From Neal A. Maxwell

To grow to the point that we can utter inspired prayers (which we can do only insofar as we align ourselves with the will of God and petition Him in faith and righteousness and appropriateness) is part of being proven.

The powers of heaven simply cannot be drawn upon except on the principles of righteousness—whether it is the powers of the priesthood or the powers relating to prayer also.

We clearly cannot have the Spirit in our lives if our lives do not reflect reasonable righteousness. We should, therefore, using the criteria by the Lord, want to avoid trying to cover up sins, gratifying our pride and advancing our vain ambitions, or exercising compulsion over our neighbors. We should want to live in such a way that our way of living reflects relationships with others that are filled with persuasion, long-suffering, gentleness, meekness, love unfeigned, kindness and pure knowledge. (Doctrine and Covenants 121:36-41) When we are developing and living in these ways, we can access the powers of heaven and petition with especial effectiveness, having done much to align ourselves with the will of our Father in heaven.  It may be helpful in this regard for us to remember that we must finally come to have “the mind of Christ” and then we can pray as He did. (1 Corinthians 2:16.) ~ Neal A. Maxwell, A Year of Powerful Prayer (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2013), p. 165

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