Wednesday, December 7, 2011

How to Pray and Stake Awake Pt 3

If someone were to ask us an hour after a typical prayer what we had prayed for, often times we could not tell, other than the standby topic always included.  We get up from our prayer and go about our affairs with little if any more thought of God than before.  And yet, we say we are asking our Heavenly Father to listen attentively, even when our own attitude is one of casual indifference.  Our prayers on such occasions have all the aspects of a "chore."...  So let us start our new prayer life by making our prayer a serious and enjoyable affair.

Once you are focused enough to recognize that you are in His presence, speak to Him.  Forget yourself, just like you do when you talk to a friend.  Forget all the standard and stereotyped phrases that yo have  picked up in times past.  Talk to Him as a son or daughter would speak to his or her wonderful, beloved father.  Open your whole heart.  Be yourself- simply and humbly- for He knows you as you really are, far better than you know yourself.  As you finish your conversation, don't close your mind as well as your prayer with Amen.  But as you say Amen, hold the thought in your mind that the Father is still there by your side.  Contemplate for a few moments in silence His reaction to your prayer.

This is not just tossing words around for good luck with the hope that they will bear fruit.  You are pleading your own case before your Maker, and you have none of than Jesus Christ to endorse your plea.  How great the joy, the thrill, the assurance that comes as a benediction to this kind of prayer.  Of all the joys that man receives in this world, perhaps none is greater than the joy that comes from such praying.  On occasion, the heart can swell with such joy that speech is impossible and strength leaves the body.  Such was the joy of Ammon when was so great "that he was full, yea, he was swallowed up in the joy of his God, even to the exhausting of his strength; and he fell again to the earth." (Alma 27:17)

A person may try to pray many different ways, but there is one kind of prayer that is entirely pleasing to our Heavenly Father.  That is prayer by the Spirit of God.  Prayer as guided by the Holy Ghost.  One of the greatest privileges we enjoy on this earth is personal prayer, to take it upon ourselves to address God, converse with Him and petition Him. To rely upon our own weak understanding and knowledge about what we should pray for, is not only foolish but also unnecessary.  A helper has been sent to us.  The more we use Him, the greater will be the value of our prayers.

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