A Lesson on Prayer
Prayer is a necessity in our lives. We pray for health, charity, kindness, and faith, we pray for things to work out in our lives; but while praying do we ever pause and think about who we are praying to?
In the back of the KJ Bible under prayer it reads “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.”
For the past several months I have been working on making my prayers more sincere by this very thing; which is realizing my relationship with my Father in Heaven. I would like to closely paraphrase Matthew 7:7-11 to help illustrate this point: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man (or woman) is there of you, whom if [you ask your parent for] bread, will give [you] a stone? Or if [you] ask [for water], will give [you sour milk]? If [your parents then, not] being [perfect], know how to give good gifts unto you [their] children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him [sincerely]?”
God is literally our loving Heavenly Father. He knows us, cares for us and wants our happiness. We often think about how we wait patiently for him to bless us with the things for which we asked, but have we ever thought that he is waiting patiently to pour blessing upon our heads which will truly make us happy? We just need to either ask what his will concerning us is or be obedient to what he has already asked of us; and follow the spirit.
His ways are not always ours. We need to do all that we can to place ourselves in-line with his plan for us; that we may see how he sees or learn how he learned. When we draw near unto him he draws near unto us, and then we ask not amiss.
I am a Landscape Architect Major at Utah State University and for my major must take design classes. In those classes I have learned about the fundamental elements and principles that make a design great. Some of the elements and principles I found most important were: form, space, unity, approach, orientation, circulation, and entrance.
In a way prayer can be taken in the same light. (Pun - light is another principle.) Here are some questions we can ask ourselves before prayer; and they may not work for you but I hope that something will inspire you and me to make our prayers more meaningful:
- What form do I take when I go before my father in prayer? Am I kneeling at my bed side with my head bowed in reverence, or am I kneeling ½ prostrate on the ground or on the bed and wake up hours later in the same position?
- The space in which we pray is just as important; is the area clean and presentable, or do I have clothes and books haphazardly thrown about my room when I pray?
- Have I thought about Christ and Heavenly Father throughout the day making me more unified in purpose with him, or were they just passing thoughts in prayer right before I go to bed?
- Do I collect my thoughts and then approach him reverently and respectfully, or is my prayer just routine?
- How do I orient myself? Am I using the appropriate language of prayer or do I ketch myself saying a lot of informal words like you, and your.
- Circulation is how often people frequent an area. So how often do I pray, do I keep a prayer in my heart verbally praying from time to time throughout the day or just before I go to bed?
- Is the opening or entrance of my prayer always Dear Heavenly Father or do I actually address my Father in Heaven sincerely?
- Am I willing to talk to my Heavenly Father about everything I did today?
- How has God touched my life or blessed me today?
- What am I asking for, and is it what I should be asking for?
Also asking God the following questions during prayer has helped me feel the spirit more:
- Is there anything else I should have learned today?
- What can I do to improve myself?
- Did I miss an opportunity to share the gospel or help someone?
- What dost thou have in store for my life?
In closing I have found that waiting for answers even if they don’t come immediately, as well as writing down and pondering what I do receive have added to the spiritual level of my experiences. Testimony