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Prayer in Mormonism

Mormon Boy PrayerPrayer is a significant part of the lives of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (also known as the Mormon Church). President Spencer W. Kimball wrote in a message sent to all of the members of the Church, “When should we pray? The answer: pray always.” Prayer is the best way of communicating with and gaining wisdom and strength from Heavenly Father.  It can even be said that the Mormon Church began with a prayer, when the boy Joseph Smith prayed to know which church to join.The Bible Dictionary, published by the Mormon Church, explains how prayer makes this possible,

As soon as we learn the true relationship in which we stand toward God (namely God is our Father, and we are his children), then at once prayer becomes natural and instinctive on our part (Matthew 7:7-11). Many of the so-called difficulties about prayer arise from forgetting this relationship. Prayer is the act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other. The object of prayer is not to change the will of God, but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that are made conditional on our asking for them. Blessings require some work or effort on our part before we can obtain them. Prayer is a form of work, and is an appointed means for obtaining the highest of all blessings. We pray in Christ’s name when our mind is the mind of Christ, and our wishes the wishes of Christ-when his words abide in us (John 15:7). We than ask for things it is possible for God to grant. Many prayers remain unanswered because they are not in Christ’s name at all; they in no way represent his mind, but spring out of the selfishness of man’s heart.

Mormons believe a prayer should have four basic components. The prayer should begin by reverently addressing Heavenly Father. Next we should thank Heavenly Father for the blessings He has given us. Members are encouraged to be specific and remember that everything we have is given to us by Heavenly Father. The next part of a prayer should be to ask Heavenly Father for things that we need. In the Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 18:20 explains how we should ask for blessings, “And whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given unto you.” The last part of a prayer is to close in Jesus’ name.

Members of the Mormon Church are reminded that they can receive real answers from Heavenly Father, and that answers to prayers may come in many different ways: having a feeling of peace, having a thought that comes to the mind, or having other special feelings, such as warm feelings in our hearts. Answers to prayers may also come through events that occur in our lives. As prayers are offered more often and more sincerely, it will be easier to discern when they are being answered.

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