Praying His Word

1 Thess 5:17 "Pray without ceasing"


This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him. (1 John 5:14-note,1 John 5:15-note)

The best resource to guide prayer according to His will is the Word of God which reveals the will of God. Listed below are resources that first focus on the Scriptures so that you might grow with respect to salvation and in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and thereby may confidently enter the Holy place by the blood of Jesus, drawing near to the Throne of Grace with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith.

Torrey's Topic on "Prayer"  multiple subtopics covering over 150 Scriptures (remember to read each text in its context to maximize proper interpretation and fruitful application). As a suggestion you might consider going through these Scriptures devotionally each morning and keep a diary of observations on the text. Then as you pray these Scriptures back to your Father Who is in heaven, you could keep a record of His faithfulness in answering. The following list are works from R A Torrey (see Bio of R. A. Torrey)

Naves Topic hundreds of Scriptures

Jesus' instructions on prayer in the Sermon on the Mount - Matthew 6:5-15

Praying for the Unreached People Groups - Read why you should in 1Th 2:19,20

  • Joshua Project's Unreached People Group of the Day
  • Global Prayer Digest - pray daily for a hidden people group
  • Far East Broadcast Company - prayer target of the day
  • The Seed Company - pray for a "Bibleless" People
  • Prayer: The Work of Missions - John Piper (must read if you have a heart for missions or if you need to develop a heart for missions!)
  • Why you should pray for the unreached people groups:
    For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. (2 Corinthians 5:10)
     For who is our hope or joy or crown of exultation? Is it not even you, in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming? For you are our glory and joy. (1 Thes 2:19, 20)
  • When you open your heart to the Lord, He opens your eyes to the lost.

C H Spurgeon on Prayer

E M Bounds' Books on Prayer - very convicting! (See bio on E. M. Bounds)

Brian Bill

Dorothy Haskin - A Practical Guide to Prayer

  1. Praying in Public
  2. The Key to Prayer
  3. God's Word in the Quiet Time
  4. Pray in Private Time
  5. Listen!
  6. Prayer for Others
  7. Family Prayers
  8. Table Grace
  9. Prayer Partners
  10. The Secret of His Presence

Biographies of Praying Men

  • Biography of George Mueller (point here for note) by A. T. Pierson
  • The Prayer Life of Andrew Murray
  • With Christ in the School of Prayer by Andrew Murray
  • John Hyde (aka "Praying Hyde") (His "Secret")
  • Dr. Helen Roseveare, missionary to Zaire, told the following story. "A mother at our mission station died after giving birth to a premature baby. We tried to improvise an incubator to keep the infant alive, but the only hot water bottle we had was beyond repair. So we asked the children to pray for the baby and for her sister. One of the girls responded. 'Dear God, please send a hot water bottle today. Tomorrow will be too late because by then the baby will be dead. And dear Lord, send a doll for the sister so she won't feel so lonely.' That afternoon a large package arrived from England. The children watched eagerly as we opened it. Much to their surprise, under some clothing was a hot water bottle! Immediately the girl who had prayed so earnestly started to dig deeper, exclaiming, 'If God sent that, I'm sure He also sent a doll!' And she was right! The heavenly Father knew in advance of that child's sincere requests, and 5 months earlier He had led a ladies' group to include both of those specific articles." Not all of our prayers are answered so dramatically, but we know that God always sends what is best.
    Watch Dr Roseveare tell this story!
    Watch the 1 hour gripping movie of Dr Roseveare in Zaire - Mama Luka Comes Home
    Dr Roseveare addresses Desiring God 2007 Conf - A Call for the Perseverance of the Saints

Prayer Resources at - recommended

Steven Cole Sermons on Prayer

Classic Sermons on Prayer - some of the best sermons ever preached on prayer!

John Piper Sermons on Prayer

Ray Pritchard Sermons on Prayer - see his prayer archive for most of the titles below

  • The Hardest Prayer You Will Ever Pray  Matthew 6:10
  • How to Pray for Anyone About Anything Philippians 1:9-11
  • If God is Sovereign, Why Pray? Matthew 6:8
  • How to Pray with Power Colossians 1:9-14
  • When You Pray, Never Give Up Luke 18:1-8
  • When God Prays for You
  • The Real Reason We Pray
  • When in Trouble, Pray!  2 Thessalonians 3:1-5
  • "In Jesus' Name, Amen"  John 14:13,14
  • Helping Through Prayer  2 Corinthians 1:8-11
  • Praying for the Sick James 5:13-16
  • Three Levels of Prayer Matthew 7:7-11
  • Mountain-Moving Prayer  Mark 11:22-24
  • How Long Should I Pray?
  • First We Pray
  • A Desperate Man's Desperate Prayer Jonah 2
  • Forgiveness and the Lord's Prayer  Matthew 6:12
  • Open My Eyes, Lord  Ephesians 1:15-23
  • A Place to Pray  Acts 4:23-31
  • Lord's Prayer People  Matthew 6:9-13
  • Life-Changing, Heart-Moving, World-Shaking Prayer 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13
  • The Mystery of Unanswered Prayer  2 Corinthians 12:7-9
  • The Church on its Knees: Unleashing the Power of United Prayer Acts 1:12-14
  • Why We Pray Romans 15:30-33
  • Praying for Your Prodigal Ephesians 1:18
  • Praying for the Lost 1 Timothy 2:1-6

Radio Bible Class Booklets - excellent resource

Ray Stedman's Exposition on Prayer in the New Testament - Recommended

Ray Stedman's Exposition on Prayer in the Old Testament

Alexander Whyte - Book with "twenty-three remarkable messages on prayer." (Warren Wiersbe)

Prayer and Worship by Sammy Tippit

Victorious Christian Praying by Sammy Tippit (52 topics focused on prayer - scroll forward or back for articles)

Lord Teach Me To Pray… in 28 Days by Kay Arthur

A Prayer for Fullness by Wayne Barber (exposition of Ephesians 3:14-21)

A Prayer for Deeper Understanding Wayne Barber (4 Sermons on Ephesians 1:16-20)

"But beyond this, my son, be warned: the writing of many books is endless and excessive devotion to books is wearying to the body." Ecclesiastes 12:12

Benjamin Warfield, a great student of the Bible, wrote in 1911

"Sometimes we hear it said that ten minutes on your knees will give you a truer, deeper, more operative knowledge of God than ten hours over your books. 'What!' is the appropriate response, 'than ten hours over your books, on your knees?'"


C. H. Spurgeon on prayer

"The desires of the righteous shall be granted" (Proverbs 10:24).

Because it is a righteous desire it is safe for God to grant it. It would be neither good for the man himself, nor for society at large, that such a promise should be made to the unrighteous. Let us keep the LORD's commands, and He will rightfully have respect to our desires. When righteous men are left to desire unrighteous desires, they will not be granted to them. But then these are not their real desires; they are their wanderings or blunders, and it is well that they should be refused. Their gracious desires shall come before the LORD, and He will not say them nay. Does the LORD deny us our requests for a time? Let the promise for today encourage us to ask again. Has He denied us altogether? We will thank Him still, for it always was our desire that He should deny us if He judged a denial to be best. As to some things, we ask very boldly. Our chief desires are for holiness, usefulness, likeness to Christ, preparedness for heaven. These are the desires of grace rather than of nature -- the desires of the righteous man rather than of the mere man. God will not stint us in these things but will do for us exceeding abundantly. "Delight thy self also in the LORD, and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart." This day, my soul, ask largely!" (from April 15th "Faith's Checkbook" see also Spurgeon's Gems on Prayer)



One of the greatest privileges we have as disciples of Jesus Christ is to pray for the salvation of the lost, beseeching the Lord for workers and praying then

"that God may open up… a door for the word, so that" these workers "may speak forth the mystery of Christ" (see note Colossians 4:2) which is the GOSPEL.

Do you have difficulty praying? Specifically do you find it difficult to pray for people you've never seen much less people whose names you can't even pronounce? You are not alone. But if you truly desire to "fight the good fight of faith" (1Tim 6:12) and just need some sound Biblical "exhortation" to challenge and exhort you to enter into this glorious spiritual struggle of interceding for the souls of men and women and children from "every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues" (Rev 7:9), then I would recommend that you read "Prayer: The Work of Missions" from a mission conference address given by Dr. John Piper. Other than the Scriptures themselves this is one of the best synopses on "why pray" for the "lost" that I have ever seen. You won't be disappointed.

You can click on the link to Global Prayer Digest to see a new missions focused prayer updated daily and taking less that a minute to pray through, certainly not long in light of eternity. The Global Prayer Digest is a inter-denominational guide published by the U.S. Center for World Missions which focuses monthly on a different major people group with the goal being too guide focused intercession for over 9000 "Hidden People Groups" (where "people group" defines a body of people having a common sociological affinity and "hidden" reflects the fact that there is no established evangelizing church among them).



Pray first!

Don’t let prayer be your last recourse in time of need; make it your first.

Our highest privilege is to talk to God.

The most powerful position on earth is kneeling before the Lord of the universe.

You'll never get a busy signal on the prayer line to heaven.

The purpose of prayer is not to get what we want, but to become what God wants.

Praying is to the soul what breathing is to the body!

Prayer is as important as breathing.

Pray as a child talks to his father.

Prayer is the bridge between panic and peace.

Remember that God may want you to be the answer to your own prayer!

God may delay our request, but He will never disappoint our trust.

Where prayers focus, power falls!

Prayer is an open line to heaven.

Prayer is the voice of faith.

Prayer changes everything.

Access to God’s throne is always open.

The heart of prayer is prayer from the heart.

Prayer does not require eloquence but earnestness.

The highest form of prayer comes from the depths of a humble heart.

When praying, do you give instructions? or report for duty?

Sincere intercession is the key to God's intervention.

When  you  can't  be there,  you can help through prayer.

To influence people for God, pray to God for people

Nothing makes us love a person so much as praying for him.

To love more, pray more.

Through prayer, we have instant access to our Father.

Some people think God does not like to be troubled with our constant coming and asking. The only way to trouble God is not to come at all.

God empowers us to stand for Him as we bow to pray.

In the face of danger, face danger with prayer.

Nothing lies beyond the reach of prayer except that which lies outside the will of God.

Have you ever noticed that when we pray, we seldom ask for change of character, but frequently ask for a change in circumstance!

Prayer does not make God see things as we see them; it helps us see things as God sees them.

Thou art coming to a King. Large petitions with thee bring. 

When we bend our knees to pray, God bends His ear to listen.

If we pray to catch the ear of man, we can't expect to reach the ear of God.

If you are a stranger to prayer, you are a stranger to power.

God is always accessible in our time of need.

Time spent in prayer is always time well spent.

Fervent prayer dispels anxious care.

Something happens when we pray, sin, disease, and fear give way.

