Recently someone said that he didn’t think he could pray because he is a sinner. Which brings up some good questions:
- What is prayer?
- Who can pray?
- How do we pray?
- Why would we pray?
- When should we pray?
- Where can we pray?
Let’s take a quick look at each of these questions.
What is prayer? Prayer is communication with God. Who is God? He is our Father in Heaven and He loves us very much. Just like our mortal fathers, God likes to hear from us!
Who can pray? Since prayer is communication with God and we are all God’s spiritual children, everyone of us can pray!
How do we pray? Since God is our Father and He likes to hear from us, we can communicate with Him just like we do with each other. There are just a couple differences. We first address Him by saying something like, “Heavenly Father”. Then we can pour our hearts out to Him, thanking Him for our blessings and asking for things we need. We can pray short, quick prayers, or long, thoughtful prayers. Then we close the prayer, “In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.”
Why would we pray? We can talk over our problems, share our joys and triumphs, even pray for others who might need His help. And, just like when we talk to a good friend, we can pause now and then to listen for His words in our minds and in our hearts.
When should we pray? Alma counseled his son Helaman: “Cry unto God for all thy support; yea, let all thy doings be unto the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest let it be in the Lord; yea, let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever. Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day” (Alma 37:36-37; see also Alma 34:17-26).
Where can we pray? We can pray anywhere and everywhere! God will always hear us, and has asked us to always remember Him. So anywhere, anytime is a great time to pray and talk with our Father in Heaven. As it says in Alma 34: 20-27:
“Cry unto him when ye are in your fields, yea, over all your flocks.
“Cry unto him in your houses, yea, over all your household, both morning, mid-day, and evening.
“Yea, cry unto him against the power of your enemies.
“Yea, cry unto him against the devil, who is an enemy to all righteousness.
“Cry unto him over the crops of your fields, that ye may prosper in them.
“Cry over the flocks of your fields, that they may increase.
“But this is not all; ye must pour out your souls in your closets, and your secret places, and in your wilderness.
“Yea, and when you do not cry unto the Lord, let your hearts be full, drawn out in prayer unto him continually for your welfare, and also for the welfare of those who are around you.”
Here is a link to more information about prayer and why you should take advantage of the precious blessing of speaking with your Father in Heaven as often as you can. 🙂