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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 women 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)

Carol F. McConkie, “The Soul’s Sincere Desire,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2016, 25–27

Juan A. Uceda, “The Lord Jesus Christ Teaches Us to Pray,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2016, 30–32

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

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

Video: “Daily Bread: Experience”

Share experiences

At the beginning of each class, invite the young women to share, teach, and testify about the experiences they have had applying what they learned in the previous week’s lesson. This will encourage personal conversion and help the young women see the relevance of the gospel in their daily lives.

Introduce the doctrine

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

  • Share the story from Elder Juan A. Uceda’s talk “The Lord Jesus Christ Teaches Us to Pray.” What do the young women find touching about this story? What other experiences with prayer have you or the young women had?
  • As a class, sing or read hymns about prayer (use the topical index at the end of the hymnbook to find an appropriate hymn). What do the young women learn about prayer from these hymns?

Learn together

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

  • Write the names of the members of the Godhead on the board. Invite the young women to use Sister Carol F. McConkie’s talk “The Soul’s Sincere Desire” to list how each member of the Godhead is involved when we pray. Ask the young women to look in Sister McConkie’s talk for answers to the following questions: “Why do we pray to Heavenly Father? What does it mean to pray in the name of Jesus Christ? How can the Holy Ghost influence our prayers?” Invite them to make a list of things they can do to make their prayers more meaningful. They might display these lists in their homes and pick one thing to focus on each week.
  • Invite the young women 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.
  • Assign each young woman a scripture about prayer (such as those suggested in this outline). Ask the young women to write down a principle about prayer they learn from their scripture and an example of that principle from their lives or the lives of others. Invite them to share what they wrote with another young woman in the class. What did the young women learn from each other that can help them make their prayers more meaningful?
  • Provide each young woman with a section from one of Elder David A. Bednar’s talks suggested in this outline. Invite the young women to underline practical advice Elder Bednar gives to help us make our prayers more meaningful. Ask them 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, or 19 of 3 Nephi among the young women. Ask the young women to read their sections and share what they learn about prayer from Jesus Christ’s example and teachings and from the examples of His disciples. What can they do to follow these examples in their own prayers?
  • Assign each young woman 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. Ask the young women to teach the class what they learn. Encourage them to share personal examples when they teach.

Ask the young women 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 helpful to spend more time on this doctrine?

Live what we are learning

Invite the young women to consider how they will live what they have learned today. For example, they could:

  • Make a specific goal to improve their personal prayers.
  • Complete Faith value experience 1 in Personal Progress.