Approaching our Heavenly Father in prayer comes , it is a daunting task: How do we pray to someone we can’t see? What do we say? Does God care? Will He answer?
The answer to the last two questions: Absolutely. Your Heavenly Father loves you tremendously and will always listen to you, no matter what. Even though you can’t see Him, He is there. Because of this, you don’t need to worry about saying exactly the right thing. Just pour out your heart to Him, and He will hear you.
“Don’t worry about your clumsily expressed feelings,” said Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in a talk given in the April 2007 general conference. “Just talk to your compassionate, understanding Father. You are His precious child whom He loves perfectly and wants to help. As you pray, recognize that Father in Heaven is near and He is listening.”
You don’t have to be anywhere special to say a prayer. It’s helpful to be in a quiet place free from distractions-maybe in your bedroom, or outdoors in nature. But you can pray any place, at any time.
The Savior gave us a pattern for prayer in what we call “The Lord’s Prayer” (Matthew 6:9-13). He began by addressing His Father: “Our Father which art in heaven.” We might say something similar, calling on the Lord as our Father. For that is who He is.
Next the Savior praised and thanked the Lord: “Hallowed be thy name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” We, too, should thank the Lord for the many blessings He has given us. And we should remember that as our all-knowing, all-loving Father, He always knows what is best for us-even if it’s something that we don’t understand.
“Give us this day our daily bread” is the next part of the Lord’s Prayer. We often ask our Father in Heaven for things that we need. “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” As humans, we make mistakes, and we are always in need of the Lord’s forgiveness. Fortunately, He will give it to us when we sincerely come unto Him and repent.
“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” We need the Lord’s help avoiding temptation throughout our lives, and it is good for us to ask for it. As we draw unto the Lord in prayer, we will be strengthened against the evils of the world.
The last part of the prayer says, “For thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory for ever. Amen.” Again, the Savior places His relationship with the Father in proper perspective. We would do well to do the same, remembering that everything that we have is from God. We close in the name of Jesus Christ, and the word “amen” signifies the end of the prayer. It literally means “so be it,” putting our own last approval on the words that we have said. When we are praying in a group with others, they also may say “amen,” indicating their own thoughts and desires have been represented in the prayer.
If you have not prayed for a while –or even if you have — make now the time to begin. You don’t have to do anything fancy. Just approach the Lord and tell Him what’s on your mind. He will listen.