Every saint is God’s temple, and he who carries His temple about him, may go to prayer when he pleaseth.
Those who know God the best are the richest and most powerful in prayer. Little acquaintance with God, and strangeness and coldness to Him, make prayer a rare and feeble thing.
The idea that everything would happen exactly as it does regardless of whether we pray or not is a specter that haunts the minds of many who sincerely profess belief in God. It makes prayer psychologically impossible, replacing it with dead ritual at best.
Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men! Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks.
I hear men praying everywhere for more faith, but when I listen to them carefully, and get to the real heart of their prayer, very often it is not more faith at all that they are wanting, but a change from faith to sight. Faith says not, “I see that it is good for me, so God must have sent it,” but, “God sent it, and so it must be good for me.” Faith, walking in the dark with God, only prays Him to clasp its hand more closely.
Every true prayer has its background and its foreground. The foreground of prayer is the intense, immediate desire for a certain blessing which seems to be absolutely necessary for the soul to have; the background of prayer is the quiet, earnest desire that the will of God, whatever it may be, should be done. What a picture is the perfect prayer of Jesus in Gethsemane! In front burns the strong desire to escape death and to live; but behind there stands, calm and strong, the craving of the whole life for the doing of the will of God… Leave out the foreground, let there be no expression of the will of him who prays, and there is left a pure submission which is almost fatalism. Leave out the background, let there be no acceptance of the will of God, and the prayer is only an expression of self-will, a petulant claiming of the uncorrected choice of him who prays. Only when the two are there together, the special desire resting on the universal submission, the universal submission opening into the special desire is the picture perfect and the prayer complete.
All of us would be wiser if we would resolve never to put people down, except on our prayer lists.
Never say you will pray about a thing; pray about it.
Prayer is the vital breath of the Christian; not the thing that makes him alive, but the evidence that he is alive.
Though an unbeliever sin in praying, yet it is not a sin for him to pray. There is sin in the manner of his praying; but prayer, as to the act and substance of it, is his duty. He sins, not because he prays, that is required of him, but because he prays amiss, not in that manner that is required of him. There are abominations in the prayers of a wicked man, but for him to pray is not an abomination, it is the good and acceptable will of God, that which He commands.
When God is about to bestow some great blessing on His church, it is often His manner, in the first place, so to order things in His providence as to show His church their great need of it, and to bring them into distress for want of it, and so put them upon crying earnestly to Him for it.
The eminence of great leaders of the Bible is attributed to their greatness in prayer.
You can do more than pray, after you have prayed, but you can never do more than pray until you have prayed.
Praying is the same to the new creature as crying is to the natural. The child is not learned by art or example to cry, but instructed by nature; it comes into the world crying. Praying is not a lesson got by forms and rules of art, but flowing from principles of new life itself.
It is impossible to truly pray for someone and hate them at the same time.
When a man is speaking to God he is at his very acme. It is the highest activity of the human soul, and therefore it is at the same time the ultimate test of a man’s true spiritual condition. There is nothing that tells the truth about us as Christian people so much as our prayer life. Everything we do in the Christian life is easier than prayer.
Prayer, genuine and victorious, is continually offered without the least physical effort or disturbance. It is often in the deepest stillness of soul and body that it wins its longest way. But there is another side of the matter. Prayer is never meant to be indolently easy, however simple and reliant it may be. It is meant to be an infinitely important transaction between man and God. And therefore, very often…it has to be viewed as a work involving labor, persistence, conflict, if it would be prayer indeed.
Prayer must not be approached only as a means for the gain of something else. Prayer is in itself good and at the heart of our worship of the Triune God.
Recently I read again of a woman who simply decided one day to make such a commitment to pray, and my conscience was pricked. But I knew myself well enough to know that something other than resolve was being called for. I began to pray about praying. I expressed to God my frustrated longings, my jaded sense of caution about trying again, my sense of failure over working at being more disciplined and regular. I discovered something surprising happening from such simple praying: I was drawn into the presence of One who had, far more than I did, the power to keep me close. I found my focus subtly shifting away from my efforts to God’s, from rigor to grace, from rigidity to relationship. I soon realized that this was happening regularly. I was praying much more. I became less worried about the mechanics and methods, and in turn I was more motivated. And God so cares for us, I realized anew, that He Himself helps us pray. When we “do not know what we ought to pray for… the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express” (Rom. 8:26) (Timothy Jones).
He who prays as he ought will endeavor to live as he prays.
I have found it is impossible to be unforgiving toward those I am praying for. It’s not easy to start praying for them; it’s one of the hardest things I’ve done. But when I make that person an object of prayer, I open the door of my heart a little wider so that God can come in and breathe on my hardened heart, melting the icy resentment that is there.
Prayer is the way and means God has appointed for the communication of the blessings of His goodness to His people.
Nothing is too great and nothing is too small to commit into the hands of the Lord.
When you pray, remember whose attention you wish to gain.
Is there a voice in weeping? Does weeping speak? In what language doth it utter its meaning? Why, in that universal tongue which is known and understood in all the earth, and even in heaven above. When a man weeps, whether he be a Jew or Gentile, Barbarian, Scythian, bond or free, it has the same meaning in it. Weeping is the eloquence of sorrow. It is an unstammering orator, needing no interpreter, but understood of all. Is it not sweet to believe that our tears are understood even when words fail? Let us learn to think of tears as liquid prayers, and of weeping as a constant dropping of importunate intercession which will wear its way right surely into the very heart of mercy, despite the stony difficulties which obstruct the way. My God, I will “weep” when I cannot plead, for thou hearest the voice of my weeping.
There is a general kind of praying which fails for lack of precision. It is as if a regiment of soldiers should all fire off their guns anywhere. Possibly somebody would be killed, but the majority of the enemy would be missed.
No man can do me a truer kindness in this world than to pray for me.
It is impossible to pray for someone without loving him, and impossible to go on praying for him without discovering that our love for him grows and matures.
Whatsoever we beg of God, let us also work for it.
It was a great breakthrough to realize that God was not necessarily leading me to pray for everything with equal intensity. To try to do so will kill a prayer life. To learn to let God set the agenda of our prayer life will resurrect it.
There are three degrees in prayer. The lowest is that spoken only by the lips. The next is when, by a resolute effort, we succeed in fixing our thoughts on Divine things. The third is when the soul finds it hard to turn away from God.
It may be just letting your request be made known unto God (Phil. 4:6). We cannot think that prayer need always be a conflict and a wrestle. For if it were, many of us would soon become physical wrecks, suffering from nervous breakdown, and coming to an early grave.
If we are true intercessors, we must be ready to take part in God’s work on behalf of the people for whom we pray.
He that hears without ears understands us without our words. Yet as language is of absolute necessity in social prayer, that others may join with us in our addresses to God, so for the most part we find it necessary in secret, too, for there are few persons of so steady and fixed a power of meditation as to maintain warm devotion and to converse with God, or with themselves profitably, without words.