Prayer (quotes)


What is prayer?


To pray is to address God with adoration, confession, supplication, or thanksgiving.

  • Prayer: A solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God or another deity.  Oxford Dictionary
  • Prayer: To speak to a god either privately or in a religious ceremony in order toexpress love, admiration, or thanks or in order to ask for something.  Cambridge Dictionary
  • Prayer: A devout petition to God or an object of worship.
  • Prayer: A spiritual communion with God or an object of worship, as in supplication, thanksgiving, adoration, or confession.
  • Prayer: To address God or a god with adoration, confession, supplication, or thanksgiving. Merriam Webster
  • GodReligionContemplationMeditationDevotionWorship

Prayer is the highest activity of the soul

  • Prayer is beyond any question the highest activity of the human soul. Man is at his greatest and highest when upon his knees he comes face to face with God. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
  • A prayer couched in the words of the soul, is far more powerful than any ritual. Paulo Coelho
  • Prayer is the balloon of faith by which the soul rises heavenward. James Lendall Basford
  • Prayer is the soul’s sincere desire, Uttered or unexpressed; The motion of a hidden fire, That trembles in the breast. James Montgomery
  • Prayer is exhaling the spirit of man and inhaling the spirit of God. Edwin Keith
  • Prayer is the spirit speaking truth to Truth. Philip James Bailey
  • The soul

Prayer is an attitude of the soul

  • I don’t know whether I believe in God or not. I think, really, I’m some kind of a Buddhist. But the essential thing is to put oneself in a frame of mind which is close to that of prayer. Henri Matisse
  • Prayer is not merely an occasional impulse to which we respond when we are in trouble: prayer is a life attitude. Walter A. Mueller
  • Prayer is not an act of worship merely, the bending of the knee on set occasions, and offering petitions in need. It is an attitude of soul, opening the life on the Godward side, and keeping free communication with the world of spirit. Hugh Black
  • Certain thoughts are prayers. There are moments when, whatever be the attitude of the body, the soul is on its knees. Victor Hugo, Les Misérables
  • Attitude

Prayer is central to many religions

  • Religion is no more possible without prayer than poetry without language, or music without atmosphere. James Martineau
  • Religion

Prayer is faith expressed

  • Prayer is as natural an expression of faith as breathing is of life. Jonathan Edwards
  • Prayer is the voice of faith. William Van Horne
  • Prayer is believing in something bigger than yourself, or anything you’ve ever touched or known. It’s telling a river or an open field that you need a little help. Ashley Rice
  • Faith

Prayer is clear thinking

  • Prayer is only another name for good, clean, direct thinking. Richard Llewellyn
  • Thinking

Prayer is a friendly conversation


Prayer is friendship with God

  • Prayer is a friendly conversation with the One we know loves us. St Teresa of Avila
  • Prayer is nothing else than being on terms of friendship with God. Teresa of Avila
  • My father prayed because he had a good Friend with whom to share the problems of the day. Corrie Ten Boom
  • Prayer is communication with the Divine. It can be whispered or chanted or written or expressed in the work you do. However it is expressed, it is never in vain. Donna Wilk Cardillo
  • God offers friendship, not lordship—and in return asks for friendship, not worship. Neale Donald Walsch
  • FriendshipGod

Prayer is a conversation, not a monologue

  • Prayer is conversation with God. Josippon
  • Prayer is a friendly conversation with the One we know loves us. St Teresa of Avila
  • Prayer at its highest is a two-way conversation and for me the most important part is listening to God’s replies. Frank C. Laubach
  • Prayer is neither black magic nor is it a form of a demand note. Prayer is a relationship… 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 is not a monologue. It speaks to God and to the community.  In the last analysis, religion is not what goes on inside a soul.  It is what goes on in the world, between people, between us and God.  To trap faith in a monologue, and pretend that it resides solely inside the self, undermines the true interchange of all belief. David J. Wolpe
  • Making conversation

The power and rewards of prayer


Prayer is a powerful force for good

  • More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of. Alfred Lord Tennyson
  • When you bow deeply to the universe, it bows back; when you call out the name of God, it echoes inside you. Morihei Ueshiba
  • A prayer couched in the words of the soul, is far more powerful than any ritual. Paulo Coelho
  • Prayer draws us near to our own souls. Herman Melville
  • He who kneels the most, stands the best. Dwight Lyman Moody
  • Spirituality without a prayer life is no spirituality at all, and it will not last beyond the first defeats. Prayer is an opening of the self so that the Word of God can break in and make us new. Prayer unmasks. Prayer converts. Prayer impels. Prayer sustains us on the way. Pray for the grace it will take to continue what you would like to quit. Joan D. Chittister
  • 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
  • Prayer is a triumph, in whatever form. Terri Guillemets
  • 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
  • Prayer may just be the most powerful tool mankind has. Ted Dekker
  • When every hope is gone, ‘when helpers fail and comforts flee,’ I find that help arrives somehow, from I know not where. Supplication, worship, prayer are no superstition; they are acts more real than the acts of eating, drinking, sitting or walking. It is no exaggeration to say that they alone are real, all else is unreal. Mahatma Gandhi
  • When we pray, our hearts glow a glorious joy that lights our souls and all the world around us. Terri Guillemets
  • One of the experiences of prayer is that it seems that nothing happens. But when you start with it and look back over a long period of prayer, you suddenly realize that something has happened.  What is most close, most intimate, most present, often cannot be experienced directly but only with a certain distance.  When I think that I am only distracted, just wasting my time, something is happening too Immediate for knowing, understanding, and experiencing.  Only in retrospect do I realize that something very important has taken place. Henri J. Nouwen
  • GoodnessPower

