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Is it any wonder that the Lord can hear you when you whisper, even in your secret closet? Is there any doubt in your minds about it? If man can communicate across the continent by means of a telephone without wires—by means of human invention, by reason of the wisdom of man, is there any one who doubts the ability of God to hear the earnest, honest supplication of the soul? Do not doubt any more that the Lord can hear your prayers, when, with a small instrument, sensitive to the electric spark, you can distinctly hear the human voice in your home received from the ocean thousands of miles away. When you can communicate to some one in the midst of the ocean from your home, far inland from the ocean—do not for a moment doubt that the Lord understands all these means of communication and that he has means of hearing and understanding your innermost, exact thoughts. "Prayer is the soul's sincere desire, uttered or unexpressed." It does not take many words to ask the Lord for what we need; but we must ask in faith, confidence and trust. It will not do to have doubts in our minds when we call upon the Lord for a blessing. "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea, driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord." (James 1:5-7.) — Joseph F. Smith, "Gospel Doctrine," p.216
It may be that some who are under the sound of my voice today, both of the seen as well as the unseen audience, are earnestly seeking after truth, but have not as yet put themselves in a position to receive a testimony of the divinity of this great latter-day work. If there should be such, let me say to you, as I have said upon other occasions, that if you will go into your chambers by yourself, and there kneel down and pour out your soul to the Lord in humble prayer, he will not turn you aside, but he will cause a feeling to come into your soul that will bear witness to you of the divinity of this great latter-day work; and by following the admonition that will come to you, and complying with the commandments of the Lord, you, with us, may rejoice in the knowledge of this great latter-day work. — Miles L. Jones, General Conference, April 1932
The Lord also commanded man--and it is well known by almost all Christians--"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind" (Matt. 22:37). To know and love God are sacred blessings. One of the ways that we can come to know God and Jesus Christ is through sincere prayer. The Lord commands, "Pray always, and I will pour out my Spirit upon you, and great shall be your blessing--yea, even more than if you should obtain treasures of earth" (D&C 19:38). In the Bible we are commanded to "pray without ceasing. "In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you" (1 Thes. 5:17-18). Prayer to God will give you power to conquer and overcome the evil powers and influences of Satan and this world. The Lord said, "Pray always, that you may come off conqueror; yea, that you may conquer Satan, and that you may escape the hands of the servants of Satan that do uphold his work" (D&C 10:5). Prayer to God is a sacred blessing. — Bernard P. Brockbank, General Conference, October 1979
I am convinced in my heart that the spectacle of a nation praying is more awe-inspiring, more powerful, than the explosion of an atomic bomb. The force of prayer is greater than any possible combination of man-controlled powers because, "prayer is man's greatest means of tapping the resources of God." I would like to see this nation on its knees in humble prayer. (The Red Carpet, p. 295.) We should pray frequently. We should be alone with our Heavenly Father at least two or three times each day: "morning, midday, and evening" (Alma 34:21). Someone has said that when you wake up in the morning, the first thing to hit the floor should be your knees. In addition, we are told to pray always (Luke 21:34-36; 2 Nephi 32:9; D&C 61:39; 88:126; 93:49). This not only shows we should pray frequently but also continually have a prayer in our heart (Alma 34:27). Even when the Lord's time was most in demand, He was not too busy to pray (Luke 5:15-16). (God, Family, Country, p. 120.) Our prayers should be meaningful and pertinent. We should avoid using the same phrases in each prayer. Any of us would become offended if a friend said the same few words to us each day, treated the conversation as a chore, and could hardly wait to finish in order to turn on the television set and forget us. (Come unto Christ, p. 26.) — "Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson," p.425-426
The Lord is near unto every one of us, for in Him we live, and move, and have our being. We can seek Him; we can ask and receive; we can seek and find; we can knock and the door will be opened to us; and every comfort and blessing pertaining to the everlasting Gospel enjoyed at any period of the world's history can be enjoyed today. But they must be sought after by the prayer of faith, and by diligence, obedience, and by being in harmony with Jesus Christ our living head. His spirit will permeate the Church. His spirit will prompt His people if they will be obedient to His laws. — Charles W. Penrose, General Conference, April 1906
We have been tried to some extent, but not to the extent which we probably will be; there are many things in which we will be greatly tried before we get through. Every Latter-day Saint who gains a celestial glory will be tried to the very uttermost. If there is a point in our character that is weak and tender, you may depend upon it that the Lord will reach after that, and we will be tried at that spot, for the Lord will test us to the utmost before we can get through and receive that glory and exaltation which He has in store for us as a people. When we think about the character of the exaltation promised unto us, we can understand why this should be the case. What are we striving for? What are we aiming to obtain? Our constant prayer to God is that we may be considered worthy to receive celestial glory. That is the prayer of every one who belongs to the Church. Every man and every woman who prays unto the Father, who is in the habit of doing so, expresses that desire in his or her prayer--that we may be counted worthy to receive celestial glory and exaltation in the presence of God and the Lamb. What a great thing to ask! — George Q. Cannon, "Journal of Discourses," Vol.22, p.123 - p.124, October 31, 1880
Nephi said: "If ye would hearken unto the Spirit which teacheth a man to pray ye would know that ye must pray; for the evil spirit teacheth not a man to pray, but teacheth him that he must not pray. But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray always, and not faint" (2 Nephi 32:8-9). Amulek understood the importance of prayer as a spiritually rejuvenating influence. "Humble yourselves," he said to the Zoramites, "and continue in prayer. . . . Ye must pour out your souls in your closets, and your secret places, and in your wilderness" (Alma 34:19, 26) ' Amulek counseled the people to pray over their flocks, their households, and their fields (see Alma 34:20-21). "Yea.,, he said, "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" (Alma 34:27). Earnest, sincere prayer is an essential ingredient in maintaining spiritual tone. — Dean L. Larsen, General Conference, October 1989
The Being of higher intelligence, to whom the request is directed, may or may not grant the prayer, but some answer will be given. Prayer has been said to be "the soul's sincere desire." Only when it is such will the fullest answer be obtained, and it is doubtful if such a prayer is ever refused. No prayer is unheard. . . . A man should pray always; his heart should be full of prayer; he should walk in prayer. Answers will then be heard as God pleases. Seldom is a man greater than his private prayers. To become properly tuned with the guiding intelligent Being, one must give himself to the matter devotedly desired in the form of prayer, and then support it with all his works. Prayer is active and not passive. If a thing is wanted a man must try to secure it. Then, as a man devotes all of himself to the subject of the prayer, his attitude becomes such as to make him susceptible to the answer when it shall be sent. Prayer may be said to be the soul's whole desire. — James E. Talmage, "A Rational Theology," pp. 76-77
It has been said in this conference that every member of the Church is entitled to revelation. I want to testify to you, that I have repeatedly sought God in the woods and hills of Scandinavia, in the wilds of Asia and Africa, upon the high seas, and in many places when I have been far away from my brethren who were entitled to give me advice: and I have always received sufficient revelation in answer to my prayers to lead, guide and direct me in [many] movements, and I have never been led astray when I have sought God in the proper way. This is my testimony. Even in the midst of political revolutions I have always known where I stood. I have never had to take counsel direct from my brethren on political matters. There is a God in heaven who reveals His secrets to His servants the Prophets, and we are all Prophets in a certain sense, if we are under the influence of the Holy Ghost, so far as that is concerned: the most humble man or woman in the Church can get down upon his or her knees in prayer, and the heavens will be opened in such a way that we will understand the will of God. Our prayers will ascend to God, and, if we are sincere and honest in our supplication, we will receive an answer through the still small voice which will guide our footsteps through life, and which will cause us to do the right thing at the right time, and to take such steps as we shall not subsequently have occasion to regret. — Andrew Jenson, General Conference, October 1912
Now, I tell you that you can make every decision in your life correctly if you can learn to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit. This you can do if you will discipline yourself to yield your own feelings to the promptings of the Spirit. Study your problems and prayerfully make a decision. Then take that decision and say to him, in a simple, honest supplication, "Father, I want to make the right decision. I want to do the right thing. This is what I think I should do; let me know if it is the right course." Doing this, you can get the burning in your bosom, if your decision is right. If you do not get the burning, then change your decision and submit a new one. When you learn to walk by the Spirit, you never need to make a mistake. I know what it is to have this burning witness. I know also that there are other manifestations of guidance by the Spirit. — Marion G. Romney, General Conference, October 1961
When you pray—when you talk to your Heavenly Father—do you really talk out your problems with Him? Do you let Him know your feelings, your doubts, your insecurities, your joys, your deepest desires? Or is prayer merely a habitual expression with the same words and phrases? Do you ponder what you really mean to say? Do you take time to listen to the promptings of the Spirit? Answers to prayer come most often by a still voice and are discerned by our deepest, innermost feelings. I tell you that you can know the will of God concerning yourselves if you will take the time to pray and to listen. — "Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson," p.428
"Go and plead with the Lord; ask Him to remove the darkness from your minds, to give you the light of the Holy Spirit, that it may shine upon your understanding, that you may comprehend it, and you will not wait upon Him in vain." — George Q. Cannon, General Conference, April 1891, "Collected Discourses," Volume 2
"There seems to grow upon us a film of worldliness when we move away from the Lord. It might be like the film of grease spread over the body of the swimmer who would cross the English Channel. It fills the pores and covers the skin so there can be less penetration of the cold. It might be like the skin-diver's rubber suit. But when we pierce the shell and penetrate the covering and humble ourselves with naked soul and sincere supplication and cleansed life, our prayers are answered." — Spencer W. Kimball, "Prayer," "BYU Speeches of the Year," October 11, 1961
