Why Was I Praying?
February 2016

“Why Was I Praying?” New Era, February 2016, 47

Why Was I Praying?

David J., Missouri, USA


I’m serving as a missionary, and I love teaching people about Jesus Christ and helping them learn how to follow Him more closely. But sometimes it’s the teacher who learns the most.

One evening, while at a member’s home for dinner, I was asked to pray. As I was doing so, I realized it was starting to sound a lot like the last prayer I’d said at a member’s home. A thought came into my mind, “Whom are you praying to? Them or God?” It shocked me enough that I paused for a moment. I realized that I was praying “to be heard of men” (Alma 38:13) and not out of a sincere desire to communicate with my Father in Heaven. I was doing it out of duty instead of out of love for God.

As I finished my prayer, I silently thanked God for revealing my faults to me. I promised Him that I would pray to be heard of Him and not just to say nice words. As I’ve since kept that promise, I’ve drawn so much closer to Him and have been better able to recognize His loving hand in my life.