Thursday, June 15, 2017

Elder David A. Bednar on making our prayers more meaningful

Elder David A. Bednar (born June 15, 1952) was serving as the president of BYU–Idaho when he was called and sustained as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in October 2004.
"As we speak of prayer, I emphasize the word meaningful. Simply saying prayers is quite a different thing from engaging in meaningful prayer. I expect that all of us already know that prayer is essential for our spiritual development and protection. But what we know is not always reflected in what we do. And even though we recognize the importance of prayer, all of us can improve the consistency and efficacy of our personal and family prayers....
"I long have been impressed with the truth that meaningful prayer requires both holy communication and consecrated work. Blessings require some effort on our part before we can obtain them, and prayer, as 'a form of work, ... is an appointed means for obtaining the highest of all blessings' (Bible Dictionary, 'Prayer,' 753). We press forward and persevere in the consecrated work of prayer, after we say 'amen,' by acting upon the things we have expressed to Heavenly Father.
"Asking in faith requires honesty, effort, commitment, and persistence."
- David A. Bednar, "Ask in Faith," Ensign, May 2008, pp. 94-97
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

In this message, Elder Bednar helps us understand how to improve the sincerity and effectiveness of our prayers by considering the word meaningful. We sometimes fall into the practice of praying without much thought or sincerity, somewhat superficially. Our prayers become more meaningful as they are truly honest, soul-searching, and consistent:

The additional aspect of meaningful prayer is reflected in what takes place after the prayer. The fact that we act on things we pray about indicates the prayer is more than superficial. Meaningful prayer involves our deeds as well as our thoughts and words!

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2017)

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