God wants us to pray before we do anything at all.

In prayer, God hears more than your words— He listens to your heart.

The bottom line of every prayer should be, “Your will be done.”

How often we say "Let's just pray," as if that's our last resort, when in fact it should be our first resort! So next time, instead of saying "Let's just pray" drop the "just" and say "Let's pray."

Since prayer is God's most gracious plan
Whereby He links Himself with man,
Should not His own more often say
To one another, "Let us pray"?

The best thermometer of your spiritual temperature is the intensity of your prayer. —Spurgeon

Prayer saturates Nehemiah's autobiography (Neh 1:5,6,11 etc). He beseeched the Lord to guide him at every step. In order to pray effectively, we must grow in the discipline of prayer. If you feel like your prayer life needs to grow deeper, you might try praying through the Psalms or Paul's prayers in his letters. As you pray more biblically, you'll find that your heart is shaped to seek God and understand His will more fully. A prayer partner or group can also encourage you to have regular times of prayer.

Without time for prayer, nothing can be accomplished.
Graham Scroggie

Prayer is the hand that takes to ourselves the blessings that God has already provided in His Son.
R. A. Torrey  

He who runs from God in the morning will scarcely find Him the rest of the day.
John Bunyan

Cold prayers always freeze before they reach heaven.
Thomas Brooks

So lift up your heart to the heavens;
There’s a loving and kind Father there
Who offers release and comfort and peace
In the silent communion of prayer.

He that cannot pray, let him go to sea, and there he will learn.
John Trapp

When people do not mind what God speaks to them in His Word, God doth as little mind what they say to Him in prayer.
William Gurnall

A Christian is more music
When he prays,
Than spheres, or angel’s praises be,
In panegyric alleluias.
         JOHN DONNE

We carry checks on the bank of heaven and never cash them at the window of prayer.
          Vance Havner

God hears us when we call to Him,
He does not miss one voice;
The knowledge that He always hears
Should cause us to rejoice.

A logical fallacy attends all ingenious proposals to “test the efficacy of prayer” by (for example) praying for the patients in Ward A of a hospital and leaving Ward B unprayed for, in order to see which set recovers. Prayer undertaken in that spirit is not prayer at all, and it requires a singular naiveté to imagine that Omniscience could be so easily bamboozled.
           DOROTHY L. SAYERS

A man prayed, and at first he thought that prayer was talking. But he became more and more quiet until in the end he realized that prayer is listening.

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

As we attempt to live like Christ
In actions, words, and deeds,
We'll follow His design for prayer,
And pray for others' needs.
           J. DAVID BRANON

Give Him each perplexing problem,
All your needs to Him make known;
Bring to Him your daily burdens—
Never carry them alone!

A prayer is not holy chewing gum and you don’t have to see how far you can stretch it.
           LIONEL BLUE

Adoration is the highest form of prayer.
           LOUIS CASSELS

All the Christian virtues are locked up in the word prayer.
           C H Spurgeon

There is no verse in the Bible that gives us a definition of prayer per se. Consequently we must discover what it is by examining the prayers and references to prayer in the Bible if we want a biblical definition. Essentially prayer is talking to God. It is expressing our thoughts and feelings to deity.
          Thomas Constable - Talking to God

There is no need for us to go beating about the bush, and not telling the Lord distinctly what it is that we crave at His hands. Nor will it be seemly for us to make any attempt to use fine language; but let us ask God in the simplest and most direct manner for just the things we want…I believe in business prayers. I mean prayers in which you take to God one of the many promises which He has given us in His Work, and expect it to be fulfilled as certainly as we look for the money to be given us when we go to the bank to cash a check. We should not think of going there, lolling over the counter chattering with the clerks on every conceivable subject except the one thing for which we had gone to the bank, and then coming away without the coin we needed; but we should lay before the clerk the promise to pay the bearer a certain sum, tell him in what form we wish to take the amount, count the cash after him, and then go on our way to attend to other business. That is just an illustration of the method in which we should draw supplies from the Bank of Heaven.
           C H Spurgeon

Although posture is not important, I find that I am able to express my dependence better on my knees, a sign of our helplessness apart from the divine enablement.
           Erwin W Lutzer

An intercessor means one who is in such vital contact with God and with his fellowmen that he is like a live wire closing the gap between the saving power of God and the sinful men who have been cut off from that power.

An ordinary simple Christian kneels down to say his prayers. . . . But if he is a Christian, he knows that what is prompting him to pray is also God: God, so to speak, inside him. But he also knows that all his real knowledge of God comes through Christ, the man who was God—that Christ is standing beside him, helping him to pray, praying for him. You see what is happening. God is the thing to which he is praying—the goal he is trying to reach. God is also the thing inside him which is pushing him on—the motive power. God is also the road or bridge along which he is being pushed to that goal. So that the whole threefold life of the three-personal Being is actually going on in that ordinary little bedroom where an ordinary man is saying his prayers.
           C. S. LEWIS 

Count It Done
A father wrote to his son,
Who was faraway from home;
“I have sent you a beautiful gift,
It may be delayed, but ‘twill come;
It is what you have wanted most,
And have asked for many days;”
And before the child received the gift
He voiced his thanks and praise.

Our Father saith unto us:
“Your need shall be supplied;
Ask and receive that your joy be filled,
And My joy in you abide.”
Shall we wait to thank till we see
The answer to every prayer?

Forbear to praise till we feel
The lifted pressure of care?
Nay, let us trust His word
And know that the thing is done,
For His promise is just as sure
As a father’s to his son.
        Annie Johnson Flint

Anyone who has ever tried to formulate a private prayer in silence, and in his own heart, will know what I mean by diabolical interference. The forces of evil are in opposition to the will of God. And the nearer a man approaches God’s will, the more apparent and stronger and more formidable this opposition is seen to be. It is only when we are going in more or less the same direction as the devil that we are unconscious of any opposition at all.
           DAVID BOLT

Pray earnestly; you can't expect a thousand-dollar answer to a ten-cent prayer!

I’d rather be able to pray than be a great preacher; Jesus Christ never taught his disciples how to preach, but only how to pray.
           D L MOODY 

When you approach the Lord with boldness,
When you pray in Jesus' name,
Just tell Him all the pain you're feeling—
There's no need for fear or shame.

Anything large enough for a wish to light upon is large enough to hang a prayer on.

Sweet hour of prayer! Sweet hour of prayer!
That calls me from a world of care,
And bids me at my Father’s throne
Make all my wants and wishes known.

As a physician, I have seen men, after all other therapy had failed, lifted out of disease and melancholy by the serene effort of prayer.
           ALEXIS CARREL

As artists give themselves to their models, and poets to their classical pursuits, so must we addict ourselves to prayer.
           C H Spurgeon

When I come before His presence
In the secret place of prayer,
Do I know the wondrous greatness
Of His power to meet me there?

Prayer opens the way for God Himself to do His work in us and through us.

As it is the business of tailors to make clothes and of cobblers to mend shoes, so it is the business of Christians to pray.
           MARTIN LUTHER

If I should neglect prayer but a single day, I should lose a great deal of the fire of faith.
           MARTIN LUTHER

At the profoundest depths in life, men talk not about God but with him.

Be not afraid to pray; to pray is right;
       Pray if thou canst with hope, but ever pray,
       Though hope be weak or sick with long delay;
       Pray in the darkness if there be no light;
       And if for any wish thou dare not pray
       Then pray to God to cast that wish away.
           E. M. Bounds

What the Church needs today is not more or better machinery, not new organizations or more and novel methods, but men whom the Holy Ghost can use—men of prayer, men mighty in prayer. The Holy Ghost does not flow through methods, but through men. He does not come on machinery, but on men. He does not anoint plans, but men—men of prayer.
           E. M. Bounds

The pulpit of this day is weak in praying. The pride of learning is against the dependent humility of prayer. Prayer is with the pulpit too often only official—a performance for the routine of service. Prayer is not to the modern pulpit the mighty force it was in Paul’s life or Paul’s ministry. Every preacher who does not make prayer a mighty factor in his own life and ministry is weak as a factor in God’s work and is powerless to project God’s cause in this world.
           E. M. Bounds

Prayer is more than asking things from God. It is an exercise in the worship of God, to extol His name and to offer thanks for all His benefits. The child of God is assured that in prayer he is approaching a throne of grace, not a throne of judgment (Heb. 4:16). The Christian enters the divine presence in the name of Christ (John 14:14, 16:23). If he prays under the control of the Holy Spirit, he will offer petitions within the will of his Heavenly Father (Romans 8:26, 27). Prayer should be made in faith and with thanksgiving (Phil. 4:6; Col. 4:2). The prayer that Christ taught His disciples, known as the Lord’s Prayer, is a model to guide His followers concerning proper principles and goals of prayer (Matt. 6:9–13; Luke 11:2–4).
             E. SCHUYLER ENGLISH

Prayer is the first thing, the second thing, the third thing necessary to a minister. Pray, then, my dear brother; pray, pray, pray.
           EDWARD PAYSON

Be not forgetful of prayer. Every time you pray, if your prayer is sincere, there will be new feeling and new meaning in it, which will give you fresh courage, and you will understand that prayer is an education.

Intercessory Prayer is a powerful means of grace to the praying man. Martyn observes that at times of inward dryness and depression, he had often found a delightful revival in the act of praying for others for their conversion, or sanctification, or prosperity in the work of the Lord. His dealings with God for them about these gifts and blessings were for himself the divinely natural channel of a renewed insight into his own part and lot in Christ, into Christ as his own rest and power, into the “perfect freedom” of an entire yielding of himself to his Master for His work
           Bishop Handley C. G. Moule.

We, ignorant of ourselves,
Beg often our own harms, which the wise powers 
Deny us for our good; so find we profit
By losing of our prayers.
            WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, Antony and Cleopatra

Now, you ought to have in your heart—or in your Bible—a list of prayer requests with dates (a prayer record of when you entered it). And, when God answers it, you can give Him the glory and give Him the praise. So, get specific and focused in your prayer, because prayer that is channeled is prayer that is powerful. Prayer was made for people.
Adrian Rogers

Now, one of the greatest privileges that we have is the privilege of prayer. One of the greatest failures that we have, however, is in the area of prayer. God can do anything, because prayer brings God into action. I don't have a failure in my life but what somehow it's a prayer failure. There's not a sin in my life but what somehow proper prayer would have helped me to avoid it. There's not a need in my life but what if I learned how to pray and knew how to pray that need would be met.
Adrian Rogers

Any house wife knows that the best way to remember the things she meant to do and forgot is to start praying. They will come to her and divert her from prayer. The devil will let a preacher prepare a sermon if it will keep him from preparing himself.
Vance Havner

Prayer and helplessness are inseparable.
Only those who are helpless can truly pray. . . .
Your helplessness is your best prayer.
Ole Hallesby 

Prayer is the child’s helpless cry to the Father’s attentive ear.