"The homes of America need also the blessings which come from daily communion with God. Devotion in the home, which has been such an anchor to youth and parents alike, has all but vanished. A few generations ago it was a common practice. Then families knelt together in prayer; the scriptures were read aloud; and households joined in the singing of church hymns. This practice, if revived, would contribute much to the strength of the home and the nation. The differences and irritations of the day melt away as families approach the throne of heaven together. Unity increases. The ties of love and affection are re-enforced and the peace of heaven enters." — Ezra Taft Benson, "Conference Report," April 1949, p.197
"Prayer does not consist of words, altogether. True, faithful, earnest prayer consists more in the feeling that rises from the heart and from the inward desire of our spirits to supplicate the Lord in humility and in faith, that we may receive His blessings. It matters not how simple the words may be, if our desires are genuine and we come before the Lord with a broken heart and a contrite spirit to ask Him for that which we need." — Joseph F. Smith, "Conference Report," October 1899, p.69-71
"The promise is made to everyone. There is no discrimination, no favored few. But the Lord has not promised to crash the door. He stands and knocks. If we do, not listen, He will not sup with us nor give answer to our prayers. Do you know how to listen, grasp, interpret, understand? The Lord stands knocking. He never retreats. But He will never force himself upon us. If we ever move apart, it is we who move, and not the Lord. And should we ever fail to get an answer to our prayers, we must look into our lives for a reason. We have failed to do what we should or we have done something we should not have done. We have dulled our hearing or impaired our eyesight." — Spencer W. Kimball, "BYU Speeches of the Year," October 11, 1961, p.6
"We have a great generation of youth, but as I talk to many, I am amazed and surprised at the laxity of prayers among them, especially those who are in sin. Many have nearly ceased to pray. Their communication wires are down. Also numerous young people in their early married days cease to pray with regularity; their lines are sagging." — Spencer W. Kimball, "Keep the Lines of Communication Strong," "Ensign," July 1972, p. 38
"Miracle of miracles and wonder of wonders, they are interested in us, and we are the substance of their great concern. They are available to each of us. We approach the Father through the Son. He is our intercessor at the throne of God. How marvelous it is that we may so speak to the Father in the name of the Son." — Gordon B. Hinckley, "The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost," "Ensign," Mar. 1998, p. 7
"I am particularly gratified, and it is of great significance to me, that I may at any moment and in any circumstance approach through prayer the throne of grace, that my Heavenly Father will hear my petition, that my Advocate, him who did no sin, whose blood was shed, will plead my cause. (See D&C 45:3-5.) I rely heavily on that access to God, which he gives to all his children, for he is indeed no respecter of persons, and he that asks shall receive." — D. Todd Christofferson, "I Know in Whom I Have Trusted," "Ensign," May 1993, p. 83
"But is prayer only one-way communication? No! One of the reasons 'prayer is the soul's sincere desire' (Hymns, no. 220) is because prayer is such a privilege-not only to speak to our Father in Heaven, but also to receive love and inspiration from him. At the end of our prayers, we need to do some intense listening-even for several minutes. We have prayed for counsel and help. Now we must 'be still, and know that [he is] God' (Ps. 46:10.)" — Spencer W. Kimball, "Pray Always," "Ensign," Oct. 1981, p. 5
"Thankfully, we can call upon Him anytime, anywhere. We can speak to Him in the quiet thoughts of our mind and from the deepest feelings of our heart. It has been said, 'prayer is made up of heart throbs and the righteous yearnings of the soul.' (James E. Talmage, Jesus the Christ, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1977, p. 238.)" — Rex D. Pinegar, "Peace through Prayer," "Ensign," May 1993, p. 66
"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 or out of a testimony or out of a talk. We are on holy ground, brothers and sisters. We are using a name most sublime, most holy, and most wonderful-the very name of the Son of God. We are now able to come unto the Father through His Beloved Son. 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." - L. Edward Brown, "Pray unto the Father in My Name," General Conference, April 1997
"To receive personal revelation requires a constant, concentrated effort in which we continue to petition Heavenly Father about our concerns. We cannot become casual in our communications with Him. To do so is to ignore the counsel to 'trifle not with sacred things' (D&C 6:12). We must follow the counsel to 'pray unto him continually by day, and give thanks unto his holy name by night' (2 Ne. 9:52). It is not the duration of our prayers but the depth of our desire that results in revelation." - L. Lionel Kendrick, "Personal Revelation," Ensign, Sept. 1999, p. 8
"All of us have much to learn and need good counsel. And beyond sound human help, beyond the 'arm of flesh,' it is written, 'Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good' (Alma 37:37). 'He will console you in your afflictions, and he will plead your cause' (Jacob 3:1)." - Marion D. Hanks, "I Will Look unto the Lord," Ensign, Nov. 1986, p. 13
"Prayer as a means of changing the hearts of national leaders? Of course! We cannot underestimate the power that is opened to us when all of us-in family prayers, in private prayers, in our meetings-combine our faith to plead with the Lord to help bring about righteous purposes here on earth. In fact, the Book of Mormon contains eloquent testimony of the power of prayer to open wide the doors that seem irrevocably locked." - Dean L. Larsen, "Prayer: The Missionary Tool in Everyone's Hands," Ensign, Oct. 1977, p. 38
"Your prayer can take many forms. It can be sung in a hymn, or whispered, or even thought. It can be as short as one word-'help!'-or it could be as long as Enos's prayer that lasted all night and all day. The important thing to remember is to pray often, talk to Heavenly Father, seek his counsel so that he can guide you. When you draw near to Heavenly Father in prayer, he will draw near to you. You need never feel alone again." - Dwan J. Young, "Draw Near to Him in Prayer," Ensign, November 1985, p. 92
"The most important step in spiritual preparation is prayer. Prayer is a means of seeking help and understanding. It is recognition that 'man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend.' (Mosiah 4:9.)" - Loren C. Dunn, "Teaching by the Power of the Spirit," Ensign, September 1984, p. 12
"Never assume that you can make it alone. You need the help of the Lord. Never hesitate to get on your knees in some private place and speak with Him. What a marvelous and wonderful thing is prayer. Think of it. We can actually speak with our Father in Heaven. He will hear and respond, but we need to listen to that response. Nothing is too serious and nothing too unimportant to share with Him. He has said, 'Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest' (Matthew 11:28). He continues, 'For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light' (v. 30)." - Gordon B. Hinckley, "Stay on the High Road," General Young Women Meeting, March 2004
"Would you like the power to ward off and resist temptation? If so, do as Alma and Paul suggested: 'Pray continually,... and thus be led by the Holy Spirit.' (Alma 13:28.)" - Carlos E. Asay, "The Companionship of the Holy Ghost," Ensign, April 1988, p. 17
"Faith can be fortified through prayer. Prayer is the powerful key to making decisions, not only concerning your physical body, but concerning all other important aspects of your life. Humbly seek the Lord in prayer with a sincere heart and real intent, and He will help you. (See Alma 33:23; Moro. 7:9; Moro. 10:4; D&C 9:7-9.)" - Russell M. Nelson, "Choices," Ensign, November 1990, p. 75
"The family should kneel together daily in family prayer. Alma 58:10 tells us: 'Therefore we did pour out our souls in prayer to God, that he would strengthen us and deliver us out of the hands of our enemies, yea, and also give us strength that we might retain our cities, and our lands, and our possessions, for the support of our people.' Our family has always needed to be strengthened-and still does-and kneeling in prayer daily certainly helps. Children need to be constantly taught how they should act when they mature and have their own families." - LeGrand R. Curtis, "Happiness Is Homemade," Ensign, November 1990, p. 13
"Joseph Smith has given us not only the message of the divine Restoration but also the practical how-to steps to obtain personal and divine communication. The young Joseph tells us of the confusion in his life. Said he, 'I was laboring under... extreme difficulties' (JS-H 1:11). He was driven to the scriptures to seek guidance, which he found in the epistle of James: 'If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God' (James 1:5). The young Joseph said, 'At length I came to the conclusion that I must either remain in darkness and confusion, or else I must do as James directs, that is, ask of God' (JS-H 1:13). Joseph no doubt also read the following words given by James: 'But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed' (James 1:6). Joseph knelt to offer up the desire of his heart. Then came a wrestling and darkness. This was followed by the light of the divine message. The answer and the instruction were complete and full. Is not this the instruction, the how-to we need to obtain divine answers to the confusion and to the vexatious problems in our lives?" - James E. Faust, "He Restoreth My Soul," Ensign, October 1997, p. 2
"Brothers and sisters, as we go forward in our lives, let us never forget to pray. God lives. He is near. He is real. He is our Father. He is accessible to us. He is the author of eternal truth, the Master of the universe. The handle is ready, and the door can be opened to His abundance. 'If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God.' (James 1:5-6.)" - Gordon B. Hinckley, "Pillars of Truth," Ensign, January 1994, p. 2
"Sometimes we may feel that our spiritual edge has grown dull. On some very trying days, we may even feel that God has forgotten us, has left us alone in our confusion and concern. But that feeling is no more justified for the older ones among us than it is for the younger and less experienced. God knows and loves us all. We are, every one of us, his daughters and his sons, and whatever life's lessons may have brought us, the promise is still true: 'If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.' (James 1:5.)" - Howard W. Hunter, "Blessed from on High," Ensign, November 1988, p. 60
"Some of the most remarkable personal revelations have been directly related to individual study of the scriptures. For example, the vision of the degrees of glory recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 76 came to the Prophet Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon after the Prophet had been studying the translation of the fifth chapter of the Gospel of John. (D&C 76:headnote, D&C 76:15-24.) Joseph Smith's First Vision came after he had reflected on James 1:5 'again and again.' (JS-H 1:11-17.) And President Joseph F. Smith's vision of the redemption of the dead came as he pondered over questions related to 1 Peter 3:18-20 and 4:6 [1 Pet. 3:18-20; 1 Pet. 4:6]. (D&C 138:1-11.)" - Joe J. Christensen, "Toward Greater Spirituality: Ten Important Steps," Ensign, June 1983, p. 8
"If you ask the Lord for help, he will give you strength, power, and ability to overcome Lucifer and withstand his efforts, and thus you will be strengthened and made more perfect. We must seek the Lord's help in prayer.
