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How can I make my prayers more meaningful?

Heavenly Father loves us and wants us to communicate with Him through prayer. When we pray, we should tell Heavenly Father what we feel in our hearts. We should not repeat meaningless words or phrases. Through sincere, heartfelt prayer, we can feel the nearness of our Heavenly Father.

Prepare yourself spiritually

As you prepare, prayerfully study these resources. What would you like the young men to discover about prayer?

Luke 22:41–42; Helaman 10:5; D&C 46:30–31 (We should seek God’s will when we pray)

3 Nephi 14:7; D&C 9:7–8 (Prayer should be accompanied by faithful effort)

3 Nephi 17–19 (Jesus Christ prays with the Nephites and teaches about prayer)

Moroni 10:3–5 (Pray with faith, a sincere heart, and real intent)

Bible Dictionary, “Prayer,” 752–53

David A. Bednar, “Ask in Faith,Ensign or Liahona, May 2008, 94–97

David A. Bednar, “Pray Always,Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2008, 41–44

Fulfilling My Duty to God (2010), 38

Prayer,” True to the Faith (2004), 118–23 

Video: “Daily Bread: Experience”

Let the young men lead

A member of the quorum presidency (or an assistant to the bishop in the priests quorum) conducts the quorum meeting. He leads the young men in counseling together about quorum business, teaches them their priesthood duties (from the scriptures and the Duty to God book), encourages them to share their experiences fulfilling their duty to God, and invites an adviser or other quorum member to teach a gospel lesson. He could prepare by filling out a quorum meeting agenda during a presidency meeting.

Begin the learning experience

Choose from these ideas, or think of your own, to review last week’s lesson and introduce this week’s lesson:

  • Ask the young men to draw a picture representing something they learned in last week’s lesson, and ask them to share their pictures. What have they done to apply what they learned? Do they have any questions or additional insights about what they learned?
  • Ask the young men to make a list of ways we communicate with others. How are these communication methods similar to praying to Heavenly Father? How are they different? What questions do the young men have about prayer?

Learn together

Each of the activities below will help the quorum members understand how to make their prayers more meaningful. Following the inspiration of the Spirit, select one or more that will work best for your quorum:

  • Invite the young men to find in the scriptures an example of prayer that they find inspiring (if necessary, suggest that they read the scriptures listed in this outline), or show the video “Daily Bread: Experience.” Ask them to share what they find and what they learn about prayer from the example.
  • Invite the young men to read a scripture about prayer (such as those suggested in this outline). Ask them to write down a principle about prayer they learn from the scripture and an example of that principle from their lives or the lives of others. Invite them to share what they wrote with another quorum member. What did the young men learn from each other that can help them make their prayers more meaningful?
  • Provide each quorum member with a section from one of Elder David A. Bednar’s talks suggested in this outline. Invite them to underline practical advice Elder Bednar gives to help us make our prayers more meaningful. Ask the young men to share what they find. Then invite them to imagine that they are teaching someone to pray. What would they teach, and how would they teach it? Consider role-playing a possible teaching situation.
  • Divide chapters 17, 18, and 19 of 3 Nephi among the young men. Then ask the young men to read their assigned sections and share what they learn about prayer from Jesus Christ’s example and teachings and from the examples of His disciples.
  • Ask each young man to study one of the principles of prayer discussed in True to the Faith, pages 119–21, or in the entry about prayer in the Bible Dictionary. Invite him to teach the quorum what he learns. Encourage the young men to share personal examples when they teach.
  • As a quorum, work on the first learning activity on page 38 of the Duty to God book. Give the young men time in quorum meeting to write or revise their plans to establish a habit of regular prayer (see page 15, 39, or 63).

Ask the young men to share what they learned today. Do they understand how to make their prayers more meaningful? What feelings or impressions do they have? Do they have any additional questions? Would it be worthwhile to spend more time on this doctrine?

Invite to act

The young man who is conducting concludes the meeting. He could:

  • Share his plan to establish or strengthen a habit of regular prayer.
  • Share personal experiences that have taught him the power of prayer.