 When asked how much time he spent in prayer, George Mueller’s reply was, “Hours every day. But I live in the spirit of prayer. I pray as I walk and when I lie down and when I arise. And the answers are always coming.” There are moments when, whatever be the attitude of the body, the soul is on its knees. 

The one concern of the devil is to keep Christians from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work and prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but he trembles when we pray.

“To pray as God would have us pray is the greatest achievement on earth. Such a prayer life costs. It takes time….All praying saints have spent hours every day in prayer….In these days, there is no time to pray; but without time, and a lot of it, we shall never learn to pray.

I fear John Knox’s prayers more than an army of ten thousand men.

I had rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.
           THOMAS LYE

Be yourself. Be natural before God. Do not pretend to emotions you do not feel. Tell him whatever is on your heart and mind with whatever words are most natural to you. You do not have to speak to him in “religious” language about “spiritual” matters only . . . Speak as naturally and as easily as you would to a friend, since God is just that. . . . This natural expression of yourself at the outset is the guarantee that you can go on to a creative, free, and mature relationship with God.
           JOHN B. COBURN

Between the humble and contrite heart and the majesty of heaven, there are no barriers; the only password is prayer.
           HOSEA BALLOU

Prayer is a process of recognizing God's power and plan for our lives. 
           Daniel McCasland

Beware in your prayer, above everything, of limiting God, not only by unbelief, but by fancying that you know what he can do.
           ANDREW MURRAY

The man who mobilizes the Christian church to pray will make the greatest contribution to world evangelization in history. 
           ANDREW MURRAY

The effective prayer of faith comes from a life given up to the will and the love of God. Not as a result of what I try to be when praying, but because of what I am when I’m not praying, is my prayer answered by God.
           ANDREW MURRAY

May not a single moment of my life be spent outside the light, love, and joy of God’s presence and not a moment without the entire surrender of my self as a vessel for Him to fill full of His Spirit and His love.
           ANDREW MURRAY

So much of our prayer is vague and pointless. Some cry for mercy, but do not take the trouble to know exactly why they want it. Others ask to be delivered from sin, but do not name any sin from which a deliverance can be claimed. Still others pray for God's blessing…on their land or on the world, and yet have no special field where they can wait and expect to see the answer. To everyone the Lord says, 'What do you really want, and what do you expect Me to do?'
           ANDREW MURRAY

Moody's Today in the Word comments on Murray's quote - Vagueness in prayer happens when we fail to put real effort and thought into our prayers. Here's an interesting way to find out if your prayers are too vague. Jot down three or four people or situations you're praying for, then describe exactly what you want God to do in each case. See if you can do it without using the word bless at all!

Beware of placing the emphasis on what prayer costs us; it cost God everything to make it possible for us to pray.
           Oswald Chambers

If in the first waking moment of the day you learn to fling the door back and let God in, every public thing will be stamped with the presence of God.
           Oswald Chambers

Prayer is no more inconsistent with the unchangeable purposes of God, than the use of any other means; for God in forming his purposes had respect to all appropriate means of producing the intended ends, and among these prayer has an important place.

A 7 year old boy standing in front of 100 other kids and prayed: “Jesus, thank You that some of us get to play football and go to church, and for safety on the ride here, and for forgiveness of our sins, and for eternal life. We love You, Jesus. Please don’t ever forget how much we love You!”

Call on God, but row away from the rocks.

Careful for nothing, prayerful for everything, thankful for anything. (Php 4:6,7)
           D L MOODY (full biography)

Some men’s prayers need to be cut short at both ends and set on fire in the middle.
           D L MOODY (full biography)

Certain thoughts are prayers. There are moments when, whatever be the attitude of the body, the soul is on its knees.
           VICTOR HUGO

Communion with God is one thing; familiarity with God is quite another thing. I don’t even like (and this may hurt some of your feelings—but they’ll heal) I don’t even like to hear God called “you.” You is a coloquial expression. I can call a man you, but I would to call God thou and thee. Now I know these are old Elizabethan words, but I also know that there are some things too precious to cast lightly away, and I think that when we talk to God, we ought to use the pure, respectful pronouns.
           A. W. TOZER

Deep in my soul the still prayer of devotion
       Unheard by the world, rises silent to thee.
           THOMAS MOORE

Words are but the body, the garment, the outside of prayer; sighs are nearer the heart work. A dumb beggar getteth an alms at Christ’s gates, even by making signs, when his tongue cannot plead for him…Tears have a tongue, and grammar, and language that our Father knoweth. Babes have no prayer for the breast, but weeping: the mother can read hunger in weeping.

I have been benefited by praying for others; for by making an errand to God for them I have gotten something for myself.

Do not let it be imagined that one must remain silent about one’s feelings of rebellion in order to enter into dialogue with God. Quite the opposite is the truth: it is precisely when one expresses them that a dialogue of truth begins.
           PAUL TOURNIER

       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.
           PHILLIPS BROOKS (1835–1893)

Don’t ask God for what you think is good; ask him for what he thinks is good for you.

Don’t bother to give God instructions; just report for duty.

Don’t expect a thousand-dollar answer to a ten-cent prayer.

Don’t let your sorrow come higher than your knees.

How deep does it wound you when others despise
Your labor of love? Don't despair--
It's then you must view them with Spirit-filled eyes
And love your offenders with prayer.

The efficacy of prayer depends on uprightness of life and motive, wholehearted and sustained earnestness in the person praying, and how far it conforms to God’s revealed purposes and ways.
           J I PACKER

Don’t pray when you feel like it. Have an appointment with the Lord and keep it. A man is powerful on his knees.
           CORRIE TEN BOOM

Even the most devout seem to think they must storm heaven with loud outcries and mighty bellowings or their prayers are of no avail.
           A. W. TOZER

Events and circumstances awaken our religion, as though there were no need to pray to God except in illness and sorrow. As soon as affairs take a turn for the better and the danger is past, our devotion vanishes; the most we think of doing is to thank God for the successful end of our troubles; after a short act of gratitude we forget him and think of nothing but our pleasures. The necessities and accidents of life form the main subject and the actuating motive of the prayers of the ordinary Christian.

Every chain that spirits wear
Crumbles in the breath of prayer.

 Every Christian needs a half hour of prayer each day, except when he is busy, then he needs an hour.

Fountain of mercy! Whose pervading eye
       Can look within and read what passes there,
       Accept my thoughts for thanks; I have no words.
       My soul o’erfraught with gratitude, rejects
       The aid of language—Lord!—behold my heart.
           HANNAH MORE

Sir Isaac Newton said that he could take his telescope and look millions and millions miles into space. Then he added, “But when I lay it aside, go into my room, shut the door, and get down on my knees in earnest prayer, I see more of heaven and feel closer to the Lord than if I were assisted by all the telescopes on earth.”

Francis of Assisi spent 75 percent of his time in prayer and 25 percent in preaching and apostolic service. Yet we think of him primarily as a preacher. He was so energized by the Spirit of God that he made a significant mark on his world in a small amount of time each day or week.

From three to four each morning—that is my hour. Then I am free from interruption and from the fear of interruption. Each morning I wake at three and live an hour with God. It gives me strength for everything. Without it I would be utterly helpless. I could not be true to my friends, or do my work, or preach the gospel which God has given me for his poor.

Prayer without work is like an empty wagon—lots of noise but no load.

God always answers us in the deeps, never in the shallows of our soul.

 God bestows many things on us out of his liberality, even without our asking for them. But that he wishes to bestow certain things on us at our asking is for the sake of our good, that we may acquire confidence in having recourse to God, and that we may recognize in him the Author of our goods.

God has not always answered my prayers. If he had, I would have married the wrong man—several times!

God is not a cosmic bellboy for whom we can press a button to get things.

God is perfect love and perfect wisdom. We do not pray in order to change his will, but to bring our wills into harmony with his.

God never ceases to speak to us, but the noise of the world without and the tumult of our passions within bewilder us and prevent us from listening to him.

God puts his ear so closely down to your lips that he can hear your faintest whisper. It is not God away off up yonder; it is God away down here, close up—so close up that when you pray to him, it is more a whisper than a kiss.

God will either give you what you ask, or something far better.
           Robert Murray M’Cheyne

What a man is on his knees before God, that he is, and nothing more.
           Robert Murray M’Cheyne

If I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room, I would not fear a million enemies. Yet distance makes no difference. He is praying for me. (cf Hebrews 7:25, Romans 8:34)
           Robert Murray M’Cheyne

In Prayer
I launch far out into the eternal world,
     and on that broad ocean my soul triumphs
     over all evils on the shores of mortality.
Time, with its gay amusements and cruel 
   disappointments, never appears so inconsiderate as then.
In prayer I see myself as nothing;
   I find my heart going after thee with intensity,
   and long with vehement thirst to live to thee.
Blessed be the strong gales of the Spirit
   that speed me on my way to the New Jerusalem.
In prayer all things here below vanish,
   and nothing seems important
   but holiness of heart and the salvation of others.
In prayer all my worldly cares, fears, anxieties 
   and are of as little significance as a puff of wind.
In prayer my soul inwardly exults with lively
   thoughts at what thou art doing for thy church,
   and I long that thou shouldest get thyself a great
   name from sinners returning to Zion.
In prayer I am lifted above the frowns and flatteries of life,
   and taste heavenly joys;
   entering into the eternal world
   I can give myself to thee with all my heart,
   to be thine for ever.
In prayer I can place all my concerns in thy hands,
   to be entirely at thy disposal,
   having no will or interest of my own.
In prayer I can intercede for my friends, ministers,
   sinners, the church, thy kingdom to come,
   with greatest freedom, ardent hopes,
     as a son to his father,
     as a lover to the beloved.
Help me to be all prayer 
     and never to cease praying.

God will not do for me what I can do for myself. Prayer must never be regarded as a labor-saving device.

God’s way of answering the Christian’s prayer for more patience, experience, hope, and love often is to put him into the furnace of affliction.
           RICHARD CECIL

Great supplicants have sought the secret place of the Most High, not that they might escape the world, but that they might learn to conquer it.

       He prayed for strength that he might achieve;
       He was made weak that he might obey.
       He prayed for health that he might do greater things;
       He was given infirmity that he might do better things.
       He prayed for riches that he might be happy;
       He was given poverty that he might be wise.
       He prayed for power that he might have the praise of men;
       He was given weakness that he might feel the need of God.
       He prayed for all things that he might enjoy life;
       He was given life that he might enjoy all things.
       He received nothing that he asked for—but all that he hoped for.
       8807    He prayeth best who loveth best
       All things both great and small.

 He who does not pray when the sun shines will not know how to pray when the clouds roll in.
     8810    He who fails to pray does not cheat God. He cheats himself.

