Since the days of Adam and Eve, prayer was the way to reach God. After they had been driven out of the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were shut out of His presence. But God did provide a way for them to call upon Him through prayer.
This pattern of prayer was given to the world throughout the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Book of Mormon and even during modern revelations as stated in Doctrine and Covenants.
In simple words, prayer is the way we can communicate with our Heavenly Father and seek His guidance. It is a great blessing that human beings have here on the earth. Prayer is an invitation from God to speak to Him with sincerity and with real intent.
There are lot of things that may be said about prayer. But I would like to discuss how prayer can be a source of personal revelation, guidance, and direction from our Heavenly Father.
While on the earth, Jesus Christ taught about prayer. One of His teachings about the prayer is found in Matthew 6:9–10,
“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 it is in heaven.”
He taught how to pray to the Father and to let the Father’s will be done in all things. We do not change the will of God with our prayers, but we must let God prevail.
We must pray only to our Father in heaven because He is our Father who loves us and He is the Father of all human beings.
On many occasions, Jesus Christ Himself has prayed to His father. For example, in the Bible we read that:
“And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.
“And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles” (Luke 6:12–13).
The Apostles were called to their ministries after Jesus Christ came from the quiet and personal moment of His prayer on the mountain.
When He was in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus did not ask to change things. He prayed saying, “O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done” (Matthew 26:42).
The Prophet Joseph Smith went to seek for spiritual direction about which church he should join. Through his prayer, The Father and the Son appeared to him with a clear message and revealed to him his mission. He received direction.
In the Book of Mormon, we have another example of Moroni requesting the guidance of God, through Alma, to know how to fight against the Lamanites. It reads in Alma 43:23–24,
“But it came to pass, as soon as they had departed into the wilderness Moroni sent spies into the wilderness to watch their camp; and Moroni, also, knowing of the prophecies of Alma, sent certain men unto him, desiring him that he should inquire of the Lord whither the armies of the Nephites should go to defend themselves against the Lamanites.
“And it came to pass that the word of the Lord came unto Alma, and Alma informed the messengers of Moroni, that the armies of the Lamanites were marching round about in the wilderness, that they might come over into the land of Manti, that they might commence an attack upon the weaker part of the people. And those messengers went and delivered the message unto Moroni.”
The Lord reveals to Alma the strategy of the Lamanites after a prayer addressed to Him. The description was clear.
When we received a letter calling us to serve a full-time mission from 2016 to 2019, we did not know in which mission. With my wife, Lucie, we started to think about where it could be. Then we decided to wait for the assignment letter from the First Presidency to know the place. Later, the letter arrived, and I was on trip for my assignment as an Area Seventy. I asked Lucie to wait and to not open the letter until I returned home so that we could read it together.
When I returned home, we went in our bedroom to open the letter. We read it and learned that we had been called to serve as mission leaders in Democratic Republic of the Congo Mbuji Mayi Mission. As we discovered the place, we stopped reading the letter and we did not even finish it. We were kind of upset and many questions and concerns came to our mind in few minutes. We thought about our three children who were 14, 11 and 7 years old. We thought about their school, the change of life conditions, a new area with a new local language that none of us could speak. We were overwhelmed and stuck. Suddenly we look each other, and I suggested that we pray.
Our prayer was not to change the place to serve. We went on our knees and I did pray our Heavenly Father sincerely about our concerns and feelings.
After the prayer, we felt peace, confirmation, and comfort that it is about the Lord’s work. All fears and concerns had been replaced by an assurance and understanding and with the desire to serve God. We stood up and we finished reading the letter.
We then decided to start preparing ourselves and our family for the move to serve the mission. We went on mission and the Lord was in charge until the end of our three years of mission service.
It is a blessing to have this opportunity to counsel with the Father, in the name of the Son, through prayer.
When we pray, we are eligible to receive personal revelation that will help us make good decisions on the things we need to do. Prayer provides revelation, instruction, and guidance for our personal lives or for the lives of our family or the people we are responsible for.
I invite you to make prayer a part of your daily life. Take time to converse with God through sincere prayer. Ask what is good and in accordance with His will. I promise that you will receive direction and blessings.
I know that as we pray, we are drawing closer to the Lord and prayer will make a difference in our lives. We will be victorious. God always answers our prayers at a time and in a way that He knows will help us the most.