"The Lord has made no promise to those who try to go it alone. As soon as you think you can lick the devil alone, on your own, without the Lord's help, you have lost the battle before you start." - Eldred G. Smith, "Decisions," Ensign, Dec. 1971, p. 46
"I'm reminded of something I read just the other day. Let me share it with you. It seems that a small boy was trying to lift a heavy stone, but couldn't budge it. His father, watching very interestedly, said, 'Are you sure you're using all of your strength?'
"'Yes, I am!' the boy cried.
"'No, you're not,' said the father. 'You haven't asked me to help you.'
"Well, let me just tell you that however tight the game seems at the moment, I know the coach and I know that He can help. There is a personal and loving God who knows all of the plays. He understands the game of life. He understands you and me. And he understands what you and I need now to help in our lives. Talking to him is an easy thing, really. All you have to do is call time-out. Say to yourself, 'I've had it. I need help.' And be prepared to listen. Say to him, 'I can't take any more of this running without seeing clearly where the bases are or the direction I'm headed.'" - Paul H. Dunn, "Time-Out!" Ensign, May 1980, p. 38
"In a world of instant communication, we are prone to become impatient and want instant answers to our prayers. God always answers prayers, but He does it in His own way and in His own time. Perhaps it is wise to remember this counsel: 'Be still and know that I am God' (D&C 101:16)." - L. Lionel Kendrick, "Personal Revelation," Ensign, Sept. 1999, 9
"I bear witness to you that God listens to humble prayer. If he didn't, he wouldn't ask us to pray. Part of our worthwhile, urgency prayers today can be a reverent, quiet, listening period. Can we not appropriately say that he that goes to the well of prayer with faith unwavering is daily drawing oil for his lamp? It is also possible to help accumulate our supply in meaningful meditation." - Marvin J. Ashton, "A Time of Urgency," Ensign, May 1974, 37
"It is pleasing to that God whose we are when we fast and pray and seek his blessings; when we plead with all the energy of our souls for those things we so much desire; when, as Paul says, we 'come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.' (Heb. 4:16.)
"Prayer is the way and means, given us by our Creator, whereby we can counsel and communicate with him. It is one of the chief cornerstones of pure and perfect worship.
"In prayer we speak to the Lord, and he speaks to us. It is our privilege to have our voices heard in the courts above and to hear the answering voice of the Lord conveyed by the power of his Spirit.
"Prayer changes our lives. Through it we draw near to the Lord, and he reaches out his finger and touches us, so we never again are the same." - Bruce R. McConkie, "Patterns of Prayer," Ensign, May 1984, 32
"I give you my testimony that if you sincerely apply family prayer, you will not go away unrewarded. The changes may not be readily apparent. They may be extremely subtle. But they will be real, for God 'is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.' (Heb. 11:6.)" - Gordon B. Hinckley, "The Blessings of Family Prayer," Ensign, Feb. 1991, 5
"Parental prayer is an unfathomable source of power. Parents can never give up hoping or caring or believing. Surely they can never give up praying. At times prayer may be the only course of action remaining—but it is the most powerful of them all." - Jeffrey R. Holland, "Alma, Son of Alma," Ensign, Mar. 1977, 81
"We need to continually take the time to communicate with our Heavenly Father and those about us. As we share, we can make the difference in the life and light of others. We lift as we love and as we convey our love through communication. In the scriptures we read, 'But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.' (Hebrews 13:16.)
"In all of our relationships, communication should be open, comforting, and sincere. God has invited us to communicate with Him through prayer continually, no matter where we are or what the circumstances. He wants to hear from us. He loves us. He knows us. He wants to be part of our lives and to help us solve our problems. How important it is to improve our communication with Him and with others every day!" - Marvin J. Ashton, "Be of Good Cheer" [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1987], p. 101
"We are commanded to pray (Alma 34:17-27) both vocally and in secret. Secret prayer is a personal, private communication that God has provided between us. Elder Francis M. Gibbons wrote: 'Satan and his followers, who have been cast out of God's presence and are dead to His spirit, are excluded from those who, by the spirit of prophecy and revelation, may know the thoughts and the intents of our hearts. So, in his wisdom and mercy, God has provided a channel of communication between him and his children on earth that Satan, our common enemy, cannot invade. This is the channel of secret prayer. The significance of this to the Latter-day Saint is profound, for by this means we are able to communicate with our Heavenly Father in secrecy, confident that the adversary cannot intrude.' (Francis M. Gibbons, "The Dual Aspects of Prayer," Ensign, November 1991, p. 78)
"As parents, if we teach the importance of prayer in our homes, we must pray ourselves. We must have our family prayers morning and night, a blessing on the food at each meal, as well as our personal, private prayers." - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Finding Peace in Our Lives" [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1995], p. 163
"The Lord will be involved in the specifics of your life if you invite him to be. In my own life, I've seen time and again how true this is. I may be struggling with a problem and trying all sorts of solutions. Then, after the frustration that usually comes from relying on my own strength, I finally humble myself and ask for help in a specific way. I testify that consistently the Lord gives me ideas or thoughts or feelings that help me to come to the resolution of the problem. I am surely thankful for a loving, gracious Father in Heaven, who will answer prayers and do so immediately." - Gene R. Cook, "Receiving Answers to Our Prayers," p.54
"The time will come when we shall know the will of God before we ask. Then everything for which we pray will be 'expedient.' Everything for which we ask will be 'right.' That will be when as a result of righteous living, we shall so enjoy the companionship of the spirit that he will dictate what we ask. On this point the Lord has said, 'He that asketh in the Spirit asketh according to the will of God; wherefore it is done even as he asketh' (D. & C. 46:30), and again, 'And if ye are purified and cleansed from all sin, ye shall ask whatsoever you will in the name of Jesus and it shall be done. But know this, it shall be given you what you shall ask.' (D. & C. 50:29-30.) Nephi, the son of Helaman, so lived. He with unwearyingness declared the word of God. He sought not his own life but the will of God, and to keep his commandments continually, and to him the Lord said, '...all things shall be done unto thee according to thy word, for thou shalt not ask that which is contrary to my will.' (Helaman 10:5.)" - Marion G. Romney, "Conference Report," October 1944, Second Day—Morning Meeting, p.56
"A youngster was assigned by his father to see to the moving of a large rock. He tugged and pushed, and he lifted and struggled without avail. Some friends were enlisted, but together they could not move it. Reluctantly he reported to his father that he could not budge the rock.
