayer.
Without prayer, my life would be much more difficult. I'm so grateful for the availability of a "phone a friend" to a loving Father who knows all the answers, and that He speaks to us, both through Prophets (yeah for General Conference!) and through His Spirit.