Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mormon Prayer

How do Mormons pray?  What gods do they pray to?  What kind of crazy wild stuff do they pray about?

jesus, gethsemane, praying, atonement

Well, I have more information than you'll ever read.  This link is to a lesson taught on Sunday (this lesson would be taught about once every three years) to the young men ages 12-18 in church.  The Sunday meeting for Mormons is three hours long, consisting of a Sacrament Meeting, a Sunday School with many classes, and an Auxiliary meeting where Adult Men, Adult Women, Young Men, Young Women, etc. meet separately.  The linked lesson takes place in the third hour and is for the Young Men.  While I highly recommend looking over the lesson for Mormon beliefs on prayer, it isn't targeted to people that know nothing of how Mormons pray.

So Mormons pray in a fairly simple pattern.  First, we address God the father.  For us, he is physically separate from Jesus Christ.  While they are one in purpose, they are different beings.  In John 17:22 (we use the King James version of the Bible) Christ is praying to God the father, that his followers be one, even as he and God the father are one.  Mormons believe that Heavenly Father (God the Father) and Jesus Christ are one in purpose, vision, action, but not one in substance.  Christ wants his followers to be one.  Not physically or metaphysically or mysteriously, but one in purpose, vision, action, etc.  Ok soap box over.  We usually say dear heavenly father, dear kind father in heaven, or something like that, always directing the prayer to God the Father.  Not Jesus Christ.  Not Apostles, Prophets, Saints, the Holy Ghost, Mary, Peter, or anyone else.  We pray to God the Father.

Testimony Postcard Moronis' Prayer Love

Second step usually involves giving thanks.  We believe all that we have comes from God.  And all that you have.  And all that anyone has.  :)  We thank him.  Not because he needs it.  We thank him, first of all because he said to.  In Alma 34:38 (In the Book of Mormon) it says "live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon (us)"  We also thank him to help us remember all the things he has done for us.  When remembering what he has done for us, it is that much harder to make bad choices that will bring sorrow and a need for repentance.

Then we ask him for things that we need.  I cut and pasted the following paragraph and scripture: Seek Heavenly Father's guidance and strength in all we do. Alma counseled his son Helaman: “Cry unto God for all thy support; yea, let all thy doings be unto the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest let it be in the Lord; yea, let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever. Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning 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 37:36-37; see also Alma 34:17-26).  So we do ask God for things in prayer.

The last step in Mormon prayers is closing in the name of Jesus Christ.  This is found in John 16:23-26.  We usually say "In the name of Jesus Christ, amen."  I know in other church's, it's "In Jesus' name, amen" and, well, I don't think it makes much of a difference.  The important thing is that people are following Jesus Christ, and putting their hope for salvation in him.  

Jesus Prayer

Wahoo!  Found another really good page on prayer the Mormon way. Kindof a topical guide on prayer.   

mormon prayer

We don't do rote prayers in the Mormon church.  With few exceptions (like ordinances), each prayer should reflect the thoughts and feelings of the individual giving it at that moment, as opposed to what another person has come up with.  We believe that Heavenly Father answers prayers, so we try to pray sincerely, and we look for answers to prayer during prayer, after prayer, and in our daily lives.

Lord's Prayer

Even the "unbiased" articles about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS(Mormon)) church tend to talk about two or three negative themes pretty consistently (polygamy, racism, $), and tend to hit on positive themes (welfare, education, growth) in regards to non theological areas, if at all.  I want to talk about beliefs and practices concerning God.  Sometimes people get the idea that Mormons are very different from other Christians because only the areas of difference are noted, such as non biblical scripture and modern prophets and apostles.  Very good LDS info can be found at  This is the church's own website designed for those that are interested in learning more about Mormons.

a prayer for times like these 7 Thoughts on Prayer

I apologize for how boring the article may have been.  There's nothing too spicy and different about the way that Mormons pray.

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