News Story

Toronto Young Adults Define What Prayer Means to Them

What comes to mind when you hear the word “prayer”? That was the question posed to Toronto young adults from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during their Friday-night scripture study class. Responses were immediate, diverse and thoughtful.

This week, being international Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, many Christians are thinking more about how and for what to pray. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe that all are children of God. He loves us and knows our needs, and He wants us to communicate with Him through prayer. As we make a habit of approaching God in prayer, we come to know Him and draw closer to Him. Our desires become more like His, and we are able to secure for ourselves and for others those blessings He is ready to give if we will but ask in faith.

Despite a snowy weather forecast, the Churchville Ontario Ward young adults gathered to further their understanding of personal revelation at their weekly scripture study class. Class ended with an opportunity for each student to write down what prayer means to them.

Robyn Mercanti, a theatre major at York University, wrote “communication.” She explained, “Prayer is completely confiding in God and being open to receiving insights from Him in response.”

Michael Paz thought of family. He said, “Families can be together forever. To me, prayer unites families and brings them closer.”

For Nathan Leonhardt, his first thought was “peace.” “Peace is one of the surest promised blessings from sincere prayer,” he said. “Sometimes things go well. Sometimes they go poorly. Regardless of the hurts and hopes we experience, I believe that prayer can remind us of the bigger picture and give us a sense that somehow everything one day will be OK.”

Samantha Beltran also chose “peace.” She quoted Isaiah 49:16 to explain her choice, “‘Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.’ God loves us and understands us completely.”

Lorena Ibanez, who recently returned from missionary service in Japan, responded in Japanese, “Inori wa kanshya desu” (“Prayer is thanks”).

For Tarek Ruiz, prayer is about developing his relationship with God.

Dian and Wes Olsen, who direct the scripture study discussions, answered with “personal revelation.” “In following the prophet’s counsel to be prepared to receive personal revelation, we prayerfully study the teachings and revelations of the living prophets with faith that we will receive divine guidance according to God’s plan for us.”

Danny McMullen, the regional Church Educational System co-ordinator, prays to be more like Jesus Christ, more patient and kind. He said, “As we give increased focus to our prayers, let’s remember to pray for others — especially the many impacted worldwide as a result of recent tragedies. They could use our prayers, so they, too, can be blessed with God’s comfort, peace, healing and direction — something these young people know about firsthand.”

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