The Quote Garden
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 Est. 1998

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Quotations about Prayer

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NOTE:  Some of the quotes on this page were submitted to me by visitors, and not all have been verified for original source or wording. I'm working hard to confirm everything, but in the meantime please be aware of the possibility for errors.   —ღ Terri, March 2021

Pythagoras said that the time when men are honestest, is when they present themselves before the gods. If we can overhear the prayer, we shall know the man. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Prayers," in The Dial, July 1842

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

God punishes us mildly by ignoring our prayers and severely by answering them. ~Richard J. Needham

When we pray to God we must be seeking nothing — nothing. ~Saint Francis of Assisi

"Give us this day our daily bread" is probably the most perfectly constructed and useful sentence ever set down in the English language. ~P.J. Wingate

Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays. ~Søren Kierkegaard

No one is a firmer believer in the power of prayer than the devil; not that he practices it, but he suffers from it. ~Guy H. King

Trouble and perplexity drive me to prayer and prayer drives away perplexity and trouble. ~Philip Melanchthen

Don't pray when it rains if you don't pray when the sun shines. ~Satchel Paige, 1974

The value of consistent prayer is not that He will hear us, but that we will hear Him. ~William McGill

You don't always have to pray for something, or to someone — you can just, simply, pray. ~Terri Guillemets

Prayer may not change things for you, but it for sure changes you for things. ~Samuel M. Shoemaker

Two hands working can do more than a thousand clasped in prayer. ~Author Unknown

Pray! Have I prayed! When I'm worn with all my praying!
When I've bored the blessed angels with my battery of prayer!
~G. A. Studdert Kennedy, "Temptation," The Sorrows of God and Other Poems, 1924

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. ~Author Unknown

I prayed for twenty years but received no answer until I prayed with my legs. ~Frederick Douglass, escaped slave

Practical prayer is harder on the soles of your shoes than on the knees of your trousers. ~Austin O'Malley

As long as there are tests, there will be prayer in schools. ~Author Unknown

If you talk to God, you are praying; if God talks to you, you have schizophrenia. ~Thomas Szasz

Prayer is when you talk to God; meditation is when you listen to God. ~Author Unknown

We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties. ~Oswald Chambers

Prayer is that hunger for union which never lets go of us. It beats into our blood with the very beat of our hearts. It is a thirst that can be quenched by nothing except God. It is as if one's whole body is poised on tiptoe, our hands stretching upward as if to touch the cosmos. ~Catherine de Hueck Doherty, Soul of My Soul: Reflections from a Life of Prayer, 1985

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

Many people pray as if God were a big aspirin pill; they come only when they hurt. ~B. Graham Dienert

Some have been to the mountain. I have been to my knees by the side of my bed. ~Robert Brault,

Prayer is not merely an occasional impulse to which we respond when we are in trouble: prayer is a life attitude. ~Walter A. Mueller

Never trust to prayer without using every means in your power, and never use the means without trusting in prayer. ~Harriet Beecher Stowe, "Last Days in Cloudland," Oldtown Folks, 1869

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

It is good for us to keep some account of our prayers, that we may not unsay them in our practice. ~Matthew Henry

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

Grow flowers of gratitude in the soil of prayer. ~Terri Guillemets

If we could all hear one another's prayers, God might be relieved of some of his burdens. ~Ashleigh Brilliant

If we refuse to pray until we can elucidate the mystery of prayer, we are as foolish as a man would be who would shut off the rain from his garden until he understands the balancings of the clouds. ~Alfred Rowland, "The Clouds: God's Angels of the Sea," in The Sunday Magazine (London), 1884

Prayers not felt by us are seldom heard by God. ~Philip Henry

Let your prayers be humble, short, but energick. ~Countess Dowager of Carlisle, Thoughts in the Form of Maxims addressed to Young Ladies, on their First Establishment in the World, 1790  [Isabella Howard (1721–1795) —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

I take deep pleasure in prayer — and making intimate and intense contact with the mysterious life of God. There is nothing in the world that can substitute the joy of prayer. ~Clarice Lispector (1920–1977), A Breath of Life: Pulsations, written 1974–1977, published posthumously 1978, edited by Olga Borelli and Benjamin Moser, translated from the Portuguese by Johnny Lorenz, 2012  [Angela —tg]

