How often do Mormons pray?

Prayer is an essential part of the Mormon faith. Mormons believe in personal prayer as well as praying together in groups and families. There are some guidelines for how often Mormons should pray, but the frequency and forms can vary between individuals. This article will explore how often Mormons pray in different contexts and examine the theology behind the emphasis on prayer in the Mormon tradition.

Personal Prayer

Mormons are encouraged to pray personally every day, both morning and night. Personal prayer usually takes place during a quiet moment of reflection in the morning after waking up and before going to sleep in the evening. These personal prayers allow Mormons to give thanks, ask for blessings, and seek divine guidance.

Some common features of Mormon personal prayer include:

  • Praying vocally, although silent prayer is also practiced
  • Beginning addresses to “Heavenly Father”
  • Giving thanks and acknowledging blessings first before making requests
  • Closing “in the name of Jesus Christ, amen”

In addition to morning and evening, Mormons may offer personal supplications and quick prayers throughout the day. There are no strict rules for how long or what format personal prayers must take – this is left to individual discretion and needs. The emphasis is on having a personal connection with God.

Family Prayer

In addition to private prayer, prayer with the family is also very important in Mormon homes. Mormons believe the home is sacred space and that praying together as a family invokes greater blessings and protection. Families are counselled to pray together morning and night if possible.

The typical format of Mormon family prayer is similar to personal prayer but with a family member voicing the prayer for the whole group. Family members may take turns being the one to offer the vocal prayer. Others present can conclude the prayer by saying “amen.” Family prayer allows teaching children the habit of regular prayer. It also provides a chance to pray for shared concerns and desires.

Mealtime Prayer

Mormons usually offer a prayer before any meal, even snacks or beverages. This allows showing gratitude for God’s provision. The person saying mealtime prayer will address God, thank Him for the food, and close in the name of Christ. Mormon families make mealtimes and saying blessing prayers on the food a regular habit from an early age. Having a brief prayer before eating reminds them that all sustenance comes from God.

Prayers at Church Meetings

Prayer is incorporated into every Mormon church service and activity. Mormons gather for three hours each Sunday for worship services called sacrament meeting. These meetings open and close with congregational prayers led by members. Prayers will thank God, ask for the spirit to be present, and bless the proceedings.

Throughout the service there are also prayers to bless the sacramental bread and water. Mormons partake of this weekly to renew their covenants with God. Every ward class or activity begins and ends with prayer as well. Having prayer during church services demonstrates the dependence on God when Mormons come together in His name.

Temple Worship Prayers

Mormon temples are considered houses of the Lord where the highest sacraments of the faith occur. When Mormons attend a temple session, there are frequent communal prayers. Participants pray together when entering the temple, at various intervals during the sessions, and when departing the temple.

Temple prayer circles involve patrons joining hands around stone altars while a chosen member voices the prayer. Miles-long prayer rolls containing the names of deceased persons are placed on the altar and prayed over during these temple circles. Mormons believe their temple prayers provide critical support to those who have passed on.

Fasting and Prayer

Mormons are encouraged to combine fasting with prayer once per month on Fast Sunday. They go without food or drink for two consecutive meals. This period is accompanied by increased and intense prayer. Mormons believe fasting demonstrates sacrifice and makes their prayers more powerful.

Fast Sunday takes place during the monthly day-long Sunday meeting block at chapels. Testimony meetings where Mormons share their belief through personal stories replace normal Sunday School hours. Many testify of receiving answers to fasting prayer and special spiritual insights.

Prayer for the Sick and Afflicted

One of the purposes of prayer in the Mormon faith is requesting divine blessings for the sick. When someone is ill, Mormons will often gather several priesthood holders to come lay their hands on the person’s head and pray for healing. These blessing of health rituals call down God’s restorative powers based on faith.

Mormons also believe strongly in the power of prayer when people are mentally or emotionally afflicted. Ward members assemble to offer prayers of comfort, counsel, and intervention for individuals struggling with issues like depression, addiction, or crisis. These impromptu gathering sessions rely heavily on petitions to God for an outpouring of the Spirit.

Prayer in Leadership Callings

Mormons believe prayer is vital when extending leadership callings within the Church. Local bishops and other leaders pray for divine inspiration when discerning which members to ask to fill positions in their ward. When members are approached about a potential calling, they in turn pray for confirmation that accepting would be God’s will.

Leaders pray when setting apart individuals in their new callings. These setting apart prayers dedicate the person to serve faithfully and invoke God’s help in fulfilling their duties. Leaders pray regularly for God’s guidance in watching over their congregations and direct their actions through continued prayer.

The Theology Behind Mormon Prayer

There are several foundational Mormon doctrines that explain the significance of prayer and its frequent usage. These theological principles can illuminate why prayer becomes such an integral part of the Mormon lifestyle at all levels.

Prayer is Direct Communication with God

Mormons believe God hears and answers prayers. Prayer offers the opportunity to have a real, two-way conversation with the Divine. The Father and Son are seen as literal personal beings who invite this direct discourse through prayer. Mormons refute any impersonal or mystical view of God, seeing prayer as verbal communication with an attentive Heavenly Parent.

Prayer Accesses Divine Power and Blessings

A primary incentive for frequent prayer is invoking God’s power. Mormons rely on prayer when seeking any blessing, protection, healing, guidance, comfort, or spiritual gift. Prayer is the catalyst for miracles. Heartfelt and righteous prayers unleash God’s grace and assistance in all things. Without prayer, Mormons believe themselves cut off from the Almighty’s essential aid and strength.

Prayer Sanctifies Individuals and Strengthens Community

Mormons also see prayer as a transformative personal practice. Regular prayer instills gratitude, humility, and increased devotion to God through acknowledging human dependence on the Divine. Family and communal prayer builds stronger unity, love, and spiritual purpose between members. United prayer summons greater spiritual gifts than solitary prayer alone.

Prayer Must Be Sincere and Reverent

While prayer is encouraged, Mormons believe it must be serious and sincere. “Vain repetitions” and insincere, rushed prayers are discouraged. The proper attitude is humble reverence as one appeals to the Creator. Mormons try to pray with focused intentionality, not just reciting habitual words. They seek divine guidance through prayer, not just requesting blessings.


In summary, prayer permeates Mormon life on both personal and communal levels. Scriptural commandments and theological views on prayer compel Mormons to make regular prayer a significant priority. From morning to night, alone or with others, at home, church, temple, or anywhere in between, prayer becomes the lifeblood of Mormon piety and practice. Consistent prayer nourishes their connection to God and fellow Mormons, affirming their identity and beliefs as Latter-day Saints.

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