Comments and Scriptures on Prayer

It is a commandment to pray

It is a commandment to pray and to fast, D&C 88:76. In the true Church of God the members fast and pray oft, Helaman 3:35. Christ teaches that we should pray always, Luke 18:1, D&C 88:126, D&C 101:81. We are to call upon God daily, Mosiah 4:11. In Psalms we learn we are to pray evening, and morning, and at noon, Psalm 55:16-17. "Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings," Alma 37:37. We are to repent and call upon God in the name of the Son, Moses 5:8. If we pray and obey the commandments and are contrite we are accepted of the Lord, D&C 52:15. We are to continue in prayer, Colossians 4:2. We are to "pray without ceasing," 1 Thessalonians 5:17 and Alma 34:27. "watch unto prayer," Peter 4:7. We are to pray everywhere, 1 Timothy 2:8. We are to let our requests be know unto God, Philippians 4:6. Prayers are pleasing unto the Lord, D&C 88:2, and what pleases the Lord should be a commandment to us.

When the apostles choose the seven to help out, one of the reasons was so that the apostles would have more time for prayer, Acts 6:4. They then prayed and laid there hands on them, Acts 6:6. It was similar when Barnabas and Saul (Paul) were called to the ministry, Acts 13:2-3.

Samuel blessed the sacrifice before the people eat, 1 Samuel 9:13. Jesus blessed the loaves and fishes before the people eat, Matthew 15:36-37. When Paul was on the ship about to be shipwrecked he had the people eat. Before they eat he blessed the food, Acts 27:35-36.

Not offering prays is a serious offense, D&C 68:28. The bother of Jared was chastened by the Lord because he didn't call upon the Lord, Ether 2:14-15. The spirit teacheth a man to pray, the evil spirit teacheth a man he must not pray, 2 Nephi 32:8.

Daniel still prayed unto the Lord even though he knew he might be cast into the lions den because he knew of the importance of prayer, Daniel 6:10. In a similar situation Almas people still prayed, but they did it in their hearts so they wouldn't be punished by the Laminites, Alma 24:10.

We need to pray together as a family, 3 Nephi 18:21. We need to teach our children to pray, D&C 68:28.

Many places in the scriptures we hear about men calling upon the name of the Lord. Abraham built an altar and called upon the Lord, Genesis 12:8. Also see, Genesis 4:26, Genesis 13:4, Genesis 21:33, Moses 5:4, and Moses 6:4. The Lord tells us in the Doctrine and Covenants those who "have sought me early shall find rest to their souls," D&C 54:10.

One of the things we need to do to be saved is pray, Omni 1:26. In Romans 12:10-15 Paul lists some of the things that saints should do. One of them is pray. Actually most of the chapter is on things that saints should do.

We must not perform any thing unto the Lord without praying first, 2 Nephi 32:9.

Jesus Showed the Example of Prayer

Jesus was in constant communication with His Father as He conducted his ministry. Jesus set time apart so that he would have time for prayer, Matthew 14:23 and Mark 6:46. Jesus went off by Himself to pray, Mark 1:35 and Matthew 14:23. In the garden of Gethsemane Christ prayed that this cup might pass from Him, Matthew 26:39 also verse 42, Mark 14:35 and Luke 22:41. We are to follow Christ's example in pray, 3 Nephi 18:16.

After seeing Christ pray, one of his disciples asked Him to teach them how to pray, Luke 11:1. The Lord does this by setting the pattern for prayer in the Lord's prayer, Matthew 6:9-15. See also Luke 11:2-4. The version in the Book of Mormon is very similar, 3 Nephi 13:9-13

On the mount of transfiguration after Christ started praying He was transfigured before Peter, James and John, Luke 9:29.

Jesus prayed for the little children and blessed them, Matthew 19:13-15 In John 17, Jesus offers and intercessory pray for his apostles and the others believers. See in particular verses 9, 15, 16 and 20. In the Americas, Jesus prayed for His disciples and those who would believe on them, 3 Nephi 19:28-29. Jesus prays unto the Father for the people words that are too great and marvelous to write, 3 Nephi 17:14-17.

Prayer builds spiritual strength

When Alma meets the sons of Mosiah he finds they have become mighty in the Lord. Part of the reason is because "they have given themselves to much prayer," Alma 17:3. Part of the spiritual preparation that the prophetess Anna made so that she recognized the Christ Child was to fast and pray, Luke 2:36-37.

