Near the end of his writings, Nephi urged his readers to “pray always, and not faint.” He went on to explain:
Ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul.2 Nephi 32:9
Many years later, during His visit to the American continent, the Savior twice urged the people to “watch and pray always” (3 Nephi 18:15, 18–21). He had given the same admonition to His disciples during His mortal ministry. (See Luke 21:36.)
And the Lord gave the same instruction multiple times in modern revelations. For example, in the instruction to organize the church in April 1830, He said, “Let the church take heed and pray always, lest they fall into temptation” (Doctrine and Covenants 20:33).
Elder David A. Bednar suggested a pattern for how prayer can always be active in our lives. He described a morning prayer in which we spiritually create our day by counseling with Heavenly Father in prayer. During the day, “we discern heavenly help and strength and humbly recognize answers to our prayer,” expressing gratitude as blessings are received. And then, in the evening, we report back and review the events of the day. Elder Bednar concluded:
Morning and evening prayers—and all of the prayers in between—are not unrelated, discrete events; rather, they are linked together each day and across days, weeks, months, and even years. This is in part how we fulfill the scriptural admonition to “pray always.”“Pray Always,” General Conference, October 2008
Just a few months ago, President M. Russell Ballard urged us to expand the scope of our prayers:
I invite you to pray always. Pray for your family. Pray for the leaders of nations. Pray for the courageous people who are on the front lines in the current battles against social, environmental, political, and biological plagues that impact all people throughout the world: the rich and the poor, the young and the old.“Watch Ye Therefore, and Pray Always,” General Conference, October 2020
Today, I will “pray always.” I will follow Elder Bednar’s counsel to bookend my day with meaningful morning and evening prayers and then to turn my thoughts frequently to God throughout the day. I will follow President Ballard’s counsel to pray about issues affecting my family, my country, and the entire world.
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