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Prayer and Meditation

The First Vision and Moroni's promise are two of many instances in which LDS tradition emphasizes prayer as a means to obtain knowledge (JS-H 1:11-14; Moro. 10:4-5). Mormonism testifies that prayer is a dialogue. We seek instruction; God sends inspiration.

Prayer is both communication and communion with God. In prayer, we experience the awareness of being in God's presence. We lay before God our desires, fears, sorrows, or anger—perhaps asking for solutions, perhaps seeking strength to endure, perhaps simply to know that God shares our pain. Prayer reminds us that we are children of loving Heavenly Parents (Matt. 7:7-11). Prayer promotes mindfulness of others' needs in addition to our own (Alma 34:20-27). Christ teaches us to pray even for our enemies' welfare (3 Ne. 12:33-34).

Praying regularly cultivates gratitude and a sense of our dependence on God (Mosiah 2:20-21; 4:19). Prayer is an opportunity to consecrate our activities and open ourselves to divine direction (2 Ne. 32:9; Alma 37:36-37). If we allow the Spirit to direct us in what to pray for, we can learn to bring our will into one with God's (Rom. 8:26; Hel. 10:5). In our public prayers, we should seek inspiration to know what we can say that will reflect a unified sentiment of the whole worshipping community (D&C 29:6).

Meditating, or pondering, is part of the process of seeking knowledge through prayer. The Spirit may bring insight over time as we study things out for ourselves (D&C 9:7-8). The injunction to ponder is also an invitation to be still, to reserve time for focusing on our spiritual nourishment.

Related Topics:

 More Holiness Give Me (Hymns 131)
 Father in Heaven  (Hymns 133)
 Prayer Is the Soul's Sincere Desire  (Hymns 145)

B. H. Roberts: Prayer is something more than a mere begging for things, a mere asking for things, that may be more or less convenient to us and necessary in our daily lives. What we need to learn, in our prayers, is to commune with God, talk with him, draw near unto him in fellowship, and so pray that the veil that separates us from the Divine presence shall grow exceedingly thin, so thin that we shall feel the pulsation of God's life in our lives!
Improvement Era, November 1916

John A. Widtsoe: Prayer is really the beginning of wisdom. By prayer, communion between man and God is established and maintained. It brings man and his Maker into close association. Earnest, sincere prayer places man in tune with heaven and with the Beings who dwell therein.

Evidences and Reconciliations (Salt Lake City: Improvement Era), 1943, 315

Stephen R. Covey: Learn to listen in your prayer. Don't just talk all the time. Empathize with the Lord, with his thinking, with his feelings, with his ways of doing things. Meditate, ponder, consider, value, appreciate, love, worship. Let the affections of your heart be placed upon him. Be open, sensitive, and receptive to his inspiration and heavenly impression.

Spiritual Roots of Human Relations (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1970), 292

N. Eldon Tanner: As we give thanks for our blessings and pray for our own needs, we should be conscious of others who need our faith and prayers. When we pray for Heavenly Father to bless the poor, the sick, and the needy, and to comfort those who mourn, we must follow our words with our deeds and be actively engaged in serving our fellowmen and ministering to their needs. We are the ones through whom the Lord accomplishes his purposes . . .

Prayer (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1977), 3

James E. Faust: A fervent, sincere prayer is a two-way communication that will do much to bring his Spirit flowing like healing water to help with the trials, hardships, aches, and pains we all face. . . . As we pray, we should think of him as being close by, full of knowledge, understanding, love, and compassion, the essence of power, and having great expectations of each of us.

To Reach Even unto You (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1980), 109

Patricia T. Holland: Allow yourselves to turn a few things down and turn a few things off. Seek to position yourselves prayerfully in some solitude and serenity to receive the mind of God. Stop what you are so frantically doing and go into your private wilderness. Shut the door, turn out all earthly lights, set aside all earthly sights. Position yourself calmly, quietly in humble serenity until your prayer flows naturally, lovingly. When you feel God's presence, when you feel he is with you, you will be filled with a wonderful strength that will allow you to do anything in righteousness.

"Filled with All the Fulness oF God," Clothed with Charity (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1997), 11

This website is an independent effort to discern the Spirit's voice in LDS teaching. The site is not sponsored by the LDS Church. Quotations from the teachings of any individual should not be taken to imply that the individual does or would endorse this website or other statements made here.