prayer 2 - prayer 3 - prayer 4

  Prayer does not change God,
but changes those who pray.

SÝren Kierkegaard


Have enough faith in the love of God to believe that a short heartfelt prayer is just as good as a long one.  Too long a session of prayer usually means that in your heart you really doubt the love of God, and think that a great deal of effort and toil will be necessary to move Him.  Pray quietly and sincerely for a reasonable timeó and then leave the matter, expecting success.

Emmet Fox

The purpose of daily prayer is the cultivation of a sense of the sacred.  Sacred energy renews us. Lives with no more sense of spiritual meaning than that provided by shopping malls, ordinary television, and stagnant workplaces are barren lives indeed. Spirituality enriches culture.  Prayer enables us to transform the world, because it transforms us.

Marianne  Williamson

There are times in a person's life when, regardless of the attitude of the body, the soul is on its knees in prayer.

Victor Hugo


Personal prayer, it seems to me, is one of the simplest necessities of life, as basic to the individual as sunshine, food and water--and at times, of course, more so.  By prayer I mean an effort to get in touch with the Infinite.  We know that our prayers are imperfect.  Of course they are. We are imperfect human beings.  A thousand experiences have convinced me beyond room of doubt that prayer multiplies the strength of the individual and brings within the scope of his capabilities almost any conceivable objective.

Dwight D. Eisenhower


Pray for my soul.  More things are wrought by prayer
Than this world dreams of.  Wherefore, let thy voice
Rise like a fountain for me night and day.  
For what are people better than sheep or goats
That nourish a blind life within the brain,
If, knowing God, they lift not hands of prayer
Both for themselves and those who call them friends?
For so the whole round earth is every way
Bound by gold chains about the feet of God.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson


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A prayer in its simplest definition is merely a wish turned Godward.

Phillips Brooks

Prayer is not an old woman's idle amusement.  Properly understood
and applied, it is the most potent instrument of action.

Mohandas Gandhi

There is no prayer so blessed as the prayer which asks for nothing.

O.J. Simon (1895)


Prayer, the basic exercise of the spirit, must be actively practiced
in our private lives.  The neglected soul of the human being must be
made strong enough to assert itself once more.  For if the power of
prayer is again released and used in the lives of common men and
women; if the spirit declares its aims clearly and boldly, there is
yet hope that our prayers for a better world will be answered.

Alexis Carrel


Lift up your hearts to Him, sometimes even at your meals,
and when you are in company; the least little remembrance
will always be acceptable to Him. You need not cry very loud;
He is nearer to us than we are aware.

Brother Lawrence


Prayer is neither black magic nor is it a form of a demand note.
Prayer is a relationship. The act of praying is more analogous
to clearing away the underbrush which shuts out a view than it is
to begging on the street. There are many different kinds of prayer.
Yet all prayer has one basic purpose. We pray not to get something,
but to open up a two-way street between us and God,
so that we and others may inwardly become something.

John Heuss


Prayer isnít strictly a mental activity any more than itís
strictly an emotional activity. Itís an experience of the whole being.

Sue Monk Kidd
When the Heart Waits

From "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner"

O sweeter than the marriage feast,
'Tis sweeter far to me,
To walk together to the kirk
With a goodly company!

To walk together to the kirk,
And all together pray,
While each to his great Father bends,
Old men, and babes, and loving friends
And youths and maidens gay!

Farewell, farewell! but this I tell
To thee, thou Wedding Guest!
He prayeth well, who loveth well
Both man and bird and beast.

He prayeth best, who loveth best
All things both great and small;
for the dear God who loveth us,
He made and loveth all.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge


The privilege of prayer to me is one of the most cherished possessions,
because faith and experience alike convince me that God himself sees
and answers, and His answers I never venture to criticize. It is only
my part to ask.  If it were otherwise, I would not dare to pray at all.

Wilfred T. Grenfell



Pray till prayer makes you forget your own wish,
and leave it or merge it in God's will.

Frederick W. Robertson

prayer 2 - prayer 3 - prayer 4

Through prayer we can carry in our heart all human pain and sorrow,
all conflicts and agonies, all torture and war, all hunger, loneliness and misery,
not because of some great psychological or emotional capacity,
but because God's heart has become one with ours.

Henri Nouwen

The value of persistent prayer is not that
He will hear us. . .  but that we will finally hear Him.

William  McGill


It is better in prayer to have a heart without words
than words without a heart.

Mohandas Gandhi

God prefers bad verses recited with a pure heart
to the finest verses chanted by the wicked.


May I be I is the only prayer--not may I be
great or good or beautiful or wise or strong.

e.e. cummings


They tell about a fifteen-year-old boy in an orphans' home who had an incurable stutter.
One Sunday the minister was detained and the boy volunteered to say the prayer in his stead.
He did it perfectly, too, without a single stutter.
Later he explained, "I don't stutter when I talk to God. He loves me."

Bennett Cerf


Most Christians expect little from God, ask little,
and therefore receive little and are content with little.

A.W. Pink

Every time you pray, if your prayer is sincere, there will be new feeling
and new meaning in it which will give you fresh courage,
and you will understand that prayer is an education.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Get into the habit of dealing with God about everything.  Unless in the first
waking moment of the day you learn to fling the door wide back and let God
in, you will work on a wrong level all day; but swing the door wide open and
pray to your Father in secret, and every public thing
will be stamped with the presence of God.

Oswald Chambers

This morning I stood on the river bank to pray.  I knew then that the
ancient ones were wise to pray for peace and beauty and not for
specific gifts except fertility which is continued life.  And I saw that if
one has even a small degree of the ability to take into and unto him
or herself the peace and beauty that God surrounds them with,
it is not necessary to ask for more.

