prayer - prayer 3 - prayer 4

Sometimes I think that just not thinking
of oneself is a form of prayer. . .

Barbara Grizzuti Harrison


Prayer is the most powerful form of energy one can generate. The influence of prayer on the human mind and body is as demonstrable as that of the secreting glands.  Prayer is a force as real as terrestrial gravity.  It supplies us with a flow of sustaining power in our daily lives.

Alexis Carrel
Our thanks to God should always precede our requests.



Prayer is the only real action in the full sense of the word, because prayer is the only thing that changes one's character.  A change in character, or a change in soul, is a real change.  When that kind of change takes place, you become a different person and, therefore, for the rest of your life you act in a different way from the way in which you have previously acted, and in which you would have continued to act had you not prayed.  In other words, you become a different person.  The amount of difference may be only very slight for each time that you pray:  nevertheless it is there, for you cannot pray without making yourself different in some degree.

Emmet Fox

Prayer is love raised to its greatest power, and the prayer of intercession is the noblest and most Christian kind of prayer because in it love--and imagination-- reach their highest and widest range.

Robert J. McCracken

Trouble and perplexity drive me to prayer, and prayer drives away perplexity and trouble.

Philip Melanchthon


Prayer is essentially about making the heart strong 
so that fear cannot penetrate there.

Matthew Fox


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Prayer for worldly goods is worse than fruitless, but prayer
for strength of soul is that passion of the soul
which catches the gift it seeks.

George Meredith


I have not the courage to search through books for beautiful
prayers. . . Unable either to say them all or choose between
them, I do as a child would do who cannot read--I say just
what I want to say to God, quite simply, and he
never fails to understand.

St. Therese of Lisieux


I do not pray for a lighter load,
but for a stronger back.

Phillips Brooks


Prayer is not conquering God's reluctance, but
taking hold of God's willingness.

Phillips Brooks


God is not a cosmic bellboy for whom we can
press a button to get things done.

Harry Emerson Fosdick


Prayer is the soul's sincere desire,
Uttered or unexpressed,
The motion of a hidden fire
That trembles in the breast.

Prayer is the burden of a sigh,
The falling of a tear,
The upward glancing of an eye
When none but God is near.

James Montgomery


I asked God for strength, that I might achieve
I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey. . .

I asked for health, that I might do greater things
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things. . .

I asked for riches, that I might be happy
I was given poverty, that I might be wise. . .

I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God. . .

I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life
I was given life that I might enjoy all things. . .

I got nothing that I asked for--but everything I had hoped for
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am, among all people, most richly blessed.


prayer - prayer 3 - prayer 4

One of my biggest problems with prayer has always been in the lack of response. Through loneliness and depression and discouragement, I would pray over and over for a certain something--and never anything like getting rich or wishing harm to others--but I would see no results. I felt trapped in a Catch-22: if I prayed without faith, nothing would work, but if nothing worked, I couldn't build my faith.

But I've come to realize that I was asking too much from God--I wanted Him to intercede in my life, to reach down and make things right. I wasn't asking Him to work with me, to point me in the right direction and let me do what I needed to do. My prayers were saying "Help! I can't do this;" not "I know I can do this, but I need guidance and support."

I've found that the strength in prayer is not what it ends up doing for me, but what it makes me when I go through the process, when I focus on God and life and the beautiful possibilities of this world. I no longer pray that God will do things for me; instead, I pray that God will help me to have the strength to accomplish what I need to accomplish.

And all those prayers that weren't answered? Well, as Garth Brooks sings in the song he co-wrote with Pat Alger and Larry B. Bastian: "Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers / Remember when you're talkin' to the man upstairs / That just because he doesn't answer doesn't mean that He don't care / Some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers."



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I got up early one morning
And rushed right into the day;
I had so much to accomplish
That I didn't have time to pray.
Problems just tumbled about me,
And heavier came each task;
"Why doesn't God help me?" I wondered.
He answered, "You didn't ask."
I wanted to see joy and beauty,
But the day toiled on gray and bleak;
I wondered why God didn't show me.
He said, "But you didn't seek."
I tried to come into God's presence;
I used all my keys in the lock.
God gently and lovingly chided,
"My child, you didn't knock."
I woke up early this morning,
And paused before entering the day;
I had so much to accomplish
That I had to take time to pray.

Grace L. Naessens

Never was a faithful prayer lost.  Some prayers have
a longer voyage than others, but then they return
with their richer lading at last, so that the praying soul
is a gainer by waiting for an answer.

William Gurnall

When we pray "in the name of Jesus" the answers are in accordance
with His nature, and if we think our prayers are unanswered
it is because we are not interpreting the answer along this line.

Oswald Chambers


Prayer covers the whole of our life. There is no thought, feeling, yearning,
or desire, however low, trifling, or vulgar we may deem it,
which if it affects our real interest or happiness, we may not lay before God
and be sure of sympathy. His nature is such that our often coming
does not tire him.  The whole burden of the whole life of humans
may be rolled on to God and not weary him, though it has wearied us.