Prayer transforms us

  • Prayer changes things? No! Prayer changes people, and people change things. Burton Hills
  • Who rises from prayer a better man, his prayer is answered. George Meredith
  • The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays. Soren Kierkegaard
  • Your prayer for someone may or may not change them, but it always changes YOU. Craig Groeschel
  • Not being changed by prayer is sort of life standing in the middle of a spring rain without getting wet. It’s hard to stand in the center of God’s acceptance and love without getting it all over you. Steve Brown
  • Prayer enables us to transform the world, because it transforms us. Marianne Williamson
  • Prayer does change things, all kinds of things. But the most important thing it changes is us. As we engage in this communion with God more deeply and come to know the One with whom we are speaking more intimately, that growing knowledge of God reveals to us all the more brilliantly who we are and our need to change in conformity to Him. Prayer changes us profoundly. C. Sproul
  • Prayer may not change things for you, but it for sure changes you for things. Samuel M. Shoemaker
  • Prayer changes things. Prayer changes us.  Prayer changes life.  Sometimes an event has been manifested that needs to be stopped, midair.  Don’t pray just when you’re in trouble.  Pray every day.  Surround yourself with prayer.  You never know when you might need an extra miracle. Melody Beattie
  • Prayer gives a man the opportunity of getting to know a gentleman he hardly ever meets. I do not mean his maker, but himself. William Inge
  • 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
  • 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.  Bernie Siegel
  • Transformation

Prayer transforms the world

  • Prayer power is real. By putting it into action, we will be able to stay more constantly in higher awareness than ever before. If we can do that, the world will quickly change. James Redfield
  • Prayer is like water – something you can’t imagine has the strength or power to do any good, and yet give it time and it can change the lay of the land. Jodi Picoult
  • Prayer enables us to transform the world, because it transforms us. Marianne Williamson

Prayer strengthens us

  • I believe in prayer. It’s the best way we have to draw strength from heaven. Josephine Baker
  • We can be tired, weary and emotionally distraught, but after spending time alone with God, we find that He injects into our bodies energy, power and strength. Charles F. Stanley
  • Strength

Prayer soothes fear and begets courage

  • Be not forgetful of prayer. 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 Dostoevsky
  • Courage is fear that has said its prayers. Dorothy Bernard
  • 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
  • When a man is at his wits’ end it is not a cowardly thing to pray, it is the only way he can get in touch with Reality. Oswald Chambers
  • FearCourage

Prayer is food for the soul

  • The spiritual path is a path of prayer. Prayer is food for the soul and the universe. Prayer connects us, humbles us, strengthens us, enlightens us and makes us one with the Great Mystery. John Kehoe
  • FoodThe soul

Prayer bestows wisdom

  • Is not prayer a study of truth, a sally of the soul into the unfound infinite? No man ever prayed heartily without learning something. Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Prayer puts you in touch with the infinite and prepares your mind for the finite. Peter Daniel
  • I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had no where else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day. Abraham Lincoln
  • Wisdom

Prayer heals

  • 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
  • When you are unwell, you must cough, sneeze, and ache prayer. Terri Guillemets
  • Healing

Prayer provides comfort …

  • But the very fact that this world is so challenging is exactly why you sometimes must reach out of its jurisdiction for help, appealing to a higher authority in order to find your comfort. Elizabeth Gilbert
  • God tells us to burden him with whatever burdens us.
  • If my eyes have pain, I close them; If my body aches, I rest it; If my heart breaks, I mend it; If my soul is lost, I pray for it. Jeremy Aldana
  • I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. Abraham Lincoln
  • Nothing is too small a subject for prayer, because nothing is too small to be the subject of God’s care. Henry T. Hamblin
  • Prayer is not a stratagem for occasional use, a refuge to resort to now and then. It is rather like an established residence for the innermost self.  All things have a home:  the bird has a nest, the fox has a hole, the bee has a hive.  A soul without prayer is a soul without a home. Abraham Joshua Heschel
  • When at night you cannot sleep, talk to the Shepherd and stop counting sheep.
  • Comfort

… reducing worry and concerns

  • Every evening I turn my worries over to God. He’s going to be up all night anyway. Mary C. Crowley
  • Daily prayers will diminish your cares. Betty Mills
  • Any concern too small to be turned into a prayer is too small to be made into a burden. Corrie Ten Boom
  • Every morning I spend fifteen minutes filling my mind full of God; and so there’s no room left for worry thoughts. Howard Chandler Christy
  • The more you pray, the less you’ll panic. The more you worship, the less you worry. You’ll feel more patient and less pressured. Rick Warren
  • We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties. Oswald Chambers
  • Prayer is a means of sharing the burden, which relieves pressure, as you tell your worries and concerns to someone who will listen and won’t judge, no matter what you say. Praying is like handing the problem over to someone else as you talk it out.  Then you can tune in for guidance and a different perspective that will exude heartfelt energy.  Lucinda Bassett
  • WorryInner peace

Prayer solves problems

  • We tend to be preoccupied by our problems when we have a heightened sense of vulnerability and a diminished sense of power. Today, see each problem as an invitation to prayer. John Ortberg Jr.
  • Prayer can solve more problems, alleviate more suffering, prevent more transgression, and bring about greater peace and contentment in the human soul than can be obtained in any other way. Thomas S. Monson
  • Trouble and perplexity drive me to prayer and prayer drives away perplexity and trouble. Philip Melanchthen
  • When you embrace the mystery and open yourself to it, a new life is created, resistant to the old problems. Barbara Grizzuti Harrison
  • Problem solving

