The Unauthorized Investigator's Guide to
The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints

Lesson 4

Pray Often

The Missionaries Will Teach...

God commands us to pray to him.  We should kneel in prayer to him every morning and evening, both by ourselves and with our families.  We can also pray at any other time and place.  Heavenly Father hears and answers prayers, and we should be committed to act on the answers to prayers that we receive.  Always pray sincerely.

We pray to our Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus Christ.  Begin the prayer by addressing Heavenly Father, and end by saying, "In the name of Jesus Christ, amen." God answers prayers.

When we pray we speak honestly and openly with our loving Father in Heaven.  We tell him how thankful we are for all of the blessings he gives us.  We tell him how much we love him, and if we need it, we may ask for help and direction.

When we pray with faith, sincerity, and real intent, we will experience the influence of God in our lives.  We will have feelings of comfort and peace, and will be directed by God to make good decisions.  God will warn us about danger, give us strength to obey his commandments, and forgive us of our sins.  It is important for us to recognize God's influence in our lives and to listen to the still, small voice of the Spirit.

We can recognize when the Holy Ghost is teaching truth by our minds being filled with inspiring, enlightened, and uplifting new knowledge and thoughts.  We will feel peace, joy, and love in our hearts and will want to do good works and help other.  It's difficult to describe the feeling of the spirit, but we can learn to recognize the feelings of the spirit as we experience it.

Some Additional Thoughts...

There is a transparent double-bind in this principle.  If praying doesn't cause you to experience the influence of God, it must be your fault because you don't have enough faith, sincerity, and real intent.  The fundamental question that arises in my mind is how to concurrently pray both with faith and with sincerity.  Sincerity implies being truly honest and forthright about what you think, while faith means trying  or pretending to believe something that on some levels you sincerely don't believe.

In my opinion, praying should be more about listening and less about talking.  Huckleberry Finn's personal integrity wouldn't allow him to pray a lie.  Would yours?


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