Henry Ward Beecher

Pray a little each day in a childlike way for the Spirit of prayer.
If you feel that you know, as yet, very little concerning the deep things of prayer
and what prayer really is, then pray for the Spirit of prayer.
There is nothing He would rather do than unveil to you the grace of prayer.

O. Hallesby

Let us thank God heartily as often as we pray that we have His Spirit
in us to teach us to pray.  Thanksgiving will draw our hearts out to
God and keep us engaged with Him; it will take our attention
from ourselves and give the Spirit room in our hearts.

Andrew Murray


I never went to bed in my life and I never ate a meal in my life
without saying a prayer.  I know my prayers have been
answered thousands of times, and I know that I never
said a prayer in my life without something good coming of it.

Jack Dempsey

A grandfather was walking through his yard when he heard his granddaughter
repeating the alphabet in a tone of voice that sounded like a prayer.  He asked
her what she was doing.  The little girl explained:  "I'm praying, but I can't
think of exactly the right words, so I'm just saying all the letters, and God
will put them together for me, because He knows what I'm thinking."

Charles B. Vaughan


If you begin to live life looking for the God that is all
around you, every moment becomes a prayer.

Frank Bianco



You pray in your distress and in your need; would that you might
pray also in the fullness of your joy and in your days of abundance.

Khalil Gibran


I would love to have a more earnest prayer life! In my life, prayer is
the single most difficult discipline.  I love God and there’s something
in me that would rather do things for God than talk to God.  I’m not by nature
a mystical, devotional person.  I like to do things.  And so it’s a challenge
for me to have a faithful prayer life, but I know God loves me
and He’s not mad at me.  He just wishes I would slow down
and turn things over to Him.  And that’s what I think
you achieve through prayer.

Max Lucado


My prayers seem to be more of an attitude than anything else.  I indulge
in very little lip service, but ask the Great Creator silently, daily, and often
many times a day, to permit me to speak to Him through the three great Kingdoms
of the world which He has created – the animal, mineral, and vegetable Kingdoms –
 to understand their relations to each other, and our relations to them and
to the Great God who made all of us. I ask Him daily and often momently
to give me wisdom, understanding, and bodily strength to do His will;
hence I am asking and receiving all the time.

George Washington Carver


It’s a risky thing to pray and the danger is that our very prayers get between
God and us.  The great thing in prayer is not to pray, but to go directly
to God. . . . The fact is, though, that if you descend into the depths of your
own spirit and arrive somewhere near the center of what you are, you are confronted
with the inescapable truth that, at the very root of your existence, you are
in constant and immediate contact with the infinite power of God.

Thomas Merton


Wants and needs are closely connected.  And all our needs, even the ones
we’re not completely aware of yet, will be met.  Be grateful that God knows
more about what we need than we do.  Sometimes when we pray, we get
what we want.  Sometimes we get what we need.  Accept both answers—the
yes’s and the something else’s—with heartfelt gratitude.  Then look around
and see what your lesson and gift is.

Melody Beattie


If prayer is new to you, let me share some suggestions that have worked for me:

* Acknowledge your higher power; speak directly and be humble.
* Be grateful.
* Be honest.
* Don't judge yourself.  No one is perfect and we all make mistakes.
* Don't wait.  There is no perfect time to pray.
* Pray often.  Small prayers throughout the day will make you feel better.
* Pray when you're happy, not just when you want something.

Lucinda Bassett

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Mental prayer is nothing else. . . but being on terms of
friendship with God, frequently conversing in secret with Him.

Teresa de Avila


Prayer needs no speech.  It is in itself independent of any sensuous
effort.  But it must be combined with the utmost humility.

Mohandas Gandhi


Supply does not come through prayer.  It comes as a result of an attitude
of faith, a condition of mind and heart, in which the Invisible is depended
upon for all things necessary, instead of upon the visible and earthly.
Prayer in the form of begging and beseeching God to kindly answer
our requests is not capable of producing supply in itself.

Henry T. Hamblin

In the life of the Indian there is only one inevitable duty--the duty
of prayer--the daily recognition of the Unseen and Eternal.  Our
daily devotions were more necessary to us than daily food.


Our prayers should be for blessings in general, for God
knows best what is good for us.



I consider prayer to be of immense psychological benefit.  But we must
accept that its tangible results are often hard to see. When it comes to
obtaining certain, direct results, it is clear that prayer cannot match the
achievements of, for instance, modern science. When I was ill some
years ago, it was certainly comforting to know that people were praying
for me, but it was, I must admit, still more comforting to know that the
hospital where I was being treated had the very latest equipment
to deal with my condition!

The Dalai Lama
Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World

Prayer isn’t strictly a mental activity any more than it’s strictly
an emotional activity.  It’s an experience of the whole being.

Sue Monk Kidd
When the Heart Waits

I take great pleasure in saying my prayers before I go to sleep at night.
I take this time to take stock of my day and, sometimes, of my entire life.
I pray to see things clearly.  I pray to bring help to those I love.  I pray
to bring myself into contact with my innermost being and into contact with
the divine universe.  When I pray, I no longer feel alone.  I feel that I
belong to something and that I am worthy of experiencing life's good things.
Prayer calms me and restores my hope.

Happiness One Day at a Time



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