“The Prayer of Faith,” Ensign, October 2014, 4–6
Prayer is more than words we speak to God. It is a two-way communication between God and His children.
When prayer works as it should, we express the feelings of our hearts in simple words. Heavenly Father typically answers by putting thoughts in our minds accompanied by feelings. He always hears the sincere prayer we offer when we pray with a commitment to obey Him, whatever His answer and whenever it comes.
The Lord makes this promise to all who read and pray about the Book of Mormon:
“And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
“And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things” (Moroni 10:4–5).
That promise is sure. Millions of people have tested and proved that wonderful promise about prayer by receiving a blessing that has filled their lives with joy and lasting happiness. That promise applies to all our prayers to know the mind and will of God for us. We can apply it whenever we receive counsel from a servant of God who is authorized to give us direction. For instance, we can depend on it when we have listened to a sermon in general conference. We can apply it when we are taught by humble missionaries called of God by the living prophet. It applies as well to the counsel we receive from our bishop or branch president.
For prayer to work in our lives, the rules are simple. We must ask to know what is true by praying to the Father in the name of Jesus Christ. We must ask with a sincere heart, which means we must have an honest intent to do whatever God’s answer requires of us. And our real intent must spring from our faith in Jesus Christ.
The investigator who reads the Book of Mormon before being baptized and confirmed may receive both an assurance that the book is true and a witness that Joseph Smith translated it by the power of God. After being confirmed a member of the Church, we can have the Holy Ghost as our companion to confirm other truths. Then, whenever we pray in faith, we can expect that the Holy Ghost will testify to us that Jesus is the Christ, that God the Father lives, and that They love us and all of Heavenly Father’s children.
That is one reason there is a promise in the Book of Mormon that we will have charity in our hearts as the Holy Ghost bears witness to us that Jesus is the Christ: “If a man be meek and lowly in heart, and confesses by the power of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ, he must needs have charity” (Moroni 7:44).
There is a great opportunity to grow spiritually every fast Sunday. Fast Sunday can help us approach the experiences of Alma and the sons of Mosiah, who prayed and fasted to know eternal truth so that they could teach the Lamanites with power, authority, and love (see Alma 17:3, 9).
On fast Sunday we combine prayer and fasting. For the blessing of the poor, we give a generous fast offering to the bishop or the branch president that equals at least the value of the two meals we forego. Our thoughts and our prayers are turned to the Savior and to those He would have us serve by addressing their spiritual and temporal needs.
Our prayers and desires thus come closer to being like the prayers and desires of the Savior as we fast to become more meek, teachable, and loving. And as He did, we pray to know the Father’s will for us and to do it.