Prayer is about gratitude


Prayer is about saying “thank you.” …

  • A single grateful thought raised to heaven is the most perfect prayer. Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
  • If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice. Meister Eckhart
  • God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say “thank you?” William A. Ward
  • The more I thank and praise, the more beauty I perceive. As if praise washes and cleanses my eyes, so more is revealed. This prayer is a door into the path of beauty. John Kehoe
  • Grow flowers of gratitude in the soil of prayer. Terri Guillemets
  • To give thanks in solitude is enough. Thanks giving has wings and goes where it must go. Your prayer knows much more about it than you do. Victor Hugo
  • Appreciation is the highest form of prayer, for it acknowledges the presence of good wherever you shine the light of your thankful thoughts. Alan Cohen
  • The correct prayer is therefore never a prayer of supplication, but a prayer of gratitude. Neale Donald Walsch
  • I will behold my life as glorious in sickness as well as health. In despair and in hope. In sadness and happiness. This will be my gift. This is my sacred song. To behold the wonder and glory – and to proclaim it loud and clear for all to hear. There is no greater honour than to honour myself. My life. All I can see and touch. Every person I meet. Each day becomes my miracle, simply because I live within the Great Mystery. The Great Mystery is there in all I do and experience. Each day becomes a tribute and a prayer and worship. Always together. Always one. Holy art thou, Mysterious One. John Kehoe
  • Prayer is the coin paid to Gratitude. Terri Guillemets
  • Some days my prayer is a rainfall of tears, other days the sunshine of joy, and sometimes it’s a sheltering umbrella — but no matter what I’m weathering in my life, my prayer is first and always the infinite horizon of gratitude. Terri Guillemets
  • A sensible thanks giving for mercies received is a mighty prayer in the Spirit of God. It prevails with Him unspeakably. John Bunyan
  • GratitudeAppreciation

… for the truest prayer is one of gratitude, not request

  • The correct prayer is never a prayer of supplication, but a prayer of gratitude. Neale Donald Walsch
  • If you beg and supplicate, there seems a much smaller chance that you will experience what you think you are choosing, because the Sponsoring Thought behind every supplication is that you do not have now what you wish. That Sponsoring Thought becomes your reality. Neale Donald Walsch
  • The process of prayer becomes much easier when, rather than having to believe that God will always say “yes” to every request, one understands intuitively that the request itself is not necessary. Then the prayer is a prayer of thanksgiving. It is not a request at all, but a statement of gratitude of what is so. Neale Donald Walsch
  • What discord we should bring into the universe if our prayers were all answered. Then we should govern the world and not God.  And do you think we should govern it better? It gives me only pain when I hear the long, wearisome petitions of people asking for they know not what. . . . Thanks-giving with a full heart–and the rest silence and submission to the divine will! Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  • 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

Prayer is about listening


Prayer is about listening …

  • God speaks in the silence of the heart. Listening is the beginning of prayer. Mother Teresa
  • In listening you are not waiting for anything – there is just a field of pure attention. That is a much deeper prayer than any words.  True prayer is where prayer also becomes meditation.  Not even wanting an answer, it’s enough to be in the silence.  Sometimes an answer comes, or the thing becomes resolved, sometimes, suddenly. Listen.  Eckhart Tolle
  • Prayer is not asking. Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at His disposition, and listening to His voice in the depth of our hearts. Mother Teresa
  • The inner voice is something which cannot be described in words. But sometimes we have a positive feeling that something in us prompts us to do a certain thing. The time when I learnt to recognise this voice was, I may say, the time when I started praying regularly. Mahatma Gandhi
  • The value of consistent prayer is not that God will hear us, but that we will hear Him. William McGill
  • If you would have God hear you when you pray, you must hear him when he speaks. Richard J. Needham
  • There is hardly ever a complete silence in our soul. God is whispering to us well-nigh incessantly.  Whenever the sounds of the world die out in the soul, or sink low, then we hear these whisperings of God.  He is always whispering to us, only we do not always hear, because of the noise, hurry, and distraction which life causes as it rushes on.  Frederick William Faber
  • Listening

… and therefore, requires inner silence

  • In the silence of the heart God speaks. If you face God in prayer and silence, God will speak to you. Then you will know that you are nothing. It is only when you realize your nothingness, your emptiness, that God can fill you with Himself. Souls of prayer are souls of great silence. Mother Teresa
  • In listening you are not waiting for anything – there is just a field of pure attention. That is a much deeper prayer than any words.  True prayer is where prayer also becomes meditation.  Not even wanting an answer, it’s enough to be in the silence.  Sometimes an answer comes, or the thing becomes resolved, sometimes, suddenly. Listen.  Eckhart Tolle
  • The real “work” of prayer is to become silent and listen to the voice that says good things about me. To gently push aside and silence the many voices that question my goodness and to trust that I will hear the voice of blessing– that demands real effort.   Henri J.M. Nouwen
  • The truest prayer begins when we pass beyond word into deep silence, when lips are hushed; when racing thoughts are stilled; when emotions are placid as “the dawning over the waveless ocean. Albert E. Day
  • SilenceStillness

Pray by becoming an alert field of attention

  • To be present is to be prayerful. Rajneesh
  • Prayer can gradually become listening to God rather than talking to God. What does listening mean?  Listening means there is a field of bare, pure attention.  Listening does not mean that you are waiting for some answer, because then you are not really listening.  In listening you are not waiting for anything – there is just a field of pure attention.   Eckhart Tolle
  • There come times when I have nothing more to tell God. If I were to continue to pray in words, I would have to repeat what I have already said. At such times it is wonderful to say to God, “May I be in Thy presence, Lord? I have nothing more to say to Thee, but I do love to be in Thy presence.” Hallesby
  • Attention

Prayer and meditation are complimentary

  • Prayer is more than meditation. In meditation, the source of strength is one’s self. When one prays, he goes to a source of strength greater than his own. Madame de Stael
  • Prayer is when you talk to God; meditation is when you listen to God. Diana Robinson
  • Meditation