He who labors as he prays, lifts his heart to God with his hands.

He who prays as he ought will endeavor to live as he prays.
           JOHN OWEN

How can you expect God to speak in that gentle and inward voice which melts the soul when you are making so much noise with your rapid reflections?

How marvelous that I, a filthy clod,
       May yet hold friendly converse with my God!

I am so busy now that if I did not spend two or three hours each day in prayer, I would not get through the day.
           MARTIN LUTHER

There's no weapon half so mighty 
As the intercessors bear;
Nor a broader field of service
Than the ministry of prayer!

When thou prayest, rather let thy heart be without words, than thy words without heart. 

Prayer should be the means by which I receive all that I need, and for this reason, be my daily refuge, my source of rich and inexhaustible joy.
Ole Hallesby

I can tell you that God is alive because I talked with him this morning.
           BILLY GRAHAM

           I cannot say our if religion has no room for others and their needs.
           I cannot say Father if I do not demonstrate this relationship in my daily living.
           I cannot say who art in heaven if all my interests and pursuits are on earthly things.
           I cannot say hallowed be thy name if I, who am called by his name, am not holy.
           I cannot say thy kingdom come if I am unwilling to give up my own sovereignty and accept the righteous reign of God.
           I cannot say thy will be done if I am unwilling or resentful of having it in my life.
           I cannot say in earth as it is in heaven unless I am truly ready to give myself to his service here and now.
           I cannot say give us this day our daily bread without expending honest effort for it or by ignoring the genuine needs of my fellowmen.
           I cannot say forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us if I continue to harbor a grudge against anyone.
           I cannot say lead us not into temptation if I deliberately choose to remain in a situation where I am likely to be tempted.
           I cannot say deliver us from evil if I am not prepared to fight in the spiritual realm with the weapon of prayer.
           I cannot say thine is the kingdom if I do not give the King the disciplined obedience of a loyal subject.
           I cannot say thine is the power if I fear what my neighbors may say or do.
           I cannot say thine is the glory if I am seeking my own glory first.
           I cannot say forever if I am too anxious about each day’s affairs.
           I cannot say amen unless I honestly say, “Cost what it may, this is my prayer.”

 I do not think that prayer is ever evasion, that prayer saves us from having to face things that we do not want to face and that are going to hurt if we face them. Jesus in Gethsemane discovered that there was no evasion of the cross.

 I don’t want to keep a prayer list but to pray, nor agonize to find your will but to obey.
           JOSEPH BAYLY

I have always found praying, in any definite sense, very difficult. Somehow the notion of putting specific requests to God strikes me as unseemly, if not absurd. . . . I can never find anything to say to God except: Thy will be done. If it is true, as St. Paul tells us—and it surely is—that all things work together for good to them that love God, then all that is required of us is that we should love God, and, in loving him, fall in with his purposes.

 I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom, and that of all about me, seemed insufficient for the day.

I have lived to thank God that all my prayers have not been answered.
           JEAN INGELOW

Good prayers never come creeping home. I am sure I shall receive either what I ask or what I should ask.
           JOSEPH HALL

I have not placed reading before praying because I regard it more important, but because, in order to pray aright, we must understand what we are praying for.

       I know not by what methods rare,
       But this I know: God answers prayer.
       I know not if the blessing sought
       Will come in just the guise I thought.
       I leave my prayer to him alone
       Whose will is wiser than my own.
           ELIZA M. HICKOK

God fills our heart with peace when we pour out our heart to Him.

I need to stop talking about prayer—and pray.
           BERTHA MUNRO

I sit beside my lonely fire
And pray for wisdom yet;
For calmness to remember
Or courage to forget.

Prayer is the converse of the soul with God.  Therein we manifest or express to Him our reverence, and love for His divine perfection, our gratitude for all His mercies, our penitence for our sins, our hope in His forgiving love, our submission to His authority, our confidence in His care, our desires for His favor, and for the providential and spiritual blessings needed for ourselves and others.
           CHARLES HODGE

 I used to think the Lord’s Prayer was a short prayer; but, as I live longer, and see more of life, I begin to believe there is no such thing as getting through it. If a man, in praying that prayer, were to be stopped by every word until he had thoroughly prayed it, it would take him a lifetime. “Our Father”—there would be a wall a hundred feet high in just those two words to most men. If they might say, “Our Tyrant,” or “Our Monarch,” or even “Our Creator,” they could get along with it; but “Our Father”—why, a man is almost a saint who can pray that!
    You read, “Thy will be done,” and you say to yourself, “O, I can pray that”; and all the time your mind goes round and round in immense circuits and far-off distances; but God is continually bringing the circuits nearer to you, till he says, “How is it about your temper and your pride? How is it about your business and daily life?”
    This is a revolutionary petition. It would make many a man’s shop and store tumble to the ground to utter it. Who can stand at the end of the avenue along which all his pleasant thoughts and wishes are blossoming like flowers, and send these terrible words, “Thy will be done,” crashing down through it? I think it is the most fearful prayer to pray in the world.

Keep praying, but be thankful that God’s answers are wiser than your prayers!
           William Culbertson

I wake up in the morning, and I like to begin the day by thinking what life is about, rather than plunging into the sort of things one is going to have to do. So I like to read the Gospels, the Epistles, St. Augustine, the metaphysical poets like George Herbert, whom I consider to be the most exquisite religious poet in the English language. I read a bit, and then my mind dwells on what I’ve read, and this I consider to be prayer.

If God bores you, tell him that he bores you; that you prefer the vilest amusements to his presence; that you only feel at your ease when you are far from him.

If I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room, I would not fear a million enemies. Yet distance makes no difference. He is praying for me.
           Robert Murray M’Cheyne

 If man is man and God is God, to live without prayer is not merely an awful thing; it is an infinitely foolish thing.

If we knew how to listen to God, we should hear him speaking to us, for God does speak. He speaks in his gospel; he speaks also through life—that new gospel to which we ourselves add a page each day.
           MICHEL QUOIST

 If you are swept off your feet, it’s time to get on your knees.

If you can beat the devil in the matter of regular daily prayer, you can beat him anywhere. If he can beat you there, he can possibly beat you anywhere.

 If your day is hemmed with prayer, it is less likely to unravel.

 If your knees are shaking, kneel on them.
           CHARLES L. ALLEN

In our private prayers and in our public services we are forever asking God to do things that he either has already done or cannot do because of our unbelief. We plead for him to speak when he has already spoken and is at that very moment speaking. We ask him to come when he is already present and waiting for us to recognize him. We beg the Holy Spirit to fill us while all the time we are preventing him by our doubts.
           A. W. TOZER

In prayer it is better to have a heart without words, than words without a heart.
           John Bunyan

Prayer will make a man cease from sin, or sin will entice a man to cease from prayer.
           John Bunyan

Prayer is “a sincere, 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 his Word, for the good of the church, with submission in faith to the will of God.”
         John Bunyan

In the average church we hear the same prayers repeated each Sunday year in and year out with, one would suspect, not the remotest expectation that they will be answered. It is enough, it seems, that they have been uttered. The familiar phrase, the religious tone, the emotionally loaded words have their superficial and temporary effect, but the worshiper is no nearer to God, no better morally, and no surer of heaven than he was before.
           A. W. TOZER

In the morning prayer is the key that opens to us the treasures of God’s mercies and blessings; in the evening, it is the key that shuts us up under his protection and safeguard.
Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?
           CORRIE TEN BOOM

It does not need to be a formal prayer: the most stumbling and broken cry—a sigh, a whisper, anything that tells the heart’s loneliness and need and penitence—can find its way to him.

Spurgeon Quotes on Prayer 

  1. The very act of prayer is a blessing.
  2. To pray is to enter the treasure-house of God and to gather riches out of an inexhaustible storehouse.
  3. You are before the Lord; let your words be few, but let your heart be fervent.
  4. As well could you expect a plant to grow without air and water as to expect your heart to grow without prayer and faith.
  5. You will observe that the desire to commune with God
    is intensified by the failure of all other sources of consolation.
  6. Prayer is the best response to hatred.
  7. It is well said that neglected prayer is the birth-place of all evil.
  8. Prayer is an art which only the Spirit can teach us. He is the giver of all prayer.
  9. No man can progress in grace if he forsakes prayer.
  10. He who knows how to overcome with God in prayer has heaven and earth at his disposal.
  11. Prayer itself is an art which only the Holy Ghost can teach us. He is the giver of all prayer. Pray for prayer- pray till you can pray.
  12. If you want that splendid power in prayer, you must remain in loving, abiding union with the Lord Jesus Christ.
  13. A mighty piece of weaponry in the battle of prayer is God’s promise.
  14. Cold prayers ask for a denial!
  15. Groanings which cannot be uttered are often prayers which cannot be refused.
  16. True prayer is the trading of the heart with God.
  17. Sometimes when we do not receive comfort in our prayers, when we are broken and cast down, that is when we are really wrestling and prevailing in prayer.
  18. Prayer plumes the wings of God’s young eaglets so that they may learn to mount above the clouds. Prayer brings inner strength to God’s warriors and sends them forth to spiritual battle with their muscles firm and their armor in place.
  19. We know not what prayer cannot do!
  20. Nothing brings such leanness into a man’s soul as lack of prayer.
  21. Prayer is doubts destroyer, ruin’s remedy, the antidote to all anxieties.
  22. All good is born in prayer, and all good springs from it.
  23. Continue in prayer, and though the blessing tarry, it must come; in God’s own time it must appear to you.
  24. Whether we like it or not, asking is the rule of the kingdom.
  25. Anything is a blessing which makes us pray.
  26. I would rather teach one man to pray than ten men to preach.
  27. But if one neglects his closet, then all evil comes of it.
  28. I believe that God hears your prayers because there is a secret work of the Spirit going on within you teaching you to pray.
  29. True prayer is an approach of the soul by the Spirit of God to the throne of God.
  30. Pray until you can pray; pray to be helped to pray and do not give up praying because you cannot pray. For it is when you think you cannot pray that is when you are praying.
  31. Prayer can never be in excess.
  32. Prayer girds human weakness with divine strength, turns human folly into heavenly wisdom, and gives to troubled mortals the peace of God. We know not what prayer can do.
  33. Prayer is a creature’s strength, his very breathe and being.
  34. Prayer is not a hard requirement-it is the natural duty of a creature to its creator, the simplest homage that human need can pay to divine liberality.
  35. Prayer is the slender nerve that moveth the muscle of Omnipotence.
  36. The man who has his mouth full of arguments in prayer shall soon have his mouth full of benedictions in answer to prayer.
  37. The man who, despite the teaching of Scripture, tries to pray without a Savior, insults the deity.
  38. The ship of prayer may sail through all temptations, doubts and fears, straight up to the throne of God.
  39. Prayer and praise are the oars by which a man may row his boat into the deep waters of the knowledge of Christ.
  40. I know of no better thermometer to your spiritual temperature than this, the measure of the intensity of your prayer.

