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Prayer


“There are very few people who come to their senses, very few who understand life. We pray with our lips only, and we hurry through our prayers to “get it over with” as soon as possible, and then we lose peace. Fasting and prayer are a means of embellishing our soul and bringing it back to its original state.” (Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica)

“...God’s answers [to prayers] come from God’s perspective. They are not always in harmony with our expectations, for only he knows the whole story. Are you missing God’s answer to a prayer because you haven’t considered any possible answers other than the one you expect?” (Life Application Study Bible, Genesis 18:20-33)

“When we pray and God’s answer is “not yet,” we must understand that God has his reasons for waiting." (Henry and Richard Blackaby)

“Many people think their prayers are never answered because it is the answered ones that they forget. Like the others who find proof for a superstition by recording all the cases in which bad luck has followed a dinner with 13 at table and forget all the others where it hasn’t.” (C. S. Lewis)

“I have had prayers answered – most strangely so sometimes – but I think our heavenly Father’s loving kindness has been even more evident in what He has refused me.” (Lewis Carroll)

“God will answer your prayers, but not as a result of your positive mental attitude...To pray effectively, you need faith in God, not faith in the object of your request. If you focus only on your request, you will be left with nothing if your request is refused.” (Life Application Study Bible, Mark 11:22-23)

“When you find it difficult to pray...Say to God, “I am unable to speak to You, so I need You to speak to my heart.” Sometimes the most profitable spiritual growth can take place in such periods of brokenness because we see in those moments how very much we need God and depend upon Him.” (Abbot Tryphon)

“For a long while I was a mistress of the art of praying for God to change difficult circumstances. It took years before I learned how to pray for God to change me in the midst of the difficult circumstances." (Karen Burton Mains)

“When all other courses of action have been eliminated, when we stand on the edge of the abyss, when we approach God with empty hands and an aching heart, then we draw close to the true heart of prayer." (Jerry Sittser)

“What seem our worst prayers may really be, in God's eyes, our best. Those, I mean, which are least supported by devotional feeling. For these may come from a deeper level than feeling. God sometimes seems to speak to us most intimately when He catches us, as it were, off our guard.” (C. S. Lewis)

“One must force himself to prayer when he has not spiritual prayer; and thus God, beholding him thus striving and compelling himself by force, in spite of an unwilling heart, gives him the true prayer of the Spirit.” (St. Macarius the Great)

“An interesting thing I’ve learned about praying for others and the world in general is that while I’m praying for others, God is also working in me, changing my heart for the better.” (David L. Fontes, PsyD)

“Prayer is a weapon that all believers should use in interceding for others.” (Life Application Study Bible, Romans 15:30)

“Over the past twenty years, there has been a surge in research studying the connection between prayer and health. Researchers such as Herbert Benson, Harold Koenig, Mitchell Krucoff, David Larson, and Kenneth Pargament have identified connections between prayer and improvements in mental health, recovery from illness, immune system functioning, blood pressure, and many other aspects of health. Studies on intercessory prayer, or prayer for the well-being of others, have grown to the point that intercessory prayer in now classified as an experimental intervention by the American Psychological Association.” (George Stavros)

“He who persists ceaselessly in prayer must not disparage the man incapable of doing this, nor must the man who devotes himself to serving the needs of the community complain about those dedicated to prayer. For if the prayers and the service are offered in the spirit of simplicity and love for others, the superabundnce of those dedicated to prayer will make up for the insufficiency of those who serve and vice versa.” (St. Makarios of Egypt)

“I am often, I believe, praying for others when I should be doing things for them. It’s so much easier to pray for a bore than to go and see him.” (C.S. Lewis)

“Prayer must have a vital place in our lives, but there is also a place for action. Sometimes we know what to do, but we pray for more guidance as an excuse to postpone doing it. If we know what we should do, then it is time to get moving.” (Life Application Study Bible, Exodus 14:15)

“The gospel assures me that God cares about everything I do and will listen to my prayers. He may not answer them the way I want, but if He doesn’t it is because He knows things I do not. My degree of success or failure is part of his good plan for me. God is my source of strength and perseverance.” (Katherine Leary Alsdorf)

“Prayer is the ascent of the heart and mind to God.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Psalm 69:1)

“…complex issues require prayer and discernment that is anything but simple and requires us to extend ourselves in our thoughts and heart to make a good decision that we may or may not have peace about.” (Sacramental Living)

“Even well-grounded, deeply committed Christians need constant encouragement, instruction, and prayer.” (1 Thessalonians 3:1-5)

“As we pray to God, He shifts our focus from ourselves to Him.” (Life Application Study Bible, Psalms 77:1)