We need to pray unto the Father to be filled with charity, Moroni 7:48, and perfect love leads to prayer Moroni 8:26.

The Spirit is given by the prayer of faith, D&C 42:14. We need to pray always that we can have the Spirit, D&C 19:38.

We need to "watch and pray continually, that ye may not be tempted above that which ye can bear, Alma 13:28. Praying to overcome the temptations of the devil is also mentioned in the modern scriptures, 3 Nephi 18:15 and D&C 31:12. Prayer helps us understand the scriptures and teaching of the phrophets, 1 Nephi 15:3

Prayer protects us from harm and evil

"Pray always, that you may come off conqueror," D&C 10:5. When Satan appeared to Moses he called on the Lord to receive strength to command Satan to leave, Moses 1:20. This was very similar to Joseph Smith's first vision experience, Joseph Smith History 1:15-16.

As Paul finishes up talking about the Armor of God ( Ephesians 6:13-17) he tells us that we need to pray always, Ephesians 6:18.

At midnight Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises to God in the prison and the doors were opened and their bands were loosed, Acts 16:25-26.

The prayers of the righteous keep the people from being destroyed, Alma 10:22-23.

Jesus tells Peter that Satan hath desired to have him, but He has prayed for him that his faith fail not, Luke 22:31-32.

We are to pray so that we can be worthy to escape the bad things that are to come, Luke 21:36.

In the garden the disciples where told to pray that they enter not into temptation, Matthew 26:41, Luke 22:40, 46. Praying to overcome the temptations of the devil is also mentioned in modern scriptures, 3 Nephi 18:15 and D&C 31:12.

The Lord Answers Prayers

The beginning of the restoration was when Joseph Smith went into the woods to pray, Joseph Smith History 1:13. The scripture that Joseph Smith read that made him realize that he could get an answer directly from God and not have to rely on the wisdom of man was James 1:5-7. Similar wording is also present in modern scripture, D&C 42:68 and D&C 46:7. Moroni didn't appeared to Joseph until after his "prayer and supplication to Almighty God," verses 29-30.

Nephi gets answers to his prayers on how to build the ship, 1 Nephi 18:3. Later on a different Nephi is told that anything he asks the Father will be given him because the Lord knows that he will not ask amiss, Helaman 10:4-5.

Many people have been healed through prayer. When Hezekiah is sick unto death, Isaiah tells him that he will die. Hezekiah pleads with the Lord and is healed, 2 Kings 20:1-5. Verses 1-4 tells the story and the Lord's answer through Isaiah in verse 5. The same story is also told in Isaiah 38:1-6. James talks about anointing the sick with oil, James 5:14-15. A man has a son who is a lunatic. He brings him to Jesus' disciples to heal him, but they aren't able to do it. Later they ask Jesus why they weren't able to heal the boy. They were told that they didn't have enough faith, but if they would have prayed and fasted they would have had sufficient faith to heal him, Matthew 17:21 and Mark 9:29. A healing takes place in this story, but the point being taught is that pray and fasting increases faith. When Peter brought Tabitha back to life he first knelt in prayer, Acts 9:39-40.

The Children of Israel complained against the Lord and he sent fiery serpent to bite them. The people came to Moses and asked him to pray unto the Lord for them. The Lord told Moses to make a serpent of brass and put it on a pole and if the people looked on it they would be saved, Numbers 21:7-9. It was only after Christ came and was lifted up on the cross that the significance of this sign was known.

Examples in the scriptures where people went and inquired of the Lord and received answers are: Rebekah wondered what was happening with her twins, Genesis 25:22. Hannah prayed to the Lord to receive a son, 1 Samuel 1:12-17 and 1 Samuel 1:26-27. When Saul was called to be king he hid himself so they inquired of the Lord to find him, 1 Samuel 10:21-22. When Jonah was inside the fish he prayed unto the Lord for deliverance, Jonah 2:1-10. The king of Assyria besieges Jerusalem. King Hezekiah prays to the Lord for help and the Lord answers through his prophet Isaiah, 2 Kings 19:14-20. When Nephi's bow was broken and he made a new one of wood, he had his father inquire of Lord where to go to find food, 1 Nephi 16:23-24. This story also demonstrates that we need to do our part and not expect the Lord to do it all for us. When the people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi were being destroyed by the Lamanites, Ammon tells the king that they should go to the Nephites for protection. The king won't agree to go until Ammon has inquired of the Lord, Alma 27:7-8.