Prayer is about requesting


Prayer is a way to request what we desire …

  • Where did you get the idea you aren’t allowed to petition the universe with prayer? You are part of this universe, Liz. You’re a constituent–you have every entitlement to participate in the actions of the universe, and to let your feelings be known. So, put your opinion out there. Make your case. Believe me–it will at least be taken into consideration. Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Those blessings are sweetest that are won with prayer and worn with thanks. Thomas Goodwin
  • A prayer in its simplest definition is merely a wish turned Godward. Phillips Brooks
  • Your desire is your prayer. Picture the fulfillment of your desire now and feel its reality and you will experience the joy of the answered. Joseph Murphy
  • I tried to sweat my life into beauty, and then one day I thought I would sit me down in the furrows. I would stop the wheels long enough to enlist God. I would stop the mad rush that hour, that moment, and sit me down and pray. I would come with tranquility, with repose of the flesh, with the institution of easement and peace…. I would lift with my yearning that which I could not lift with my arms. The potency of my prayer would be mightier than brawn and swifter than feet. Muriel Strode Lieberman (1875–1964)
  • Prayer is the language of a man burdened with a sense of need. M. Bounds
  • 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
  • Desire

… although such prayers should not be overdone

  • God is not a cosmic bellboy for whom we can press a button to get things done. Harry Emerson Fosdick
  • I have to be honest in asking myself: Do I really want to know and do God’s will?  Or is it rather that I want God to do my will?  Do I go to God with the assurance that I want only to know and do his will? Or do I rather first make my own plans and then insist that God make my dreams come true? John Powell
  • Most people do not pray; they only beg. George Bernard Shaw
  • Our prayers should be for blessings in general, for God knows best what is good for us. Socrates
  • Some people think that prayer just means asking for things, and if they fail to receive exactly what they asked for, they think the whole thing is a fraud. Gerald Vann
  • There is no prayer so blessed as the prayer which asks for nothing. J. Simon (1895)
  • 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
  • We cannot ask in behalf of Christ what Christ would not ask Himself if He were praying. B. Simpson
  • What we usually pray to God is not that His will be done, but that He approve ours. Helga Bergold Gross
  • Whatever a man prays for, he prays for a miracle. Every prayer reduces itself to this: “Great God, grant that twice two be not four.” Ivan Turgenev
  • When we pray to God we must be seeking nothing — nothing. Saint Francis of Assisi

We don’t always get what we ask for, but we always get what we need

  • Asking for anything is allowed with the understanding that God’s answers come from God’s perspective. They are not always in harmony with our expectations, for only He knows the whole story.
  • Answers to prayer often come in unexpected ways. We pray, for instance, for a certain virtue; but God seldom delivers Christian virtues all wrapped in a package and ready for use.  Rather He puts us in situations where by His help we can develop those virtues.  Henry Ward Beecher told of a woman who prayed for patience, and God sent her a poor cook. The best answers to prayer may be the vision and strength to meet a circumstance or to assume a responsibility.  R. Fidley
  • Be thankful that God’s answers are wiser than your answers. William Culbertson
  • God always answers our prayers, but sometimes the answer is no.
  • God has editing rights over our prayers. He will… edit them, correct them, bring them in line with His will and then hand them back to us to be resubmitted. Stephen Crotts
  • God punishes us mildly by ignoring our prayers and severely by answering them. Richard J. Needham
  • God will answer you prayers better than you think. Of course, one will not always get exactly what he has asked for….We all have sorrows and disappointments, but one must never forget that, if commended to God, they will issue in good….His own solution is far better than any we could conceive. Fanny J. Crosby
  • In the foothills of the Himalayas, one hears the prayer: “Oh Lord, we know not what is good for us.  You know what it is.  For it we pray.”  Harry E. Fosdick
  • Our prayers run by one road and God’s answers by another, and by and by they meet. Adoniram Judson
  • Our prayers are answered not when we are given what we ask, but when we are challenged to be what we can be. Morris Adler
  • God answers first the prayers we should have prayed. Robert Brault

When making a request through prayer, believe and you will receive

  • Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Mark 11:24
  • Most Christians expect little from God, ask little, and therefore receive little and are content with little. A.W. Pink
  • Desire, ask, believe, receive. Stella Terrill Mann
  • Belief

Relinquish your request and abandon yourself to God’s will

  • Pray till prayer makes you forget your own wish, and leave it or merge it in God’s will. Frederick W. Robertson
  • He’s going to do what He wants to anyway, why the fuck bother praying in the first place? Seems like a big waste of time to me! Couldn’t you just skip the praying part and go right to His Will? It’s all very confusing. George Carlin
  • Prayer is not conquering God’s reluctance, but taking hold of God’s willingness. Phillips Brooks
  • Supplication is an act of humility. To lower levels of consciousness, prayer is an attempt to get something for self or others, such as a new car, a job, recovery from an illness, or special favors. With progress, this intention to control God is given up and the act of supplication becomes a dedication instead of a request. In war, both sides pray to win. With progression of consciousness from selfishness to selflessness, the quality of prayer shifts to the willingness to be a servant of the Lord and a channel of His Will without trying to specify the what or the how it is to be done. David R. Hawkins
  • Before we can pray, “Lord, Thy Kingdom come,” we must be willing to pray, “My Kingdom go.” Alan Redpath

Prayer is about action; not a substitute for it


Prayer is an instrument of action

  • Prayer is not an old woman’s idle amusement. Properly understood and applied, it is the most potent instrument of action. Mohandas K. Gandhi
  • I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer. Martin Luther
  • Go where your best prayers take you. Frederick Buechner
  • Right prayer is not escape from action, it is equipment for action. It is not idle luxury, it is no luxury at all. . . . It is not a waste of time.  The hours spent in communion with God, make better, more effective, the hours spent in action.  It is not an effort to get God to do what we ought to do, but to let God equip us for the doing, and help us in the doing and finally to do only what we alone cannot do. Albert E. Day

