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How Do You Know When You’re Getting Good at Prayer?

By Mormon.org
woman kneeling by a bed praying

While prayer takes different forms for different people, Mormons believe that prayer, in its most basic form, is a conversation between you and your Heavenly Father. But—like any conversation—it can be difficult to know if you’re getting anywhere when you can’t see the person you’re talking to.

Here are a few indicators to let you know how good you’re getting at prayer.

Your prayers feel like a conversation

Prayer is one of the ways we begin to build a relationship with our Father in Heaven. So it’s no wonder that praying can feel a little uncomfortable at first.

However, as we build a relationship with God, “prayer becomes instinctive and natural on our part” (Bible Dictionary, “Prayer”). We, like Moses, will be able to speak to our Father in Heaven “as a man speaketh unto his friend” (Exodus 33:11).

But Heavenly Father doesn’t just hear prayers; He answers.

You believe answers will come and are willing to act on them

These answers come not only as we say our prayers, but as we are willing to follow the counsel that God gives to us.

Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency said that when we pray with a commitment to act, our Father in Heaven “answers by putting thoughts in our minds accompanied by feelings.”

For example, you may have the thought to do something specific, like check on a friend. Or you may feel like a choice you are planning to make is wrong.

These thoughts and feelings help us to know what the Lord would have us do.

When answers don’t come right away, you move forward in faith

Apostle David A. Bednar said, “Meaningful prayer requires both holy communication and consecrated work.” 

You cannot have a meaningful conversation with God if you don’t put forth any effort. The level of effort required may vary. It might be working up the courage to pray, or it may mean looking for solutions to our problems before counseling with our Heavenly Father in prayer.

However, our answers may not always come while we are on our knees. When this happens, we should act in faith, trusting that the Lord will answer in His timing.

You ask the right questions

You ask the right questions Sometimes when we don’t receive answers right away it’s because we aren’t asking the right questions.

Apostle Richard G. Scott taught, “A key to improved prayer is to learn to ask the right questions.” He said, “Consider changing from asking for the things you want to honestly seeking what He wants for you.” 

At times like this, when what we want and what our Father in Heaven is willing to give don’t seem to fall in line, it is important to remember that God loves us and knows what will bring us the greatest happiness.

You’re beginning to trust the Lord

In Proverbs 3:5–6 it says, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

When we pray, we put our faith in God. When He answers, our faith in Him grows. As we follow His counsel, we come to understand a little more about our Heavenly Father and trust Him even more.

As we evaluate our prayers, the Lord will let us know where and how we can make improvements. With His help, we will come to know and trust the Lord as a Father and a friend.

Here are a few more suggestions for how you can make your prayers more meaningful.