"'Have you done all you could?' asked the father.
"'Yes,' said the little boy.
"'Have you tried everything?' persisted the father.
"'Yes,' said the boy. 'I've tried everything.'
"'No, son, you haven't,' said his dad. 'You haven't asked me.'
"Why do so many of us, heirs of God, joint heirs with Christ, fail to go to him, to keep in touch with our Father? He is anxious to help. But he wants us to learn our need for him, to open the door to him." - Marion D. Hanks, "Joy through Christ," Ensign (CR), July 1972, p.104
"I wonder if we ever stop to think why the Lord has asked us to pray. Did he ask us to pray because he wants us to bow down and worship him? Is that the main reason? I don't think it is. He is our Heavenly Father, and we have been commanded to worship him and pray to him in the name of his Beloved Son, Jesus Christ. But the Lord can get along without our prayers. His work will go on just the same, whether we pray or whether we do not. He knows the end from the beginning. There are many worlds that have passed through the same experience that we are going through. He has had sons and daughters on other earths, where they have had the same privileges and the same opportunities to serve him and the same commandments that we have had given to us. Prayer is something that we need, not that the Lord needs. He knows just how to conduct his affairs and how to take care of them without any help from us. Our prayers are not for the purpose of telling him how to run his business. If we have any such idea as that, then of course we have the wrong idea. Our prayers are uttered more for our sakes, to build us up and give us strength and courage, and to increase our faith in him." - Joseph Fielding Smith, "Conference Report," April 1968, First Day—Morning Meeting, p.10
"At times you young women may feel you are having an experience like Nephi. The Lord has not asked you to build a ship, but to build your life. You don't yet know what your completed mortal life looks like. But your Father in Heaven knows and can guide you one step at a time. He is asking you to build your life according to His guidelines because He is the One who created you and wants you ready to return back home with Him someday. Like Nephi, you too may have detractors and dissenters seeking to change your course, or at least slow down your progress.
"But you have access to the same system of communication that Nephi used. Long before e-mail and faxes, cell phones and satellite dishes, computers and the Internet, this communication with your Heavenly Father was in place. It predates every type of networking invention today. Its power extends through the cosmos." - Sharon G. Larsen, "Your Celestial Guide," Ensign (CR), May 2001, p.86
Topic: Don't Go It Alone
"Never assume that you can make it alone. You need the help of the Lord. Never hesitate to get on your knees in some private place and speak with Him. What a marvelous and wonderful thing is prayer. Think of it. We can actually speak with our Father in Heaven. He will hear and respond, but we need to listen to that response. Nothing is too serious and nothing too unimportant to share with Him. He has said, 'Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest' (Matt. 11:28). He continues, 'For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light' (Matt. 11:30)." - Gordon B. Hinckley, "Stay on the High Road," Ensign (CR), May 2004, p.112
"Many prayers are spoken while we are on our knees. The Savior knelt as He prayed to the Father in the Garden of Gethsemane. (See Luke 22:41.) But silent prayers of the heart also reach to heaven. We sing, 'Prayer is the souls sincere desire, Uttered or unexpressed.' (Hymns, no. 145.) Sincere prayers come from the heart. Indeed, sincerity requires that we draw from the earnest feelings of our hearts when we pray rather than using vain repetitions or pretentious affectations such as those condemned by the Savior in the parable of the Pharisee and the publican. (See Luke 18:10-14.) Our prayers then truly become the 'song of the heart' and a 'prayer,' (D&C 25:12.) not only reaching God but touching the hearts of others as well." - James E. Faust, "The Lifeline of Prayer," Ensign (CR), May 2002, p.59
"Perhaps the most important lesson young Joseph learned in the Sacred Grove is this significant eternal truth: the heavens are not sealed. God does communicate with mortals. He loves us today just as much as He loved those who lived anciently. What comfort that sweet assurance provides in a world filled with confusion and discouragement! What peace and security come to the heart that understands that God in heaven knows us and cares about us, individually and collectively, and that He communicates with us, either directly or through His living prophets, according to our needs." - M. Russell Ballard, "Restored Truth," Ensign (CR), November 1994, p.65
"Obviously, secret prayer is necessary in many cases where it is awkward or infeasible to pray vocally. So, if we are in a social or a business setting and need comfort or direction, a resort to secret prayer is often our only alternative.
"But a more significant reason for praying secretly is found in the Doctrine and Covenants, section 6, where it is written, 'Yea, I tell thee, that thou mayest know that there is none else save God that knowest thy thoughts and the intents of thy heart.' (D&C 6:16.)
"Other scriptures broaden this concept to include not only God, but those whom God inspires. So Zeezrom, the crafty lawyer who was taught by Alma and Amulek, became convinced 'that they knew the thoughts and intents of his heart; for power was given unto them that they might know of these things according to the spirit of prophecy.' (Alma 12:7.)
"It is clear, then, that Satan and his followers, who have been cast out of God's presence and are dead to His Spirit, are excluded from those who, by the spirit of prophecy and revelation, may know the thoughts and the intents of our hearts. So, in his wisdom and mercy, God has provided a channel of communication between him and his children on earth that Satan, our common enemy, cannot invade. This is the channel of secret prayer. The significance of this to the Latter-day Saint is profound, for by this means we are able to communicate with our Heavenly Father in secrecy, confident that the adversary cannot intrude." - Francis M. Gibbons, "The Dual Aspects of Prayer," Ensign (CR), November 1991, p.78
"... to Thomas B. Marsh [the Lord said]: 'Pray always, lest you enter into temptation and lose your reward.' (D&C 31:12.)...
"The purpose of prayer... is not to appease a vindictive Deity; nor is it to court favors from an indulgent Father. It is to attune oneself with the spirit or light which 'proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space.' (D&C 88:12.) In that light is to be found sure answers to all our needs." - Marion G. Romney, "Prayer and Revelation," Ensign (CR), May 1978, p.48
"We remember His counsel: 'When thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men.
"'But thou, when thou prayest,... pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. (Matt. 6:5-6.)
"This guiding instruction has helped troubled souls discover the peace for which they fervently yearn and earnestly hope.
"Unfortunately, prosperity, abundance, honor, and praise lead some men to the false security of haughty self-assurance and the abandonment of the inclination to pray. Conversely, trial, tribulation, sickness, and death crumble the castles of men's pride and bring them to their knees to petition for power from on high." - Thomas S. Monson, "The Prayer of Faith," Ensign (CR), May 1978, p.20
"A constant expression of gratitude should be included in all our prayers. Often prayers are given for specific blessings which we, in our incomplete understanding, believe we need. While the Lord does answer prayers according to His will, He certainly must be pleased when we offer humble prayers of gratitude." - Steven E. Snow, "Gratitude," Ensign (CR), November 2001, p.43
"When you pray—when you talk to your Heavenly Father—do you really talk out your problems with Him? Do you let Him know your feelings, your doubts, your insecurities, your joys, your deepest desires—or is prayer merely an habitual expression with the same words and phrases? Do you ponder what you really mean to say? Do you take time to listen to the promptings of the Spirit? Answers to prayer come most often by a still voice and are discerned by our deepest, innermost feelings. I tell you that you can know the will of God concerning yourselves if you will take the time to pray and to listen." - Ezra Taft Benson, "A Message to the Rising Generation," Ensign (CR), November 1977, p.30
"Now, when to pray: Generally, I think we might say that we should pray in secret, with our families, and in worship meetings and public assemblies.
"Secret prayer should have a place in every persons life. Again the Savior gave us the pattern when he said: '...when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.' (Matt. 6:6.)