… and not a substitute for action

  • If you want your prayers answered, get up off your knees and do something about them. Wally Lamb
  • Pray to catch the bus, then run as fast as you can. Julia Cameron
  • I prayed for twenty years but received no answer until I prayed with my legs. Frederick Douglass
  • One must pray first, but afterwards one must help oneself. God does not care for cowards. Ouida
  • Pray like it all depends on God, but work like it all depends on you. Dave Ramsey
  • Call on God, but row away from the rocks. Indian Proverb
  • Goodness is about what you do. Not who you pray to. Terry Pratchett, Snuff
  • Practical prayer is harder on the soles of your shoes than on the knees of your trousers. Austin O’Malley
  • Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living. Mary Harris Jones
  • The Sufis have a saying: “Praise Allah, and tie your camel to a post.”  This brings together both parts of practice:  pray, yes, but also make sure that you do what is necessary in the world.  Jack Kornfield
  • Two hands working can do more than a thousand clasped in prayer.
  • Action

Our everyday actions must live up to our prayers

  • It is not well for a man to pray cream and live skim milk. Henry Ward Beecher
  • It is good for us to keep some account of our prayers, that we may not unsay them in our practice. Matthew Henry
  • The simplest acts of kindness are by far more powerful then a thousand heads bowing in prayer. Mahatma Gandhi

Pray every day; throughout the day


Prayer does not need to be done on your knees in a church

  • Why must people kneel down to pray? If I really wanted to pray I’ll tell you what I’d do. I’d go out into a great big field all alone or in the deep, deep woods and I’d look up into the sky—up—up—up—into that lovely blue sky that looks as if there was no end to its blueness. And then I’d just feel a prayer. M. Montgomery
  • Help” is a prayer that is always answered. It doesn’t matter how you pray–with your head bowed in silence, or crying out in grief, or dancing. Churches are good for prayer, but so are garages and cars and mountains and showers and dance floors. Years ago I wrote an essay that began, “Some people think that God is in the details, but I have come to believe that God is in the bathroom. Anne Lamott
  • Why must people kneel down to pray? If I really wanted to pray I’ll tell you what I’d do. I’d go out into a great big field all alone or in the deep, deep woods and I’d look up into the sky—up—up—up—into that lovely blue sky that looks as if there was no end to its blueness. And then I’d just feel a prayer. M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Make prayer a daily habit …

  • Prayer is the key of the morning and the bolt of the evening. Mahatma Gandhi
  • You cannot impress the mind of God by having a special Sabbath day set apart to tell Him what you want, and then forgetting Him the rest of the week. Wallace D. Wattles
  • One needs to spend time with the Holy One. Like any relationship, it must be built and nurtured. It needs familiarity. Trust. Quiet, special time together. This goes beyond thoughts and concepts. Losing oneself in the presence. Letting anxieties and concerns melt away as I am transcended and uplifted. John Kehoe
  • Prayer is not merely an occasional impulse to which we respond when we are in trouble: prayer is a life attitude. Walter A. Mueller
  • We tend to use prayer as a last resort, but God wants it to be our first line of defense. We pray when there’s nothing else we can do, but God wants us to pray before we do anything at all. Oswald Chambers
  • 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  There is no hope but in prayer.  Andrew Bonar
  • I believe in God, and that there are pieces of him, called love and goodness, in everyone. I also believe in prayer, not the memorized type mumbled in church but the spontaneous kind spoken, ironically, in the last breath of the day, when the lamp has been dimmed and the bedspread drawn down, and it’s just you and those pieces of God in you, alone…. I suspect that when a man grows too big to kneel, then he is destined to fall. Joe Kita
  • The world is holy. We are holy. All life is holy. Daily prayers are delivered on the lips of breaking waves, the whisperings of grasses, the shimmering of leaves. Terry Tempest Williams
  • Habit

… in both good times and bad

  • 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. Kahlil Gibran
  • Don’t pray when it rains if you don’t pray when the sun shines. Leroy Paige
  • The trouble with our praying is, we just do it as a means of last resort. Will Rogers
  • Many people pray as if God were a big aspirin pill; they come only when they hurt. Graham Diners
  • Pray on the shadowy hillside of hardship and on the sunny hillside of happiness. Terri Guillemets
  • We tend to use prayer as a last resort, but God wants it to be our first line of defense. We pray when there’s nothing else we can do, but God wants us to pray before we do anything at all. Most of us would prefer, however, to spend our time doing something that will get immediate results. We don’t want to wait for God to resolve matters in His good time because His idea of ‘good time’ is seldom in sync with ours.  Oswald Chambers
  • When it’s a glorious day I pray and it’s a glorious day when I pray. Terri Guillemets
  • Adversity

Pray constantly throughout the day …

  • Praying without ceasing is not ritualized, nor are there even words. It is a constant state of awareness of oneness with God. Peace Pilgrim
  • Like everything else that connects us to our Higher Self, prayer is most effective when practiced, meaning that you should pray whenever you think of it until it becomes automatic. In other words, pray when you wake up in the morning, while you take a shower, before you drink your morning coffee, and as you drive to work. Pray for the easiest and best way to get through your day. Pray for success in your projects and for patience when those around you get on your nerves. Pray for forgiveness and an open heart. Pray for creative inspiration and for better health; to release the past and to open your mind and heart to a better future; for the willingness to let go of the old and outdated and reach out for something new; for understanding; for faith; for a happy heart, in spite of everything; for the right support system and the best job; and for a peaceful home and prosperity. Sonia Choquette
  • It’s really quite simple: If you want inspiration, think inspiring thoughts; if you want healing, think healing thoughts; if you want creativity, think creative thoughts; and if you want to live in a higher way, think higher thoughts. Sonia Choquette

… making your daily tasks and daily life a mindful prayer

  • It is said that the Christian mystic Theresa of Avila found difficulty at first in reconciling the vastness of the life of the spirit with the mundane tasks of her Carmelite convent: the washing of pots, the sweeping of floors, the folding of laundry.  At some point of grace, the mundane became for her a sort of prayer, a way she could experience her ever- present connection to the divine pattern which is the source of life.  She began then to see the face of God in the folded sheets.  Rachel Naomi Remen
  • As I turn my thoughts to God, my life becomes a prayer. I do not need to go away to a mountaintop or seclude myself in a sacred place to spend time in prayer.  I need only to turn my thoughts inward and open my mind and heart to God.  In this way, I make whatever I am doing a prayer.  As I prepare a meal, I am grateful for the food, and as I clean my house, I am grateful for the restful haven it provides me. As I walk in the park, I feel a sense of oneness with all life in the world around me.  As I go through my workday, I am God’s instrument of good in the world, and what I do and say is an expression of God.  The more I turn my thoughts to God, the more my life becomes a prayer.

