Prayer in LDS theology and practice

Prayer in LDS theology and practice

Prayer is one of the central teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as "Mormons," as taught throughout the holy scriptures and by LDS leaders and teachers in General Conferences of the LDS Church, in gospel doctrine and youth classes, in sacrament meetings, and in family home evenings. Prayer practices include daily personal prayer, daily family prayer, prayers of gratitude for food (called "the blessing" before a meal), public prayers at the beginning and end of Church meetings or classes, ordinances that include prayers such as the naming of an infant, baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, priesthood ordinations, and the sacrament of the Lord's supper (communion). The LDS believe that prayer by one who believes in God as the Supreme Being is listened to by God and that God commands that His children pray to Him. They believe prayer can provide inspiration, revelation, healing, wisdom and understanding, hope, charity, discernment, strength to resist temptation, forgiveness from sins, compassion, solace from grief, peace, and ability beyond normal capacity.

Just as the Bible includes many passages that teach the importance of prayer, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price add many insights about the importance of prayer and how to pray in faith to God. The Book of Mormon encourages believers to "cry unto him for mercy; for he is mighty to save... Cry unto him over the crops of your fields, that ye may prosper in them..." and that "your hearts be full, drawn out in prayer unto him continually for your welfare, and also for the welfare of those who are around you." (Alma 34:18-27) Prayer in faith always includes living as we have prayed by serving and helping others, so that our prayer is not in vain or hypocritical. (Alma 34:28) Alma also teaches, "Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good;...let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day." (Alma 37:37)

The LDS belief includes praying to the Heavenly Father and concluding each prayer with "in the name of Jesus Christ". Prayers of Latter-day Saints are not repeated from memorized expressions, and may be fairly short or be many minutes in duration. LDS leaders encourage parents to teach their children to pray daily, morning and night, and to have daily prayer as families. These prayers are not facing toward a certain direction and may be kneeling, sitting or standing.

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