“Prayer must be united with quiet and godly behavior.” (Orthodox Study Bible, 1Timothy 2:8)"Unless the prayer which you intend to offer to God is important and meaningful to you first, you will not be able to present it to the Lord. If you are inattentive to the words you pronounce, if your heart does not respond to them, or if your life is not turned in the same direction as your prayer, it will not reach out Godwards.” (Metropolitan Anthony Bloom)

“be serious and watchful in your prayers. And above all things have fervent love for one another, for"love will cover a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:7-8)

“Our friendship with God is sustained in prayer, and it is in prayer that we encounter the will and purposes of God and allow God to speak to our wills, motives, our desires and our priorities. Nothing is so critical to our spiritual formation than the nurturing of our prayer.” (Gordon T. Smith)

“The path to a deeper spiritual life is not through religious duties, special knowledge, or secrets; it is only through a clear connection with the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Life Application Study Bible, Colossians 4:18)

“You must approach prayer with an attitude such that you desire only the Divine Will, and not your own, alike in asking and in receiving what you have asked for....In a word, let it be in your mind and heart completely, to unite your will with the will of God, to obey it in everything, and in no way to desire to incline God’s will toward your own.” (Saint Theophan)

“A Christian never prays truly to God as if the Lord were a mere bellhop, ready to serve up one’s momentary desires.” (Dynamis 11/2/2012)

“Too often I am self-seeking in prayer. I seek Jesus wanting to know His will for me because I want peace of mind and heart, no anxiety, a healing in thought or body for myself and/or others, or something. It’s really hard for me to just truly want to be in relationship with Him with no strings attached and let Him direct my life as He wills. It’s hard for me to let my life and what I do be a by-product of a right relationship with Him. Too often I want things on my terms and unconsciously, or consciously, seek Him in prayer to sanction and support my desires. Too often I fall into this mindset before I wake up and realize that even though I want do good things I am actually trying to direct my own life and essentially asking Him if He’ll support it.” (Sacramental Living)

“People sometimes make bargains with God, saying ‘If you heal me [or get me out of this mess], I’ll obey you the rest of my life.’ However, soon after they recover, the vow is forgotten and the old lifestyle resumed.” (Life Application Study Bible, Psalm 66:13-15)

“’Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.’ But how do we draw near? The first step is the simple decision to begin each day in prayer.” (James 4:8, Sacramental Living))

“Prayer is the very experience of God.” (Philokalia)

“Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant with thanksgiving.” (St. Paul, Colossians 4:2)"Our patience is an expression of our faith that God answers our prayers. Faith shouldn’t die if the answers come slowly, for the delay may be God’s way of working His will in our life.” (Life Application Study Bible, Colossians 4:2)

“Thy will be done.” But a great deal of it is to be done by God’s creatures; including me. The petition, then, is not merely that I may patiently suffer God’s will but also that I may vigorously do it. I must be an agent as well as a patient. I am asking that I may be enabled to do it….(C.S Lewis, Letters to Malcolm)

“We say that we believe God to be omniscient; yet a great deal of prayer seems to consist of giving Him information…It seems to me that we often, almost sulkily, reject the good that God offers us because, at that moment, we expected some other good.” (C.S Lewis, Letters to Malcolm)

“Should we pray for specific outcomes? Yes and no. We do not, or should not, pray for specific outcomes as our primary reason for prayer. Our motivation for prayer should be love for God and the desire for an ever deepening relationship with Him. The primary outcome, not outcomes, of prayer is this deepening relationship… As Christ said, God already knows all of our needs. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t bring these needs before Him but it should not be our sole motivation for prayer.” (Sacramental Living)

“Prayer, like faith itself, is a gift from God.” (Philokalia)

“Prayer is not an alternative to preparation, and faith is not a substitute for hard work…If your prayers have gone unanswered, perhaps what you need is within your reach. Pray instead for the wisdom to see it and the energy and motivation to do it.” (Life Application Study Bible, Joshua 54:11, 12)

“Ask yourself what is prayer and why do we pray? The answer to these questions is simple. Prayer is the means by which we relate to God and continually develop our relationship with Him. It is the time we spend talking to God and, more importantly, listening to what He is speaking to our hearts.” (Sacramental Living)

“We shouldn’t measure our prayer by worldly outcomes or the desired outcomes we pray for. That is why praying in this manner – solely seeking a specific outcome, even sincerely, is a pathway to a potential loss of faith. The primary outcome, not outcomes, of prayer is this deepening relationship with God.” (Sacramental Living)

“Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

“ ‘Pray without ceasing’ doesn’t mean endlessly muttering prayers. It means living in a constant prayerful state, which includes what we think of as prayer but much more.” (Sacramental Living)"How can anyone pray at all times? One way is to make quick, brief prayers your habitual response to every situation you meet throughout the day. Another way is to order your life around God’s desires and teachings so that your very life becomes a prayer. You don’t have to isolate yourself from other people and daily work in order to pray constantly. You can make prayer your life and life your prayer while living in a world that need’s God’s influence.” (Life Application Study Bible, Ephesians 6:18)

“The consistent mark of those who are vehicles of grace is a life saturated in prayer, for they rely on sustained prayer whatever outward conditions they face…Thus, the hearts, words, and deeds of those who pray ceaselessly emerge obediently for the Lord, and grace is imparted according to the need of those they meet.” (Dynamis 10/5/2012)

“The secret of a close relationship with God is to pray to Him earnestly each morning. In the morning, our minds are more free from problems, and then we can commit the whole day to God.” (Life Application Study Bible, Psalms 5:1-3)

“A good model for us, and one that is exemplified by many great spiritual teachers, is a rule of prayer in which we pray in the morning when we get up and the evening before we go to bed. …The principle here is to set some time aside each day to devote to prayer and communion with God…it helps maintain a continual consciousness of God that will help you be calmer and less anxious in all of your daily duties as a spouse, father or mother, family member, business owner, employee, and/or friend. More importantly, it helps you be more loving so that you are kinder, humbler, more compassionate and more giving then you would be divorced from God.” (Sacramental Living)

“O Lord, grant me to greet the coming day in peace. Help me in all things to rely on Your Holy will. In every hour of the day reveal Your will to me. Bless my dealings with all who surround me. Teach me to treat all that comes to me throughout the day with peace of soul, and with the firm conviction that Your will governs all. In all my deeds and words guide my thoughts and feelings. In unforeseen events, let me not forget that all are sent by You. Teach me to act firmly and wisely, without embittering and embarrassing others. Give me strength to bear the fatigue of this coming day with all that it shall bring. Direct my will, teach me to pray, pray You Yourself in me.” (Prayer of Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow)

“Most books, talk shows, psychologists and other"experts” get it wrong when it comes to being happy…they have one huge inherent flaw that breeds the opposite of happiness – they are based on achieving happiness through self-reliance and self-focus. Any theory of happiness that begins with the word"self” such as self-esteem and self-actualization is ultimately wrong-headed because too much self-focus ultimately breeds anxiety not happiness. So what is happiness? Happiness is simply being fully in the moment (i.e., living in the present) and focusing lovingly on others. It’s a state of a mind and a movement away from self that paradoxically fulfills self. Real happiness is the by-product of right living which is communion with Christ that leads to a deeper love for Him which in turn leads to a deeper love for others.” (Sacramental Living)"If we live sacramentally, our discernment will grow greater over time and we will know God’s continual presence despite how we may feel. When we have a consistent and continual prayer life with God, He illuminates us at His pleasure and for our own good at appropriate times.” (Sacramental Living)

“This is where solitude is so critical, for it is in solitude that we encounter the one [God] to whom we owe our ultimate allegiance, the one who alone can give us security, identify and purpose…Solitude is fundamentally a place of prayer and individual encounter with God. To be in solitude is to be intentionally present to God. Solitude is not the act of being alone; rather it is the event of being alone with God. Solitude is therefore the fundamental and most essential expression of Christian spirituality.” (Gordon T. Smith)

“Prayer is a weapon that all believers should use in interceding for others.” (Life Application Study Bible, Romans 15:30)

“When you face a difficult task, an important decision, or a baffling dilemma, don’t rush into the work and just hope it comes out the way it should. Instead, make your first step prayer for the Holy Spirit’s power and guidance.” (Life Application Study Bible, Acts 1:12-13)

"The first key for drawing near to God is prayer… we should establish ourselves in a sense of God’s Presence, by continually conversing with Him…In prayer you can come into the presence of God.”(Dynamis 1/14/2015, Brother Lawrence, Pastor Timothy Keller)

"...it is important to develop a prayer regimen. This may occur daily upon rising. For those of us who are slow to rise, it may occur later in the day or evening. Best of all, it may continue throughout the day, but it in a less formal sense. In any case, prayer is the"exercise" that allows us to lean upon the Lord Jesus for everything that we needed life." (Marianne C. Sailus)

“Prayer should be done regularly, persistently, resolutely, and tenaciously at least daily, whether we feel like it or not….Prayer is striving. This means sticking with prayer through the ups and downs of feelings…"While God can and will grant times of peace and tranquility, no Christian outgrows the need to struggle and persevere in prayer.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

"When we pray continually, God will enlighten us as to what we must do in each situation, even the most difficult. God will speak in our heart. He will find ways." (St. Porphyrios the Kapsokalyvite)