THE HEATING PLANT -   Five young college students were spending a Sunday in London, so they went to hear the famed C H Spurgeon preach.  While waiting for the doors to open, the students were greeted by a man who asked, “Gentlemen, let me show you around. Would you like to see the heating plant of this church?” They were not particularly interested, for it was a hot day in July. But they didn’t want to offend the stranger, so they consented. The young men were taken down a stairway, a door was quietly opened, and their guide whispered, “This is our heating plant.” Surprised, the students saw 700 people bowed in prayer, seeking a blessing on the service that was soon to begin in the auditorium above. Softly closing the door, the gentleman then introduced himself. It was none other than Charles Spurgeon. —Our Daily Bread

FIVE FINGER PRAYERS (Php 4:6,19, James 5:13-18) Pray for one another. --James 5:16 - Prayer is a conversation with God, not a formula. Yet sometimes we might need to use a "method" to freshen up our prayer time. We can pray the Psalms or other Scriptures (such as The Lord's Prayer), or use the ACTS method (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication). I recently came across this "Five-Finger Prayer" to use as a guide when praying for others: 

  • * When you fold your hands, the thumb is nearest you. So begin by praying for those closest to you--your loved ones (Philippians 1:3-5). 
  • * The index finger is the pointer. Pray for those who teach--Bible teachers and preachers, and those who teach children (1 Thessalonians 5:25). 
  • * The next finger is the tallest. It reminds you to pray for those in authority over you--national and local leaders, and your supervisor at work (1 Timothy 2:1-2). 
  • * The fourth finger is usually the weakest. Pray for those who are in trouble or who are suffering (James 5:13-16). 
  • * Then comes your little finger. It reminds you of your smallness in relation to God's greatness. Ask Him to supply your needs (Philippians 4:6,19). 

Whatever method you use, just talk with your Father. He wants to hear what's on your heart. —Anne Cetas 

Here is another slight variation on this story:

A Christian woman teaching in Africa thought to devise a good way to remind her young students of the need of praying daily, not only for self but also for others. Holding up her arm, the woman explained, "When I am ready to pray, children, I look at my left hand. I notice that my thumb is the digit closest to me. This reminds me to pray for those near me — my family, my friends, my neighbors." Taking hold of her index finger she added, "My teachers used to point this one at us in school. Some-times the preacher too will shake-this finger in church as a needed warning. So as I come to this part of my hand I pray for my teachers, the preachers, and others who have been my guides." The children waited eagerly for her next comment. "My middle finger," she continued, "is my largest one. It stands above the others. This brings to my mind the rulers of our country, and others in authority, and I pray for them. This next finger is called the weakest," she added. "It makes me think of the help-less, the sick, and the poor who require my aid. I ask the Lord to supply their wants and strengthen them in body and soul." Coming to her "pinky," she concluded, "This one stands for me, and so I finish by praying for myself and all the things that I need." The children never forgot that simple lesson; and it might be well even for older folk to bear it in mind when they fold their hands to speak to God. Our text says that it is a sin to fail to remember others before the Throne. If you have been guilty of such neglect, go down the fingers of your hand and let them remind you of your necessary duty of intercession!

Confident Access - Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. —Hebrews 4:16 - Mont Saint-Michel is a tidal island located about a half-mile off the coast of Normandy, France. For centuries it has been the site of an abbey and monastery that has attracted religious pilgrims. Until the construction of a causeway, it was notorious for its dangerous access that resulted in the death of some pilgrims. At low tide it is encompassed by sand banks, and at high tide it is surrounded by water. Accessing the island was a cause for fear. Access to God for Old Testament Jews was also a cause for fear. When God thundered on Mt. Sinai, the people feared approaching Him (Ex. 19:10-16). And when access to God was granted through the high priest, specific instructions had to be followed (Lev. 16:1-34). Accidentally touching the ark of the covenant, which represented the holy presence of God, would result in death (see 2 Sa 6:7-8). But because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, we can now approach God without fear. God’s penalty for sin has been satisfied, and we are invited into God’s presence: “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace” (Heb. 4:16). Because of Jesus we can come to God through prayer anywhere, anytime. —Dennis Fisher

Then boldly let our faith address
God’s throne of grace and power,
There to obtain delivering grace
In every needy hour.
—Isaac Watts

Thoughtful Prayer - It is a terribly serious thing to pray. The real seriousness comes not in the possibility that our prayer may not be answered; the appallingly serious thing is that it may be answered. A real answer to prayer will usually let us in for more than we ask for. A man prays for strength, for instance, without much thought of the matter, as though strength could be wrapped up in a package like a pound of tea and handed to one. Strength must be grown; it comes from struggle against obstacles. The only way in which a prayer for strength can be answered is by putting a man into a place where he will have to struggle. We ought to take good care before we ask for strength! God may overhear us and answer us. So it is with the frequent prayer that we may have the spirit of Jesus. Many people make that prayer thoughtlessly without realizing that if they really had the spirit of Jesus, it would knock themselves and their whole world upside down. - Halford E Luccock

Ask in Faith- But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. (James 1:5,6) Kara, a converted orphan girl, lived in a part of India where wickedness and spiritual darkness were prevalent. Fearing she would be made a slave and suffer abuse, she appealed to a visiting missionary who taught in another village to take her into her home. The sympathetic woman replied, "I'm sorry, but we have no vacant rooms and no money to build any." Kara tried to hold back the tears as she said, "O Missionary, please pray that God will let you take me,and I'll pray too." When the woman reached home that night, she found a letter from America with a large sum of money. Encouraged, she decided to use it to build an extra little room for the child who so badly needed a place to stay. The next morning she sent a helper to fetch Kara. She didn't expect them to return until late that night, for the journey was long. So she was surprised when the messenger came back with the young girl at noon. "When I prayed," the child said simply, "God assured me that it was His will for me to come to your home, so I thought I might as well get started." "She was almost here when I met her," said the missionary's helper with an approving smile. —Our Daily Bread

A Heart For Prayer - While traveling on an airplane with her 4- and 2-year-old daughters, a young mom worked at keeping them busy so they wouldn’t disturb others. When the pilot’s voice came over the intercom for an announcement, Catherine, the younger girl, paused from her activities and put her head down. When the pilot finished, she whispered, “Amen.” Perhaps because there had been a recent natural disaster, she thought the pilot was praying. Like that little girl, I want a heart that turns my thoughts toward prayer quickly. I think it would be fair to say that the psalmist David had that kind of heart. We get hints of that in Psalm 27 as he speaks of facing difficult foes (v.2). He said, “Your face,Lord, I will seek” (v.8). Some say that David was remembering the time he was fleeing from Saul (1 Sam. 21:10) or from his son Absalom (2 Sam. 15:13-14) when he wrote this psalm. Prayer and dependence on God were in the forefront of David’s thinking, and he found Him to be his sanctuary (Ps. 27:4-5).We need a sanctuary as well. Perhaps reading or praying this psalm and others could help us to develop that closeness to our Father-God. As God becomes our sanctuary, we’ll more readily turn our hearts toward Him in prayer. - Anne Cetas

A Lottery Prayer - A MAN purchased a lottery ticket that would pay him $100,000 if it turned out to be the lucky one. He asked my friend, a pastor, to pray that his number would be picked so he could give one-tenth of his winnings to the Lord. My friend hes­itated, then said, "All right, but first let me ask you this: Are you willing to give God the same percentage of your present weekly income?" The fellow looked surprised and dismayed. "B-b-but I need that to live on," he stammered. This man's seemingly spiritual request was merely a cover-up for selfishness, and God doesn't honor such prayers. Scripture verses like Matthew 21:22, "whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive," are not sweepstakes prom­ises that cater to our selfish nature, nor are they tickets to wealth and success. While the Bible contains many statements about God's will­ingness to hear and answer our prayers, John 15:7 defines the condition: We must live in fellowship with Christ and cherish His words in our hearts. The more we study God's Word, know the mind of Christ, and desire His will, the more we'll pray with right motives—and the more answers to prayer we'll see.

Lord, teach us to pray. (Luke 11:1, Mt 6:10-14) James Francis has given a concise explanation of The Lord's Prayer recorded in Matthew 6:9-13. He notes that it begins with worship and ends with intercession: "When we are told to pray, `Our Father in heaven,' we are admonished to come simply as a child addressing his Father. When we exclaim, `Hallowed be Your name,' it is as a worshiper addressing his God. `Your kingdom come' reminds us that we petition the throne as a citizen who approaches his King. `Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven' emphasizes that we come as a servant speaking to his Master. `Give us this day our daily bread' pictures us as a beggar approaching his Benefactor. `And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors' is the plea of a sinner seeking pardon from his Savior. `And do not lead us into temptation' depicts a pilgrim beseeching his Guide for safe, providential direction. `But deliver us from the evil one' is the cry of one ... who seeks help from his great Defender." As we meditate on the deep significance of our Lord's instructions about prayer, our own prayers will become more effective. —H. G. Bosch

Prayer and Providence - Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving. (Colossians 4:2) When a missionary to Haiti returned to the United States, she reported a wonderful answer to prayer. She explained that during her most recent term on the field she had been told that she might have cancer. A biopsy was performed and sent away for analysis, but the medical report didn't come back for several weeks. As she waited for word, she could find no peace of mind. She recalled that she was afraid of what might happen to her husband and their small children. There seemed to be no relief to her distress. But one evening her anxiety suddenly lifted like a cloud. She had a deep and inexpressible awareness that the Lord would take care of the needs of her family, regardless of the outcome. Then it occurred to her that it was Wednesday evening—prayer meeting night back in the States. She also realized that it was the first Wednesday night after she and her husband had notified friends and supporters of their struggle. These facts convinced this faithful missionary couple that God had given them an opportunity to sense His answer to the prayers of others on their behalf. In addition, the medical report soon came back with the welcome news that there was no cancer. This true incident carries a needed reminder to all of us who are Christians. The emphasis given to prayer in Colossians 4 highlights the kind of support we should be giving one another. Let's pray for the needs of others and then watch to see what the Lord does. —M R De Haan II 

Pray Through - "Confess your trespasses to one another; and pray for- one another; that you may be healed." James 5:16 - While waiting for the teller at a bank counter in Liverpool, England, evangelist Charles Alexander picked up a pen and began to write on a pad of paper. Two words had gripped his heart: "Pray Through." So he wrote them over and over until the paper was filled from top to bottom. When the teller returned to the window, the preacher transacted his business and left. The next day, a friend visited Alexander to tell him a striking story. A businessman had come into the bank shortly after Alexander had left. He was discouraged and weighed down with financial troubles. As he began to do his banking at the same counter, he noticed the pad with its long columns of "Pray Through." When he learned from the teller that Charles Alexander had printed those words, he exclaimed, "That is the very message I need! I have tried to worry through in my own strength, and have only mentioned my troubles to God. Now, I am going to pray through until I get light." Our heavenly Father waits to hear fervent, earnest, persistent prayer from us rather than feeble, apathetic requests. When troubles surround us, let's determine to "pray through." —P R. Van Gorder

It's The Knees (James 5:13-18) Continue earnestly in prayer. Col 4:2 —Both of my knees were hurting, and I could not figure out why. I hadn't done anything to damage them or put undo pressure on them.Or had I? I recalled that over the previous few days I had been working on the walls in our house, scrubbing them and getting them ready for painting. And then I had painted them. All the while, as I stood on the short ladder to reach the top, I had been pressing my knees against the ladder for balance. I was, in effect, being supported by my knees. Then a new thought came to mind: When was the last time my knees hurt because I was on them praying? It had been a while. Although it's true that people pray all the time without kneeling, the question I asked myself is a convicting one. Whether we are on our knees, standing up, or seated, how often do we use prayer to support ourselves? We can find help from many sources—friends, counselors, books—but there's nothing better than the support and strength we get from God when we pray. "The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much" (James 5:16). Prayer has power. We are to "continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant" (Colossians 4:2).How are your knees? —Dave Brannon

When I kneel before my Master,
I can feel His presence there,
And the load of care and sorrow
Seems much easier to bear.