The Lord answered the prayers of Moses, Aaron, and Samuel, Psalm 99:6-7.

Daniel prays to the Lord for his sins and the sins of the people and the angel Gabriel appears to him and gives him instruction, Daniel 9:3-6 and Daniel 9:20-22.

After Solomon had the temple built he offered a pray to dedicate it, 1 Kings 8:22.

Samuel prayed for the Children of Israel and the Lord heard his pray and helped them 1 Samuel 7:5-9. The people ask Samuel to pray to the Lord for them because of their sins, 1 Samuel 12:19-20. Ezra prays unto the Lord for the people, Ezra 9:5-6. The pray doesn't end at verse 6, but goes on for the rest of the chapter.

The Lord hears our prayers and will answer them in his own due time, D&C 98:2-3.

If the Lord's people will pray and seek the Lord they will be blessed, 2 Chronicles 7:14-15. If we are humble the Lord will guide us and answer our prayers, D&C 112:10.

The Lord answered Enos because of his faith, Enos 1:11-12. The Lord "heareth the prayer of the righteous," Proverbs 15:29. The Lord reassures us that even as a father will respond to his child who asks him, the Lord will respond to our prayers to Him, Matthew 7:9-11, Mark 11:11-13, and 3 Nephi 14:9-11. In numerous places in scriptures it says "Ask, and it shall be given you...", Matthew 7:7-8, 3 Nephi 14:7-8, D&C 4:7, D&C 6:5, and D&C 66:9.

In times of trouble the Lord's people turn unto the Lord, 2 Chronicles 15:4. "whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered," Joel 2:32. If we seek the Lord he will be found, Jeremiah 29:12-14.

Jesus tells His diciples that "whatsoever ye shall ask in my name," it will be given you, John 14:13-14, John 15:7, John 15:16, John 16:23 and in modern times, D&C 88:64-65.

If we ask in faith we can receive answers, 1 Nephi 15:11, Alma 22:16, and D&C 18:18.

When Nephi's brothers couldn't understand their father's dream he asks them if they had inquired of the Lord, 1 Nephi 15:7-8.

One of the reasons that the angel appeared to Alma the younger was because of the faith and prayers of his father, Mosiah 27:14.

Alma knows of the truthfulness of the things of God because he has fasted and prayed and the Lord has revealed them to him by the power of His Holy Spirit, Alma 5:45.

The entire book of Enos is about prayer and getting answers to our prayers, Enos 1:4.

The prophet Zenos teaches about the Lord giving answers to prayers, Alma 33:4-11

This is promise that we can find the truth of the Book of Mormon and and all things through prayer, Moroni 10:3-5.

Oliver Cowdery is told that if he "wilt inquire, thou shalt know mysteries," D&C 6:11.

Whatsoever ye ask in faith ye will receive, D&C 29:6.

This is the end of Nephi's soliloquy where he reaffirms that if he asks not amiss the Lord will answer his prayers, 2 Nephi 4:35.

We know the Lord hears our petitions, 1 John 5:15.

The "prayer of a righteous man availeth much," James 5:16. The Lord's ears are open to the prayer of the righteous, Peter 3:12. The Lord answers the prayers of those who are righteous, 1 John 3:22.

When the Lord spoke to Elijah in the cave, it wasn't with the voice of an earthquake, etc, but with a still small voice, 1 Kings 19:11-12. The voice that Enos heard was in his mind not a voice that his ears heard, Enos 1:10.

The Lord answered Oliver Cowdery's pray by speaking peace to his mind, D&C 6:22-23. "I will tell you in your mind and in your heart," D&C 8:2-3.

Solomon prays that the Lord will answer the people's prayers when they are in trouble in war, 1 Kings 8:44-45 and when they are carried away into captivity, 1 Kings 8:48-50.

How Should We Pray

One of the best scriptures on prayer is where Amulek is teaching the Zoramites to pray over their flocks, fields, etc. He also tells them to have a prayer in their hearts continually, Alma 34:17-28. Our prayer will be in vain if we don't help the needy, Alma 34:28. We are to pray vocally and in secrete, private and in public, D&C 19:28 and D&C 23:6.

