How to Pray

How to Say Your Prayers

It’s amazing how simple it is to have a conversation with our Heavenly Father. Prayer is the original long-distance call, and best of all it doesn’t cost a penny! Don’t worry, if you’ve never prayed before it might feel a little strange at first, or it might feel very familiar, but like anything else that you are new to prayer will start to feel natural in no time.

Find a Place of Peace and Quiet

While it is wonderful to pray with your family or in a public place, we will focus on personal prayer here, and the first thing you will need is privacy. Similar to what you might do before you meditate if you’ve ever tried meditation. The important thing is to find a place where you aren’t likely to be interrupted.

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Kneel

I always find my prayers feel more sincere when I physically place myself in a kneeling position, hands clasped or arms folded, and my head bowed. It can also be nice to have something nearby to rest your arms on if you think you are going to be here for a while.

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Close Your Eyes

Now that you are in a quiet place and are ready to start, closing your eyes will help to further calm your mind, removing any remaining distractions that may be right in front of you. Now you can focus on the thoughts and feelings in your heart.

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Begin

At this point, you are ready to pray. What will you say to your Heavenly Father? This all depends on what is on your mind. You will want to address whom you are speaking to, which can be done simply by saying “Heavenly Father,” “Dear Heavenly Father,” etc.

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Speak

Anything goes here. You can express your gratitude, your frustrations, your triumphs and your defeats. You can ask questions about the things that concern you, no matter how big or small. Your prayer can be silent, or you can speak out loud. There is no wrong or right thing to say here, so long as you say what is in your heart. It is good to use the pronouns thee, thou, thy, and thine instead of you, your, and yours to indicate respect.

Listen

You wouldn’t call up your friend, tell them all about your day, ask for their help with something and then hang up the phone before they respond to you. Don’t hang up too fast when you’re speaking in personal prayer. Give yourself time to listen, reflect, and receive. This step is the piece we often neglect.

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Close

When you are ready to finish your long-distance call, you may do so by simply stating “In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.” Elder L. Edward Brown gives a great explanation for the reason to us this in closing,

“When we use these sacred words, “in the name of Jesus Christ,” they are much more than a way to get out of a prayer. . . . We are on holy ground. . . . We are using a name most sublime, most holy, and most wonderful—the very name of the Son of God. . . . What power and reassurance and peace come when we really pray in His name. This conclusion to the prayer may, in many ways, be the most important part of the prayer. We can appeal to the Father through His victorious Son with confidence that our prayers will be heard. We can ask and receive, we can seek and find and subsequently find the open door,” (Pray).

Repeat

Prayer is a powerful tool in drawing closer to our Father in Heaven, but like any talent or skill, it is most effective when it is practiced regularly. The more we practice praying, the more comfortable we will become with it and the closer we will be to developing a close relationship with our Heavenly Father.

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Sources:

Kimball, Spencer W. Faith Precedes the Miracle; Based on Discourses of Spencer W. Kimball. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1972. Print.

“”Pray Unto the Father in My Name”” “Pray Unto the Father in My Name” 8 Oct. 1997. Web. 28 Oct. 2014.

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