prayer in its simplest
wish turned Godward.
time you pray, if your prayer is sincere, there will be
and new meaning in it which will give you
and you will understand that prayer is an
education. -Fyodor Dostoyevsky
The purpose of daily
prayer is the cultivation of a sense of the sacred.
Sacred energy renews us. Lives with no more sense of
than that provided by shopping malls,
ordinary television, and stagnant
workplaces are barren
lives indeed. Spirituality enriches culture.
enables us to transform the world, because it transforms
are times in a person's life when, regardless of
attitude of the body, the soul is on its knees in prayer.
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
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.
Christians expect little from God, ask little,
therefore receive little and are content with little.
|Lift up your hearts to Him, sometimes even
at your meals,
and when you are in company; the least
will always be acceptable to Him. You
need not cry very loud;
He is nearer to us than we are
aware. -Brother Lawrence
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
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.
|Through prayer we can
carry in our heart all human pain and sorrow,
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
is neither black magic nor is it a form of a demand note.
Prayer is a relationship. The act of praying is more
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.
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.
|There is no hope but in prayer.
Prayer does not change God,
changes those who pray. -Søren
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.
course they are. We are imperfect human beings.
thousand experiences have convinced me beyond room of
that prayer multiplies the strength of the
individual and brings
within the scope of his
capabilities almost any conceivable objective.
must pray for yourself constantly.
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
"The Rime of the Ancient Mariner"
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
think that just not thinking
oneself is a form of prayer. -Barbara Grizzuti Harrison
|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
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,
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.
|Mental prayer is
nothing else. . .
but being on terms of
frequently conversing in secret with Him.
-Santa Teresa de Avila
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
a flow of sustaining power in our daily lives.
essentially about making the heart strong
so that fear
cannot penetrate there. -Matthew Fox
not pray for a lighter load,
but for a stronger back. -Phillips Brooks
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.
was a faithful prayer lost. Some prayers have
voyage than others, but then they return
richer lading at last, so that the praying soul
gainer by waiting for an answer. -William Gurnall
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
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am, among all people, most richly blessed.
a little each day in a childlike way for the Spirit of
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.
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.
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
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.
prayers seem to be more of an attitude than anything else.
in very little lip service, but ask the Great Creator silently, daily,
many times a day, to permit me to speak to Him through the three great
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
to give me wisdom, understanding, and bodily strength to do His will;
hence I am asking and receiving all the time.
|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
* 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.
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."
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
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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