“Prayer is the test of everything; prayer is also the source of everything; prayer is the driving force of everything; prayer is also the director of everything. If prayer is right, everything is right." (St. Theophan the Recluse)

“Unceasing prayer leads to the acquisition of faith, because he who prays unceasingly begins gradually to feel the presence of God…The more anyone grows in faith due to this relationship the more they will be at peace with their lives because they will feel God’s presence and grace in all circumstances.” (Igumen Chariton, Sacramental Living)

“That’s really what we all want… – to know God’s presence. When we read in Scripture, or hear in a sermon, Bible study, or religious education class, that God loves us, or Christ’s words that even though we will face troubles that He has overcome the world and is there for us (John 16:33), it’s not enough to know this in our brains. We want to feel this as truth and experience this feeling in the depths of our being.” (Sacramental Living Blog)

"Prayer is about connecting with God, about having a relationship with our divine creator. God desires that with us, and because God loves us so much, God actually cares about our trivial wants, our big dreams, and our petty grievances. This is humbling news indeed. We can come to God with anything, and God will work with it.” (Lillian Daniel)

“We must devote ourselves more to prayer...The person devoted to prayer has fellowship with God and comes in contact with Him through a mystical holiness, a spiritual energy, and an inexpressible disposition." (St. Gregory of Nyssa)

“Prayer turns theology into experience." (Pastor Timothy Keller)

“God’s timing, especially His delays, make us think He is not answering or is not answering the way we want. But He will meet all our needs according to His perfect schedule and purpose. Patiently wait on His timing.” (Life Application Study Bible, John 11:5-7)

"Because we are locked into time, unable to see beyond today, we cannot know the reasons for everything that happens. Thus, we must often choose between doubt and trust. Will you trust God with your unanswered questions?” (Life Application Study Bible, Job 42:1)

“Unanswered prayer never becomes a significant issue until we really need an answer to prayer, until our life depends on an answer. Then we cry out to God out of a deep sense of need. We pray out of desperation.” (Jerry Sittser)

"The gospel assures me that God cares about everything I do and will listen to my prayers. He may not answer them the way I want, but if He doesn’t it is because He knows things I do not. My degree of success or failure is part of His good plan for me. God is my source of strength and perseverance.” (Katherine Leary Alsdorf)

"If we are attentive to all the Lord does for us, we can endure times when our prayers seem to go unanswered. That God is not always giving us just what we think we need in no way means He does not hear us. Our days are filled with gifts from God, most often in ways we do not even notice.”(Abbot Tryphon)

“People speak often about the power of prayer. And they do well. But prayer is not just a means to some end. Gather a lot of water or air together under pressure and direct it toward some mess and the hose will indeed take care of the"problem. But that’s not all air and water are for! More than pressure washing, water is for drinking and more than for air compression, oxygen is for breathing. So it is with prayer. Sometimes prayer needs to be directed toward some great mess in life, either mine or another’s. But most often it just needs to feed the soul’s fundamental need for the assurance of God’s abiding presence.” (Hieromonk Maximos)

“The most deadly virus we can catch is self. We can be incredibly self-centered and not even know it – much like the Publican in the story of the Publican and the Pharisee (Luke 8:9-14). We need to think of prayer as more than just petitions to God. Regular prayer is like health-food or medicine for our spirit that fights the virus of self through illuminating for us the presence of God.” (Sacramental Living Blog)

“Prayer is food for the soul. Do not starve the soul; it is better to let your body go hungry." (St. Joseph of Optina)

"Prayer is aliveness to God. Prayer is strength, refreshment, and joy. Through the grace of God and our disciplined efforts prayer lifts us up from our isolation to a conscious, loving communion with God in which everything is experienced in a new light.” (Orthodox Prayer Book)"In Christianity, the heart is not just a physical organ. The New Testament writers and early Christians used the word Nous, translated as heart in English, to mean the innermost part of who we are. If the heart was just a physical organ, then diet and exercise would be all that it needs to maintain health. But heart is more than that and it needs prayer, worship, Bible reading, and all of the other ways God has provided for us through Himself and His Church to nurture it.” (Sacramental Living Blog)

“Being"godly” does not mean being perfect. Obviously that is impossible for human beings. Godly people are those who love the Lord and are seeking to follow Him." (Life Application Study Bible, Proverbs 10:3)

"Do not grow faint in spirit, and do not despond during times of trouble; but turn to the Lord with humble prayers, and believe that help will come to you." (St. Moses of Optina)

“God always answers our prayer. Either He changes the circumstances, or He supplies sufficient power to overcome them.” (Unknown)

“If our motives are pure, we don’t have to be afraid to ask great things from God.” (Life Application Study Bible, 2 Kings 2:9)