"The Prophet Joseph Smith, speaking on this subject, stated: 'We would say to the brethren, seek to know God in your closets, call upon him in the fields. Follow the directions of the Book of Mormon, and pray over, and for your families, your cattle, your flocks, your herds, your corn, and all things that you possess; ask the blessing of God upon all your labors, and everything that you engage in.' (DHC, vol. 5, p. 31.)" - Franklin D. Richards, "The Importance of Prayer," Ensign (CR), July 1972, p.66
"Prayer is one of the greatest blessings we have while here on earth. Through prayer we can communicate with our Heavenly Father and seek His guidance daily. Jesus taught, 'Ye must always pray unto the Father in my name' (3 Ne. 18:19). We should pray each day that we will have the power to resist temptation. Amulek teaches us that we should pray 'morning, mid-day, and evening' and that our hearts should 'be full, drawn out in prayer unto [God] continually' (Alma 34:21, 27). Our daily prayers influence our thoughts, our words, and our actions. In order to retain a remission of our sins, it is essential that we ask our Heavenly Father each day for strength to stay in the straight and narrow way." - Keith Crockett, "Retaining a Remission of Sin," Ensign (CR), November 2000, p.77
"The pattern for seeking answers from God is simple to explain yet much more personal when applied. To begin, we are invited to study in our minds and ponder in our hearts those things that we most desire of Him. (See D&C 9:7-8; Moro. 10:3.) This process of reflection brings clarity and inspiration to our souls. We are then instructed to present our thoughts and desires directly to Heavenly Father in humble prayer with the promise that, if we ask Him in the name of Christ, if what we are seeking is right, and if we 'ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto [us], by the power of the Holy Ghost,' for it is 'by the power of the Holy Ghost' that we 'know the truth of all things.' (Moro. 10:4-5.)" - Craig C. Christensen, "Seek, and Ye Shall Find," Ensign (CR), May 2003, p.33
"To be effective, prayers must not consist of words alone. Earnest prayers must have an appropriate blend of earnest feeling and spirit. It is the spirit that not only teaches a man to pray, but also makes his heartfelt desires acceptable and conveyable. If a contrite spirit and a broken heart are united with faith unwavering, our prayers, no matter how simple the words, will be significant." - Marvin J. Ashton, "Personal Prayers," Prayer , p.77
"If you're praying for something that really matters, you can count on the fact that the devil will get involved. He's eager to do what he can to thwart you. He will do his best to dissuade you from going forward. He'll give you such thoughts as "You can't do it. You're not worthy enough. Your family's got too many problems. You can't do what the Lord requires." He'll engineer whatever he can to try to make you doubt. So you may as well know up front that he is going to tempt you.
"When you attract the devil's attention and he starts to give you more opposition than you normally have, that's a great sign that you're on a course that pleases God and displeases Satan.
"I've found that when you begin to pray for something that really matters, many times things get worse, not better. Often the cause is Satan and his helpers, who are doing their best to make sure you don't succeed. That ought to be a signal to a man or woman of faith: "I'm on the right track. I'm doing something that's making a difference and I will now double my faith." If you can increase your faith in that moment, you will have won most of the battle." - Gene R. Cook, "Receiving Answers to Our Prayers," p.136-137
"Jesus counseled, 'Pray always, that you may come off conqueror; yea, that you may conquer Satan, and that you may escape the hands of the servants of Satan that do uphold his work.' (D&C 10:5.)
"In our individual prayers we should sincerely ask our Father in heaven to help us meet and conquer the temptations of this life, and ask him to deliver us from evil. We have been commanded to ask.
"Proper sincere prayer to a living Father in heaven, through a living Savior and Mediator, is essential for protection from the power and evil influence of the devil. It is very important for the Saints to know that during today's perilous times when peace has been taken from the earth, and Satan has power over his own dominion and over all that will not hearken unto the voice of God, that the Lord gave these comforting words, 'The Lord shall have power over his saints, and shall reign in their midst, and shall come down in judgment upon the world.' (D&C 1:36.)" - Bernard P. Brockbank, "Hearken Unto the Voice of God," Ensign (CR), May 1974, p.113
"When one of our daughters was about three years old, she did something that always delighted her parents. When we called her name, she would usually answer by saying, 'Here me is.' This childish reply was among the sweetest things her parents heard. But when she was grown, we expected her to use appropriate language when she spoke, and of course she did. As the Apostle Paul said, 'When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.' (1 Cor. 13:11.)
"The same is true of prayer. Our earliest efforts will be heard with joy by our Heavenly Father, however they are phrased. They will be heard in the same way by loving members of our church. But as we gain experience as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we need to become more mature in all of our efforts, including our prayers.
"Men and women who wish to show respect will take the time to learn the special language of prayer. Persons spend many hours mastering communication skills in other mediums, such as poetry or prose, vocal or instrumental music, and even the language of access to computers. My brothers and sisters, the manner of addressing our Heavenly Father in prayer is at least as important as these." - Dallin H. Oaks, "The Language of Prayer," Ensign (CR), May 1993, p.15
"Just as the Savior stood ready to help this father whose son was 'sore vexed,' (Matt. 17:15.) so is He ready to help our unbelief today so that with faith we can survive our mortal struggles and 'come off conqueror.' (D&C 10:5.)" - L. Whitney Clayton, "Help Thou Mine Unbelief," Ensign (CR), November 2001, p.28
"When we pray, we should not presume to give counsel but should inquire of the Lord [The Lord said, 'If thou shalt ask, thou shalt receive revelation upon revelation, knowledge upon knowledge' (D&C 42:61.) The Lord explained that 'you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right. But if it be not right you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought' (D&C 9:8–9).] and hearken to His counsel. Joseph Smith's first prayer ushered in the Restoration of the gospel. In 1833, he received the Word of Wisdom after asking the Lord for counsel. The revelation on the priesthood received in 1978 by President Spencer W. Kimball came after intense inquiry. Inspiration regarding the construction of smaller temples came after the pondering of President Gordon B. Hinckley." - Russell M. Nelson, "Where Is Wisdom?" Ensign, Nov. 1992, 6
"My wife and I have seven children, six sons and a daughter. Each one of our children has been taught to pray as soon as he or she was old enough to kneel. Some of the sweetest prayers ever offered in our home have been those of our children. Many times we as adults forget how teachable children are, and how much they can learn if we give them guidance and encouragement. Sometimes parents are overly permissive or too lax in their teaching, thinking their children do not comprehend. They comprehend more than we would suppose. They can be taught to pray at a very early age." - Vaughn J. Featherstone, "Teaching Our Children to Pray," "Prayer," p. 89
"Think about the Savior. It takes a lot of confidence to tell a blind man to see, or to tell a crippled man to pick up his bed, or to set off walking across the surface of a stormy sea. Where did Jesus' confidence come from? I think it came from his relationship with his Heavenly Father. If we have faith in the Savior and follow his example, I think that we also can have the same kind of confidence. Jesus taught us how to pray, how to approach our Father in Heaven in great confidence and great love. I have read that the Aramaic word Jesus used doesn't mean just 'Father' but something much more intimate, like 'Daddy' or 'Papa,' the word a very small child would use in calling to his or her father. The apostle Paul told the Hebrews: 'Let us... come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.' (Hebrews 4:16.) Paul was reminding the Hebrews that they could have confidence in Christ because He was their Savior. He reminded the people that they were only mortals but they still were good enough to give bread and fish to their children, not stones or serpents. 'How much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?' (Luke 11:13.)" - Chieko N. Okazaki, Aloha!, p.60
"We cannot find Enos-like faith without our own wrestle before God in prayer. I testify that the reward is worth the effort. Remember the pattern: (1) hear the word of God, spoken and written by His servants; (2) let that word sink deep into your heart; (3) hunger in your soul for righteousness; (4) obediently follow gospel laws, ordinances, and covenants; and (5) raise your voice in mighty prayer and supplication, asking in faith to know that Jesus Christ is our Savior. I promise that if you do these things sincerely and unceasingly, the words Christ spoke to His disciples will be fulfilled in your life: 'Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.' (Matt. 7:7.)" - Robert D. Hales, "Finding Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ," Ensign (CR), November 2004, p.70
"Prayer is a supernal gift of our Father in Heaven to every soul. Think of it: the absolute Supreme Being, the most all-knowing, all-seeing, all-powerful personage, encourages you and me, as insignificant as we are, to converse with Him as our Father. Actually, because He knows how desperately we need His guidance, He commands, 'Thou shalt pray vocally as well as in thy heart; yea, before the world as well as in secret, in public as well as in private.' (D&C 19:28.)
"It matters not our circumstance, be we humble or arrogant, poor or rich, free or enslaved, learned or ignorant, loved or forsaken, we can address Him. We need no appointment. Our supplication can be brief or can occupy all the time needed. It can be an extended expression of love and gratitude or an urgent plea for help. He has created numberless cosmos and populated them with worlds, yet you and I can talk with Him personally, and He will ever answer." - Richard G. Scott, "Using the Supernal Gift of Prayer," General Conference, April 2007
"As you exercise your agency, remember, you are not alone. In addition to a kind and wise Heavenly Father, there are others who are praying for you to make wise choices. As a youth, when I would go out on a date or with my friends, I would always check in with my parents when I came home. Usually I would just knock on their door, open it and say, 'I'm home,' and then go to bed. One night I came home from a date, knocked as usual, and then opened the door. As I did so, the light from the hall fell on my angel mother on her knees in prayer. And as I saw her there, I knew whom she was praying for. I have never forgotten that experience. And the knowledge that my mother still prays for me today bears me up and reminds me who I am and that I am not alone." - Charles W. Dahlquist II, "Who's On The Lord's Side?" General Conference, April 2007
"There is great power in praying for others, perhaps even more than in just praying for yourself. The Lord said to Thomas B. Marsh, who was then president of the Quorum of the Twelve:
"'I know thy heart, and have heard thy prayers concerning thy brethren. Be not partial towards them in love above many others, but let thy love be for them as for thyself; and let thy love abound unto all men, and unto all who love my name.
