“The Power of Prayer, Not Just the Routine of Prayer”

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How can you feel centered, refreshed,  and excited for the day ahead of you? How can you know exactly what is essential and important to accomplish in the next 12 hours and feel peaceful and content throughout that day, no matter what is going on in the outside world of calamity and chaos? It is the 10, 15, or 20 minutes you can carve out at the beginning of your morning to prepare yourself for the day. I covered  why,  here.

This spiritual blueprint at the beginning of each day is a muscle that you can practice developing. You keep your phone in another room so you won’t be distracted.  You find a quiet place, you go to bed early so that you can wake up early, or you use your child’s nap time to gather yourself and your thoughts. When you understand how essential it is, you will make it happen every day.

First, start with personal prayer. How can you remember to have a personal morning prayer before you get sucked into the vortex of your day?

In The Power of Habit which I wrote about here, you must have a “cue” to remind your brain what habit you want to develop. On a girls trip with a group of women, my friend immediately knelt after she got out of bed and started saying her prayers. It was inspiring to see her do that. Her “cue” was to kneel down, first thing, before leaving her bedside. My cue for my morning prayer is, before I look at my phone in the morning, I want to have a kneeling prayer in a quiet place and connect with Heavenly Father and His Son. I review the day before, marking the tender mercies I have enjoyed. I go over the coming day and ask for strength, protection and help in what ever I am doing. I ask for help in knowing who I can help that day.  Elder Bednar said,

“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.”1

In St.George, Utah is a statue of Sarah Sturtevant Leavitt who settled in that area and is being honored by her descendants with a  statue of herself  and writings from her journal.

On  leavittfamily.org,  it says:

“Our forebears, Jeremiah II and Sarah Sturtevant Leavitt, had a large family.   During the 13 years it took to move from Hatley, Quebec, Canada to the Salt Lake Valley, several of their family members died, including their father, Jeremiah II.   Sarah, his wife, continued the journey with her family, and through much travail and sacrifice eventually settled and colonized the Santa Clara River area.”

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I love what she says about prayer:


After reading this quote a few years ago, I was reminded to ask for specific things, for my children, for my own weaknesses, for anything I needed help with. Asking for specific help with something can really show you God’s power in your life.

General Sunday School President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Tad Callister,  talks about his mother’s influence on praying for specific things:

One of the most meaningful things we can do as parents is teach our children the power of prayer, not just the routine of prayer. When I was about 17 years of age, I was kneeling by my bed, saying my evening prayers. Unbeknown to me, my mother was standing in the doorway. When I finished, she said, “Tad, are you asking the Lord to help you find a good wife?”’

Her question caught me totally off guard. That was the furthest thing from my mind. I was thinking about basketball and school. And so, I replied, “No,” to which she responded, “Well, you should, Son; it will be the most important decision you will ever make.” Those words sunk deep into my heart, and so for the next six years, I prayed that God would help me find a good wife. And, oh, how He answered that prayer.’

As parents, we can teach our children to pray for things of eternal consequence—to pray for the strength to be morally clean in a very challenging world, to be obedient, and to have the courage to stand for the right.”2

How has prayer helped you start your day? I will be posting more on developing our spiritual blueprint of the day next.


1. https://www.lds.org/study/ensign/2008/11/pray-always?lang=eng

2. https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2014/10/parents-the-prime-gospel-teachers-of-their-children?lang=eng

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