To be present is to be prayerful. ~Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh

      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 (1875–1964), "A Soul's Faring: XXVI," A Soul's Faring, 1921

When you pray, rather let your heart be without words than your words without heart. ~John Bunyan

And help us, this and every day, to live more nearly as we pray. ~John Keble

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. ~Joseph Kita, "God," Wisdom of Our Fathers, 1999

I believe in prayer. It's the best way we have to draw strength from heaven. ~Josephine Baker

On her knees so, she could pray a powerful prayer, for the lower down one got, the higher the prayer went. ~Cid Ricketts Sumner, Tammy Out of Time, 1958

In times of steady calm and extraordinary change alike, Americans of all walks of life have long turned to prayer to seek refuge, demonstrate gratitude, and discover peace. Sustaining us through great uncertainty and moments of sorrow, prayer allows us an outlet for introspection, and for expressing our hopes, desires, and fears. ~Barack Obama, 2016 May 4th, of National Day of Prayer

Prayer must never be answered: if it is, it ceases to be prayer and becomes correspondence. ~Oscar Wilde

Oft my prayers are only sighs... ~Emily C. Huntingdon, "Two on Earth and Two in Heaven"

Saying one's prayers isn't exactly the same thing as praying.... ~L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Prayer is the soul's sincere desire,
Uttered or unexpressed;
The motion of a hidden fire
That trembles in the breast.
~James Montgomery, What is Prayer?

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

It is not well for a man to pray cream and live skim milk. ~Henry Ward Beecher

We thank
on our knees
with folded hands
for full bellies
and fuller hearts
~Terri Guillemets, "Whole body, whole spirit," 2019

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, 1862

I cannot pray!—
My soul is at war with God!
~Edgar A. Poe, Politian, 1835 (Lalage)

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. For what is prayer but the expansion of yourself into the living ether? And if it is for your comfort to pour your darkness into space, it is also for your delight to pour forth the dawning of your heart. ~Khalil Gibran, The Prophet, 1923

To one who has been long in city pent,
'T is very sweet to look into the fair
And open face of heaven,—to breathe a prayer
Full in the smile of the blue firmament...
~John Keats (1795–1821)  ["Breathing prayer" phrases go back at least to 1772 and the concept centuries prior to that. —tg]

Prayer is for the grateful and for the grateful-to-be. ~Terri Guillemets

Complaint is the largest tribute heaven receives and the sincerest part of our devotion. ~Jonathan Swift

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, "Prayer," Practical Piety

Sometimes, praying is releasing our pent-up, used-up life and making room in ourselves for new life. ~Terri Guillemets, "Knees down, heart open, head up," 2021

Forgetting God all Day, Men deem it right
To ask Him to remember them at Night.
~Arthur Guiterman, "Of Prayer," A Poet's Proverbs, 1924

God can pick sense out of a confused prayer. ~Richard Sibbes

Prayer is the coin paid to Gratitude. ~Terri Guillemets

Pray, v. To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy. ~Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Prayer requires more of the heart than of the tongue. ~Adam Clarke

when it's a glorious day
I pray
it's a glorious day
when I pray
~Terri Guillemets

God answers first the prayers we should have prayed. ~Robert Brault,

My father prayed because he had a good Friend with whom to share the problems of the day. ~Corrie Ten Boom, Clippings from My Notebook

When we pray, our hearts glow a glorious joy that lights our souls and all the world around us. ~Terri Guillemets

God always answers our prayers, but sometimes the answer is no. ~Author Unknown

God speaks in the silence of the heart. Listening is the beginning of prayer. ~Mother Teresa

It is of course possible to dance a prayer. ~Terri Guillemets

Have I the courage of my prayers? I pray for a thing, but if it came, am I sure I should have the fortitude to accept it? Have I the capacity to accept truth? We pray, and have not the courage to accept the answer to our prayers — and still we pray.
We invite a thing to depart, and then nail it down for fear it will. We pray for our misery to go, and when it gets up to do so, we go over and lock the door. We cry for freedom, and we cry harder when we get it. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "A Soul's Faring: LXXVII," A Soul's Faring, 1921

