3 - prayer 4
think that just not thinking
oneself is a form of prayer. . .
Barbara Grizzuti Harrison
is the most powerful form of energy one can generate. The
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
a flow of sustaining power in our daily lives.
Our thanks to God should always
precede our requests.
Prayer is the
only real action in the full sense of the word, because
prayer is the
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
person and, therefore,
for the rest of your
life you act in a different way from
the way in which you
and in which you would have
to act had you not prayed. In other words,
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.
is love raised to its greatest power, and the prayer of
is the noblest and most Christian kind of
prayer because in it love--and imagination-- reach their
highest and widest range.
Trouble and perplexity drive me to
and prayer drives away perplexity and trouble.
essentially about making the heart strong
so that fear
cannot penetrate there.
people behind the words
Two - Year Three
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Prayer for worldly
goods is worse than fruitless, but prayer
for strength of
is that passion of the soul
which catches the gift
have not the courage
prayers. . .
Unable either to
them, I do
as a child
do who cannot
read--I say just
want to say to God,
never fails to understand.
Therese of Lisieux
not pray for a lighter load,
but for a stronger back.
not conquering God's reluctance,
taking hold of God's
not a cosmic bellboy for whom we can
press a button to
get things done.
Harry Emerson Fosdick
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.
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
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am, among all people, most richly blessed.
3 - prayer 4
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."
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
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."
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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.
Grace L. Naessens
was a faithful prayer lost. Some prayers have
voyage than others, but then they return
richer lading at last, so that the praying soul
gainer by waiting for an answer.
When we pray "in the
name of Jesus" the answers are in accordance
with His nature, and if we think our prayers are
it is because we are not interpreting
the answer along this line.
Prayer covers the whole of our life. There is no thought, feeling, yearning,
however low, trifling, or vulgar we may deem it,
it affects our real interest or happiness, we may not lay
and be sure of sympathy. His nature is such
that our often coming
does not tire him. The whole burden
of the whole life of humans
may be rolled on to God and not
weary him, though it has wearied us.
Henry Ward Beecher
a little each day in a childlike way for the Spirit of
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.
nothing He would rather do than unveil to you the grace
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
ourselves and give the Spirit room in our hearts.
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
thousands of times,
and I know that I never
said a prayer in my life without something
good coming of it.
grandfather was walking through his yard when he heard his
repeating the alphabet in a tone of voice that sounded like a prayer.
her what she was doing. The little girl explained: "I'm praying, but I can't
think of exactly the right words,
so I'm just saying all the letters, and God
will put them together for
because He knows what I'm thinking."
you begin to live life looking for the God that is all
every moment becomes a prayer.
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.
would love to have a more earnest prayer life! In my life, prayer is
the single most difficult discipline.
I love God and there’s something
in me that would rather do things for God than talk to God.
I’m not by nature
a mystical, devotional person.
I like to do things.
And so it’s a challenge
for me to have a faithful prayer life, but I know God loves me
and He’s not mad at me.
He just wishes I would slow down
and turn things over to Him.
And that’s what I think
you achieve through prayer.
prayers seem to be more of an attitude than anything else.
in very little lip service, but ask the Great Creator silently, daily,
many times a day, to permit me to speak to Him through the three great
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
to give me wisdom, understanding, and bodily strength to do His will;
hence I am asking and receiving all the time.
It’s a risky thing to pray and the danger is
that our very prayers get between
God and us. The great
thing in prayer is not to pray, but to go directly
to God. . . . The fact is, though, that if you descend into the depths
own spirit and arrive somewhere near the center of what you are, you
with the inescapable truth that, at the very root of your existence,
in constant and immediate contact with the infinite power of God.
and needs are closely connected.
And all our needs, even the ones
we’re not completely aware of yet, will be met.
Be grateful that God knows
more about what we need than we do.
Sometimes when we pray, we get
what we want.
Sometimes we get what we need.
Accept both answers—the
yes’s and the something else’s—with heartfelt gratitude.
Then look around
and see what your lesson and gift is.
|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
* 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.
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Mental prayer is
nothing else. . .
but being on terms of
frequently conversing in secret with Him.
Teresa de Avila
needs no speech. It is in itself independent of any sensuous
effort. But it must be combined with the utmost humility.
does not come through prayer. It comes as a result of an
of faith, a condition of mind and heart, in which the Invisible is
upon for all things necessary, instead of upon the visible and
Prayer in the form of begging and beseeching God to kindly answer
our requests is not capable of producing supply in itself.
Henry T. Hamblin
|In the life of the Indian there is only one inevitable
of prayer--the daily recognition of the Unseen and Eternal. Our
daily devotions were more necessary to us than daily food.
prayers should be for blessings in general, for God
knows best what is good for us.
I consider prayer to be of immense psychological benefit.
But we must
accept that its tangible results are often hard to see. When it comes to
obtaining certain, direct results, it is clear that prayer cannot match the
achievements of, for instance, modern science. When I was ill some
years ago, it was certainly comforting to know that people were praying
for me, but it was, I must admit, still more comforting to know that the
hospital where I was being treated had the very latest equipment
to deal with my condition!
Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World
|Prayer isn’t strictly a mental activity any more than it’s strictly
an emotional activity. It’s an experience of the whole being.
Sue Monk Kidd
When the Heart Waits