Handbook 2:
Administering the Church


18.5 Prayers in Church Meetings

Men and women may offer both opening and closing prayers in Church meetings.

Prayers should be brief, simple, and spoken as directed by the Spirit. All members are encouraged to respond with an audible amen at the end of a prayer.

Members should express respect for Heavenly Father by using the special language of prayer that is appropriate for the language they are speaking. The language of prayer has different forms in different languages. In some languages, the intimate or familiar words are used only in addressing family and very close friends. Other languages have forms of address that express great respect. The principle, however, is the same: members should pray in words that speakers of the language associate with love, respect, reverence, and closeness. In English, for example, members should use the pronouns Thee, Thy, Thine, and Thou when addressing Heavenly Father.

Members of the bishopric should avoid the pattern of having a husband and wife pray in the same meeting. Such a pattern might convey an unintentional message of exclusion to those who are single. Members who are not often called upon should be included among those who are invited to pray. As needed, a member of the bishopric may caution those who pray not to sermonize or pray at great length.

The person who offers a prayer should not be asked to read a scripture aloud before the prayer.