Praying to Our Heavenly Father
(Excerpts from Chapter 8 in Gospel Principles)
Prayer is one of the greatest blessings we have while we are here on earth. Through prayer we can communicate with our Heavenly Father and seek His guidance daily.
Prayer is a sincere, heartfelt talk with our heavenly Father. We should pray to God and to no one else....We should pray for strength to resist the temptations of Satan and his followers (see 3 Nephi 18:15; D&C 10:5). We should pray to confess our sins to God and ask Him to forgive us (see Alma 38:14). We should pray for the Lord's guidance and help in our daily lives. We need to pray for our families and friends, our neighbors, our crops and our animals, our daily work, and our other activities. We should pray for protection from our enemies (see Alma 34:17-27).
We should pray to express love to our Heavenly Father and to feel closer to Him. We should pray to our Father to thank Him for our welfare and comfort and for all things He gives us each day (see Thessalonians 5:18). We need to pray to ask our Heavenly Father for strength to live the gospel.
We can pray whenever we feel the need to communicate with our Heavenly Father, whether silently or vocally.
At times we may not feel like praying. We may be angry or discouraged or upset. At these times we should make a special effort to pray (see 2 Nephi 32:8-9).
We should each pray privately at least every night and every morning...We are commanded to have family prayers so that our families may be blessed (see 3 Nephi 18:21). Our Church leaders have counseled us to pray as families each morning and night. We also have the privilege of praying to give thanks and ask a blessing on the food before each meal.
...We should always pray in faith, "with a sincere heart, with real intent" (Moroni 10:4).
As we pray to our Heavenly Father, we should tell Him what we really feel in our hearts, confide in Him, ask Him for forgiveness, plead with Him, thank Him, express our love for Him. We should not repeat meaningless words and phrases (see Matthew 6:7-8). We should always ask that His will be done, remembering that what we desire may not be best for us (see 3 Nephi 18:20). At the end of our prayer, we close in the name of Jesus Christ (see 3 Nephi 18:19).
Our sincere prayers are always answered...Sometimes the Lord answers our prayers through other people.
As we live the gospel of Jesus Christ and pray always, we will have joy and happiness.
*Nicole Coles gave a beautiful lesson on prayer. So many great comments were shared by the sisters, too. It is so wonderful to know that we can talk to our Father in Heaven. Even when we don't feel worthy to pray, we always can. If we're having a hard time prayer, we should pray until we feel like praying. Someone said, "If you want to talk to God, pray. If you want God to talk to you, read the scriptures." I know prayer works and that we do have a Father in Heaven who listens to our prayers. He is more involved with our lives than I think we sometimes realize. Don't forget to pray and thank Him for his many blessings and to ask Him for help. He is always there.