Last week I started my first week of school. It was a great week and a great start to my senior year! Nothing too horrible happened, but starting school is always a little bit stressful for everyone. Toward the end of the week, I noticed that as school started, I was a lot more diligent in my prayers. I started thinking about how many little things I prayed for each morning and I realized Heavenly Father has blessed me a lot. I wondered why my prayers felt so much more meaningful. I came up with three very simple reasons I plan to apply to my prayers more consistently.
1. My prayers were sincere: I was telling Heavenly Father things that were really important to me.
2. I was praying specifically: I once attended a fireside hosted by a young returned missionary. He told us that he recently met with his mission president at a reunion. The president asked him how he was and if he was dating anyone. He replied that he was earnestly seeking an eternal companion but hadn’t yet been blessed. His mission president asked him if he had prayed to Heavenly Father about it. “Of course,” he replied. Then his mission president said, “Have you prayed specifically that you would meet your eternal companion?” He had to say no and reflected on how odd it would sound to say, “Heavenly Father, I’m thankful for this day. Please help me to get to work safely and please help me to meet my wife.” His mission president told him the importance of avoiding vagueness in his prayers. If we pray vaguely we will be blessed vaguely.
I must admit, I sometimes pray for really dumb things that other people probably don’t even think about and that are too embarrassing to ever tell anyone. But Heavenly Father understands exactly how I feel and exactly how you feel and if something is important to us, it is important to Him. We should never feel embarrassed to talk to Heavenly Father about anything.
3. I was praying with faith: Faith is an action word. We need to believe that our prayers will be answered. I once saw a quote that said, “There are one of three answers to every prayer… they are yes, in a minute, or I have something better in mind.”
The prophet President Thomas S. Monson said, “Prayer is the passport to peace.” I testify of this truth and challenge all of you to apply these three very simple things to your prayers and reflect on what makes your prayers more meaningful. Also, remember to always thank your Heavenly Father. Thank Him all of the time; if He answered your prayer, if you are having a horrible day, or just an average day. Gratitude really is so powerful, if you don’t believe me try it!