Wednesday, October 28, 2015

L. Tom Perry on effective prayer

Elder L. Tom Perry (August 5, 1922 - May 30, 2015) was called as an Assistant to the Twelve in 1972, then as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1974. At the time of his passing at age 92, he was the oldest living general authority and the third in seniority among the leading quorum.
"When we pray to the Lord, we should remember who we are addressing and be prepared to give Him our undivided attention as we humbly supplicate before Him. President John Taylor counseled us this way:
"'Do you have prayers in your family? ... And when you do, do you go through the operation like the [grinding] of a piece of machinery, or do you bow in meekness and with... sincere desire to seek the blessing of God upon you and your household? That is the way... we ought to do, and cultivate a spirit of devotion and trust in God, dedicating ourselves to him, and seeking his blessings' (Journal of Discourses 21:118)....
"It is so satisfying to know that God is mindful of us and ready to respond when we place our trust in Him. There is no place for fear among men and women who place their trust in the Almighty, who do not hesitate to humble themselves in seeking divine guidance through prayer. Though difficulties may arise and reverses may come, in our prayers we can find reassurance as the Lord speaks peace to our souls."
- L. Tom Perry, "Back to Gospel Basics", Ensign, May 1993, pp. 90-92
Click here to read the full talk

Elder Perry encouraged us to focus on improving our prayers. The quote from Pres. Taylor about the sincerity of prayers was interesting—he worried that we too often "grind" through the motions of prayer like a piece of machinery:

Elder Perry believed our sincerity and consistency in prayer would lead us to "find reassurance" amid the difficulties and reverses of our lives, "as the Lord speaks peace to our souls." What a blessing that is!

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