Prayer is a key part of life for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We pray alone as individuals; we pray as families; we pray together in our church meetings.
When we pray, we address our Father in Heaven and close in the name of Jesus Christ. The rest of the prayer is filled with whatever is in our hearts and minds. We are encouraged to pray about all that is going on in our lives — to express gratitude for the blessings of life; to share our hopes, thoughts, fears, ideas, and concerns; to seek for guidance, direction, comfort, and whatever else we need. Always, we humbly acknowledge His hand and His will. We know God hears and answers prayers.
Michelle B. says this about prayer:
“I agree with C.S. Lewis, prayer does not change God, it changes me. I know that the Lord is unchangeable and is constant and constantly wanting to hear and communicate with us. He is always there listening and loving. When I pray, even though I know Heavenly Father already knows what I need, I am grateful for the opportunity to humble myself and ask anyway. When I speak to my Heavenly Father I feel a peace and comfort knowing that he is listening and will answer my prayers in his own due time and way. I am humbled to know that with all of the people and events going on in the world, He knows me personally and takes the time to listen to me, everytime I pray. He does not put me on hold, he does not let the machine pick up and return my call later, he is always there, always listening and always communicating. I know that as I keep myself in the right frame of mind, I will hear and feel and know the answers to my prayers and what it is he would have me do to further is work here on earth.”
How grateful we are for the gift and blessing of prayer!
One woman, Annie M., explained her thoughts in this way.
“There have been so many times in my life that I have thought “there is no way I could have made that choice without the guidance that comes from prayer”. I am so greatful for our Father in Heaven who loves us so much and has provided us a way to communicate with him. It is hard for me to comprehend that Someone that has formed worlds without number and people without number still cares about me and wants to hear from me.”
Michelle L. shares her thoughts about prayer:
“I love the fact that we can pray, but I must admit that there are times that I have struggled when prayers are not answered how or when I would like them to be. Thankfully, the Lord sent a friend (my visiting teacher) to help me with this struggle.
At a time when I was feeling particularly discouraged about what I felt were unanswered prayers, I read a book called “When Our Prayers Seem Unanswered” (by S. Michael Wilcox) and it helped me understand the scripture in Matthew 7:7-11 (and prayer in general) with greater depth.
“I could write much about this, but as a quick summary, I came to realize — and really believe in my heart — that God does not give stones (or serpents)! Whatever is happening in my life, if I am doing all I can to follow the Lord, it is bread — it is good. It is there to help me, to nourish me, to give me the chance to grow. God does not give us harmful things; He gives us what we need (in an eternal-growth, big-picture sense) — but not always necessarily what we want. If we focus too much on what we want, we might turn the heaven-sent bread (our own manna, perhaps?) into a stone, the fish into a serpent, the eggs into scorpions (see Luke 11:12). He does not give scorpions or serpents or stones. He feeds us with those things that He knows will be for our good. Having faith in that principle has made prayer that much more meaningful and powerful in my life, and has made it easier to say, “Thy will be done.” And it has helped me more clearly see the blessings that come from the answers God gives and the way He works in my life.”
Please feel free to share your thoughts about prayer below.