"Most of our prayers are answered in the context of the larger story that God is weaving." (Paul E. Miller)

“Too often we see prayer as a time for comfort, reflection, or making requests to God...Prayer is a weapon that all believers should use in interceding for others.” (Life Application Study Bible, Romans 15:30)

“The secret of a close relationship with God is to pray to Him earnestly each morning. In the morning, our minds are more free from problems, and then we can commit the whole day to God. Regular communication helps any friendship and is certainly necessary for a strong relationship with God. We need to communicate with Him daily.” (Life Application Study Bible, Psalms 5:1-3)

“Prayer is a conversation of man with God. He who prays with a broken and humbled spirit is filled with divine gifts and blessings— that is, with joy, peace, comfort, illumination, and consolation— and he, too, becomes blessed. Prayer is a doubled-edged sword that slays despair, saves from danger, assuages grief, and so on." (Elder Ephraim of the Holy Mountain)

“The kingdom of God is not about"praying a prayer” and then everything will turn out all right. Rather, the kingdom is a turning from self to God..." (Patrick Morely)

"The whole point of the Prayer Rule is to help you get closer to God who is Love. The closer you are to God, the more God’s Love will shine through you. The closer you grow to God the more God’s Divine Image will shine forth in you in Likeness. By seriously living the Christian life, you begin to love as God Loves and shine forth His Holy Image to all around you.” (Abouna Justin Rose)

“Too often we rely on our own skills and strength, especially when the task before us seems easy. We go to God only when the obstacles seem too great.” (Life Application Study Bible, Joshua 7:7)

“Prayer is struggle…Many people in the world today fail to grasp what drives them to search for truth, light, happiness, love, and meaning…The Lord intends for us to seek Him…Indeed, we are blessed when we find Him, for in Him is true faith! Like Christ’s first disciples, we too must realize that we have become separated from Him. Only then we will search and be reunited…We risk losing the Lord when we fall asleep spiritually.” (Dynamis 3/15/2014)

“Those demons attack us mercilessly, especially during prayer. We all have heard their voices, asking,"What madness is this? What are you doing? He is not within you! You are deceived. It’s time to deal with real life!” (Dynamis 3/15/2014)

“I have found it impossible to banish distractions from prayer and long ago concluded it is useless to try. Rather, I simply fold them into my prayer, making them the subject of my conversation with God, telling him I am a poor sinner unable to think of him for two minutes without my mind wandering, perhaps having doubts of faith, even erotic thoughts and temptations, asking him to be with me even in my smallness, my sinfulness, my inadequacy.” (Archimandrite Robert Taft, SJ)

“Restlessness in prayer is actually rather a good sign in some ways. It proves, firstly, that we’re actually doing some prayer, albeit imperfectly.” (Hieromonk Maximos)

“Dry prayer discourages us…On the other hand, dry times of prayer may be the result of God testing us. Perhaps God is asking us to trust Him more deeply. The very reason for the test is to see if we will give up on Him. But the answer to dry prayer is not to stop praying. On the contrary, the best thing we can do is persevere, knowing that we will find a breakthrough if we hold fast to our hope until the end.” (The Word Among Us)

“Prayer is either a sheer illusion or a personal contact between embryonic, incomplete persons (ourselves) and the utterly concrete Person...In it God shows Himself to us. That He answers prayers is a corollary—not necessarily the most important one—from that revelation.” (C. S. Lewis)

"God always hears our prayers, and responds to them. But there is no guarantee that the response will be what we happen to want at the time. God knows better than we do when He shall do this and when He shall do that.” (Bishop Basil Losten)

"Do not be always wanting everything to turn out as you think it should, but rather as God pleases, then you will be undisturbed and thankful in your prayer.” (Abba Nilus)"People who are in the habit of praying…know that when a prayer is answered, it is never answered in a way that you expect.... God hears every prayer, but He answers according to His wisdom.” (Kathleen Norris, Life Application Study Bible, Psalms 35:13)

“Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays.” (Søren Kierkegaard)

“Every morning is an opportunity to return to Him [God] in repentance...when we focus on the Lord every morning, we look for...His mercy, joy, enlightenment, and prosperity throughout each day..." (Orthodox Study Bible, Psalms 89)

"[set] aside a place and time where you encounter God each day. Make a priority of pausing to engage God’s presence..." (NIV Men's Devotional Bible)

“Don’t become so busy that life turns into a flurry of activity leaving no room for quiet fellowship alone with God. No matter how much you have to do, you should always have time for prayer.” (Life Application Study Bible, Luke 4:42)

