“Idea List: Meaningful Prayer,” New Era, Jan. 2001, 29
We read in the scriptures that we are to cry unto the Lord, to pour out our souls to Him, and to let our hearts be drawn out in prayer to the Lord (see Alma 34:26–27). But making prayers meaningful all the time can be difficult. So how do we open the doors to spiritual power through real prayer and not merely “say our prayers”? Some New Era readers share how they make their own prayers more heartfelt and effective:
Pray in faith and sincerity. God answers faithful prayers (see D&C 5:24).
Ponder your day, your needs, and what you are grateful for before you begin to pray (see D&C 9:8). Your thoughts will be more collected, your prayer more focused.
As you ponder, think of the things you need to repent of, and ask the Lord’s forgiveness. Ask Him to help you know what you need to repent of.
Ask Heavenly Father if there is anything specific you should pray about, and be sensitive to the guidance of the Spirit in your prayers (see Matt. 6:8).
Give thanks for all your blessings. Ask the Lord to help you remember them.
Be sure that you allow two-way communication when you pray. Listen for answers and be worthy of the guidance of the Holy Ghost.
Try to use appropriate prayer language. Use the pronouns Thee, Thou, and Thine instead of You and Yours.
Pray out loud. Vocalize your prayers as if Heavenly Father were sitting beside you.
Pray for the Holy Spirit to be with you, and express your love for your Heavenly Father and His Son (see 2 Ne. 32:8).
Try to find a clean, quiet place to pray.
Read about prayer in the scriptures. The Savior taught us the pattern for prayer in Matthew 6:9–13, and His own prayer in Gethsemane (Matt. 26:39–44) teaches that our prayers should be in accordance with God’s will.
Take time to pray. Don’t rush. Make prayer a part of your life and not an afterthought.
Instead of being completely absorbed with your own problems and needs, lay your desires at the Lord’s feet and pray for others who need the Lord’s help.