Communication with our Heavenly Father, the God and controller of the universe, is a sacred privilege available and encouraged for all His sons and daughters. See yourself as a child approaching a loving, kind, wise Father who wants to help you. The Lord has said,
“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you…” (Matthew 7: 7-8 and Luke 11: 9 in the Bible) When we pray, be humble and show respect to our Heavenly Father. The Savior said, “Wherefore he that prayeth, whose spirit is contrite, the same is accepted of me…” (Doctrine & Covenants 52: 15 p. 96)
The Steps of Prayer are Meant to be Simple.
- Address our Heavenly Father. “When ye pray, say Our Father which art in Heaven…”
(Luke 11: 2 in the Bible)
- Thank Him for our blessings. “Thou shalt thank the Lord thy God in all things”
(Doctrine & Covenants 59: 7 p. 108)
- Ask for what we are in need of. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God…”
(James 1: 5 in the Bible)
- Close our prayer in the Name of Jesus Christ. “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus…” (Colossians 3: 17 in the Bible)
“Pray in your families unto the Father, always in my name…”
(3 Nephi 18: 21 p. 443 in the Book of Mormon)
What Should We Pray for?
We should avoid vain repetitions in our prayers. The Savior said, “But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions…” (Matthew 6: 7 in the Bible)
When we pray, we should speak from the heart to our Heavenly Father about the things that are important to us.
An ancient prophet gave this direction, “Cry unto him when ye are in your fields, yea, over all your flocks. Cry unto him in your houses, yea, over all your household, both morning, mid-day, and evening. Yea, cry unto him against the power of your enemies.
Yea, cry unto him against the devil, who is an enemy to all righteousness.
Cry unto him over the crops of your fields, that ye may prosper in them.
Cry over the flocks of your fields, that they may increase.
But this is not all; ye must pour out your souls in your closets, and your secret places, and in your wilderness…” (Alma 34: 20-27 p. 294 in the Book of Mormon)
For What Can We Give Thanks
“We can give thanks for the gift of life, for our amazing bodies and minds that allow us to grow and learn. We can give thanks for art, literature, and music that nurture our souls. We can give thanks for the opportunity to repent, start over, make amends, and build character. We can give thanks for our families, friends, and loved ones. We can give thanks for the opportunity to help, cherish, and serve one another, which makes life so much more meaningful. We can even give thanks for our trials, from which we learn things we would not know otherwise. Most of all, we can give thanks unto God, the Father of our spirits, which makes us all brothers and sisters—one great global family. (www.churchofjesuschrist.org “Healing Power of Gratitude” President Russell M. Nelson.)
Receiving Answers to Our Prayers
The Lord chooses how and when He will answer our prayers. Answers can come through a voice to our mind, while reading the Scriptures, dreams, visions and through others influenced by the Spirit. Primarily answers come through the “feelings of the heart”. This brings “peace of mind” to us that we are doing the right things. When we feel this “influence of the Spirit” in our lives, we want to learn more about God, be a better person, we feel more love for others, want to keep His commandments and draw closer to God in every way we can. This is a witness to us that the Spirit of God is working with us in answer to our prayers. This is what the scriptures mean to be “quicken by the Spirit” or to “enlighten your mind” or to “enlarge your soul” or to have your “soul filled with joy”. When we feel inspiration through the Spirit we should treasure it, record it, follow it and thank the Lord for it; and it will come again.