Tuesday, December 1, 2015

David A. Bednar on the process of daily prayer

Elder David A. Bednar (1952- ) was sustained as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 2004.
"There may be things in our character, in our behavior, or concerning our spiritual growth about which we need to counsel with Heavenly Father in morning prayer. After expressing appropriate thanks for blessings received, we plead for understanding, direction, and help to do the things we cannot do in our own strength alone....
"Such a prayer is a key part of the spiritual preparation for our day.
"During the course of the day, we keep a prayer in our heart for continued assistance and guidance....
"At the end of our day, we kneel again and report back to our Father. We review the events of the day and express heartfelt thanks for the blessings and the help we received. We repent and, with the assistance of the Spirit of the Lord, identify ways we can do and become better tomorrow. Thus our evening prayer builds upon and is a continuation of our morning prayer. And our evening prayer also is a preparation for meaningful morning prayer.
"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."
- David A. Bednar, "Pray Always", Ensign, Nov. 2008, pp. 41-44
Click here to read the full talk

Elder Bednar describes a very effective process for making our relationship with Heavenly Father a more dynamic, influential part of our daily life.

  1. Start the day with morning prayer during which we acknowledge blessings and then "plead for understanding, direction, and help" we will need during the coming day
  2. During the day, keep a prayer in our heart for ongoing guidance and help
  3. At the end of the day, "report back" to Heavenly Father, reviewing the events of the day, expressing appreciation for blessings and help, and looking for ways to improve and do better tomorrow.
This kind of process creates a repetitive, reinforcing process of growth — each prayer leading to the next, each day building on the previous and anticipating the one to come. Elder Bednar describes this process as one of the great keys that lead to "the highest blessings" promised to God's "faithful children."

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