"'And pray for thy brethren of the Twelve.' (D&C 112:11-12.)
"When we pray for others with a fervent heart, we are obeying the second great commandment, to love our neighbors as ourselves. The Lord hears our pleas in their behalf and blesses them according to that which they are willing receive.
"I've found it helpful to pray when I'm trying to help another, 'Lord, deliver me his heart. How may I help this man now? How might I lighten his burden?' It's as important to pray specifically for others as it is for ourselves." - Gene R. Cook, "Receiving Answers to Our Prayers," p.69
"Our hearts can only be drawn out to God when they are filled with love for Him and trust in His goodness. Joseph Smith, even as a boy, gave us an example of how we can come to pray from a heart filled with the love of God and then pray unceasingly through a life filled with trials and blessings.
"Joseph started for the grove to pray with faith that a loving God would answer his prayer and relieve his confusion. He gained that assurance reading the word of God and receiving a witness that it was true. He said that he read in James, 'Let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.' (James 1:5; JS-H 1:11) His faith to ask of God in prayer came after pondering a scripture which assured him of Gods loving nature. He prayed, as we must, with faith in a loving God." - Henry B. Eyring, "Prayer," Ensign (CR), November 2001, p.15
"'Please, Lord, help me to help myself.' I am convinced that this prayer for increased personal powers—spiritual strength, greater inspiration, and greater confidence—is one that God always answers. We can learn to solve our problems with God's help, making him our partner." - Franklin D. Richards, "The Importance of Prayer," Ensign (CR), July 1972, p.66
"Joseph Smith’s mission was unique, yet his humble prayer can be a helpful model for us. He began, as we must, with faith in a loving God who can and wants to communicate with us and help us. That faith was rooted in impressions which came to him as he pondered the words of God’s servants in the scriptures. We can and must go often and carefully to the word of God. If we become casual in our study of the scriptures, we will become casual in our prayers." - Henry B. Eyring, "Prayer," Ensign (CR), November 2001, p.15
"We can call upon our Heavenly Father in the name of our Savior. Prayer provides an opportunity for us to express gratitude. Taking an inventory of our blessings fills us with hope. 'Pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love.' (Moro. 7:48.)
"We can ask for what we need hour by hour and minute by minute. It is possible to have this personal conversation with our Heavenly Father through Jesus Christ by kneeling in prayer, just as surely as if we could kneel beside the manger and see the Savior there." - Betty Jo N. Jepsen, "By Way of Invitation" (Alma 5:62), Ensign (CR), November 1992, p.76
"I long have been impressed with the truth that meaningful prayer requires both holy communication and consecrated work. Blessings require some effort on our part before we can obtain them, and prayer, as 'a form of work, . . . is an appointed means for obtaining the highest of all blessings' (Bible Dictionary, “Prayer,” 753). We press forward and persevere in the consecrated work of prayer, after we say 'amen,' by acting upon the things we have expressed to Heavenly Father." - David A. Bednar, "Ask in Faith," General Conference, April 2008
"Now there are men who feel that they have perhaps drawn so far away from the Lord that they can't pray. Sometimes we are careless in our praying, and yet we have been designated as being a praying people, and we want always to stay a praying people. I would like to encourage those men who are not as prayerful as they might be, that we should not consider prayer as a duty. We can consider prayer as a privilege. We can consider prayer as a blessing. We can consider prayer as a comfort." - Thorpe B. Isaacson, "Conference Report," April 1950, p.40
"The most meaningful and spiritual prayers I have experienced contained many expressions of thanks and few, if any, requests. As I am blessed now to pray with apostles and prophets, I find among these modern-day leaders of the Savior’s Church the same characteristic that describes Captain Moroni in the Book of Mormon: these are men whose hearts swell with thanksgiving to God for the many privileges and blessings which He bestows upon His people (see Alma 48:12). Also, they do not multiply many words, for it is given unto them what they should pray, and they are filled with desire (see 3 Nephi 19:24). The prayers of prophets are childlike in their simplicity and powerful because of their sincerity." - David A. Bednar, "Pray Always," General Conference, October 2008
"As a young boy going to Primary, I was taught to pray. I did not know how to pray, but I accepted the fact that I should pray. Somehow in my young mind I felt to memorize the Lord's Prayer. Once it was memorized, I used His prayer as though it were mine. At night I would go out on our front porch, then look heavenward and say the Lord's Prayer. If I didn't feel that I was spiritual enough or that my prayer had gotten through, I would simply say it again.
"One night I felt I was really praying and that the Lord's Prayer had become mine. All I did was add four additional words, something that multitudes of others have done. As I closed the Lord's Prayer, I said, 'For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever' and then added the words, 'and forever and ever, amen.' I suppose it was a feeling of reverence for God that I was offering in my young mind by adding 'and forever and ever.'
"Thank goodness for prayers that lift us upward even when we are unskilled and untrained but reverent." - Vaughn J. Featherstone, "The Incomparable Christ: Our Master and Model," p.54
“I truthfully believe that there are one million members of this Church–at least those who are old enough and who realize the value of prayer–who are praying each day for the President of the Church, the prophet of the Lord, and for the General Authorities of the Church. We are so profoundly grateful to you for your prayers and your faith.” - Thorpe B. Isaacson, “Conference Report,” October 1958, Afternoon Meeting, p. 66
“No Father would send His children off to a distant, dangerous land for a lifetime of testing where Lucifer was known to roam free without first providing them with a personal power of protection. He would also supply them with means to communicate with Him from Father to child and from child to Father. Every child of our Father sent to earth is provided with the Spirit of Christ, or the Light of Christ. We are, none of us, left here alone without hope of guidance and redemption.” – Boyd K. Packer, “Prayer and Promptings,” Ensign, November 2009
“Those words in that song, where it tells us that ‘Prayer will change the night to day,’ I want to tell you prayer will change the sinners into righteous men and they will preserve men from making mistakes, and there is nothing else in this world more fundamental to a man’s success and happiness in this life and achieving greatness than to have that friendship with God, that you know him other than by hearsay.” - LeGrand Richards, October 29, 1963, “BYU Speeches of the Year,” 1963, p. 8
"The first and most fundamental virtue in effective prayer is faith. A belief in God brings peace to the soul. An assurance that God is our Father, into whose presence we can go for comfort and guidance, is a never-failing source of comfort.” – “Teachings Of Presidents Of The Church: David O. McKay,” p. 71
“This morning I bear witness of the importance of prayer. Access to our Creator through our Savior is surely one of the great privileges and blessings of our lives. I have learned from countless personal experiences that great is the power of prayer. No earthly authority can separate us from direct access to our Creator. There can never be a mechanical or electronic failure when we pray. There is no limit on the number of times or how long we can pray each day. There is no quota of how many needs we wish to pray for in each prayer. We do not need to go through secretaries or make an appointment to reach the throne of grace. He is reachable at any time and any place.” - James E. Faust, “The Lifeline of Prayer,” Ensign (CR), May 2002, p. 59
“It was no accident, no chance happening—Joseph Smith's going into the grove that spring morning, one hundred years ago. It was an event predestined, heaven-inspired. I once thought that any good boy who prayed in faith could see just what Joseph saw. But I have put away that childish notion. I have learned that all boys are not Joseph Smiths. God hears and answers the prayers of the humblest of his children; but he answers them as seemeth him best, and not always in the same way. He gives according to the capacity of the one who receives.” - Orson F. Whitney, “Conference Report,” April 1920, Afternoon Session, p. 123
"Being submissive, gentle, easy to be entreated, and patient are all attributes. But the actions Alma commends to us are to ask for what we need and to return thanks. Please don't think of that as a routine command to say your prayers. Oh, it is much more than that. If you pray, if you talk to God, if you plead for the help you need, and if you thank him not only for help but for the patience and gentleness that come from not receiving all you desire right away—or perhaps ever—I promise you that you will draw closer to him. And then you will become diligent and long-suffering." - Henry B. Eyring, "To Draw Closer to God: A Collection of Discourses," p. 97
May I suggest to all of the Church, and particularly to you young people and you missionaries throughout the world, don’t neglect those early morning prayers to our Heavenly Father. Through those prayers, you reach him, and through that, you can have peace.
