Quotes about Prayer-Defined


Prayer helps us cling to the altar of God’s promises by which we lay hold of God Himself.


Prayer is an acknowledgment that our need of God’s help is not partial but total.


Prayer is the most tangible expression of trust in God.


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


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


Prayer is nothing but the breathing that out before the Lord, that was first breathed into us by the Spirit of the Lord.


Prayer is a sincere, sensible, affectionate pouring out of the heart or soul to God, through Christ, in the strength and assistance of the Holy Spirit, for such things as God has promised, or according to the Word of God, for the good of the church, with submission in faith to the will of God.


Prayer opens the heart to God, and it is the means by which the soul, though empty, is filled with God.


Prayer is a sincere, sensible, affectionate pouring out of the soul to God, through Christ in the strength and assistance of the Spirit, for such things as God has promised.


Great grief prays with great earnestness. Prayer is not a collection of balanced phrases; it is the pouring out of the soul. What is love if it be not fiery? What are prayers if the heart be not ablaze? They are the battles of the soul. In them men wrestle with principalities and powers…The prayer that prevails is not the work of lips and fingertips. It is the cry of a broken heart and the travail of a stricken soul.


Prayer is simple, prayer is supernatural, and to anyone not related to our Lord Jesus Christ, prayer is apt to look stupid.


Is the Son of God praying in me, or am I dictating to Him?… Prayer is not simply getting things from God, that is a most initial form of prayer; prayer is getting into perfect communion with God. If the Son of God is formed in us by regeneration, He will press forward in front of our common sense and change our attitude to the things about which we pray.


Prayer is keeping company with God.


The true spirit of prayer is no other than God’s own Spirit dwelling in the hearts of the saints. And as this spirit comes from God, so doth it naturally tend to God in holy breathings and pantings. It naturally leads to God, to converse with him by prayer.


Christian prayer is NOT:

1. To give God information – Matt. 6:8.

2. Telling God what to do – Rom. 11:34.

3. Asking God to engineer a situation to the end we desire.

4. Something we do to please or appease God – Jn. 19:30.

5. A meritorious performance God expects of us; a duty or obligation of obedience.

6. An exercise to make us better, stronger, or more “spiritual.”

7. For therapeutic psychological adjustment, “good feelings.”

8. Self-instruction to gain a knowledge of God’s will.

9. Soliciting more “blessings” or “benefits” from God.

10. An evasion of the problems and anxieties of contemporary existence.

11. Superstitious, mystical or magical trance.

12. A spiritual “power-tool” to employ the “power of prayer.”

13. A discipline or devotional exercise that will lead us to godliness.

14. Demanding our rights before God.

15. Persistence and shameless haranguing until we get what we want.

16. A mechanical ritual or rote formulas.

17. An external religious action, pretentious and ostentatious – Matt. 6:5, 6.

18. Verbosity of meaningless repetition – Matt. 6:7.

19. A religious activity executed “on command” – litanies, rosaries, etc.

20. Prescribed by place, time or procedure.


Prayer is not a spiritual crowbar or jackhammer that pries open God’s willingness to act but a means by which Christians open themselves up to God – to grasp God’s will and be grasped by it.


Prayer is a humble act of declaring our dependence on God.


Prayer is not about getting what we want – the fulfillment of our will; it is about learning what God wants – the bending of our will to God’s will.


Prayer is nothing but the promise reversed, or God’s Word formed into an argument, and retorted by faith upon God again.


Prayer is an offering up of our desires to God for the things agreeable to His will, in the name of Christ, by the help of His Spirit, with confession of our sins and thankful acknowledgment of His mercies.


From a biblical point of view, prayer is related to everything that we are and everything that God is. God does not respond to our prayers. God responds to us: to our whole life. What we say to Him cannot be separated from what we think, feel, will and do. Prayer is communication from whole persons to the Wholeness which is the living God. Prayer is misunderstood until we see it this way.


If I throw out a boathook from the boat and catch hold of the shore and pull, do I pull the shore to me, or do I pull myself to the shore? Prayer is not pulling God to my will, but the aligning of my will to the will of God.


Prayer, in many ways, is the supreme expression of our faith in God.


Prayer is not performance but climbing up to the heart of God.


Prayer is the muscle that activates the arm of omnipotence.


Prayer is life passionately wanting, wishing, desiring God’s triumph. Prayer is life striving and toiling everywhere and always for that ultimate victory.


Prayer is the natural and joyous breathing of the spiritual life by which the heavenly atmosphere is inhaled and then exhaled in prayer.


True prayer is an awareness of our helpless need and an acknowledgment of divine adequacy (Ray Stedman).


Prayer is not so much an act as it is an attitude – an attitude of dependency, dependency upon God.


Prayer is the open admission that without Christ we can do nothing. And prayer is the turning away from ourselves to God in the confidence that He will provide the help we need. Prayer humbles us as needy, and exalts God as wealthy.


Prayer is coming to God, pouring out our hearts in fervent desire and faith, expressing our need, committing our way to Him, and leaving the outcome to the Lord as He most wisely and lovingly sees best.


A true prayer is an inventory of needs, a catalog of necessities, an exposure of secret wounds, a revelation of hidden poverty.


Prayer…is the very way God Himself has chosen for us to express our conscious need of Him and our humble dependence on Him.


Prayer is helplessness plus faith.


Prayer is not attempting to get our will done in heaven but His will done on earth.


It is good to be conscious that we are always in the presence of God. It is better to gaze upon Him in adoration. But it is best of all to commune with Him as a Friend – and that is prayer.


Prayer, then, is certainly not persuading God to do what we want God to do. It is not bending the will of a reluctant God to our will. It does not change His purpose, although it may release His power. “We must not conceive of prayer as overcoming God’s reluctance,” says Archbishop Trench, “but as laying hold of His highest willingness.”


I believe the vast majority of Christians would say, “Prayer is asking things from God.” But surely prayer is much more than merely “getting God to run our errands for us,” as someone puts it. It is a higher thing than the beggar knocking at the rich man’s door.


Prayer is simply the turning of the soul to God.


Prayer is going into “the secret place of the Most High,” and abiding under the shadow of the Almighty (Ps. 91:1). Prayer is a making known to God our wants and desires, and holding out the hand of faith to take His gifts. Prayer is the result of the Holy Spirit dwelling within us. It is communion with God.


Prayer is an offering up of our desires unto God for things agreeable to His will, in the name of Christ, with confession of our sins and thankful, acknowledgment of His mercies.


Prayer is a golden chain: one end tied to the tongue of man, the other to the ear of God


Prayer is more than something we do it is something that God does through us.


Prayer is the soul’s breathing itself into the bosom of its heavenly Father.


Whether we think of, or speak to, God, whether we act or suffer for Him, all is prayer, when we have no other object than His love, and the desire of pleasing Him.

Recommended Books

Praying Backwards: Transform Your Prayer Life by Beginning in Jesus’ Name

Bryan Chapell

The Complete Works of E. M. Bounds on Prayer

E.M. Bounds

Pray Big: Learn to Pray Like an Apostle

Alistair Begg