The more you pray, the more your taste for it will increase

  • If you don’t pray often, you won’t gain a love for praying. Prayer is work, and therefore it is not very appealing to our natural sensibilities. But the simple rule for prayer is this: Begin praying and your taste for prayer will increase. The more you pray, the more you will acquire the desire for prayer, the energy for prayer, and the sense of purpose in prayer. Leslie Ludy

Pray from the heart


When you pray, pray from the heart for your feelings are more important than the words

  • Prayer requires more of the heart than the tongue. Adam Clarke
  • The reason why we obtain no more in prayer is because we expect no more. God usually answers us according to our own hearts. Richard Alleine
  • Prayers not felt by us are seldom heard by God. Philip Henry
  • When you pray, rather let your heart be without words than your words without heart. John Bunyan
  • Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is daily admission of one’s weakness. It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart. Mahatma Gandhi
  • Groanings which cannot be uttered are often prayers which cannot be refused. Charles H. Spurgeon
  • When I worship, I would rather my heart be without words than my words be without heart. LaMar Boschman
  • In essence, prayer is communion with mystery. And for that reason, there can be no one right way to do it, no prescription for prayer that will minister to everyone’s needs. However, perhaps there is one requisite: that our heart be in it. Sherry Ruth Anderson and Patricia Hopkins
  • God prefers bad verses recited with a pure heart to the finest verses chanted by the wicked. Voltaire
  • It is not eloquence, but earnestness, not the definition of helplessness, but the feeling of it; not figures of speech, but compunction of soul. Hannah More
  • Perfect prayer does not consist in many words, silent remembering and pure intention raises the heart to that supreme Power. Amit Ray
  • Prayer is essentially about making the heart strong so that fear cannot penetrate there. Matthew Fox
  • The easiest way to get touch with this universal power is through silent Prayer. Shut your eyes, shut your mouth, and open your heart. This is the golden rule of prayer. Prayer should be
  • May God break my heart so completely that the whole world falls in. Mother Teresa

Pray with love

  • Love is the only prayer I know. Marion Zimmer Bradley
  • When man is with God in awe and love, then he is praying. Karl Rahne
  • soundless words coming forth from the centre of your heart filled with love. Amit Ray
  • When you pray, you are exposing your real self and extending sincere, loving energy to yourself. It doesn’t matter if your words are fancy or plain, and there is no way to do it right or wrong. Prayer is about opening your heart and being sincere. Lucinda Bassett
  • 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
  • For me, prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy. Thérèse de Lisieux
  • Love

Pray simply but with sincerity

  • 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. Therese of Lisieux
  • 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 time—and then leave the matter, expecting success.  Emmet Fox

What to pray for


Pray for courage, strength and tenderness

  • The wise man in the storm prays God not for safety from danger but for deliverance from fear. Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one. Bruce Lee
  • Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men! Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for power equal to your tasks. Phillips Brooks
  • I do not pray for a lighter load, but for a stronger back. Phillips Brooks
  • It is for us to pray not for tasks equal to our powers, but for powers equal to our tasks, to go forward with a great desire forever beating at the door of our hearts as we travel toward our distant goal. Helen Keller
  • Many people pray to be kept out of unexpected problems. Some people pray to be able to confront and overcome them. Toba Beta
  • Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men. John F. Kennedy
  • 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
  • Pray for strength and tenderness
  • Prayer is not a test of God, but a call for help to find your inner strength and talent. Barbara Grizzuti Harrison
  • Just pray for a tough hide and a tender heart. Ruth Graham
  • Q: What prayers are useful? A: Ask to be the servant of the Lord, a vehicle of divine love, a channel of God’s will. Ask for direction and divine assistance and surrender all personal will through devotion. Dedicate one’s life to the service of God. Choose love and peace above all other options. Commit to the goal of unconditional love and compassion for all life in all its expression and surrender all judgment to God. David R. Hawkins
  • May I be I is the only prayer–not may I be great or good or beautiful or wise or strong. E. E. Cummings
  • We must move from asking God to take care of the things that are breaking our hearts, to praying about the things that are breaking His heart. Margaret Gibb
  • God, grant me strength to accept those things I cannot change. Dan Brown
  • CourageStrength

Pray for a new way of seeing things

  • Sometimes, however, I recognize there could be another way of seeing things, but I don’t know what it is. I can’t make the shift on my own; I need help. But where to go for help? Other people are as likely to be caught in the same thought system as I am. The place to go for help is deep within, to that level of consciousness that lies beyond the materialistic mindset–to the God within. I have to ask God for help. I have to pray. When I pray in this way, I am not asking for divine intervention by an external God. I am praying to the divine presence within, to my true self. Moreover, I am not praying for the world to be different than it is. I am praying for a different perception of the world. I am asking for divine intervention where it really counts–in the mindsets that govern my thinking.  Peter Russell