“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” (
I bear witness that inherent in every member of the Church are powerful resources of the spirit if we righteously seek them. Man’s closest communication with his Maker is through the medium of prayer. It is the means offered him to place his problems before God and receive spiritual strength and sustenance. -
Does it frighten you to speak with your Heavenly Father? It shouldn’t. It’s true that he is powerful, more than any of us can even understand. But he also loves us—much more than we can ever know. He knows all about you, knows all of your secrets, all the things you are afraid of, and even more—he knows what you are capable of doing. He knows you even better than you know yourself. He wants what is best for you, and he wants you to be successful and happy in your life. In order for him to help you, he wants you to talk with him often in reverent, humble prayer. - J. Thomas Fyans, "Draw Near to Him in Prayer," Ensign (CR) October 1985
There seems to grow upon us a film of worldliness when we move away from the Lord. It might be like the film of grease spread over the body of the swimmer who would cross the English Channel. It fills the pores and covers the skin so there can be less penetration of the cold. It might be like the skin-diver’s rubber suit. But when we pierce the shell and penetrate the covering and humble ourselves with naked soul and sincere supplication and cleansed life, our prayers are answered. We can reach the point where Peter stood, and like him we may “be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
“But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.” (2 Pet. 1:4, 9.) - Spencer W. Kimball, "Prayer," Ensign, March 1978
How wonderful it would be if people everywhere could all be found daily—night and morning—on their knees, expressing thanks for blessings already received, acknowledging their dependence upon God, and seeking His divine guidance. - Ezra Taft Benson, "The Power of Prayer," Friend, February 1986
Prayer offers each of us the privilege of divine guidance in a troubled world. God, our Heavenly Father, desires that His children speak with Him. Take time to pray. Go to Him in humility, in faith, and in the sacred name of Jesus Christ. He hears. He knows. He answers. “For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened” (Matt. 7:8). God be thanked for the precious and wondrous gift of prayer. - Keith B. McMullin, "Words of Jesus: Prayer," Ensign, January 2003
We live in troubled times. I assure you that our Heavenly Father is mindful of the challenges we face. He loves each of us and desires to bless us and to help us. May we call upon Him in prayer, as He admonished when He said, “Pray always, and I will pour out my Spirit upon you, and great shall be your blessing—yea, even more than if you should obtain treasures of earth.” - Thomas S. Monson, "As We Close This Conference," Ensign (CR) May 2012
In stormy weather there was always static and interference. But the life of many a pilot has depended on his hearing, above the roar of the engines and through all the static and interference, that sometimes weak signal from a distant airfield.
There is a spiritual beam, with a constant signal. If you know how to pray and how to listen, spiritually listen, you may move through life, through clear weather, through storms, through wars, through peace, and be all right. - Boyd K. Packer, "Prayers and Answers," Ensign (CR) November 1979
Our prophets have admonished us repeatedly to make family prayer a regular part of our daily worship. President John Taylor asked the Saints:
“Do you have prayers in your family? …
“And when you do, do you go through the operation like the guiding of a piece of machinery, or do you bow in meekness and with a sincere desire to seek the blessing of God upon you and your household? That is the way that we ought to do, and cultivate a spirit of devotion and trust in God, dedicating ourselves to him, and seeking his blessings.” (Journal of Discourses, 21:118.) - L. Tom Perry, "Our Father Which Art In Heaven," Ensign (CR) November 1983
Nothing is more simple than prayer. The Savior, while upon the earth, gave the example and commanded all to follow in His footsteps. If we have faith that our Heavenly Father lives and that we can commune with Him in a very direct way, then prayer becomes one of the most beautiful, lovely, simple acts that we can do. - Glen L. Rudd, "Because I Pray For You," Ensign (CR) May 1988
Times have not really changed. Prayer continues to provide power—spiritual power. Prayer continues to provide peace—spiritual peace. - Thomas S. Monson, "Come Unto Him in Prayer and Faith," Ensign March 2009
Prayer, if given in faith, is acceptable to God at all times. If you ever feel you cannot pray, that is the time you definitely need to pray, exercising faith. Nephi taught in plainness: “If ye would hearken unto the Spirit [of God] which teacheth a man to pray ye would know that ye must pray; for the evil spirit … teacheth him that he must not pray” (2 Nephi 32:8). - Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Prayer and the Blue Horizon," Ensign June 2009
Do our spouses, children, and other family members likewise feel the power of our prayers offered unto the Father for their specific needs and desires? Do those we serve hear us pray for them with faith and sincerity? If those we love and serve have not heard and felt the influence of our earnest prayers in their behalf, then the time to repent is now. As we emulate the example of the Savior, our prayers truly will become more meaningful. - David A. Bednar, "Pray Always," Ensign (CR) October 2008
The clock of history, like the sands of the hourglass, marks the passage of time. A new cast occupies the stage of life. The problems of our day loom ominously before us. Surrounded by the sophistication of modern living, we look heavenward for that unfailing sense of direction, that we might chart and follow a wise and proper course. He whom we call our Heavenly Father will not leave our sincere petition unanswered. - Thomas S. Monson, "Sailing Safely the Seas of Life," Ensign (CR) May 1982
Since that time of long ago, I have had countless prayers answered. Not a day has gone by that I have not communicated with my Father in Heaven through prayer. It is a relationship I cherish—one I would literally be lost without. If you do not now have such a relationship with your Father in Heaven, I urge you to work toward that goal. As you do so, you will be entitled to His inspiration and guidance in your life—necessities for each of us if we are to survive spiritually during our sojourn here on earth. Such inspiration and guidance are gifts He freely gives if we but seek them. What treasures they are! - Thomas S. Monson, “Stand in Holy Places,” Ensign (CR) November 2011
Should you ever feel distanced from our Father, it could be for many reasons. Whatever the cause, as you continue to plead for help, He will guide you to do that which will restore your confidence that He is near. Pray even when you have no desire to pray. Sometimes, like a child, you may misbehave and feel you cannot approach your Father with a problem. That is when you most need to pray. Never feel you are too unworthy to pray. - Richard G. Scott, “Using the Supernal Gift of Prayer,” Ensign (CR) May 2007
Petitioning Heavenly Father for the blessings we desire in our personal lives is good and proper. However, praying earnestly for others, both those whom we love and those who despitefully use us, is also an important element of meaningful prayer. Just as expressing gratitude more often in our prayers enlarges the conduit for revelation, so praying for others with all of the energy of our souls increases our capacity to hear and to heed the voice of the Lord. - David A. Bednar, “Pray Always,” Ensign (CR) November 2008
When God placed man on the earth, prayer became the lifeline between mankind and God. Thus, in Adam’s generation, men began “to call upon the name of the Lord.” Through all generations since that time, prayer has filled a very important human need. Each of us has problems that we cannot solve and weaknesses that we cannot conquer without reaching out through prayer to a higher source of strength. That source is the God of heaven to whom we pray in the name of Jesus Christ. As we pray we should think of our Father in Heaven as possessing all knowledge, understanding, love, and compassion. - James E. Faust, “The Lifeline of Prayer,” Ensign (CR) May 2002
To my young friend, and to all wherever you may be, never give up on the Lord. The answer to your prayers may not be as clear or as timely as you would like, but keep praying. The Lord is listening! As you pray, ask for help in understanding the promptings of the Holy Spirit. And then do your very best to be worthy to receive those promptings. As you recognize or feel the impressions and whisperings of the Spirit, then act upon them. - Donald L. Staheli, “Securing Our Testimonies,” Ensign (CR) November 2004
Our prophets have said that they don’t worry about the youth who pray twice a day. Now, if they don’t worry about us, then we don’t need to worry about ourselves, as long as we sincerely pray twice a day. - Carol B. Thomas, “Strengthen Home and Family,” Ensign (CR) May 2002
If we don’t feel like praying, then we should pray until we feel like praying. - Ezra Taft Benson, “Prayer,” Ensign (CR) April 1977
President Joseph F. Smith taught… “We do not have to cry unto him with many words. We do not have to weary him with long prayers. What we do need, and what we should do as Latter-day Saints, for our own good, is to go before him often, to witness unto him that we remember him and that we are willing to take upon us his name, keep his commandments, work righteousness; and that we desire his Spirit to help us.” - Henry B. Eyring, “Priesthood and Personal Prayer," Ensign (CR) April 2015
"Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you: seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask and ye shall receive; knock and it shall be opened unto you;
"Whatsoever ye ask the Father in my name it shall be given unto you, that is expedient for you;
"And if ye ask anything that is not expedient for you, it shall turn unto your condemnation.”