Prayer Marathon - Do you struggle to maintain a consistent prayer life? Many of us do. We know that prayer is important, but it can also be downright difficult. We have moments of deep communion with God and then we have times when it feels like we’re just going through the motions. Why do we struggle so in our prayers? The life of faith is a marathon. The ups, the downs, and the plateaus in our prayer life are a reflection of this race. And just as in a marathon we need to keep running, so we keep praying. The point is: Don’t give up! That is God’s encouragement too. The apostle Paul said, “Pray continually” (1 Thess. 5:17), “keep on praying” (Rom. 12:12NLT), and “devote yourselves to prayer” (Col. 4:2). All of these statements carry the idea of remaining steadfast and continuing in the work of prayer. And because God, our heavenly Father, is a personal being, we can develop a time of close communion with Him, just as we do with our close human relationships. A. W. Tozer writes that as we learn to pray, our prayer life can grow “from the initial most casual brush to the fullest, most intimate communion of which the human soul is capable.” And that’s what we really want—deep communication with God. It happens when we keep praying. —Poh Fang Chia

Prayer for Revival - There are no shortcuts when it comes to revival. The church desperately needs revival, but it is not going to come by quick and easy methods. Evan Roberts prayed for eleven years before the Welsh Revival broke out, and his ministry during that remarkable time broke him physically. More than one hundred thousand people were converted to Christ during that mighty awakening, but it was not the result of manufactured meetings (they were spontaneous) or man made promotions. True revival goes deeper than that. —Warren Wiersbe

Five Finger Prayers - A Christian teacher devised a good way to remind her young students of the need for intercessory prayer (1Ti 2:1,2). Holding up her arm, the woman explained, "When I am ready to pray, children, I look at my left hand. My thumb is the digit closest to me. This reminds me to pray for those near me —my family, my friends, my neighbors." Moving on, she touched her index finger and said, "When I was in school, my teacher always pointed this one at us. Preachers sometimes use it when they make a point or give a warning. So, as I come to this part of my hand, I pray for teachers, preachers, and others who have guided me." The children waited eagerly for her next comment. "My middle finger is my largest one. It stands above the others. This brings to my mind the rulers of our country and others in authority, and I pray for them. The fourth finger is the weakest. It makes me think of the helpless, the sick, and the poor. I ask the Lord to supply their needs and to strengthen them in body and soul." Coming to the little finger, she concluded, "This one stands for me, and so I finish by praying for myself and all the things that I need." The children never forgot that simple lesson. —Our Daily Bread

Just in Time - And it shall come to pass that, before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. (Isaiah 65:24) A widow, her young son, and her invalid daughter lived in a poor part of London. They had to move there because of the death of her husband and other problems that beset the family. The woman and her son went to a gospel meeting and they received the Savior. Friends in the church would gladly have helped them financially, but the family did not make their needs known. The day came when their resources were exhausted and their meager income would stretch no further. That evening, while the mother and her son knelt in prayer beside the bed of the invalid daughter, this dear woman committed her need to God, being assured that His promises would never fail. The next morning the mailman delivered a letter. In the envelope was the equivalent of a week's wages. It had come from New Zealand and was sent by a total stranger. The benefactor had heard of the husband's death and had been moved to help the woman and her children. The letter had gone first to the village where they had lived, then it was forwarded to London. Five months after leaving New Zealand it finally arrived—the morning after the family prayer. —Our Daily Bread

Praying for His Will - And whatever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. (1 John 3:22) The captain of an ocean steamer told of one occasion when his ship was engulfed in a dense fog off the coast of Newfoundland. It was Wednesday evening, and the captain had been on the bridge for 24 hours when he was startled by someone tapping on his shoulder. He turned and saw one of his passengers— George Mueller. "Captain," said Mueller, "I must be in Quebec on Saturday afternoon." "That's impossible," replied the captain, "I'm helpless!" Mueller suggested, "Let's go down to the chart room and pray." The captain thought he had a lunatic on board. "Do you know how dense this fog is?" he asked. "No," came the reply, "my eye is not on the density of the fog, but on the living God who controls every circumstance of my life." Reluctantly the captain agreed to go with him to the chart room. When they arrived, Mueller got down on his knees and prayed, "O Lord, if it is consistent with Your will, please remove this fog in 5 minutes. You know the engagement You made for me in Quebec for Saturday. I believe it is Your will." Within minutes the fog lifted.

The Bible's School of Prayer (Habakkuk 1:1-4) - To call God and us unequal partners is a laughable understatement. And yet by inviting us to do kingdom work on earth, God has indeed set up a kind of odd-couple alliance. God delegates work to human beings so that we do history together, so to speak. Clearly, the partnership has one dominant partner—something like an alliance between Microsoft and a high school programmer. We know well what happens when human beings form unequal alliances: the dominant partner tends to throw his weight around and the subordinate mostly keeps quiet. But God, who has no reason to be threatened by us, invites a steady and honest flow of communication. I sometimes wonder why God places such a high value on honesty in our prayers, even to the extent of enduring unjust outbursts. I am startled to see how many biblical prayers seem ill-tempered. Jeremiah griped about unfairness (Jer 20:7, 8, 9, 10); Habakkuk accused God of deafness (Hab 1:2); Job conceded, “What profit do we have if we pray to Him?” (Job 21:15). The Bible teaches us to pray with blistering honesty. God wants us to come to Him with our complaints. If we march through life pretending to smile while inside we bleed, we dishonor the relationship. — Philip Yancey 

Praying Hyde - Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double-minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep; let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up. (James 4:8-10) Many years ago J. Wilbur Chapman wrote this to a friend: "I have learned some great lessons concerning prayer. At one of our missions in England the audience was exceedingly small, but I received a note saying that an American missionary was going to beseech the Lord on behalf of our work. The man was known as `Praying Hyde.' Almost immediately the tide changed. Crowds began to pack the hall, and many accepted Christ as their Savior. Meeting Mr. Hyde later, I said, `Brother, I want you to pray for me personally.' He came to my room, turned the key in the door, and dropped to his knees. He waited 5 minutes without a single syllable coming from his lips. I felt hot tears as they began running down my face. Although he had said nothing, I knew I was in the presence of God. Then with upturned face and with eyes streaming, he said, `0 God!' and was stilt again. When he seemed to sense that he was in full communion with the Lord, there came from the depths of his heart petitions such as I had never heard. I rose from my knees to know what real prayer was!"

Prayer Evangelism - "I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men. (1 Timothy 2:1) - Over  the  centuries  since  Jesus died for  our  sins  and  rose victorious from the grave, many methods have been used to  spread the gospel.  From Peter's first sermon, when 3,000 were saved, to great preaching campaigns of men like Charles Spurgeon and  Billy Sunday, to friendship evangelism, many ways of influencing others to accept Jesus' free gift have been tried. In a major city in the midwest, another method has been launched: prayer evangelism.  In the campaign to reach toe populace of this city, organizers have set out to pray for every individual.  They have divided the city into sections, and all cooperating churches have been assigned the names of the people in those sections. Of course, it will also take other kinds of contacts,  such  as literature  or  face-to-face  visits, but  prayer  is  the  major component. In 1 Timothy, Paul explained that God "desires all men  to  be  saved and to come to the knowledge of the  truth"  (1Ti 2:4). And the method suggested for beginning the work of evangelization is "supplications, prayers, intercessions...for all men" (1Ti 2:1). What about your neighborhood and mine?  Let's begin right now  to do some prayer evangelism. —J. David Brannon

Starting Upstream - (Mt 6:8) - My home sits along a creek in a canyon in the shadow of a large mountain. During the spring snowmelt and after heavy rains this stream swells and acts more like a river than a creek. People have drowned in it. One day I traced the origin of the creek to its very source, a snowfield atop the mountain. From there the melted snow begins the long journey down the mountain, joining other rivulets to take shape as the creek below my house. It occurs to me, thinking about prayer, that most of the time I get the direction wrong. I start downstream with my own concerns and bring them to God. I inform God, as if God did not already know. I plead with God, as if hoping to change God’s mind and overcome divine reluctance. Instead, I should start upstream where the flow begins. When we shift direction, we realize that God already cares about our concerns—a loved one’s cancer, a broken family, a rebellious teenager—more than we do. Our Father knows what we need (Matt. 6:8). Grace, like water, descends to the lowest part. Streams of mercy flow. We begin with God and ask what part we can play in His work on earth. With this new starting point for prayer, our perceptions change. We look at nature and see the signature of the grand Artist. We look at human beings and see individuals of eternal destiny made in God’s image. Thanksgiving and praise surge up to Him as a natural response. —Phil Yancey

A woman invited several guests to dinner. At the table, she asked her daughter to pray. “I don't know what to say,” the child complained. The mother encouraged her, “Just say what you hear Mommy say.” The girl bowed her head and prayed, “Dear Lord, why on earth did I invite all these people to dinner!” Every child looks for models of how to act and speak; unfortunately, not every model is a good one!

