Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin gave a wonderful BYU Devotional ten years ago titled “Improving our Prayers,” in which he gave suggestions about moving away from trite or vain phrases in prayer to a more powerful and enlivening communication with our Heavenly Father. In it he quoted President Gordon B. Hinckley, who said, “The trouble with most of our prayers is that we give them as if we were picking up the telephone and ordering groceries—we place our order and hang up. We need to meditate, contemplate, think of what we are praying about and for and then speak to the Lord as one man speaketh to another.” [Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley (1997), 469.].
Elder David A. Bednar taught that “all of us can improve the consistency and efficacy of our personal and family prayers,” and that one way to do this is to “ask in faith” (David A. Bednar, “Ask in Faith,” April 2008 General Conference).
The principles in both of these talks deserve greater attention in our lives.