Pray Always
October 2008

“Pray Always,” Ensign, Oct. 2008, 40–43

Pray Always

Luke 21:36

Once we “learn the true relationship in which we stand toward God (namely, God is our Father, and we are his children), then at once prayer becomes natural and instinctive on our part. …

“The object of prayer is not to change the will of God, but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant, but that are made conditional on our asking for them.”1

Stories or scriptures concerning prayer are featured in the following artwork.

Teach Me to Walk in the Light

Left: Detail from Teach Me to Walk in the Light, by Godofredo Orig, Philippines

Watercolor, acrylic, and oil on paper

“Pray in your families unto the Father, always in my name, that your wives and children may be blessed” (3 Nephi 18:21).

Prayer at Lowtide

Left: Prayer at Lowtide, by J. Kirk Richards

Oil on canvas

“We pray in Christ’s name when our mind is the mind of Christ, and our wishes the wishes of Christ—when his words abide in us.”2

I’ll Never Forsake

Right: I’ll Never Forsake, by Julie Rogers

Pastel on board

After a mob killed her husband and 10-year-old son and wounded her 7-year-old son on October 30, 1838, at Haun’s Mill, Missouri, Amanda Smith prayed aloud in a cornfield. She said, “It was as the temple of the Lord to me at that moment. I prayed aloud and most fervently.

“When I emerged from the corn a voice spoke to me. It was a voice as plain as I ever heard one. It was no silent, strong impression of the spirit, but a voice, repeating a verse of the Saints’ hymn: ‘… That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake, I’ll never, no never, no never forsake!’

“From that moment I had no more fear. I felt that nothing could hurt me.”3

Righteous Defiance

Left: Righteous Defiance, by Caren Olson Garlock

Hand-colored woodcut print on paper

After the massacre at Haun’s Mill, mobbers threatened to kill the Latter-day Saint women if they continued to pray. Amanda Smith’s prayer in the cornfield was an act of righteous defiance.

That Their Prayers May Be Answered

Above: That Their Prayers May Be Answered, by Beth Vance


The angel said to Alma the Younger and the four sons of Mosiah: “The Lord hath heard the prayers … of his servant, Alma, who is thy father; … Go thy way, and seek to destroy the church no more” (Mosiah 27:14, 16).

God’s Constant Prayer

Right: God’s Constant Prayer, by Sheri Lynn Boyer

Colored pencil on paper

“Pray always, and I will pour out my Spirit upon you, and great shall be your blessing” (D&C 19:38).

Final Preparations at Rocky Ridge

Left: Final Preparations at Rocky Ridge, by Stephen Mark Bartholomew

Oil on canvas

“One cold, dreary afternoon, my feet having been frosted, I felt that I could go no further, and withdrew from the little company, and sat down to await the end, being somewhat in a stupor. After a time, I was aroused by a voice, which seemed as audible as anything could be, which spoke to my very soul of the promises and blessings I had received, and which should surely be fulfilled, and that I had a mission to perform in Zion.

“I received strength, and was filled with the Spirit of the Lord, and arose and traveled on with a light heart” (Susannah Stone, age 25, Willie handcart company).4

Prayer Interrupted

Left: Prayer Interrupted, by Shauna Cook Clinger

Oil on canvas

Jane Ann Stewart became lost during the handcart trek. She slept one night on the bluffs of an open prairie, and “she was followed by some wolves, one of which came within two yards of her. It seemed inclined to be rather too familiar, which she instantly checked by a steady gaze, accompanied by an authoritative shake or wave of her right hand.”5

The Prayer

Left: The Prayer, by James Seward

Oil on canvas

“But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray always, and not faint; that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul” (2 Nephi 32:9).

In Favor with God

In Favor with God, by Simon Dewey


“He that is righteous is favored of God” (1 Nephi 17:35).

Sister Manwaring and Daughters at Prayer

Sister Manwaring and Daughters at Prayer, by George Edward Anderson

Photographic print

“And they shall also teach their children to pray, and to walk uprightly before the Lord” (D&C 68:28).


  1. Bible Dictionary, 752–53.

  2. Bible Dictionary, 753.

  3. In Church History in the Fulness of Times, 2nd ed. (Church Educational System manual, 2003), 204.

  4. In Lynne S. Turner, Emigrating Journals of the Willie and Martin Handcart Companies and the Hunt and Hodgett Wagon Trains (1996), 224.

  5. In Turner, Emigrating Journals, 36.