But soon I began to learn that I needed to pay more attention to how I prayed, meaning what I said and how I said it. I always felt the Primary song taught it perfectly:
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.
To hear it, here is a video:
This song gave a basic "formula" of prayer that was the perfect thing for me to hear/learn/sing when I was growing up and learning what to say. I was learning that it was important to put thought into what I was saying. I even submitted a poem about prayer to the Church's magazine for kids (The Friend) and it was published! Can't seem to find it right now online, but it exists. :-)
So, did I ever wonder or doubt if someone was really there and heard what I was saying? Honestly, I don't think I did. My faith in religious things often built its beginnings on others of strong faith. For me, that was my parents and siblings. They believed in Heavenly Father, and they believed He heard and answered their prayers. So I believed. But I still found this Primary song comforting and instructive as well. :-)
And do you hear and answer ev'ry child's prayer?
Some say that heaven is far away,
But I feel it close around me as I pray.
Heavenly Father, I remember now
Something that Jesus told disciples long ago:
"Suffer the children to come to me."
Father, in prayer I'm coming now to thee.
2. Pray, he is there;
Speak, he is list'ning.
You are his child;
His love now surrounds you.
He hears your prayer;
He loves the children.
Of such is the kingdom, the kingdom of heav'n.
Here is a video for that song:
It was a pretty solid foundation for me learning these things in the first decade of my life. I spent the next 2 decades building on that foundation, developing my faith in and relationship with my Father. And because of all these years of talking, confiding, elaborating, pleading, listening, crying, "joying," and laughing with my Father, there is no other relationship as strong as the one I have with Him. Why wouldn't I want to take every opportunity I can get to pray to Him?