Against prayer


Not everyone is in favour of prayer

  • And here’s something else, another problem you might have: Suppose your prayers aren’t answered. What do you say? “Well, it’s God’s will.” “Thy Will Be Done.” Fine, but if it’s God’s will, and He’s going to do what He wants to anyway, why the fuck bother praying in the first place? Seems like a big waste of time to me! Couldn’t you just skip the praying part and go right to His Will? It’s all very confusing. George Carlin
  • Give a man a fish, and you’ll feed him for a day; give him a religion, and he’ll starve to death while praying for a fish.
  • I cannot believe in a God who wants to be praised all the time. Friedrich Nietzsche
  • I don’t pray because it doesn’t work. Prayer doesn’t fix anything. Bad things happen anyway. Nicholas Sparks
  • I talk to God but the sky is empty. Sylvia Plath
  • Prayer is the sign of your weakness. Rely on your inner strength. You will be the winner. Amit Ray
  • The man who prays is the one who thinks that god has arranged matters all wrong, but who also thinks that he can instruct god how to put them right. Christopher Hitchens

Final thoughts


Praying for another

  • When I pray for another person, I am praying for God to open my eyes so that I can see that person as God does, and then enter into the stream of love that God already directs toward that person. Philip Yancey

Praying for others

  • Sometimes I think that just not thinking of oneself is a form of prayer. . .
  • Sometimes the answer to our prayers is to become the answer to someone else’s prayers. Robert Brault

Thoughts on the Lord’s prayer

  • It is a travesty to pray daily “Thy kingdom come” and then do nothing to help bring it to pass. Alice B. Rice
  • The Lord’s Prayer may be committed to memory quickly, but it is slowly learnt by heart. Frederick Denison Maurice
  • I used to think the Lord’s Prayer was a short prayer; but as I live longer, and see more of life, I begin to believe there is no such thing as getting through it. If a man, in praying that prayer, were to be stopped by every word until he had thoroughly prayed it, it would take him a lifetime. Henry Ward Beecher
  • Give us this day our daily bread is probably the most perfectly constructed and useful sentence ever set down in the English language. J. Wingate

On a lighter note

  • All those football coaches who hold dressing-room prayers before a game should be forced to attend church once a week. Duffy’ Daugherty
  • Amen: a special way of saying “over and out” to God
  • Amen: The only part of a prayer that everyone knows.
  • As long as there are tests, there will be prayer in public schools.
  • At my house we pray AFTER we eat.  Rodney Dangerfield
  • Complaint is the largest tribute heaven receives and the sincerest part of our devotion. Jonathan Swift
  • Dear God, I pray for patience. And I want if RIGHT NOW!  Oren Arnold
  • Forgive me my nonsense as I also forgive the nonsense of those who think they talk sense. Robert Frost
  • Give a man a fish, and you’ll feed him for a day; give him a religion, and he’ll starve to death while praying for a fish.
  • God has editing rights over our prayers. He will edit them, correct them, bring them in line with His will and then hand them back to us to be resubmitted. Stephen Crotts
  • God is not a cosmic bellboy for whom we can press a button to get things done. Harry Emerson Fosdick
  • God punishes us mildly by ignoring our prayers and severely by answering them. Richard J. Needham
  • I called Dial-a-Prayer and they hung up on me.  Jackie Vernon
  • I know I’m God because when I pray to him I find I’m talking to myself.  Peter Barnes
  • I often pray, though I’m not really sure Anyone’s listening; and I phrase it carefully, just in case He’s literary. Mignon McLaughlin
  • I pray on the principle that wine knocks the cork out of a bottle. There is an inward fermentation, and there must be a vent. Henry Ward Beecher
  • I ran up the door, opened the stairs, said my pajamas and put on my prayers – turned off my bed, tumbled into my light, and all because he kissed me good-night!
  • I used to pray to the Lord every night to make me a hockey player. Of course I forgot to mention the NHL so I spent 16 years in the minors.  Don Cherry
  • I’ve found that prayers work best when you have big players. Knute Rockne
  • If we could all hear one another’s prayers, God might be relieved of some of his burdens.  Ashleigh Brilliant
  • If you talk to God you are praying; if God talks to you you have schizophrenia.  Thomas Szasz
  • In certain trying circumstances, urgent circumstances, desperate circumstances, profanity furnishes a relief denied even to prayer.  Mark Twain
  • It is best to read the weather forecast before we pray for rain.  Mark Twain
  • More than any other time in history, mankind faces a cross-roads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.  Woody Allen
  • Most of us spend the first six days of each week sowing wild oats then we go to church on Sunday and pray for a crop failure.  Fred Allen
  • My prayer to God is a very short one: ‘Oh Lord make my enemies ridiculous;’ God has granted it.  Voltaire
  • Practical prayer is harder on the soles of your shoes than on the knees of your trousers.  Austin O’Malley
  • Pray, pray very much; but beware of telling god what you want.  French proverb
  • Pray: To ask the laws of the universe to be annulled on behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy. Ambrose Bierce
  • Prayer must never be answered: if it is, it ceases to be prayer and becomes correspondence.  Oscar Wilde
  • Prayer of the modern American: Dear God, I pray for patience. And I want it right now!
  • Prayer: Don’t give God instructions — just report for duty!
  • The time to pray is not when we are in a tight spot but just as soon as we get out of it.  Josh Billings
  • There are only two occasions when Americans respect privacy especially in presidents; those are prayer and fishing.  Herbert Hoover
  • Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer. Mark Twain
  • We don’t pray after a game, that’s too late.  Abe Lemons
  • When I get down on my knees, it is not to pray. Madonna
  • When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realised that the Lord doesn’t work that way so I stole one and asked Him to forgive me. Emo Philips
  • When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land; they said …Let us pray.’ We closed our eyes and when we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.   Desmond Tutu
  • Why is it that when we talk to God we’re said to be praying but when God talks to us we’re schizophrenic?  Lily Tomlin

