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How to Pray

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Praying Hands by Albrecht Dürer; Public Domain

Praying Hands

Albrecht Dürer; Public Domain
Prayer is a very important and vital belief of Latter-day Saints because it is how we communicate with God and how he sometimes communicates with us.

A prayer has four simple steps: Address God, Thank Him, Ask Him, and Close in the Name of Jesus Christ. Also, prayer can be said in one's mind or out loud. I personally find that praying out loud makes it easier for me to focus my thoughts on what I'm saying.

After reading this article share your answer to this question with us: Why do we need to pray?

Address God:

We open the prayer by addressing God because he is the one we are praying to. Start by saying "Father in Heaven" or "Heavenly Father." We address Him as our Heavenly Father because He is the father of our spirits, He is our creator and the one to whom we owe everything we have, including our lives.

Thank Him:

After opening the prayer we tell our Father in Heaven what we are thankful for. You can start by saying, "I thank thee..." or "I am grateful for...." We show our gratitude to our Father by telling him in our prayer what we are thankful for such as our home, family, health, the earth, and other blessings.

Ask Him:

After thanking our Father in Heaven we can ask him for help. Some of the ways you can do this is to say:
  • "I ask thee..."
  • "I need..."
  • "Please help me..."
We can ask him to bless us with the things we need, such as knowledge, comfort, guidance, peace, health, etc.

Close in the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen:

We close the prayer by saying, "In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen." We do this because Jesus is our Savior, our mediator between death (physical and spiritual) and eternal life. Christ is the one who suffered and died for us that we may be able to return again to our Father's presence and He is the one we are commanded to have faith in. The Apostle John taught:

"And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

"If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it." (John 14: 13-14.)

We also close with saying Amen because it means we accept or agree with what's been said.

Praying in a Group:

When praying with a group of people only the person saying the prayer speaks. The person praying should say the prayer in the plural such as, "We thank thee," and "We ask thee." At the end when the person says amen the rest of the group says amen as well. This shows our agreement or acceptance of what they have prayed for.

Pray Always:

In the Book of Mormon Christ taught the people to pray always. He said:

"Behold, verily, verily, I say unto you, ye must watch and pray always lest ye enter into temptation; for Satan desireth to have you, that he may sift you as wheat.

"Therefore ye must always pray unto the Father in my name;

"And whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given unto you.

"Pray in your families unto the Father, always in my name" (3 Nephi 18:18-21.)

Pray with Sincerity:

We also believe it is important that we pray with sincerity, meaning we think about what we're saying instead of vain repetition. In Matthew 6:7 it says, "But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking."

Pray with Faith in Christ:

It says in James 1:5-6, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed." Praying in faith means having faith in Jesus Christ.

Pray with Real Intent:

Praying with real intent means that we are willing to do God's will. If we're asking for God's help, but we're not willing to do our part, our prayer will be in vain. In the Book of Mormon the prophet Moroni taught, "And likewise also is it counted evil unto a man, if he shall pray and not with real intent of heart; yea, and it profiteth him nothing, for God receiveth none such" (Moroni 7: 9.)

I believe that one of the most important things we should pray for is to know the truth about God and his plan for us. Prayers can be answered in multiple ways, sometimes as feelings (through the Holy Ghost) or thoughts that come into our minds. Sometimes feelings of peace or warmth enter our hearts as we read the scriptures. Events we experience can also be answers to our prayers. Preparing ourselves for personal revelation will also help us in receiving answers to prayers.

I know God loves us and is our Father in Heaven. I have prayed and received an answer that I cannot deny the truth of his existence and love for each one of us. I know he hears and answers our prayers. I share this with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Poll: How often do you pray?
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