Quotes for Topic: Prayer-defined
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.
Reference: The God Who Hears, IVP, 1986, p. 13. Get this book!
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.
Reference: The Missional Church: A Vision for the Sending of the Church in North America, Eerdmans, www.eerdmans.com,1998, p. 157-158.
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.
Reference: Luke – Exegetical Commentary, Zondervan, www.zondervan.com, 2011, p. 473.
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.
Reference: A Song of Ascents, Abingdon, 1979, p. 383.
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.
Reference: The Vital Place of the Prayer Meeting.
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.
Reference: Excerpted from: Prayer, Study Outlines, 1999, www.christinyou.net. Used by Permission.
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.
Reference: Bedford Prison, 1662.
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.
Reference: Desiring God, 1996, p. 138, Used by Permission, www.desiringGod.org. Get this book!
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.
Reference: God’s Sovereignty and Prayer, Revival Commentary, v. 2, n. 1, p. 8-9.
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.
Reference: The Works of Jonathan Edwards.
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.
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 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.
Reference: The Kneeling Christian, circa 1930, ch. 12.
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.”
Reference: The Kneeling Christian, circa 1930, ch. 5.
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.
Reference: The Kneeling Christian, circa 1930, ch. 5.