Useful prayers

  • When something seemingly negative happens: “Help me to surrender completely to this situation and not resist it in any way.  Help me to use it for my highest good.”
  • May all beings be free of suffering and the causes of suffering.
  • May all Beings be happy and free.
  • When feeling angry or resentful: “Help me to come into love and compassion and see him in a loving way.”
  • God, if I can’t have what I want, let me want what I have.
  • God, help me to see this in another way.
  • Prayer for freedom Today, Creator of the Universe, we ask that you come to us and share with us a strong communion of love. We know that your real name is Love, that to have a communion with you means to share the vibration, the same frequency that you are, because you are the only thing that exists in the universe Today, help us to be like you are, to love life, to be life, to be love. Help us to love the way you love, with no conditions, no expectations, no obligations, without any judgments. Help us to love and accept ourselves without any judgment, because when we judge ourselves, we find ourselves guilty and we need to be punished. Help us to love everything you create unconditionally, especially other human beings, especially those who live around us – all our relatives and people whom we try so hard to love. Because when we reject them, we reject ourselves, we reject You. Help us to love others just the way they are with no conditions. Help us to accept them the way they are, without judgment, because if we judge them, we find them guilty, we blame them, and we have the need to punish them. Today, clean our hearts of any emotional poison that we have, free our minds from any judgment so that we can live in complete peace and complete love. Today is a very special day. Today we open our hearts to love again so that we can tell each other, “I love you,”without any fear, and really mean it. Today, we offer ourselves to you. Come to us, use our voices, use our eyes, use our hands, and use our hearts to share ourselves in a communion of love with everyone. Today, Creator, help us to be just like you are. Thank you for everything that we receive this day, especially for the freedom to be who we are. Amen. – Don Miguel Ruiz
  • Prayer for Love Thank You, Creator of the Universe for the gift of Life you have given me, Thank You for giving me everything that I have ever needed Thank You for the opportunity to experience this beautiful body and this wonderful mind, Thank You for living inside me with all Your Love and Your pure and boundless Spirit, with Your warm and radiating Light. Thank You for using my words, for using my eyes, for using my heart to share your love wherever I go. I love You just the way you are and because I am your creation, I love myself just the way I am. Help me to keep the Love and the Peace in my Heart and to make that Love a new way of life, that I may live in Love the rest of my life. Amen. – Don Miguel Ruiz
  • Lord, make me an instrument of your peace; Where there is hatred, let me sow love; When there is injury, pardon; Where there is doubt, faith; Where there is despair, hope; Where there is darkness, light; And where there is sadness, joy. Grant that I may not so much seek To be consoled as to console; To be understood, as to understand, To be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive, It is in pardoning that we are pardoned, And it is in dying [to ourselves] that we are born to eternal life. – St. Francis of Assisi
  • God, we thank you for this earth, our homes; for the wide sky and the blessed sun, for the salt sea and the running water, for the everlasting hills and the never resting winds, for trees and the common grass underfoot. We thank you for our senses by which we hear the songs of birds, and see the splendor of the summer fields, and taste of the autumn fruits, and rejoice in the feel of the snow, and smell the breath of the spring. Grant us a heart wide open to all this beauty; and save our souls from being so blind that we pass unseeing when even the common thorn bush is aflame with your glory.  Walter Rauschenbusch.
  • Dear God, I trust that no matter what happens in my life, it is for my highest good. And no matter what happens in the lives of those I love, it is for their highest good. From all things that are put before us all, we shall become stronger and more loving people. I am grateful for all the beauty and opportunity you put into my life. And in all that I do, I shall seek to be a channel for your love. Susan Jeffers
  • Give me the Love that leads the way The Faith that nothing can dismay The Hope no disappointments tire The Passion that’ll burn like fire Let me not sink to be a clod Make me Thy fuel, Flame of God” – Amy Wilson-Carmichael
  • God help us to live slowly: To move simply: To look softly: To allow emptiness: To let the heart create for us. Amen. – Michael Leunig
  • God, teach me to be patient, teach me to go slow, Teach me how to wait on You when my way I do not know. Teach me sweet forbearance when things do not go right So I remain unruffled when others grow uptight. Teach me how to quiet my racing, rising heart So I might hear the answer You are trying to impart. Teach me to let go, dear God, and pray undisturbed until My heart is filled with inner peace and I learn to know your will. – Helen Steiner Rice
  • Father Break my heart for what breaks yours Give me open hands and open doors Put your light in my eyes and let me see That my own little world is not about me. – Matthew West
  • Divine Protector! let my prayer Be wafted on the morning air, Bright as the bird that soars on high, Light as the breeze which fans the sky, Swift as the light’ning through the air… All nature flows in rapturous lay, Life beams in one eternal ray… The prayer of soul—the soul of prayer, How unrestrained upon the air, As perfume from the beauteous flower Is breathed in sweetness more than power, So let our incense fill the air With deep humility and prayer. – Mrs. Hemans, 1855
  • Give me the Love that leads the way The Faith that nothing can dismay The Hope no disappointments tire The Passion that’ll burn like fire Let me not sink to be a clod Make me Thy fuel, Flame of God – Amy Carmichael
  • Lord, thou knowest better than myself that I am growing older and will soon be old. Keep me from becoming too talkative, and especially from the unfortunate habit of thinking that I must say something on every subject and at every opportunity. Release me from the idea that I must straighten out other peoples’ affairs. With my immense treasure of experience and wisdom, it seems a pity not to let everybody partake of it. But thou knowest, Lord, that in the end I will need a few friends. Keep me from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the point. Grant me the patience to listen to the complaints of others; help me to endure them with charity. But seal my lips on my own aches and pains — they increase with the increasing years and my inclination to recount them is also increasing. I will not ask thee for improved memory, only for a little more humility and less self-assurance when my own memory doesn’t agree with that of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be wrong. Keep me reasonably gentle. I do not have the ambition to become a saint — it is so hard to live with some of them — but a harsh old person is one of the devil’s masterpieces. Make me sympathetic without being sentimental, helpful but not bossy. Let me discover merits where I had not expected them, and talents in people whom I had not thought to possess any. And, Lord, give me the grace to tell them so Amen – Margot Benary-Isbert