Prayer 2    

Quotes for
the Journey:

Prayer


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

Phillips Brooks

   

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

   

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
   

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

   
Most Christians expect little from God, ask little, and therefore receive little and are content with little.       -A.W. Pink
    
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

   
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
    
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
    
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
   
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
   
There is no hope but in prayer.       -Andrew Bonar
   
Prayer does not change God, but changes those who pray.        -Søren Kierkegaard
    
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
   
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

     

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

   
Sometimes I think that just not thinking of 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 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
   
Mental prayer is nothing else. . . but being on terms of friendship with God, frequently conversing in secret with Him.       -Santa Teresa de Avila
   
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 is essentially about making the heart strong  so that fear cannot penetrate there.      -Matthew Fox
   
I do not pray for a lighter load, but for a stronger back.       -Phillips Brooks
   
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
    
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

Prayer 2    

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.

unattributed

   
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
   

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.

Author unknown

   
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
   
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
    

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."

tom walsh

  

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Prayer 2   

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