Friday, September 3, 2021

President Spencer W. Kimball on learning the language of prayer

President Spencer W. Kimball (1895-1985) was ordained an apostle in 1943 and served as President of the Church from 1973 to 1985.
"Learning the language of prayer is a joyous, lifetime experience. Sometimes ideas flood our mind as we listen after our prayers. Sometimes feelings press upon us. A spirit of calmness assures us that all will be well. But always, if we have been honest and earnest, we will experience a good feeling—a feeling of warmth for our Father in Heaven and a sense of his love for us. It has sorrowed me that some of us have not learned the meaning of that calm, spiritual warmth, for it is a witness to us that our prayers have been heard. And since our Father in Heaven loves us with more love than we have even for ourselves, it means that we can trust in his goodness, we can trust in him; it means that if we continue praying and living as we should, our Father's hand will guide and bless us.... 
"After a lifetime of prayers, I know of the love and power and strength that comes from honest and heartfelt prayer. I know of the readiness of our Father to assist us in our mortal experience, to teach us, to lead us, to guide us. Thus, with great love, our Savior has said, 'What I say unto one I say unto all; pray always.' (D&C 93:49.) 
"If we will do so, we shall gain for ourselves personal knowledge that our Father in Heaven truly hears and answers prayers. This knowledge he wants each of us to have. Seek it, my beloved brothers and sisters! Seek it!" 
- Spencer W. Kimball, "Pray Always," Ensign, Oct. 1981, p. 3
Click here to read the full talk 

"The language of prayer" President Kimball invites us to learn doesn't refer to the form of speaking or address we use when we speak the prayer.  It refers to the way we feel divine communication in our hearts, minds, and spirits.

I love the sweetness of the testimony that comes "after a lifetime of prayers" for President Kimball.  There is a power in saying "I know..." when there is such deep and prolonged personal experience.  The concluding promise is sincere and sure; the invitation for us to seek the gift is heart-felt.  This is a man who has precious knowledge and wants others to feel the blessing too.

We each have our own lifetime of prayers up to our current day; and perhaps we need to resolve to increase our commitment to this principle so that we can bear a testimony like that of President Kimball.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2021)
May 1, 2015

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