Prayer is a triumph, in whatever form. ~Terri Guillemets

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." ~O. Hallesby

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.
~"The Prayer of Soul," written from impression by the spirit of Mrs. Hemans, by Mrs. H.A. Adams (medium), in The Sacred Circle, Volume I, edited by Judge Edmonds, Dr. Dexter, and O.G. Warren, 1855

When prayers go up, blessings come down. ~Author unknown

Pray so hard your words glow in the dark. ~Terri Guillemets

When you bow deeply to the universe, it bows back; when you call out the name of God, it echoes inside you. ~Morihei Ueshiba

Our prayers make beggars of us all. We pray for blessings, when they can only be evolved; for peace when it is a result; and for grace when it is a growth.
We ask as alms that which is ours by divine diligence. We pray for things to be bestowed that have their origin only in us, and for things to be given that are already in our possession. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "A Soul's Faring: LXXXVII," A Soul's Faring, 1921

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

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

Most people do not pray; they only beg. ~George Bernard Shaw

Prayer helps hold together a broken soul. ~Terri Guillemets

Teach me, Father, how to go
Softly as the grasses grow;
Hush my soul to meet the shock
Of the wild world as a rock;
But my spirit, propt with power,
Make as simple as a flower.
Let the dry heart fill its cup,
Like a poppy looking up;
Let life lightly wear her crown,
Like a poppy looking down,
When its heart is filled with dew,
And its life begins anew...
~Edwin Markham, "A Prayer"

Sometimes the answer to our prayers is to become the answer to someone else's prayers. ~Robert Brault,

Prayer draws us near to our own souls. ~Herman Melville, Mardi and A Voyage Thither, 1849

Sometimes prayers collide and miracles are born. ~Terri Guillemets, "Jane & the sun," 1988

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. ~Anne Louise Germaine de Staël-Holstein

To give thanks in solitude is enough. Thanksgiving has wings and goes where it must go. Your prayer knows much more about it than you do. ~Victor Hugo

What we usually pray to God is not that His will be done, but that He approve ours. ~Helga Bergold Gross

Prayer lights your soul through dark times. ~Terri Guillemets

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

We cannot ask in behalf of Christ what Christ would not ask Himself if He were praying. ~A.B. Simpson

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

Just pray for a tough hide and a tender heart. ~Ruth Graham

The candle of prayer answers the darkness. ~Terri Guillemets

God tells us to burden him with whatever burdens us. ~Author Unknown

You know I ain't never prayed before
'Cause it always seemed to me
That prayin's the same as beggin' Lord,
I don't take no charity.
~Steve Earle, "Tom Ames' Prayer," 1994

Before we can pray, "Lord, Thy Kingdom come," we must be willing to pray, "My Kingdom go." ~Alan Redpath

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

Prayer is the balloon of faith by which the soul rises heavenward. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Seven Seventy Seven Sensations, 1897

Who rises from prayer a better man, his prayer is answered. ~George Meredith

Pray on the shadowy hillsides of hardship and on the sunny highlands of happiness. ~Terri Guillemets

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

Be thankful that God's answers are wiser than your answers. ~William Culbertson

Prayer is the language of a man burdened with a sense of need. ~E.M. Bounds

Oh! none are so absorb'd, as not to feel
Sweet thoughts like music coming o'er the mind:
When prayer, the purest incense of a soul,
Hath risen to the throne of heaven, the heart
Is mellow'd, and the shadows that becloud
Our state of darken'd being, glide away;...
~Robert Montgomery, "Beautiful Influences," A Universal Prayer; Death; A Vision of Heaven; and A Vision of Hell; &c. &c., 1829

And then with one long, wild, appealing glance skyward, as though looking a prayer which she dared not utter even in her heart... ~Bram Stoker, The Watter's Mou', 1895

Prayer is exhaling the spirit of man and inhaling the spirit of God. ~Edwin Keith

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

Prayer is the spirit speaking truth to Truth. ~Philip James Bailey

The Lord longs to hear all of our concerns — any concern too small to be turned into a prayer is too small to be made into a burden. ~Corrie Ten Boom, Clippings from My Notebook

Call on God, but row away from the rocks. ~Indian Proverb

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Last saved 2021 May 16 Sun 18:45 PDT

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