"Start as you mean to go on. It’s not a good idea to turn over the first fruits of the morning to the world and the devil, whether via the internet, television or newspaper...I have decided to return to that sensible advice, put off checking email and news until later in the morning, and already my prayer is more peaceful and my heart clearer.” (Hieromonk Maximos)

“Prayer and Worship gradually transform depression and turn it into joy.” (Elder Porphyrios)"Jesus had to will to go to the Cross. He had to make the choice to go to the Cross in His humanity and for all humanity. He prayed this honest prayer."I can’t do this.” Did you ever feel that way yourself? Do you ever think:"Lord, I can’t do this? I can’t go through this again.” Don’t despair. You need to do what the Lord did and go in to honest prayer.” (Father John Zeyack)

"In prayer one needs to be absolutely honest. Here there can’t be anything ambiguous or artificial. We need to stand before God as we are and say to Him what needs to be said, what we are thinking and feeling. Therefore, for communion with God there’s no need to think up a special language, to look for special words, or to choose special topics. We should pray to God for what our heart is asking and yearning for.” (Orthodoxy and the World)"We are simply not willing to live with questions. Questions leave us vulnerable, weak, needy. They open up gaping holes in our personality, our theology or our lifestyle. Questions force an honesty that we are unwilling to confront—an honesty that requires us to live with our lives unresolved.” (John Fischer)

“We too struggle to come to a place of submission and surrender to God. Jesus shows us how: honest prayer and submissive prayer.” (Father John Zeyack)

“When you face bitter times, God welcomes your honest prayers, but be careful not to overlook the love, strength, and resources that He provides in your present relationships. And don’t allow bitterness and disappointment to blind you to your opportunities.” (Life Application Study Bible, Ruth 1:20-21)

“The central significance of prayer is not in the things that happen as results, but in the deepening intimacy and unhurried communion with God.... Communion with God is the one need of the soul beyond all other needs; prayer is the beginning of that communion...” (Edward McKendree (E. M.) Bounds, George MacDonald)

“Communion with God is prayer…God is with us everywhere. If we were not so distracted, we would have a constant awareness of God's presence — whether we were at home, on the street, in the field, in the forest, on the sea, underground; whether we were in freedom or in captivity — everywhere.” (Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky)

"Real prayer is communion with God … What is needed is for Him to fill our hearts with His thoughts, and then His desires will become our desires flowing back to Him…As we pray to God, He shifts our focus from ourselves to Him.” (A. W. Pink, Life Application Study Bible, Psalms 77:1-20)

"Real prayer is not telling God what we want. It is putting ourselves at His disposal so that He can tell us what He wants. Prayer is not trying to get God to change His will. It is trying to find out what His will is, to align ourselves or realign ourselves with His purpose for the world and for us. That's why it is so important for us to listen as well as talk when we pray”. (Dr. Samuel Shoemaker)

“If God knows our needs before we ask, why does He want us to ask? I can see two reasons. First, it’s a matter of alignment. God wants us to want what He knows we should have. He wants our minds to get in step with His and recognize our needs through his perspective. Our prayers show how closely we are aligned—or not. Second, God wants us to pray for what He wants to give so we will acknowledge Him as the source of all we have. Prayer for our needs expresses our awareness of our continual dependence on Him. And the more we pray and see how prayers are answered, including which are answered and which are not, the closer we come to the mind of God and learn to blend our wills with His.” (Thomas Williams)

“Continuing to trust in God is tough, especially when we lose people we love or possessions we have worked hard to attain. We all can admit to times when God seemed distant, despite our pleas to Him in prayer. But during such times maintaining our faith isn’t impossible. Persistence and optimism are key elements to seeing God’s work in our lives. God doesn’t promise that our lives will be free of adversity. Instead, He pledges to remain faithful when we put our trust in Him." (NIV Men's Devotional Bible)

“We must pray with perspicacity and contrition seeking spiritual progress, forgiving others and asking their forgiveness, being truly humble. Our prayers will be received and heard if we are praying as God wants us, if we persist in our prayers, if we seek what is profitable to our souls and the souls of others, if our motives are pure.” (Monk Moses)

“Persistence, or boldness, in prayer overcomes our insensitivity, not God’s. To practice persistence does more to change our hearts and minds than His, and it helps us understand and express the intensity of our need. Persistence in prayer helps us recognize God’s work.” (Life Application Study Bible, Luke 11:8)

"Persistence compels us to the true center of prayer, which is not something but someone. Persistence deepens our relationship with God…” (Rankin Wilbourne)

“The value of persistent prayers is not that He will hear us, but that we will finally hear Him.” (Williams McGill)

“Prayer is the only entryway into genuine self-knowledge...It is the way we know God, the way we finally treat God as God. Prayer is simply the key to everything we need to do and be in life.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

