National Day of Prayer Primer

In commemoration of The National Day of Prayer, here are some readings on prayer.

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

Last year, Samuel Hislop recommended this book. The book contains an extended conversation between Ivan and Alyosha about the nature and efficacy of prayer. A must-read on the nature of faith in difficult times.

The Priceless Privilege of Prayer

Bruce D. Porter gave a BYU devotional examining ways that our prayers can be dishonest, looking at the example of Huckleberry Finn.

President Nelson on the National Day of Prayer 

President Nelson today published on social media, “On this National Day of Prayer, I have been pondering the evolving meaning in our society of the phrase ‘thoughts and prayers.’ For many, this is still a sincere expression of condolence and concern. For others, it is viewed as a perceived lack of action in the face of tragedy.” He goes on to explain how important prayers can be in the face of tragedy, and how it inspires him to action.

The Power of Prayer

Meleane Unga gave a devotional at BYU-Hawaii and spoke about how her father’s prayers growing up helped give her a model for how to deal with difficulties in her life. A powerful example of the personal importance of prayer.

Four-Year-Old Me Prayed My Mom Would Have Eight Arms

You’ll have to forgive me for including an old article I wrote myself detailing how I learned to recognize the unexpected answers to prayer.

Religion for Adults Means Embracing Complexity

Sarah Hurwitz wrote in the Wall Street Journal in 2019 about what a grown-up faith means, including the importance of prayer. One of the most thoughtful pieces on prayer in a national newspaper in the last decade.





About the author

C.D. Cunningham

C.D. Cunningham is the managing editor of Public Square magazine. After graduating from BYU-Idaho, he studied religion at Harvard University Extension. He serves on the board of the Latter-day Saint Publishing and Media Association.
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