Four-year-old Micalah had just finished scripture study with her family. They had been reading from Alma in the Book of Mormon about the Zoramites. Micalah had asked a lot of questions about how the wicked Zoramites each said the very same prayer, never really thinking about Heavenly Father or what they might want to say to Him.
After scriptures and family prayer, Micalah knelt by her mom at the side of her bed to say her own prayer to Heavenly Father. “Heavenly Father, please bless our family to be well, and please bless us to do good things. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.” It was the exact same prayer she said every night.
Mom didn’t get up right away. “Micalah,” she asked, “do you think that Heavenly Father listens to you when you pray?”
Micalah nodded her head earnestly.
“Do you think Heavenly Father wants to hear what you have in your heart? Or do you think He wants to hear you say the same prayer to Him every night without thinking about what you really want to tell Him?”
A small smile came over Micalah’s face, and her eyebrows went up. “You mean, like the Zoramites?”
Mom smiled back. “Only a little bit like them.”
Micalah thought hard, wrinkling her forehead. “I don’t want to pray like the Zoramites,” she said. “But how can I know what to say every time I pray?”
Mom put her arm around Micalah. “Well, before I start my prayer to Heavenly Father, I kneel down and I just think for a few minutes. I think about the things I did that day. I think about the things I’m thankful for. And I think about the problems I have that I need help with. Then I start my prayer.”
Micalah liked that idea. “I want to try again!” she announced.
Micalah and her mom knelt quietly beside each other for a few moments. Micalah thought about their trip to the park earlier that day to play and to feed the ducks. She thought of her grandma and her cousins who were visiting from out of town. She thought of celebrating Jesus’s Resurrection during Easter. She thought of many things, and then she began to pray. “Heavenly Father, thank Thee that we had fun at the park, and thank Thee for making such a beautiful earth. Thank Thee that Grandma Jolene and Julian and Lonnie are visiting. Thank Thee that Jesus died for us. Thank Thee that we were safe today, and please bless us always to be safe. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”
When she finished her prayer, Micalah felt warm and peaceful inside. Micalah knew what that feeling was—the Holy Ghost!
She kissed her mom good-night and snuggled down under her cozy blankets. She was smiling as she closed her eyes and drifted off to sleep. She knew that Heavenly Father had heard her prayer and that He was happy she had spoken to Him from her heart.
“We are privileged to pray daily for the small and great concerns in our lives.”
President James E. Faust, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, “The Lifeline of Prayer,” Ensign, May 2002, 60.