Specific prayers bring specific blessings, I’ve heard, and this seems to be most especially true of asking for small spiritual blessings today.
Many of us probably pray for peace and insight, patience and charity, but I’ve been astounded by the power of pleading with God to favor me with a noticeable measure of these things in the same day I’m praying. I don’t mean this in the sense of, “Give me this thing I want right now,” but in a more appropriately humble attitude of, “I really feel like I need this blessing, and I want to use it to serve, and I trust you enough to know it can happen today.”
I also try to be immediately grateful in more prayer for any evidence of progress from such prayers. Again, what I try to ask for are gifts of noticing beauty in the world, or the ability to be more Christlike in specific situations I expect that day, or simply to be grateful for and accepting of whatever will happen soon. I’ve found such an attitude to be immensely faith developing.
I think our Father in Heaven wants to give us blessings when we ask for them, and not always at some unknown point in the future, either. When I ponder praying for things to be realized, at least to a degree, in the same day I want to plead for it, I usually feel a spiritual assurance that such requests are welcomed.
It reminds me of the injunction in the Lord’s Prayer to ask for things this way: “Give us this day our daily bread.” I think the core of this prayer method is that it teaches us to be continually reliant on God. We can’t pray, “Please give me whatever bread I’ll need every day from now on.” That would go against the requirement for frequent, even constant, prayer itself. One of the purposes of prayer, or daily scripture study, is to keep us in remembrance of our need to depend on God at all times. One time prayers, or permanent blessings, just couldn’t do that.
And when we’re tempted to think of prayer and scripture study–or any other gospel routine–as chores, I think this understanding is liberating. Yes, we will need to pour out our hearts today, and we will need to do it as much as we can; and no matter how much we exert ourselves now, we will need to do it again tomorrow, anyway. That’s the way it’s supposed to be, and it opens the way for great blessings. Thank God for it.