Mark, brethren and sisters, how clear-cut are these words. There is no doubt, no dubiety. It does not say if and peradventure you call upon the Lord, He may be gone on a long journey and you cannot reach Him; or He is very busy; His attention is now attracted to the nations of the earth; probably He is busily engaged with the great war between Russia and Japan and He cannot give you any attention, therefore you might as well cease praying. No, this revelation does not give forth any such ideas. Our heavenly Father is always near and ready to listen to His children. - Rudger Clawson, "Conference Report," April 1904, Open Air Meeting, p. 97
Prayer may not be a hard doctrine, but it can be a very deep and soul-satisfying experience. It is the means by which we can draw close to our Heavenly Father and understand better His deep doctrines. - Neal A. Maxwell, "All These Things Shall Give Thee Experience," p.91
It is a wonderful thing to know how to pray. I do not mean to say I can tell you how it is done but I have lived, lo these forty years and upwards, and am just beginning to learn how to pray. And oh, my brethren and sisters, I exhort you and myself to learn how to pray. As I said, I am just beginning to learn the beauty of prayer, and it is a wonderful blessing to be alone and strive with all your heart to pray. "Prayer is the soul's sincere desire," and it is a wonderful thing to express that desire to our Father in heaven and feel to a slight degree that we are approaching our Father in heaven in such a way that he desires to come near unto us. It is a wonderful thing; and we should not think of praying without spirit—in a listless way, but think of it with spirit, and put our hearts and souls into it, and it will bring blessings to us. - George W. McCune, "Conference Report," October 1919, Third Day—Morning Session, p. 139
The object of our prayers should not be to present a wish list or a series of requests but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is eager to bestow, according to His will and timing. Every sincere prayer is heard and answered by our Heavenly Father, but the answers we receive may not be what we expect or come to us when we want or in the way we anticipate. - David A. Bednar, "Ask in Faith,” Ensign (CR) April 2008
Sincere prayer is like a balm of Gilead. It emits spiritual, resinous juices that have a soothing and healing effect upon many family ills. Prayer can mend a broken heart, assuage troubled feelings, restore peace of mind, and knit souls together in a wonderful way. It is not to be borrowed occasionally or applied sparingly; it must be used daily so that its powers may both prevent and cure problems. - Carlos E. Asay, "Family Pecan Trees: Planting a Legacy of Faith at Home," p.13
Prayer is not any unusual thing, of course. Prayers have always been answered. I picked a hundred and twenty-five references in the Holy Bible to prayer, and noted the many things that have been asked for, and noted how they were answered. Even an ax was caused to swim, the Bible puts it, when a poor workman had lost his ax, and dropped it into the river, and it was a borrowed ax. He wanted it back that he might return it, and his petition was answered; the ax was caused to swim. I wonder if any of us would make light of such a suggestion? - Nicholas G. Smith, "Conference Report," October 1944, First Day-Morning Meeting, p.18
Remember to thank your Heavenly Father for his blessings. This is a very important step, not just because Heavenly father wants us to be grateful, but because it does so much for us. Most of the time we think of prayer only when we want something; but when we start by expressing gratitude for the things we already have, we begin to see our lives in a new way. - Dwan J. Young, "Draw Near to Him in Prayer," Ensign (CR), November 1985, p.91
One of the greatest gifts we can give our children is to teach them to rely more fully on the Lord through prayer. What a blessing it would be for them to know that the Lord lives and will answer their prayers. What a blessing it would be for them to know how to pray to him, and what some of the laws and conditions are to obtain answers to prayer. Such blessings may be the greatest gifts we could give them. - Gene R. Cook, "Raising Up a Family to the Lord," p.77
If prayer is only a spasmodic cry at the time of crisis, then it is utterly selfish, and we come to think of God as a repairman or a service agency to help us only in our emergencies. We should remember the Most High day and night—always—not only at times when all other assistance has failed and we desperately need help. If there is any element in human life on which we have a record of miraculous success and inestimable worth to the human soul, it is prayerful, reverential, devout communication with our Heavenly Father. - Howard W. Hunter, "Hallowed Be Thy Name," Ensign (CR), November 1977, p.52
Should not equal attention be paid to spiritual fitness? Just as physical strength requires exercise, so spiritual strength requires effort. Among the most important of spiritual exercises is prayer. It engenders harmony with God and a desire to keep His commandments. Prayer is a key to wisdom, virtue, and humility. - Russell M. Nelson, "We Are Children of God," Ensign (CR), November 1998, p.85
Not all of our prayers will be answered as we might wish. Occasionally the answer will be no. We should not be surprised. Loving mortal parents do not say yes to every request of their children. - Russell M. Nelson, "Sweet Power of Prayer," Ensign (CR), May 2003, p.7
Just a little poem on prayer:
say a prayer each morning,
So the day will turn out right,
And when the sun has disappeared,
I tell the Lord good night.
The world looks brighter in the dawn
When I pronounce a prayer,
Because it reassures me
The Lord is really there,
And that I seem to walk with him
Each hour of the day,
While I am occupied with work
Or taking time to play.
I listen to his counsel
And find my courage strong,
Whenever I am weary
Or when anything goes wrong.
And when the day is over,
And the moon and stars are bright,
I feel the least that I can do
Is tell the Lord goodnight. - Author Unknown
Thorpe B. Isaacson, “Conference Report,” October 1948, First Day-Morning Meeting, p.20-21
It doesn't matter whether it is a little boy with a simple request, or a medical doctor with a critical, life-threatening challenge before him: Heavenly Father will hear our humble prayer and will give us the comfort and guidance we seek. - H. Bruce Stucki, “Prayer, Faith, and Family: Stepping-Stones to Eternal Happiness,” Ensign (CR) April 2006
A special friend of mine was left with the burden of being a single parent, not by her choice. One day she was particularly desperate for help. She was very much in need of comfort and direction. And yet she felt so alone: her parents were away on a mission, the bishop was busy, her home teacher was out of town. And finally, tear weary, she turned to the scriptures and read the beloved words "Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you." (D&C 88:63.) Here she found her answer. She prayed and she was helped. It was wonderful. It worked! - Elaine Cannon, “Reach for Joy,” Ensign (CR), May 1982, p.95
That taught me something important. Sometimes we pray for things that will benefit us but may hurt others. We may pray for a particular type of weather, or to preserve someone's life, when that answer to our prayer may hurt someone else. That's why we must always pray in faith, because we can't have true, God-given faith in something that is not according to His will. If it's according to His will, all parties will benefit. I learned to pray for a good wind and the ability to get there safely, not necessarily a tail wind. - John H. Groberg, “In the Eye of the Storm,” p.175
Our Heavenly Father did not put us on earth to fail but to succeed gloriously. It may seem paradoxical, but that is why recognizing answers to prayer can sometimes be very difficult. Some face life with only their own experience and capacity to help them. Others seek, through prayer, divine inspiration to know what to do. When required, they qualify for power beyond their own capacity to do it. - Richard G. Scott, “Learning to Recognize Answers to Prayer,” Ensign (CR), November 1989, p.30
We call their attention to the necessity of prayer, of living close to God, citing them the fact that in the early days the saints were afflicted because they did not keep the laws of God, did not seek him closely. I remember that the Lord has said, in one of the sections of the D&C, that "in the day of their peace they esteemed lightly my counsel: but, in the day of their trouble, of necessity they feel after me." - John V. Bluth, “Conference Report,” October 1931, Afternoon Meeting, p.83
We should teach our children that prayer is a privilege and not a duty. We should teach them to pray from their hearts and not from their lips and not to pray by rote. We should teach them to utter prayers of gratitude to God for all the blessings that we enjoy-prayers of generosity, not thinking so much about the things we want or need, but praying for those who are in distress. Prayers need not be long; they should be rather short and to the point and well thought out. - Elder Joseph L. Wirthlin, “Conference Report,” April 1949, Afternoon Meeting, p.160
I have had prayers answered. Those answers were most clear when what I wanted was silenced by an overpowering need to know what God wanted. It is then that the answer from a loving Heavenly Father can be spoken to the mind by the still, small voice and can be written on the heart. - Henry B. Eyring, “Write upon My Heart,” Ensign (CR), November 2000, p.85
It is my testimony, my brothers and sisters and friends, that God does hear and answer prayers. I have never doubted that fact. From childhood, at my mother's knee where I first learned to pray; as a young man in my teens; as a missionary in foreign lands; as a father; as a Church leader; as a government official, I know without any question that it is possible for men and women to reach out in humility and prayer and tap that Unseen Power; to have prayers answered. Man does not stand alone, or at least he need not stand alone. Prayer will open doors; prayer will remove barriers; prayer will ease pressures; prayer will give inner peace and comfort during times of strain and stress and difficulty. Thank God for prayer. - Ezra Taft Benson, “Conference Report,” October 1956, Third Day-Morning Meeting, p.104
At the very moment we say, “Father in Heaven,” He hears our prayers and is sensitive to us and our needs. And so His eyes and His ears are now connected to you. He reads our minds, and He feels our hearts. You cannot hide anything from Him. Now, the wonderful thing is that He will see you with eyes of love and mercy—love and mercy that we cannot fully understand. But love and mercy are with Him the very moment you say, “Father in Heaven.” – Juan A. Uceda, “The Lord Jesus Christ Teaches Us to Pray,” Ensign (CR) November 2016
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