“Prayer is an act of faith. It brings us to the threshold of another world. Through it we reach and cross the ultimate frontier. We touch another world, which we come to experience as extraordinary peace, beauty, goodness, joy and trust. Prayer opens our life to a new reality which transcends us. We encounter the living God and converse with Him.” (Rev. Alkiviadis Calivas)

“Through prayer, which brings heaven into the ordinary, we see the world differently, even in the most menial and trivial daily tasks. Prayer changes us.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

"Prayer heals our relationship with God and becomes unending growth…He who has learned to pray has learned the greatest secret of a holy and happy life… Research shows that people who commit at least twenty minutes a day to prayer express a far greater level of satisfaction with their spiritual life than people who commit less time.” (Dynamis 10/20/2014, William Law, Rev. Christopher H. Martin)

“Make sure that you do not limit your prayer merely to a particular part of the day. Turn to prayer at anytime." (St. John Chrysostom)

"If you have a desperate need in your life, bring it to the Lord. In response to fervent prayer, God may change the course of your life too.” (Life Application Study Bible, Isaiah 38:1-5)

“As with everything in the spiritual life, Jesus is the model of our prayer.” (Archimandrite Robert Taft, SJ)

“Jesus prays in solitude (Lk 6:12), especially when conflicted and distressed, as in the Garden of Gethsemane (Mt 26:36-46; Mk 14: 32-42; Lk 22:40-46), praying for comfort and relief in his sorrow. He prays to the Father in blessing, adoration, praise, glorification, thanksgiving, petition and intercession” (Archimandrite Robert Taft, SJ)

“Prayer is the raising of one’s mind and heart to God, or the requesting of good things from God.” (St. John Damascene)

“Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He [Jesus] went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.” (Mark 1:35)

“Jesus sets forth for us an example of spiritual life… He prayed continually, often finding a solitary place to be free from distraction, despite the multitude's need of Him…His praying in the morning teaches us that we must put as first priority our commitment to God, and only then will we be equipped to serve others.” (Orthodox Study Bible Mark 1:35)"All of our great spiritual teachers from the Apostles to the Holy Fathers found time for prayer. Monks live by a rule of prayer in which they pray throughout the day at certain times. A good model for us, and one that is exemplified by many great spiritual teachers, is a rule of prayer in which we pray in the morning when we get up, while the mind is fresh and unencumbered by the day’s events to come, and the evening before we go to bed.” (Sacramental Living)

"It’s easy to be so caught up…that you neglect times of solitude, individual worship and prayer. Perhaps you need to redesign your schedule to find time for earnest prayer. It is vitally important to seek the Lord before your busy schedule takes over your thoughts…Pray – even if you have to get up very early in the morning to do it.” (Life Application Study Bible, Mark 1:35-37)"Prayer helps is better understand the mind of God.” (Life Application Study Bible, Genesis 18:20-33)

“Communicating with God is the most extraordinary experience imaginable, yet at the same time it’s the most natural one of all, because God is present in us at all times. Omniscient, omnipotent, personal—and loving us without conditions. We are connected as One through our divine link with God.” (Eben Alexander)

“For prayer is request. The essence of request, as distinct from compulsion, is that it may or may not be granted. And if an infinitely wise Being listens to the requests of finite and foolish creatures, of course He will sometimes grant and sometimes refuse them.” (C.S. Lewis)

“God may correct by failing to answer our prayers. God often builds faith in Himself when He does not answer. God’s silence encourages trust…” (Dynamis 3/5/2013)

“Do not be distressed if you do not at once receive from God what you ask. He wishes to give you something better - to make you persevere in your prayer.” (Evagrios the Solitary)

"I do not pray for success, I ask for faithfulness.” (Mother Teresa)

“Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays.” (Søren Kierkegaard)

“We may disagree with others, but we shouldn’t stop praying for them.” (Life Application Study Bible, 1 Samuel 12:23)

“If our motives our pure, we don’t have to be afraid to ask great things of God.” (Life Application Study Bible, 2 Kings 2:9)

“Prayer changes things, so pray often with confidence.” (Life Application Study Bible, Acts 12:3-5)

“A prayer for guidance is self-centered if it doesn’t ask God’s power to redirect our lives. Asking God to restructure our priorities awakens our minds and stirs our wills.” (Life Application Study Bible, Psalms 143:10)

“And what does it mean to pray effectively? It does not so much have to do with outcomes as it does to move us from our own self-centeredness and tendency toward self-will and align us with God’s good and perfect will.” (Sacramental Living)

“May we constantly test our spiritual acuity, turn to the Lord to guard against delusion, and watch our thoughts before acting.” (Dynamis 1/16/13)

