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Tips for living: How to connect with heaven through prayer

By Stephanie Abney

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, May 29 2014 5:00 a.m. MDT

David A. Christensen says prayer has always been a natural part of his daily life. He draws on that in his recently published book "Power in Prayer: 31 Teachings to Strengthen Our Connection with Heaven" (Cedar Fort, $10.99).

An active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Christensen believes in the power of prayer. His 132-page book has 31 key messages highlighting different aspects of prayer. Each includes quotes from general authorities of the LDS Church, personal experiences, prayer self-examination questions, suggested scriptures and a parting thought by the author.

He shares four main principles for creating a strong prayer life:

1. Connection with heaven takes work. Christensen shares how the Bible Dictionary states that prayer is a form of work and a way to receive blessings, and that blessings require work and effort in order to obtain them.

2. Spiritual life is no greater than the quality of one’s prayer life. A person’s spiritual life is largely determined by the quality of their prayer life. Christensen suggests that the quantity of prayers each day also impacts one’s connection to heaven.

3. The quantity of informal prayer is an effective indicator of prayer life. Many people find themselves uttering quick, informal prayers throughout the day as the need arises. Christensen references Alma 37:36–37 which states that all one’s doings and thoughts throughout the day should be directed unto the Lord. He finds that combining numerous silent informal prayers with two or three formal daily prayers helps one stay connected to Heavenly Father.

4. Prayer is the first to go. This principle is almost a warning. When a person's spiritual life begins to wane, prayer seems to be neglected. Hence, Christensen hopes readers will peruse one of his 31 messages each day to prevent this.

The nice thing about prayer, writes Christensen, who is an adjunct professor at Brigham Young University-Idaho, is that no appointment is needed.

Christensen is also the author of "Questions of the Soul: Answers from the Book of Mormon."

Stephanie Abney, eternal optimist, retired school teacher and freelance writer, lives in Mesa, Arizona, with her husband, Jim. They have five children and 18 grandchildren. She blogs at stephaniesaysso.blogspot.com. Email: sabneyfeedback@cox.net

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