As we engage in making our prayers more meaningful, we need to understand how they work and what the purpose of regular prayer is.
Elder David A. Bednar gave a great explanation of this in a talk given in the October 2008 General Conference called ‘Pray Always’. D&C 10:5 reads “Pray always, that you may come off conqueror; yea, that you may conquer Satan…” but how do we exactly always pray? How will this constant prayer help?
To address why it’s important to offer morning and evening prayers, Elder Bednar said:
“The patterns used by God in creating the earth are instructive in helping us understand how to make prayer meaningful. In the third chapter of the book of Moses we learn that all things were created spiritually before they were naturally upon the earth.
“And now, behold, I say unto you, that these are the generations of the heaven and of the earth, when they were created, in the day that I, the Lord God, made the heaven and the earth,
And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew. For I, the Lord God, created all things, of which I have spoken, spiritually, before they were naturally upon the face of the earth” (Moses 3:4–5).
We learn from these verses that the spiritual creation preceded the temporal creation. In a similar way, meaningful morning prayer is an important element in the spiritual creation of each day—and precedes the temporal creation or the actual execution of the day. Just as the temporal creation was linked to and a continuation of the spiritual creation, so meaningful morning and evening prayers are linked to and are a continuation of each other.”
As we have these morning and evening prayers to plan, create and account for our days, we will naturally over the course of time find it becomes a habit. We will then remember to spiritually ‘create’ our day and to account to the Lord what we’ve done with the time we’ve been allotted by Him. This can also help us realise the heavenly help we are receiving every day. As such, we will find ourselves praying always.
Elder Bednar continued “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” (Luke 21:36; 3 Nephi 18:15, 18; D&C 31:12). Such meaningful prayers are instrumental in obtaining the highest blessings God holds in store for His faithful children.” If we do want to become more like our Heavenly Father, we need to have His divine support and strength to do so. The importance of daily, fervent prayer in receiving this help is vital. Without it, we will struggle to overcome the effects of Satan and therefore, we will struggle to have the influence of the Spirit in our life guiding us back to Him.