“A prayer for guidance is self-centered if it doesn’t ask God’s power to redirect our lives. Asking God to restructure our priorities awakens our minds and stirs our wills.” (Life Application Study Bible, Psalms 143:10)

"Do as Jesus did … get up in the morning and begin the day with prayer” (“Archimandrite Robert Taft, SJ)

“There is nothing more important than prayer; therefore, our greatest attention and most diligent attention must attend it.” (Saint Theophan)

“When you do not have much time for prayer, be satisfied with the time that you do have; and God will accept your good desire." (St. Macarius of Optina)

“It is possible to offer fervent prayer even while walking in public or strolling alone, or seated in your shop,...while buying or selling...or even while cooking.” (St. John Chrysostom)

"Prayer need not be long, or profound, or beautiful, only heartfelt and sincere. And the more we pray, the more we live in the presence of God; and our life becomes a prayer to Him.” (Fr. Joseph Irvin)

“Prayer is the key to self-revelation - who and what we are. It aids man to see himself as he really is and as God sees him. By prayer, man becomes stronger, for he finds out his weak points as well as his strong ones, thereby acquiring a better understanding of who and what he is in relationship to God." (Bishop John of Amorion)

“Prayer is the very highest energy of which the mind is capable.” (Samuel Taylor Coleridge)

"The theologian is the one who prays, and if you pray in truth, you are a theologian.” (Evagrius of Pontus)

“These three: reflection on God, doing everything to the glory of God, and frequent appeals to God, are the most effective tools for prayer of both mind and heart. Each moves the soul towards God." (St. Theophan the Recluse) Every Christian needs a half an hour of prayer each day, except when he is busy, then he needs an hour.” (Francis de Sales)

“We can pray anywhere and at any time, and God will hear us. Your sin is never too great, your predicament never too difficult, for God.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Jonah 2:1)

“God answers prayer in His own way and in his own time...If you want to have your prayers answered, you must be open to what God can do in impossible situations. And you must wait for God to work in His way and in his time.” (Life Application Study Bible, Luke 1:7)

"The basic purpose of prayer is not to bend God’s will to mine, but to mold my will into His." (Pastor Timothy Keller)

“To pray in Christ's name does not simply mean to attach the phrase"in Jesus' name we pray” to the end of prayers. Rather, to pray in His name means to pray according to His will.” (Orthodox Study Bible, John 14:13-14)

“The way to worry about nothing is to pray about everything.” (Unknown)

“Jesus made sure He often withdrew to quiet, solitary places to pray. Many things clamor for our attention, and we often run ourselves ragged attending to them. Like Jesus, however, we should take time to withdraw to a quiet and deserted place to pray. Strength comes from God, and we can only be strengthened by spending time with Him.” (Life Application Study Bible, Luke 5:16)

“The goal of the Prayer is to push away all images and thoughts in the mind, so that you can be alone with God.” (Abouna Justin Rose)

“Fight always with your thoughts and call them back when they wander away. God does not demand of those under obedience that their thoughts be totally undistracted when they pray. And do not lose heart when your thoughts are stolen away. Just remain calm, and constantly call your mind back." (St. John Climacus)

"Spending time with God in prayer nurtures a vital relationship with Him and equips us to meet life’s challenges and struggles.” (Life Application Study Bible, Matthew 14:23)

"Our spirit should be quick to reach out toward God, not only when it is engaged in meditation; at other times, also, when carrying out its duties, caring for the needy, performing works of charity, giving generously in service of others, our spirit should long for God and call Him to mind, so that these works may be seasoned with the salt of God’s love, and so make a palatable offering to the God of the universe. Throughout the whole of our lives, we may enjoy the benefit that comes from prayer if we devote a great deal of time to it.” (St. John Chrysostom)"The very question"Does prayer work?” puts us in the wrong frame of mind from the outset."Work”: as if it were magic, or a machine—something that functions automatically.” (C. S. Lewis)

“Prayer is not a way for us to control God; it is a way for us to put ourselves under his control.” (Life Application Study Bible, Luke 6:19)

“Ask yourself what is prayer and why do we pray? The answer to these questions is simple. Prayer is the means by which we relate to God and continually develop our relationship with Him. It is the time we spend talking to God and, more importantly, listening to what He is speaking to our hearts.” (Sacramental Living)

“Only through prayer and God’s grace can we hope to maintain mindfulness and freedom in the heart.” (Dynamis 7/23/2013)

"I think the evidence for this is that anyone who perseveres in prayer does so because at some point, or maybe even at multiple points, he or she has experienced something of the real God. Some moment of clarity, of awe or joy, something numinous and impossible to express in words. We know what the real thing is.” (Hieromonk Maximos)

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