Dear Sister Christensen,
I’m in desperate need of your help! You see, I’m relatively new to the church and my Bishop just asked me to offer the prayer this Sunday in Sacrament Meeting. I’m nervous beyond belief! It seems like every member of the church offers such beautiful prayers, and I know that mine don’t sound nearly so spiritual!
Could you help me deliver some spiritual oomph during my prayer this Sunday?
Mary, the Soul’s Sincere Desire
What an excellent topic! Of course, the most spiritual way of praying is by using the Church’s approved method! However, as you’ve discovered, being in front of the whole congregation can be daunting. You’ll want to appear as righteous on the outside as you are on the inside! Here are a few pointers–some of my favorite ways to sound as spiritual as you should.
1. Believe it or not, you can be spiritual before you say a single word! Once you’re at the podium, close your eyes and fold your arms (the Church Approved Prayer Position), but don’t begin praying right away! Stay silent for 5 to 10 seconds before taking a deep, spiritual breath and then begin. This will show the congregation how earnest you are!
2. Make sure you have a sufficient number of adjectives describing our Heavenly Father. Choose any between Dear, Kind, and Gracious. Or, if you’re feeling extra spiritual, use all three!
3. Never forget to be thankful! But if you want to sound even more in touch with the spirit, keep this in mind: not everyone is as blessed as you are to have had the same opportunities you have. Look at how much more thankful you sound when you appreciate:
-the opportunity to be here (rather than just being thankful for being here),
-the opportunity to feel the spirit (rather than just being thankful for feeling the spirit), and
-the opportunity to practice our religion in our free country (unless, of course, you’re not from America).
4. You’d be amazed at how much more spiritual you’ll sound by praying as you normally do, while including simple phrases every so often. Make sure to begin sentences with, “At this time.” Make an effort to intermittently re-address God in the middle of your sentences. Be certain to say “this day” instead of “today.” When speaking of the Prophet, always specify which one by using the word “even.” Here’s an example sentence: “At this time, Lord, we thank thee for this day, and pray, Lord, that thou might bless our Prophet, even Thomas S. Monson.” So spiritual!
5. Of course, no prayer is complete without the classics:
– pray for those not in attendance that they’ll be there next week,
– bless the food to nourish and strengthen our bodies, and
– ask that all may travel in safety, and that no harm nor accident will come upon them.
6. Whether you’re thankful for it or asking God to bless us with it, always make sure to include moisture in your prayers!
7. Finally, make sure you say your closing words slowly, and you’ll come across as even more earnest in your petitions. Here’s a pro tip: to lengthen your closing even further, use “even,” just as before. “We say these things in the name of our Savior, even Jesus Christ, amen.”
Follow these simple steps, Mary, and you’ll sound so spiritual they’ll be begging you to pray in the future!
P.S. Thanksgiving is coming up! Don’t miss the rare opportunity you’ll have to be thankful for “the great bounty” you’ve received! So spiritual!