Prayer is the means by which we can draw close to our Heavenly Father and learn of Him. Prayer is also given to us as a commandment and it is suggested that we should be praying continually. However, most of us realize that our prayers are influenced, sometimes negatively, by our lives and the circumstances with which we deal. Therefore, it is important to be actively working on obedience to the commandments as well as cultivating feelings of gratitude and adoration for our Father in Heaven. If we pray properly, and with real intent, we are promised wonderful blessings and insights. “If thou shalt ask, thou shalt receive revelation upon revelation, knowledge upon knowledge, thou mayest know the mysteries and peaceable things— that which bringeth joy, that which bringeth life eternal.” (D&C 42:61.)
Neal A. Maxwell said, “So very much of pure prayer seems to be the process of first discovering, rather than requesting, the will of our Father in heaven and then aligning ourselves therewith. When we conform to His will, God will pour forth special blessings from heaven upon us, as was the case with Nephi, the son of Helaman. Of him the Lord said, “And now, because thou hast done this with such unwearyingness, behold, I will bless thee forever; and I will make thee mighty in word and in deed, in faith and in works; yea, even that all things shall be done unto thee according to thy word, for thou shalt not ask that which is contrary to my will.” (Helaman 10:5)” Nephi had learned how to listen and draw close to the Lord and he had learned the principle taught by the Savior of “thy will, not mine be done.” Following Nephi’s example and through our personal prayers, we can refine and align our desires to be in harmony with Heavenly Father’s. We can seek the Spirit and be more open to being taught, softened, and corrected. Then we will realize for ourselves that “Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given you. (3Nephi 18:20) Therefore, as we pass through difficult experiences, which we have been told are for our good, prayer can bring us to possess the qualities and attributes we will need in order to stand firm and immovable against the even stronger storms of life that are to come.