In simple words, prayer is a conversation with God. It can be a quick cry for help in time of need, a formal moment at night before bed, or a simple word of thanks before dinner. Regardless, when one prays sincerely, God listens.
What do Mormons believe about prayer?
Prayer is prominent in Mormon life. Mormons are taught to pray each morning and night, individually and in families. Mormons pray before meals, at formal church functions, and during church services.
Prayer brings many blessings. For one, Mormons believe that every person on the earth is a son or daughter of God, that we once lived with Him. Therefore, prayer is the wonderful privilege we have to get to speak to our Father, to get to know Him better. Prayer keeps us humble and grateful for what we have been given in life. Through prayer, miracles can occur; we can receive answers and directions about our life; we can be guided to truth. It’s important to realize that God always answers prayers. It’s just that sometimes that these answers don’t come when we expect them, or they aren’t the answers we were anticipating.
Ultimately, Mormons believe a prayer must be said in faith. The apostle James taught in the New Testament:
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.
~ James 1:5-6
Instructions How to Pray
While prayer can certainly occur at any moment of the day, there are some specific things one can do to make prayer a special and sacred experience. If possible, find a quiet place where you can be alone.
- Begin by addressing God, our Heavenly Father
- Express the feelings of your heart; give thanks for what God has given you, and ask Him for things you need help with
- Close your prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, and say “amen”
In the New Testament, Jesus gave us a wonderful example of how to pray. It is commonly referred to as The Lords Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13). While it’s not necessary to use the exact same phrases and words He did each time we pray, the Lord’s Prayer is a good example to follow, especially if you haven’t prayed before.
The Lord’s Prayer
9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
~ Matthew 6: 9-13