Praying Friends (1 Thessalonians 3:6-13) Brethren, pray for us. —1 Thessalonians 5:25  - I met my friend Angie for lunch after having not seen her for several months. At the end of our time together, she pulled out a piece of paper with notes from our previous get-together. It was a list of my prayer requests she had been praying for since then. She went through each one and asked if God had answered yet or if there were any updates. And then we talked about her prayer requests. How encouraging to have a praying friend! The apostle Paul had a praying relationship with the churches he served, including the one at Thessalonica. He thanked God for the faith, love, and hope of the people (1Th 1:2-3). He longed to see them, and asked God “night and day” that he might be able to visit them again (1Th 3:10-11). He requested that the Lord would help them “increase and abound in love to one another and to all” (1Th 3:12). He also prayed that their hearts would be blameless before God (1Th 3:13). They must have been encouraged as they read about Paul’s concern and prayers for them. Paul knew too his own need for God’s presence and power and pleaded, “Brethren, pray for us” (1Th 5:25).Loving Father, thank You for wanting us to talk with You. Teach us all to be praying friends. — Anne Cetas

I need the prayers of those I love
While traveling on life’s rugged way,
That I may true and faithful be,
And live for Jesus every day.

The best kind of friend is a praying friend.

See You Next Time? Sing to the Lord, all the earth; proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day. —1 Chronicles 16:23 It was a Sunday afternoon several years ago. The whole family was gathered around the table for dinner. Our 4-year-old son Stevie led off our pre-meal prayer: "Dear heavenly Father, thank You for this nice day. Thank You that we could go to church and Sunday school today." Then, to our surprise, he said, "And we'll see You again next week." What Stevie said in his prayer is how we often view the Christian life, I'm afraid. We easily fall into a see-you-next-time attitude about God. We forget about Him as we fulfill our daily responsibilities. We go for days at a time trying to pay the bills, keep the boss happy, and give attention to each family member. But we neglect to give God the time He deserves. First Chronicles 16 gives us some facts about God's power and majesty that we can think and talk about "from day to day" (1Chr 16:23). We can "declare His glory" (1Chr 16:24) and recognize His hand of creation in the heavens (1Chr 16:26). We can talk of His honor and majesty, the strength He possesses, and the gladness He gives us (1Chr 16:27). Each day brings new reasons to pray to God, to praise His name, and to proclaim His love. Let's make our worship of Him something we do "from day to day." —Dave Brannon 

Worship, praise, and adoration
Render now to Jesus' name;
Freely give your heart's devotion,
Constantly His love proclaim.

No day is complete without worship.

We Just Have To Talk (Exodus 33:1-11) Lisa and Sheryl have been friends since grade school. Even though their paths have taken them in different directions since those schoolgirl days in New Jersey, they have maintained their close friendship. Sheryl is married, settled in the Midwest, and the mother of young children. Lisa is single and involved in mission work, most recently in Russia. "Every now and then we just have to talk," says Sheryl. So they pick up the phone to catch up on what's been happening and to share their hearts. In Exodus 33:11, we read that "the Lord spoke to Moses . . . as a man speaks to his friend." Moses enjoyed something far better than an occasional long-distance talk with the Lord. He had frequent, face-to-face conversations with Him. During those intimate talks, the Lord gave Moses instructions for leading the people of Israel. Because of what Jesus Christ has done for us, and because the Holy Spirit now lives within all followers of Christ, we too can enjoy a special friendship and closeness with God. He speaks to us through His Word and by His Spirit, and we have the privilege of talking to Him in prayer. If you are like me, as you go through your day you'll find yourself saying to God, "We just have to talk." —David C. Egner

The kindest Friend I've ever had
Is One I cannot see,
Yet One in whom I can confide,
Who loves and blesses me.

Prayer is meant to be an intimate conversation with God
—our best friend.

When You're Unappreciated (1 Samuel 12:16-25) -- Samuel was a Mount Everest personality who appeared when the historical landscape was monotonously flat. As God's prophet, he judged the people. Since Israel was a theocracy (ruled by God), Samuel was virtually a king. He discharged his duties with skill and dedication to both God and the people. But the people wanted a king such as the pagan nations around them had (1 Samuel 8:5). So they asked the man of God to step aside. Samuel was hurt by their rejection. He understood the scope of their disobedience (1Sa 12:17-19).The prophet could have turned his back on the new king and his rebellious people. Instead he declared, "Far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you" (1Sa 12:23). Why did Samuel say that? He knew that even as doors were being slammed in his face, another door was open to him--the door of intercessory prayer. Samuel demonstrated his godliness by the way he reacted. He was still God's man, and he would still care for God's people. When we are snubbed by those we try to serve, we must resolve not to sin against the Lord by snubbing them in return. Instead, by God's grace, we can pray sincerely for those who may not value our best efforts. —Haddon W. Robinson 

How deep does it wound you when others despise
Your labor of love? Don't despair--
It's then you must view them with Spirit-filled eyes
And love your offenders with prayer.

Pray for those who spitefully use you.
--Jesus (Matthew 5:44)

Worrier Or Warrior? (Ephesians 3:20) - A missionary wrote a newsletter to thank his supporters for being "prayer warriors." Because of a typing error, though, he called them "prayer worriers. " For some of us, that might be a good description. In his book Growing Your Soul, Neil Wiseman writes, "Prayer must be more than a kind of restatement of fretting worries or a mulling over of problems. Our petitions must move beyond gloomy desperation, which deals mostly with calamity and despair." During an anxious time in my life, I became a "prayer worrier." I would beg, "Lord, please keep my neighbor from causing me problems tomorrow." Or, "Father, don't let that ornery person spread gossip about me." But then the Lord taught me to pray for people, rather than against them. I began to say, "Lord, bless and encourage my neighbor, and help him to sense Your love." Then I watched to see what God would do. The Lord's amazing answers not only helped others but also helped to cure my own anxiety! Paul was no "prayer worrier." He prayed for God's people that they might know the strength, love, and fullness of God, who is able to do far more than we can ask or even think (Ephesians 3:14-21). Such confidence made Paul a true "prayer warrior." Are your prayers like that? —Joanie Yoder

As we resolve to live for Christ
In actions, words, and deeds,
We'll yield our anxious hearts to Him
And pray for others' needs.

God is Listening - The day before Billy Graham’s interview in 1982 on The Today Show, his director of public relations, Larry Ross, requested a private room for Graham to pray in before the interview. But when Mr. Graham arrived at the studio, his assistant informed Ross that Mr. Graham didn’t need the room. He said, “Mr. Graham started praying when he got up this morning, he prayed while eating breakfast, he prayed on the way over in the car, and he’ll probably be praying all the way through the interview.” Ross later said, “That was a great lesson for me to learn as a young man.” Prayerfulness is not an event; it is a way of being in relationship with God. This kind of intimate relationship is developed when God’s people view prayerfulness as a way of life. The Psalms encourage us to begin each day by lifting our voice to the Lord (Ps. 5:3); to fill our day with conversations with God (Ps 55:17); and in the face of accusations and slander, to give ourselves totally to prayer (Ps 109:4). We develop prayer as a way of life because we desire to be with God (Ps 42:1-4; 84:1-2; 130:5-6). Prayer is our way of connecting with God in all life’s circumstances. God is always listening. We can talk to Him any time throughout the day.—Marvin Williams

Careful for What You Pray - Likewise, the Spirit also helpeth our infirmity; for we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit Himself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. (Romans 8:26) - The parable is told of two men who planted olive trees in their fields. Afterward one of them prayed, "Dear Lord, my trees need water. Please send rain." The showers came! He then petitioned, "They need sunshine," and God bathed them with sunlight! Later he cried, "Father, my trees need something to make them hardy. Please send a frost tonight." It came, but it killed them all. He went over to the other man's grove, and found that his olive trees were flourishing. "How can this be?" he asked. The reply came, "When I prayed, I didn't ask for rain, sunshine, or frost; I just said, 'Lord, you made these trees. You know what they need. Just send what is best!"

Pray without ceasing. (1 Thessalonians 5:17) -- A soldier was brought before his commanding offi-cer and accused of communicating with the enemy. He had been seen emerging from an area where their troops were known to patrol. The poor man summed up his defense in a few words, stating that he had slipped away to spend an hour alone in prayer. "Have you been in the habit of spending an hour in private prayer?" demanded the officer. "Yes, sir," he replied. "Then," said his commander, "never in your life have you been in more need of prayer than now. Kneel down and pray aloud so we all may hear you." Expecting the worst, the soldier dropped to his knees and poured out his heart to God. His prayer immediately revealed an intimacy with the Heavenly Father. His earnest fluency, his humble appeal for divine intervention, and his obvious trust in the One who is strong to deliver told unmistakably that he came regularly to the throne of grace. "You may go," said the officer. "No one could have prayed that way without a long apprenticeship; the fellows who never attend drill are always ill at ease for the review." For Further Study: 1Ki 8:22-30 Neh 1:4-6; Ps 145:18,19; Isaiah 55:1; Jonah 2:1,2,7;Mt 6:5-13; Mk 11:24,25; Lk 11:13; Jn 15:7,16.

Praying With Boldness - Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace. —Hebrews 4:16 - Have you ever found it tough to pray? That can happen when we’re reluctant to tell God how we’re really feeling. We might abruptly stop in mid-sentence, fearful of being disrespectful of our heavenly Father. A trip through the book of Psalms can help us pray more openly. There we can overhear David’s conversations with God and realize that he was not afraid to be completely open and honest with the Lord. David cried out: “O Lord, do not rebuke me in Your anger” (Psalm 6:1). “Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am weak” (Ps 6:2). “Why do You stand afar off, O Lord?” (Ps 10:1). “Do not be silent to me” (Ps 28:1). “Plead my cause, O Lord” (Ps 35:1). “Hear my prayer, O God” (Ps 54:2). “I am restless in my complaint, and moan noisily” (Ps 55:2).Think about David’s approach. He was saying to God: “Help me!” “Listen to me!” “Don’t be mad at me!” “Where are You?” David boldly went to God and told Him what was on his mind. Yes, God expects us to come to Him with a clean heart, and we need to approach Him with reverence—but we don’t have to be afraid to tell God what we’re thinking and feeling. Next time you talk with your heavenly Father—tell it straight. He’ll listen, and He’ll understand.

Help Needed - Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. —Hebrews 4:16 - During World War II, the British Isles represented the last line of resistance against the sweep of Nazi oppression in Europe. Under relentless attack and in danger of collapse, however, Britain lacked the resources to see the conflict through to victory. For that reason, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill went on BBC radio and appealed to the world: “Give us the tools, and we will finish the job.” He knew that without help from the outside, they could not endure the assault they were facing. Life is like that. Often, we are inadequate for the troubles life throws at us, and we need help from outside of ourselves. As members of the body of Christ, that help can come at times from our Christian brothers and sisters (Ro 12:10-13)—and that is a wonderful thing. Ultimately, however, we seek help from our heavenly Father. The good and great news is that our God has invited us to come confidently before Him: “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:16). At such times, our greatest resource is prayer—for it brings us into the very presence of God. There we find, in His mercy and grace, the help we need.

