“Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.” -Psalms 55:17
A prayer is a plea to God. The True Prayer is written in our hearts. When our hearts are pierced, we plea to God and he restores us. From here we may speak to God in the name of Christ. If you are new to prayer, that’s okay. Everyone has to have their first prayer vocal prayer, and Jesus taught us how to do it.
We pray to God the Father, or to both of our Heavenly Parents. In the Law of the Lord we are commanded:
“Thy prayers shall be unto God, thy Father; for he is rich in mercy, and loving kindness: and in heaven shall he hear thee, in the fulness of his wisdom and goodness, if thou believe on his name. But unto his Ministers shalt thou petition for whatsoever he has dispensed unto them. For his mercy is over all his works.” Law of the Lord 6:3
Jesus obeyed this commandment to pray to the Father when He taught us to pray. Jesus Christ set the example for us:
“After this manner therefore pray ye:
‘Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done in earth, as in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.’” – Matthew 6: 9-13 KJV
One may notice that this is not exactly as found in Matthew. We have been by the Savior taught to pray in his – Jesus’ – name.
“And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” – John 14: 13
The lesson on how to pray here is clear:
- Pray to the Father
- Pray for God’s will, not our own
- Ask for what we need
- Ask for forgiveness from God and for help from the Lord to be better Christians
- Give God the glory
- Christ is our emissary, pray in his Holy name
- Seal the prayer, end it with “Amen” or something with the same or similar meaning
Why then do we at times pray to the Father and Mother, or to Heavenly Parents? There are many definitions or understandings of God in the Church of Jesus Christ in Christian Fellowship. One is that each member of the Godhead or Trinity are the same God. The Father-Mother then would be the same being, the Divine Masculine and Feminine working in harmony. In another Latter Day Saint tradition, these are two Gods, one male and one female, sealed for all time and eternity as one. Why we are told we may pray to the Father alone and not the Mother we don’t know, but we do know this is what we’ve been asked to do (Jeremiah 44:19, 23). There may be more revelations on this at some future time, but for now we follow what we understand to be true.
Additional Teachings on Prayer
Jesus also taught us, in the same chapters, that we should remember the following when we pray:
- Do not pray to be seen of others
- Pray in private
- Do not use “vain repetitions” but pray as moved by the spirit
The point of prayer is for us to humble ourselves before the Lord and feel of His Spirit. After we pray, we should take time to meditate on the prayer, to listen to the Spirit that the Lord may speak to us as well. At this point you’ve taken the first steps of Teshuvah, the return back to the God that created us.
“And my soul hungered; and I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul.” -Enos 1:4a OPV, 1:5 RAV
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