President David O. McKay said: “Sincere prayer implies that when we ask for any virtue or blessing, we should work for the blessing and cultivate the virtue.”
I love this thought, because I sometimes forget that prayer requires action. We have to remember to do our part to be able to receive the blessings of the Lord. How can we be sure that we are doing our part?
1. Pray Frequently: We should always have a prayer in our heart, and we have been instructed to begin and end our days in personal prayer.
2. Find an Appropriate Place to Meditate and Pray: It’s not always easy to find a quiet place where we can pour out our hearts to God, but we need to do our best to find a place where we can pray without distractions.
3. Prepare Yourself for Prayer: We need to humble ourselves before God in order to receive his blessings. We know that Heavenly Father is listening, and that should make a difference in the way we say our prayers. Our prayers will become more sincere as we develop a personal relationship with Him.
4. Prayers should be Meaningful and Pertinent: I know that I struggle with this. I pray for certain things daily, and it is a struggle to make sure that I’m not praying in vain. It’s easy to go into auto-mode, especially for meal time and family prayers, but we really need to make sure that we are praying with our whole heart and mind.
Finally, we need to listen to the answers that Heavenly Father gives us. It’s not enough to simply pray for blessings. We need to WORK for those blessings, and be deserving of the blessings of Heaven. Heavenly Father answers prayers in many different ways, and we need to practice listening to Him, even when the answer is not what you expected.
READER CHALLENGE: Find a quiet place, and have a sincere conversation with Heavenly Father.
FHE IDEA: Discuss the different way God answers prayers.
SCRIPTURE STUDY: Alma 37: 36-37
PRINTABLE HANDOUT: Improved Prayer Lesson Handout