Words of the Prophet:

Be Prayerful

by President Gordon B. Hinckley

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“Be thou humble; and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers” (D&C 112:10).

President Gordon B. Hinckley

Speak with your Eternal Father in the name of His Beloved Son. “Behold,” He says, “I stand at the door, and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Rev. 3:20).

This is His invitation, and the promise is sure. It is unlikely that you will hear voices from heaven, but there will come a heaven-sent assurance, peaceful and certain.

If you will read the word of the Lord, if you will serve in His cause, if in prayer you will talk with Him, your doubts will leave; and the Holy Spirit will witness that Jesus is in very deed the Son of God, born in the flesh, the Redeemer of the world resurrected from the grave, the Lord who shall come to reign as King of kings. It is your opportunity so to know. It is your obligation so to find out. God bless you so to do (from Improvement Era, June 1966, 532).

If any of you lack wisdom

I believe in the invitation to come unto my Eternal Father in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. I believe in the integrity of the promise: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (James 1:5).

It was that promise that prompted the boy Joseph Smith to go into the grove, there to kneel in supplication and seek an answer to his question.

I believe, without reservation, in the reality of the vision he described. From that wellspring of communication between the God of heaven, the resurrected Redeemer of the world, and a boy pure in heart and unschooled has grown this magnificent and wonderful and true church which is spreading over the earth to bless the lives of all who will hear its message.

I believe in prayer, the precious and wonderful privilege given each of us for our individual guidance, comfort, and peace (from Ensign, Aug. 1992, 7).

God hears and answers

Be prayerful. The Lord has promised, “Be thou humble; and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers” (D&C 112:10).

Be prayerful, my friends, and listen. You may never hear a voice. You likely will not. But in a manner that you cannot explain, you will be prompted and blessed. For the Lord has promised, “I will tell you in your … heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you” (D&C 8:2).

Be prayerful, and you will know that God hears and answers. Not always as we might wish Him to answer, but with the passing of the years, there will come a realization as certain as the sunrise that He heard and responded (from Ensign, Jan. 1973, 93).

Family prayer

I know of nothing that will ease family tensions [better] than will praying together, confessing weaknesses together before the Lord, and invoking the blessings of the Lord upon the home and those who dwell there (from Improvement Era, June 1963, 531).

Sacrament prayers

That great and important sacrament was instituted by the Savior Himself shortly before His crucifixion. It was He who first gave to those He loved the emblems of His flesh and blood and commanded that all should partake of them in remembrance of Him and as a token of a covenant between God and man.

When you priests of the Aaronic Priesthood administer the sacrament, you are doing what Jesus did while He was yet in the flesh, and which He also did when He ministered among the Nephites following His resurrection.

When you, as a priest, kneel at the sacrament table and offer up the prayer, which came by revelation, you place the entire congregation under covenant with the Lord. Is this a small thing? It is a most important and remarkable thing (from Ensign, May 1988, 46).

Prayer changes lives

I once listened to the experience of an engineer who had recently joined the Church. The missionaries had called at his home, and his wife had invited them in. She had eagerly responded to their message, while he felt himself being pulled in against his will.

One evening she indicated that she wished to be baptized. He flew into a fit of anger. Didn’t she know what this would mean? This would mean time. This would mean the payment of tithing. This would mean giving up their friends. This would mean no more smoking. He threw on his coat and walked out into the night, slamming the door behind him. He walked the streets, swearing at his wife, swearing at the missionaries, swearing at himself for ever permitting them to teach them. As he grew tired his anger cooled, and a spirit of prayer somehow came into his heart. He prayed as he walked. He pleaded with God for an answer to his questions. And then an impression, clear and unequivocal, came almost as if a voice had spoken with words that said, “It’s true.”

“It’s true,” he said to himself again and again. “It’s true.” A peace came into his heart. As he walked toward home, the restrictions, the demands, the requirements over which he had been so incensed began to appear as opportunities. When he opened the door, he found his wife on her knees praying.

Then before the congregation to whom he told this, he spoke of the gladness that had come into their lives. Tithing was not a problem. The sharing of their substance with God, who had given them everything, seemed little enough. Time for service was not a problem. Responsibility was not a problem. Out of it came growth and a new outlook on life. And then this man of intellect and training, this engineer accustomed to dealing with the facts of the physical world in which we live, bore solemn testimony with moistened eyes of the miracle that had come into his life (from Ensign, July 1973, 50).

Perfect in prayer

We can make great strides in the direction of perfection in our personal behavior. We can be perfect in our prayers to our Father in Heaven. There are some things in which it is very difficult to be perfect, but I hope that every man and woman and boy and girl will get on his or her knees night and morning and thank the Lord for His blessings, thank the Lord for His kindness, thank the Lord for every gift that He has given, and pray for strength to do the right thing and remember before the Lord all who are in need and distress. We can be perfect in our prayers (from Ensign, July 1998, 2).

The Promise of Prayer

The scriptures are filled with instances showing the power of prayer, direction on how to pray, and examples of heartfelt prayers. Here are just a few of the promises connected with prayer in the scriptures.

“Behold, verily, verily, I say unto you, ye must watch and pray always lest ye enter into temptation; for Satan desireth to have you, that he may sift you as wheat. Therefore ye must always pray unto the Father in my name; And whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given unto you” (3 Ne. 18:18–20).

“Pray always, and I will pour out my Spirit upon you, and great shall be your blessing—yea, even more than if you should obtain treasures of earth” (D&C 19:39).

“Search diligently, pray always, and be believing, and all things shall work together for your good” (D&C 90:24).

“Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day” (Alma 37:37).