Efficacy of Prayer
For 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.
God desires to speak to all of His children and has given a command that all men and women should pray to Him. God the Father told his Son to reveal to mankind the manner by which we can all call upon Him and by whose name He will answer.
God does not desire prayer and worship because He is vain.
With that fall came the consequence that Adam and Eve and all their posterity could not be in God's presence without His very person consuming them.
In order to communicate with His children, prayer was commanded so that the dull ears of mortal men could hear the whispering of the Holy Spirit, a voice so pure and refined that no person would notice unless he or she was concentrating in prayer or meditation. Other than prayer, the only way a person could endure God's presence is if he or she were transfigured by the Holy Spirit to abide for a spell the presence of the Lord.
God is not vain, but concerned for mankind. Mankind communicates with God through worship to help hone our minds to hear what He speaks in return.
Also, it is recommended by modern prophets that when a prayer is spoken, it should be so done in the best language--the best French, Spanish or English that can be spoken.
Prophets encourage all to use Thee and Thine instead of you and yours. It changes the way a person approaches God. It shows God a person's willingness to make special effort to communicate with Him.
A Commandment From God
And now, my beloved brethren, I perceive that ye ponder still in your hearts; and it grieveth me that I must speak concerning this thing. For 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. 2 Nephi 32:8
In a passionate plea to his brethren, Nephi, an ancient prophet, lamented having to express the importance of prayer because he felt it should have been something that the people to whom he spoke should already understand to pray. He continues,
But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray always, and not faint; that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul. 2 Nephi 32:9
Prayer is an essential aspect of the Christian faith, and a hallmark of a devote follower of Jesus Christ.
Though people of all faiths pray in some manner, praying in the name of the Savior provides a certain power and assurance that God will move on the behalf of the petitioner that praying some other way or by some other name does not provide.
Throughout the scriptures, the prophets record the accounts of people bowing in prayer and supplication before the Lord.
Modern revelation teaches that all the ancient prophets worshiped in the name of Jesus Christ and petitioned Jehovah, the unembodied Christ. As Jehovah/Christ has always acted, He petitioned before the Great Father of us all as intercessor for our sins. He stood before the world, which under the Father's direction He created, and Fathered a nation from Adam down to the latest Christian. In all the generations of the prophets, the sacred name of Jesus Christ was known in one form or the other.
The famous statement that hindsight is 20/20 is accurate. It is relatively easy to look back and see how the pieces fit. These people, the ancients, knew the truth had to live through what modern humans call history by faith. It is by faith that we understand the truth of what modern prophets teach about Jesus.
The late president Gordon Bitner Hinckley professed that God the Father and Jesus Christ
...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...from The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, OCTOBER 1986.
As a special witness of Christ, They are interested in us, he says. We are of worth to Him. We can have a personal relationship with Them, each of us!
Because He is our advocate before the Lord, He is the way that we go to the Father John 14:6.
Steps to Prayer
Jesus Christ taught the perfect example of prayer recorded in his mortal ministry among the Jews in the Middle East and his ministry among the Nephites in the ancient Americas. It has been affectionately labeled the Lord's Prayer.
- Dear God, Father in Heaven .....
- I thank Thee...
- I ask thee to...
- ...in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Dr. Carl Rogers
Psychological Benefit of Prayer
Carl Rogers spoke of unconditional positive regard that people need it to help them become actualized. Actualized means self-aware and confident in personal ability and purpose.
Because God is perfect, his regard towards each of his children is unconditional. He Loves all mankind without regard to religion or station. He will listen and buoy up any soul that will hear and obey His voice. No matter how vile the sinner or the crime, God loves the person.
The benefit of having a friend who loves unconditionally is the satisfaction that someone knows all the darkness of a man or woman's soul, but still chooses to love that soul. It allows a person to blossom and grow into self-actualization. God provides this confident support to billions of people around the globe of all faiths.
Truly He blesses all men equally when it comes to answering prayers and providing comfort and truth. Prayer is a way to counsel with God. If the petitioner truly speaks with God and awaits Him to speak again, it will occur.
Many modern people laugh, bringing shame to those who would admit hearing a voice, or having a peaceful feeling.
Billions know that God has spoken to them through words, feelings or both. Many have had dreams and waking vision of God.
The true way to know who God is happens when people speak to Him. He will speak back if faith sufficient to hear is there. Most commonly God the Father speaks by a spiritual and peaceful feeling of pure understanding and love through the Holy Ghost. Occasionally He speaks in word through the Holy Ghost. Rarely he sends an angel, vision or dream. Only twice is it recorded that He visited himself--to Adam and Eve and to Joseph Smith Jr.
Prayer draws the willing heart closer to God and encourages selflessness towards others as we pray for their welfare. Remember to pray daily. Reflect upon the things of the day and account of them to God. I promise it will benefit your soul.
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