If we are happy or sad we need to pray D&C 136:28. We need to pray always, and whatsoever we ask that is right will be given us, 3 Nephi 18:18-21 and Moroni 7:26.

The parable about the two men, a pharisee and a publican, going to the temple to pray, Luke 18:10-14, shows that Jesus and the people that he was teaching assumed that prayer was important. However, the point was that we pray to God and not to show our own righteousness. Jesus refers to the pharisee as praying with himself instead of to God. Also in the scriptures it tells us not to pray to be seen of men, Matthew 6:5-6 and Alma 38:13.

We can't expect an answer to prayers unless we repent, Isaiah 1:15. Forgiving others is part of the preparations for prayer, Mark 11:25. We should pray for our enemies, Matthew 5:44, Luke 6:28, and 3 Nephi 12:44.

Over time the posture of pray has changed, but the fundamental principle of communicating with God hasn't. The Children of Israel stood to pray with hands spread to heaven, 1 Samuel 1:26 and Luke 18:10. I think the Jews still stand to pray. Although they didn't always stand to pray, 1 Kings 8:54 and Nehemiah 8:6. Christ knelt down to pray in the garden, Luke 22:41. That is probably why Christians knelt to pray. As Stephen was being stoned he knelt down and prayed, Acts 7:59.

When Alma's people are in bondage to the Lamanites they cry unto the Lord. When they are commanded to stop they pray in their hearts and the Lord can still hear their prayers, Mosiah 24:10.

The Spirit lets us know what to ask for, D&C 46:30 and D&C 50:29-30. When Jesus' Nephite disciples were praying unto Him it was given them what they should pray, 3 Nephi 19:24. If we are not in tune with the Spirit we can ask for the wrong things. In James 4:3 it says you "receive not, because ye ask amiss," Oliver Cowdery is told to ask in faith, but to be careful to not ask for that which you ought not, D&C 8:9-10.

If we ask in faith the Lord will answer our prayers, Matthew 21:22 and Mark 11:24.

If a pray isn't given with real intent it is of no value, Moroni 7:6.

Hartin Harris wanted to see the gold plates, but he wasn't given that opportunity until he humbled "himself in mighty prayer," D&C 5:24.

Prayers don't need to be long and flowery, Matthew 6:7-8 and 3 Nephi 13:5.

Romans 8:26 This scripture is sort of hard for me to understand, but I think it is telling me that sometimes we don't know what we should pray for but the Spirit conveys the emotions we can't express.

We are to give thanks to God, Colossians 3:17. This scripture also shows that Christ is the mediator of our prayers. We should pray for kings and those in authority that me might have peace, 1 Timothy 2:1-3.

This is the scripture where Oliver Cowdery learns that it isn't enough just to ask God -- We need to do our part, D&C 9:7-8.

The Temple is a House of Prayer

The Lord's temple is to be a house of prayer, Isaiah 56:7, Matthew 21:13, Mark 11:17, and Luke 19:46. The Saints were to establish a temple in the latter days as a house of prayer, D&C 88:119 and D&C 109:8. The Lord calls his house a "house of prayer," D&C 59:9. In this case He is probably referring to where we hold our Sunday meetings. This is interesting because we usually only think of the temple as being a "house of prayer" but we certainly should make our Church houses of pray also.

In ancient days the people prayed toward the temple, 1 Kings 8:44-45, 1 Kings 8:48-50 and Daniel 6:10. When Jonah prayed to the Lord out of the fish's belly he turned towards the temple, Jonah 2:4.

Other Scriptures on Pray

As the Lord's prophet Samuel feels it would be a sin for him not to pray for the people, 1 Samuel 12:23. A prophets communicates with the Lord through prayer, Genesis 20:7 and Genesis 32:11.

The "song of the righteous is a prayer unto me," D&C 25:12.

The burning of incense symbolizes prayers being sent up to God, Psalm 141:2. In Revelations it talks of vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. Revelation 5:8.

Praying in tongues isn't as profitable as praying so that we can be understood, 1 Corinthians 14:14.

When Solomon prayed, he knelt before the Lord with his arms spread up toward heaven, 1 Kings 8:54.

Paul teaches that women should cover their hair when they pray, 1 Corinthians 11:13-15.