Edith Warner


There is no hope but in prayer.

Andrew Bonar



You must pray for yourself constantly.  How could it be otherwise?  We worship God by
believing in Him, trusting Him, and loving Him wholeheartedly -- and we can attain to
that only through prayer.  The sole object of our being here is that we may grow like
Him -- and we can do that only through prayer.  The more we pray for ourselves the
more power will our prayers have for any other purpose whatever; so praying for
ourselves is the reverse of selfishness -- it is truly glorifying God.

Emmet Fox


Where are we taught that prayer is something we can go to at any time,
in any place?  Are we ever taught that in order to get results,
we must pray with faith and persistence?  I will be among the first to admit
that for many years my prayers were results-oriented.  There was something
I wanted, and I thought prayer could get it for me when I could not get it
for myself.  It took me quite some time to realize that prayer is actually an affirmation
of what already exists.  Prayer is a demonstration of our willingness to receive
what exists as an outgrowth of our faith in the truth that is good for us.
Prayer is an acknowledgement of our trust in the Divine to provide
everything we need, when we need it.

Iyanla Vanzant


If you are considering using prayer to help you find your way, I have
some good news:  a guarantee that your prayers will be answered.
How can I guarantee something like that?  Itís easy.  When you pray,
you are changed.  The moment you begin praying, you step into the
mystery and become part of it, and you are, inevitably, changed.
So your prayers are answered because you are
a different person after you pray.

When you embrace the mystery and open yourself to it, a new life
is created, resistant to the old problems.  You will notice at times that
the new life isnít what you asked for.  But asking for specific items or
for particular events to occur isnít how I define prayer.  I cannot guarantee
that the orders you place with God will always be filled.  Prayer is not
a test of God, but a call for help to find your inner strength and talent.

Bernie Siegel



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. . . be awake to the Life
that is loving you and
sing your prayer, laugh your prayer,
dance your prayer, run
and weep and swear your prayer,
sleep your prayer, eat your prayer,
paint, sculpt, hammer, and read your prayer,
sweep, dig, rake, drive and hoe your prayer,
garden and farm and build and clean your prayer,
wash, iron, vacuum, sew, embroider and pickle your prayer,
compute, touch, bend and fold but never delete
or mutilate your prayer.

Learn and play your prayer,
work and rest your prayer,
fast and feast your prayer,
argue, talk, whisper, listen and shout your prayer,
groan and moan and spit and sneeze your prayer,
swim and hunt and cook your prayer,
digest and become your prayer,
release and recover your prayer,
breathe your prayer,
be your prayer.

Alla Renee Bozarth

Prayer is a perpetual stillness of the heart, a surrendering to yourself
as the aspect of God within you.  Prayer is not beseeching an entity
outside us for favors, but acknowledging the presence of God within us.

A Spiritual Warrior

Never will I pray for the material things of the world.  I am not calling
to a servant to bring me food.  I am not ordering an innkeeper to
provide me with room.  Never will I seek delivery of gold, love, good
health, petty victories, fame, success, or happiness.  Only for guidance
will I pray, that I may be shown the way to acquire these things,
and my prayer will always be answered.

Og Mandino
The Greatest Salesman in the World

Prayer is not the moment when God and humans are in relationship, for that is always.
Prayer is taking initiative to intentionally respond to God's presence.

L. Robert Keck


Prayer in Nichiren Buddhism is fundamentally a vow.  It is a pledge
or commitment to follow a chosen course of action; it is a declaration
to challenge a clear objective.  As such, how could anything be more
wonderful than the vow to realize our personal human revolution
and actualize the goal of world peace?

Daisaku Ikeda
Buddhism Day by Day


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The purpose of prayer is to bring Heaven and earth together.  It gives
inner peace in ways that neither intellectual understanding, credentials,
money, sex, drugs, houses, clothes, nor any other gifts of the world can
do.  We can learn to speak to God as we would speak to a combination
therapist / lover / teacher / best friend / One-we-trust-more-than-anything /
One-who-loves-us-no-matter-what / One-with-all-the-power-to-heal /
One-with-the-power-and-desire-to-help / for that's what God is.  Prayer
work is a constant and consistent conversation with Him.  God listens,
and He answers.  His answer is always peace.
   Prayer gives us access to a sweeter, more abundant life.  The intellect
gives many things, but ultimately it cannot give comfort.  No conventional
therapy can release us from a deep and abiding psychic pain.  Through
prayer we find what we cannot find elsewhere:
a peace that is not of this world.

Marianne Williamson

Heaven must be full of answers to prayers for which
no one ever bothered to ask.

Cameron Thompson


Absolute attention is prayer.

Simone Weil



Yes, life can be mysterious and confusing--but there's much of life that's actually rather dependable and reliable.  Some principles apply to life in so many different contexts that they can truly be called universal--and learning what they are and how to approach them and use them can teach us some of the most important lessons that we've ever learned.
My doctorate is in Teaching and Learning.  I use it a lot when I teach at school, but I also do my best to apply what I've learned to the life I'm living, and to observe how others live their lives.  What makes them happy or unhappy, stressed or peaceful, selfish or generous, compassionate or arrogant?  In this book, I've done my best to pass on to you what I've learned from people in my life, writers whose works I've read, and stories that I've heard.  Perhaps these principles can be a positive part of your life, too!
Universal Principles of Living Life Fully.  Awareness of these principles can explain a lot and take much of the frustration out of the lives we lead.



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