Thursday, June 21, 2012

how to pray

"As you feel the need to confide in the Lord or to improve the quality of your visits with Him - - to pray, if you please - - may I suggest a process to follow:  Go where you can be alone, go where you can think, go where you can kneel, go where you can speak out loud to Him.  The bedroom, that bathroom, or the closet will do.  Now, picture Him in your mind's eyeThink to whom you are speaking, control your thoughts--don't let them wander, address Him as your Father and friend.  Now tell Him things you really feel to tell Him--not trite phrases that have little meaning, but have a sincere, heartfelt conversation with Him.  Confide in Him, ask Him for forgiveness, plead with Him, enjoy Him, thank Him, express your love to Him, and then listen for His answers.  Listening is an essential part of praying.  Answers from the Lord come quietly--ever so quietly.  In fact, few hear His answers audibly with their ears.  We must be listening so carefully or we will never recognize them.  Most answers from the Lord are felt as thoughts in our mind.  They come to those who are prepared and who are patient."  
-H. Burke Peterson

We are told that we should pray every day... and several times a day.

And hopefully we all do.

But are you praying with real sincerity?

Do you carefully tell our Father about your day, about your worries, and about your joys?

Do you confide in Him? Do you ask for forgiveness?

Do you thank Him for specific things - or do you blanket everything into "thank thee for this day"?

Because if you do any of these things... it may be time to change the way you pray.

So why do we pray?

Someone once gave me this perfect example... if you aren't very good friends with someone - if you don't know them very well - you wouldn't ask them for a favor, would you? That would be awkward and embarrassing...
We need to get to know our Father. We need to communicate with Him so that we can call Him a friend. When we are constantly thanking Him for our blessings and speaking to Him what's in our hearts... we will feel more comfortable when we need to ask a favor of Him.

We pray so that we can communicate with and have a personal relationship with our Father.

When do we pray?

Well... always.

1 Thessalonians 5:17 - Pray without ceasing.

That's the whole verse. How incredibly simple.

In Alma 34:27 we read, "Yea, and when you do not cry unto the Lord, let your hearts be full, drawn out in prayer unto him continually for your welfare, and also for the welfare of those who are around you."

Always, always, have a prayer in your heart.

Your creator deserves no less.

How do we pray?

3 Nephi 19:6 - And the twelve did teach the multitude; and behold, they did cause that the multitude should kneel down upon the face of the earth, and should pray unto the Father in the name of Jesus.

Just talk to God. Like a friend. But talk in a respectful manner.

And pray in the name of Christ.

Do what H. Burke Peterson suggested in the above quote...

- Find a quiet place - a place where you can be alone.
- Picture and think about Who you are talking to. Do not let your mind wander.
- Confide in Him
- Ask for forgiveness
- Plead with Him
- Enjoy Him (I like this one)
- Thank Him
- Express your love to Him
- Listen for answers (important. see the story at the beginning of this post.)

Do all this... because you will be most abundantly blessed. 

Alma 37:37 - Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day.

P.S. I will be gone at EFY next week... so this blog will be lacking in posts from the 25th to the 30th. I am, however, planning on letting Blogger auto-post a few videos for you throughout the week. So tune in! I am sharing an awesome video about selfless softball players... and probably a couple of others... Maybe just some of my favorite I'm a Mormon videos.

Anyways, Have a lovely week, and I will see you when I get back! No doubt I will have gained lots of new ideas and thoughts to share with you!


Corie said...

Thanks for this post, Haley! Prayer is something that we all have room for improvement on. It is oh so important, and one of my favorite things about our religion, that we know we can just talk to our Father. Just to talk to Him and know He is there. I love that feeling. I hope you have a blast at EFY! Meet some cute boys and get some numbers! Haha.

Haley Barton said...

You are most welcome! Thanks for leaving a thought! And will do! EFY is my favorite!


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