Mormonism and culture/Praising God in prayer and song
This page is based on an answer to a question submitted to the FAIR web site, or a frequently asked question.
Do the Latter-day Saints use praise of God as part of their prayers and songs in worship?
Praise in Prayer
Praise, and the language of praise, is integrated into the worship of Latter-day Saints in both prayer and song. The most common "recipe" that is given children in teaching them to pray in our church consists of 4 parts:
- Open by addressing Heavenly Father.
- Give thanks for the blessings He has given you.
- Ask for the things that you need.
- Close in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen
1. I kneel to pray ev’ry day.
I speak to Heav’nly Father.
He hears and answers me
When I pray in faith.
2. I begin by saying “Dear Heavenly Father”;
I thank him for blessings he sends;
Then humbly I ask him for things that I need,
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Two areas here often are used for praise in the Church, with a third being used on occasion.
A great deal of praise is often attached to the addressing of Heavenly Father. Such praise will often describe traits of God that we wish to praise. Common words of praise are: kind, merciful, exalted, gracious, and many Latter-day Saints include the phrase from the Lord's prayer "Hallowed be Thy Name." This can be taken to excess, and when that happens it can seem to be "praying for to be seen of men." Thus it is more common in the Church not to prolong this aspect during public prayers (private prayers are another matter) but if one examines temple dedicatory prayers, more lengthy examples are available.
The second area where praise very commonly enters prayer, is when the one praying is giving thanks for blessings. This occurs more in personal prayer than it does in public prayer, but gratitude is a form of praise, and when pondering blessings it is good for a Latter-day Saint to allow the Spirit to move them to praise. But even in public prayer, praise can be manifest in this section of the prayer as God's many blessings are enumerated.
Occasionally praise can enter during the requesting part of prayer as we proclaim the mercies of the God we are requesting a boon from.
In any case, praise is an important part of prayer as a way to draw closer to God. Latter-day Saints in public are, perhaps, a bit less exuberant or extroverted about it than some other Christians. But we are no less grateful to God.
Praise in Music
We have a great deal of praise music in the Church. If you look in the back of a hymnal you will find a topical guide and in there you will find a listing for praise. Here in the Church online Library you can find a list of songs from that list from our Hymnal: Songs of Praise.
Songs of Gratitude can also be considered songs of praise and you will find many of the same songs under that topic in the Hymnal: Songs of Gratitude.
- [note] Janice Kapp Perry, Song #14, "I Pray In Faith," Children's Songbook (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). off-site