Heaven may seem far away but it feels near when we kneel down to pray. Prayer is one of the ways we can access the powers of heaven. We pray to communicate with Heavenly Father. Sometimes, however, it becomes simply a part of our routine, and we say our prayers without much thought or reflection. We sometimes say it as we pull our covers over us at night and might forget to finish it before closing our eyes. We become so busy that our prayers are almost fleeting. We repeat phrases such as “I am grateful for this day and for my many blessings” and “Please bless that everything will turn out good today.” Is there something wrong with these phrases repeated every day? No, because the sincerity of one’s prayer can only be determined by the one who said it. But here are 5 things to consider the next time we say our prayers.
I am grateful for this day. This is a good way to start a prayer of gratitude. But sometimes, this sentence wraps up everything that we are grateful for in one day and we do not elaborate more. When we are more specific as to what we are grateful for, we will recognize God’s many blessings and that He is involved even in the little details of our lives. The purpose of prayer is not only about talking to God and thanking and asking Him for blessings but also about us remembering that God is merciful and ever-present in our lives. Prayer helps us to remember that God is always mindful of us.
I am grateful for my trials. We hear this all the time but this is not a one-size-fits-all phrase because trials come in different ways. As odd as it may seem, there are trials that we are thankful to have experienced, but what about the trial of losing a loved one or getting sick? Instead of saying that we are grateful for our trials, we might consider being grateful for all the lessons that we have learned through our trials and for the strength that God has given us to overcome or endure them.
Please bless that we can apply the things we learned today in our lives. When we learn something, we sure want to apply it in our lives. But asking God to bless us that we may be able to apply the lessons we learned is like asking Him to bless us with food without working for it. If we have learned about the blessings of giving service, perhaps we can ask God to help us recognize opportunities to serve as we seek for them. The words “as we seek for them” are important because one won’t be able to recognize opportunities to serve if they are staying at home all day watching TV. If the lesson was about forgiving others, we can ask God to soften our hearts that we may have the desire to mend a broken relationship.
Please bless those who are not able to attend Church today that they may be able to attend next Sunday. Of course, we want church members to be able to attend our Sunday service, especially Sacrament meeting. But simply asking the Lord to bless them may not be enough. The Lord may need us to do something about it and become His hands to help them. He may want us to visit them or give them a call. We might consider asking for a desire to fulfill our visiting or home teaching assignments.
Please bless that I will feel the Spirit throughout the day. As much as God wants us to have His Spirit with us always, we cannot simply ask Him for this blessing and expect it to be granted without doing our part. It is not wrong to ask for this blessing, but perhaps we can also ask that God will help us have the courage to walk away from situations and conversations that would offend the Spirit.
There is nothing wrong with adding these phrases to our prayers repeatedly. But as we take the time to think about the blessings we are praying about, we will find an increased appreciation for our conversations with God.