We Mormons hold a “General Conference” every six months. Many church members come to Salt Lake City from around the world to hear inspiring talks by Church leaders. Most church members watch the proceedings of the Conference on TV, by satellite in distant countries, or on the Internet.
In the last General Conference, which occurred one week ago, Elder Richard G. Scott spoke about prayer, mentioning President Hinckley’s prayer at the conclusion of the October 2001 General Conference as an example of effective and sincere prayer.
I have learned much about prayer by listening to President Hinckley offer supplications in our meetings. You can also learn from him by carefully studying the exceptional public prayer he offered at the conclusion of the October 2001 conference for Father’s children throughout the world. He prayed from his heart, not from a prepared manuscript.
Study that prayer, and you will find that there are no vain repetitions, no posturing to impress others, as sometimes occurs. He combines simple words eloquently. He prays as a humble, trusting son who knows well his beloved Father in Heaven. He confides in the certainty that His answer will come when most needed. Each prayer is tailored to its purpose, with a clear statement of what needs resolution, as well as ample expression of gratitude for specific, recognized blessings. His spontaneous prayers are like crafted gems, a silent witness to the fundamental place prayer has occupied in his life for many, many years. (Elder Richard G. Scott, “Using the Supernal Gift of Prayer”)
Here is the text of the prayer to which Elder Scott referred. This was one month after the September 11th attack.
O God, our Eternal Father, Thou great Judge of the Nations, Thou who art the governor of the universe, Thou who art our Father and our God, whose children we are, we look to Thee in faith in this dark and solemn time. Please, dear Father, bless us with faith. Bless us with love. Bless us with charity in our hearts. Bless us with a spirit of perseverance to root out the terrible evils that are in this world. Give protection and guidance to those who are engaged actively in carrying forth the things of battle. Bless them; preserve their lives; save them from harm and evil. Hear the prayers of their loved ones for their safety. We pray for the great democracies of the earth which Thou hast overseen in creating their governments, where peace and liberty and democratic processes obtain.
O Father, look with mercy upon this, our own nation, and its friends in this time of need. Spare us and help us to walk with faith ever in Thee and ever in Thy Beloved Son, on whose mercy we count and to whom we look as our Savior and our Lord. Bless the cause of peace and bring it quickly to us again, we humbly plead with Thee, asking that Thou wilt forgive our arrogance, pass by our sins, be kind and gracious to us, and cause our hearts to turn with love toward Thee. We humbly pray in the name of Him who loves us all, even the Lord Jesus Christ, our Redeemer and our Savior, amen. (President Gordon B. Hinckley, “Till We Meet Again”)