Taks about prayer
- Prayer and Promptings by Boyd K. Packer (President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles) – Nov. 2009 Ensign/Liahona
- The Privilege of Prayer by J. Devn Cornish (Of the Seventy) – Oct. 2011 General Conference
Why we need to pray at all
“[P]lease believe how very much your loving Heavenly Father wants to bless you. But because He will not infringe upon our agency, we must ask for His help. This is generally done through prayer.” [The Privilege of Prayer by J. Devn Cornish, Oct. 2011]
“The object of prayer is not to change the will of God, but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant, but that are made conditional on our asking for them.” [Bible Dictionary, “Prayer”].
- Then that raises the question: Why do we need to ask for them? Why doesn’t God just give them to us without our asking for them? It’s a sign of humility on our part and an acknowledgment that God is in control.
“It is contrary to the economy of heaven for the Lord to do for us that which we can do for ourselves.” [The Privilege of Prayer by J. Devn Cornish, Oct. 2011]. So by extension, it is contrary for us to ask for anything that we can do ourselves?
Why we should pray/Reasons to pray/Benefits of prayer
President Thomas S. Monson said: “To those within the sound of my voice who are struggling with challenges and difficulties large and small, prayer is the provider of spiritual strength; it is the passport to peace. Prayer is the means by which we approach our Father in Heaven, who loves us. Speak to Him in prayer and then listen for the answer. Miracles are wrought through prayer” [“Be Your Best Self,” Liahona and Ensign, May 2009, 68]
How we pray
Don’t mindlessly repeat or regurgitate things in prayer. “Remember that we have been counseled to avoid repetitions, including using the name of the Father too often as we pray.” [The Privilege of Prayer by J. Devn Cornish, Oct. 2011]
Honestly. “Honesty is essential in requesting things from God.” [The Privilege of Prayer by J. Devn Cornish, Oct. 2011]
What to pray for
“An essential and sometimes forgotten part of personal prayer is repentance. For repentance to work, it must be specific, profound, and lasting.” [The Privilege of Prayer by J. Devn Cornish, Oct. 2011]. So we need to be specific when we ask for forgiveness; need to ask forgiveness for specific things.
“Please, my friends, do not forget to ask the Lord to protect and be with you.” So we need to be specific when we ask for forgiveness; need to ask forgiveness for specific things.
On not feeling like praying
“There is a risk that a person may not feel good enough to pray. This idea comes from that evil spirit who is the one who teaches us not to pray (see 2 Nephi 32:8). It is as tragic to think we are too sinful to pray as it is for a very sick person to believe he is too sick to go to the doctor!” [The Privilege of Prayer by J. Devn Cornish, Oct. 2011]
On getting answers to prayers/What answers feel like
“We must not imagine that any kind of prayer, no matter how sincere, will be very effective if all we do is to say the prayer. We must not only say our prayers; we must also live them.” [The Privilege of Prayer by J. Devn Cornish, Oct. 2011]
President Boyd K. Packer explained: “That sweet, quiet voice of inspiration comes more as a feeling than it does as a sound. Pure intelligence can be spoken into the mind. … This guidance comes as thoughts, as feelings through promptings and impressions.” [“Prayer and Promptings,” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2009, 44]
“Sometimes we seem to get no answer to our sincere and striving prayers. It takes faith to remember that the Lord answers in His time and in His way so as to best bless us. Or, on further reflection, we will often realize that we already know full well what we should do.” [The Privilege of Prayer by J. Devn Cornish, Oct. 2011]
“Like learning a foreign language, [understanding the Spirit and its promptings] takes practice and effort.” [The Privilege of Prayer by J. Devn Cornish, Oct. 2011]