Monday, March 7, 2022

President Ezra Taft Benson on suggestions for prayer

President Ezra Taft Benson (1899-1994) was called to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1943, and served as the 13th President of the Church from 1985 until his death in 1994 at age 94.
"For what should we pray? We should pray about our work, against the power of our enemies and the devil, for our welfare and the welfare of those around us. (Alma 34:20, 22-25, 27.) We should counsel with the Lord pertaining to all our decisions and activities. (Alma 37:36-37.) We should be grateful enough to give thanks for all we have. (D&C 59:21.) We should confess His hand in all things. Ingratitude is one of our great sins....
"We should ask for what we need, taking care that we not ask for things that would be to our detriment. (James 4:3.) We should ask for strength to overcome our problems. (Alma 31:31-33.) We should pray for the inspiration and well-being of the president of the Church, the General Authorities, our stake president, our bishop, our quorum president, our home teachers, family members, and our civic leaders. Many other suggestions could be made; but with the help of the Holy Ghost, we will know about what we should pray. (Rom. 8:26.)
"After making a request through prayer, we have a responsibility to assist in its being granted. We should listen. Perhaps while we are on our knees, the Lord wants to counsel us.
"'Sincere praying implies that when we ask for any virtue or blessing we should work for the blessing and cultivate the virtue.' (David O. McKay, True to the Faith, Bookcraft, 1966, p. 208.)"
- Ezra Taft Benson, "Prayer," Ensign, May 1977, pp. 32-34
Click here to read the full talk

Anciently, the Savior's disciples asked Him, "Lord, teach us to pray" (Luke 11:1). It's a question that we all should continue to ask, as we endeavor to improve our communication with our Father in Heaven. President Benson gives some suggestions that are worth pondering:

After offering additional suggestions, President Benson makes the most important observation: "Many other suggestions could be made; but with the help of the Holy Ghost, we will know about what we should pray." Clearly, that is our best and most personal teacher.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2022)
September 5, 2016

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