For our upcoming activity, we are going to enjoy a hot chocolate bar while have conversations– both with one another, and discussing conversations we have with our Heavenly Father (through prayer).
7pm Welcome, Opening Prayer
7:05 Opening Hymn #140 “Did You Think to Pray?”
7:10 Testimony of prayer (by me)
7:15 Open hot chocolate bar
7:25 Testimony of prayer (by sister in the ward)
7:30 Jesus teaching disciples how to pray video (2 min 17 sec)
7:35 Testimony of prayer (by sister in the ward)
7:40 “The Power of Prayer” Mormon Message by Elder Christofferson (3 min 12 sec)
7:45 Testimony of prayer (by sister in the ward)
7:50 Free discussion amongst sisters
7:55 Closing Hymn #142 “Sweet Hour of Prayer”
8pm Closing Prayer
As we were planning this meeting tonight, we thought it would be fun to do something low-key… have a hot chocolate bar, since it’s so cold outside!, and have fun just talking to each other! But as we began to get closer to the activity, I realized we’d be leaving out a HUGE component of “conversations” if we neglected to mention our conversations with God.
In 3 Nephi 18:19, Jesus commanded, “Ye must always pray unto the Father in my name”. Praying to our Heavenly Father will help us improve our relationship with Him.
Whereas friends aren’t always available 24/7, our Heavenly Father is. Sometimes friends may betray us, but our Heavenly Father will not. He is the perfect friend, who loves us unconditionally and knows our needs. He wants us to talk to Him through prayer.
There have been many times in my life when I felt that nobody really understood me and my circumstances. Several years ago when I was contemplating whether or not I should leave an abusive relationship, I relied heavily on my conversations with my Heavenly Father. I knew he was the ONLY one who understood fully the situation and the hearts of all those involved. He gives perfect and unflawed advice.
As I sought Heavenly Father’s guidance during this particular time in my life, one of my favorite scriptures became Alma 37:37–“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).
Through prayer, we can also receive strength. The Savior has commanded, “Pray always, that you may come off conqueror; yea, that you may conquer Satan, and that you may escape the hands of the servants of Satan that do uphold his work” (D&C 10:5).
If we have a difficult task before us, Heavenly Father is happy when we get on our knees and ask for help and then get on our feet and go to work. He is poised to bless us, but sometimes we need to ask Him in faith. He will help us in all our righteous pursuits, but He seldom will do something for us that we can do ourselves. I like the quote “Pray as if everything depends on God and work as if everything depends on you”.
When we make a request through prayer, we must do all we can to assist in its being granted. Heavenly Father expects us to do more than merely ask Him for blessings. When we have an important decision to make, He often will require that we “study it out in [our] mind” before He will give us an answer (see D&C 9:7-8). Our prayers for guidance will be only as effective as our efforts to be receptive to the whisperings of the Holy Ghost.
In our prayers, we should also give thanks to Heavenly Father. We should “live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon [us]” (Alma 34:38). As we take time to remember our blessings, we will recognize how much our Heavenly Father has done for us.
We can also remember the needs of others as we pray. We should offer prayers “for [our] welfare, and also for the welfare of those who are around [us]” (Alma 34:27). We should ask our Heavenly Father to bless and comfort those in need. Our prayers for our own welfare and for the welfare of others will be in vain, however, if we “turn away the needy, and the naked, and visit not the sick and afflicted, and impart of your substance, if ye have, to those who stand in need” (Alma 34:28). We need to do our part, too.
We need to make our prayers meaningful. The prophet Mormon warned that if anyone “shall pray and not with real intent of heart … it profiteth him nothing, for God receiveth none such” (Moroni 7:9). To make our prayers meaningful, we must pray with sincerity and “with all the energy of heart” (Moroni 7:48). I hope that we will all take the time to have conversations with our Heavenly Father and become closer to Him.
**I made this power point presentation to go along with my talk: prayer