Elder Bruce D. Porter, a member of the Quorum of the Seventy, spoke to BYU students and faculty about the importance of sincere and heartfelt prayer early Tuesday afternoon at the last devotional of the semester.
Elder Porter started his devotional address by quoting a popular hymn in the LDS faith, “Did You Think to Pray.”
“When sore trials came upon you, did you think to pray?” Elder Porter said. “When your soul was full of sorrow, Balm of Gilead did you borrow, at the gates of day? Prayer is a gate that connects us with our heavenly home. When we pray, we borrow strength, love and light at the very gate of eternity.”
Elder Porter went on to talk about how when one truly prays, it is heartfelt and is coupled with a commitment to act on the divine guidance that Heavenly Father will give through his spirit. One’s mind and heart must be directed toward God with sincere and full intentions.
“We commune with God by listening to the still small voice of the spirit,” Elder Porter said. “We must allow time before and after the prayer to seek divine inspiration. We need to make sure we really mean what we say. Set aside adequate time so that you’re not rushed and pray in a place of solitude.”
Elder Porter said heartfelt prayer entails coming to know God, and includes seeking to understand life and how one can best serve God. When a heartfelt prayer is given, Elder Porter said emotions about upcoming decisions are shared and sorrows and joys are expressed.
“As we learn to share these things with Heavenly Father, he opens the door for his spirit to enter in,” Elder Porter said. “Our hearts become more receptive to his council. The Lord will hear out prayers, provided we genuinely pray from our hearts.”
Elder Porter ended his address by urging the audience to let faith guide them, to not fear and to make their prayers genuine and heartfelt.
“If we learn to move forward in faith as the spirit guides us, then we will learn to make progress in life and grow in revelation,” Elder Porter said. “The Lord will surely guide us if we are open to the promptings of the spirit.”