Who Is Jabez? Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. —1 Chronicles 4:9 - Chinese New Year celebrations are fun for children. When relatives and friends get together, it's the custom for adults to give children small, red envelopes containing token sums of money. Children often rip open their packets just to get the money, and their parents have to remind them that the giver is more important than the gift. Similarly, when we study the prayer of Jabez in 1 Chronicles 4:9-10, it is important to remember that the Giver, the Lord, is more important than the gift. If we focus solely on the request of Jabez, it could be easy to make the mistake of turning it into a formula for obtaining what we want from God. We don't know much about Jabez, except that his mother gave him a name that sounds like the Hebrew word for "distress" or "pain." We're also told that when he grew up, "Jabez was more honorable than his brothers." What made Jabez "more honorable"? On the basis of his prayer, we can assume that he took his relationship with God seriously. There was no magic in the words of his prayer. Rather, he knew that God is the giver of all things. Jabez was honorable, I believe, because he honored the Lord.Our prayer today should be to emulate the character of Jabez, who lived to please God. —Albert Lee  

Praying Like Christ (Read Job 42:10) - "I do not pray for these alone, but for those who will believe in Me through their word."  (John 17:20) With friends like his, Job didn't need enemies. His three would-be comforters failed miserably in their efforts to ease his pain. Instead of bringing sympathy, they recited a creed of iron and ice that only compounded his anguish. Yet Job was able to emerge from his cave of pain and confusion in triumph. A significant step toward that victory was his willingness to pray for the very friends who had criticized and accused him. (Job 42:10) God honored his prayers, and Job had the delight of witnessing his friends' forgiveness and restoration. (Job 42:11-16) (Ed comment: Note the very last verse of this book  - "And Job died, an old man and full of days." Job 42:17) Jesus also prayed for His friends (Jn 17:9-19), despite their constant failings. With the shadow of the cross falling darkly on Him, Jesus prayed for Peter even though He knew Peter would deny Him within hours (Lk. 22:32-34).Jesus prayed for you and me also (Jn 17:20-24). His work of prayer, which began before his death and resurrection, continues to this day. Although we sometimes act more like His enemies than His friends, Jesus died for us, reigns in power for us, and still prays for us (Ro 8:34).Following Christ's example, we are to pray for our friends and acquaintances -- even when they hurt us. Is there someone you can pray for today? —Haddon Robinson

Long Prayers and Pray-ers - Mr. and Mrs. Moody often had guests in their Chicago home. One evening, after a very demanding day, Moody asked a visiting Christian to lead in family devotions. The man waxed eloquent as he expounded the symbolism in a difficult chapter of the Bible. Then he prayed at great length. When the worship was over, Mrs. Moody and the guest got up from their knees, but Moody remained bowed in prayer. The guest thought that he was praying, but Mrs. Moody soon detected that her husband was—asleep!

Prayer is a rare gift, not a popular, ready gift. Prayer is not the fruit of natural talents; it is the product of faith, of holiness, of deeply spiritual character. Men learn to pray as they learn to love. Perfection in simplicity, in humility, in faith—these form its chief ingredients. Novices in these graces are not adept in prayer. It cannot be seized upon by untrained hands; graduates in heaven’s highest school of art can alone touch its finest keys, raise its sweetest, highest notes. Fine material and fine finish are requisite. Master workmen are required, for mere journeymen cannot execute the work of prayer. —E. M. Bounds

Answered Prayer - In about 1949 a group of retired missionaries from China, with a few faithful praying friends, met for their regular missionary prayer meeting in Adelaide, South Australia. A great prayer burden and sense of urgency came on them as they gathered together. All felt especially burdened for Hayden Melsap, then assigned to the China Inland Mission. They unanimously decided to drop all preliminaries and go “straight to prayer.” They prayed until they all felt a sense of peace and relief.  A few years later, when Hayden Melsap was on deputation in Australia, the missionaries asked him if he recalled any unusual occasion at that time. To their amazement, they found that on that day and hour Hayden and at least two other missionaries were backed against a wall in a courtyard in China, with communist guns leveled at them. Just as the officer was about to issue the command to fire, the door of the courtyard opened and a higher official entered. Shocked to see what was about to happen, he shouted, “Stop!” He then stepped up, put his arm around Melsap, and led him and the others to safety.  I heard this testimony from Hayden Melsap himself and also have it in writing from an Australian friend. —Wesley Duewel

Pull The Chain! - The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry. Ps 34:15, 1Th 5:1, Ro 12:12, Eph 6:18, Col 4:2, 1Pe 4:7 A story is told of an eastern monarch who recognized how difficult it was for the common people in his realm to come to him with their requests. Sometimes it was nearly impossible for them to make their way through the guards and attendants surrounding him. So the king decided to become more accessible to his subjects. He had a bell installed next to his throne with a long, thin chain attached to it. He then ordered that the chain be let down through a window into the street below so that anyone could get his attention at any time just by ringing the bell.This is a beautiful and striking picture of God's availability to His children through prayer. Although He is surrounded by indescribable splendor and glory His ear is open to the faintest cry of the most needy of His followers on earth. We can always "pull the chain" of intercession and have an immediate audience with the King of heaven and earth. Christian, don't despair. Keep the prayer bell ringing! GOD'S HELP IS ONLY A PRAYER AWAY! —H. G. Bosch

The Owner of Everything - God says ""For every beast of the forest is Mine, The cattle on a thousand hills." (Psalm 50:10) In its early days, Dallas Theological Seminary was in critical need of $10,000 to keep the work going. During a prayer meeting, renowned Bible teacher Harry Ironside, a lecturer at the school, prayed, “Lord, you own the cattle on a thousand hills. Please sell some of those cattle to help us meet this need.” Shortly after the prayer meeting, a check for $10,000 arrived at the school, sent days earlier by a friend who had no idea of the urgent need or of Ironside’s prayer. The man simply said the money came from the sale of some of his cattle! —Moody Bible Institute

Miracle Rain - Life is hard for the villagers who live on a hilly terrain in the Yunnan Province of China. Their main source of food is corn and rice. But in May 2012 a severe drought hit the region and the crops withered. Everyone was worried, and many superstitious practices were carried out as the people attempted to end the drought. When nothing worked, people started blaming the five Christians in the village for offending the spirits of the ancestors. These five believers gathered to pray. Before long, the sky darkened and thunder was heard. A heavy downpour started and lasted the whole afternoon and night. The crops were saved! While most of the villagers did not believe God sent the rain, others did and desired to find out more about Him and Jesus. In 1 Kings 17:1-24 and 1Kings 18:1-46 we read of a severe drought in Israel. But in this case, we are told, it was a result of God’s judgment on His people (1Ki 17:1). They had begun to worship Baal, the god of the Canaanites, believing that this deity could send the rain for their crops. Then God, through His prophet Elijah, showed that He is the one true God who determines when rain falls. Our all-powerful God desires to hear our prayers and answer our pleas. And though we do not always understand His timing or His purposes, God always responds with His best for our lives. —Poh Fang Chia

Enjoying God's Presence - Genesis 28:10-16 “I Did Not Know It” -- As Jacob did in Genesis 28, I like to remind myself each morning when I awaken that God is here, “in this place,” present with me (Ge 28:16). As I spend time with Him each morning, reading His Word and responding in prayer, it reinforces my sense of His presence—that He is near. Although we do not see Him, Peter reminds us that we can love Him and rejoice in His love for us with “inexpressible,” glorious joy (1Pe 1:8). We take the Lord’s presence with us all through the day, blending work and play with prayer. He is our teacher, our philosopher, our companion—our gentle, kind, and very best friend. God is with us wherever we go. He is in the commonplace, whether we know it or not. “Surely the Lord is in this place,” Jacob said of a most unlikely spot, “and I did not know it” (Gen. 28:16). We may not realize He is close by. We may feel lonely and sad. Our day may seem bleak and dreary without a visible ray of hope—yet He is present. Amid all the clamor and din of this visible and audible world, listen carefully for God’s quiet voice. Listen to Him in the Bible. Talk to Him frequently in prayer. Look for Him in your circumstances. Seek Him. He is with you wherever you go. —Our Daily Bread

Oh, how oft I wake and find
I have been forgetting Thee!
I am never from Thy mind;
Thou it is that wakest me.

Our greatest privilege is to enjoy God’s presence.

It is said that the early Christians never met without invoking God's blessing and never parted without a word of thanksgiving. We are told also that during the Middle Ages many occurrences would summon the faithful to immediate prayer. When night erased the shadows on a sundial, when a tolling bell announced a death, or when a flight of birds signaled a change of seasons, they bowed to offer an appropriate petition. It was the custom of John Fletcher of Madeley, England, never to meet a Christian without saying, "Friend, do I meet you praying?" This unusual salutation reminded the person that his life should be an unbroken expression of prayer and fellowship with God. If someone today were to give you John Fletcher's unusual greeting, how would you respond? Is your life characterized by joyous contact with Jesus and an unwavering perseverance in prayer? —H. G. Bosch

Some years ago a young girl was very sick and not expected to recover. Because of her love for Jesus, she was troubled that she had not been able to do more for Him in her short life. Her pastor suggested that she make a list of people in their little town who needed Christ and pray that they might put their faith in Him. She took his advice, made a list, and prayed often for each person.  Some time later God began to stir a revival in the village. The girl heard of the people who were coming to Christ and prayed even more. As she heard reports, she checked off the names of those who had been led to the Lord.  After the girl died, a prayer list with the names of 56 people was found under her pillow. All had put their faith in Christ—the last one on the night before her death. Such is the power of definite, specific, fervent prayer. Do you have a prayer list? —Henry G. Bosch

LOOK AT ME (2 Chronicles 7:12-18) "If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray, and seek My face,...then I will...forgive their sin." - 2 Chronicles 7:14 It was one of those split-second exchanges between a 16-year-old girl and her father, but it spoke volumes. While he was out of town, she had broken her curfew and stayed out too late with her boyfriend. Now she had to talk to Dad about it. Embarrassed and afraid, she sat quietly looking down at her hands in her lap while the discussion went on. She apologized and they decided on a suitable discipline.  "Look at me," Dad said. She didn't want to, but she did. Instead of a hard look of displeasure, she saw tears and a look of deep love. She threw her arms around him, and they both knew that everything would be all right between them. To keep everything right between us and our heavenly Father, we have to seek His face (Ps. 27:8). We may feel guilt, disappointment, anger, or hurt toward God. But that is when we must respond to His invitation to look at Him -- especially if fellowship has been broken. Our greatest concern should be the fear of losing a close relationship with Him. Our greatest delight should be seeing His face in the Word and through the wonderful privilege of prayer. That way we will have the assurance that everything is all right between us.—D C Egner

"MOWER FAITH" - (Genesis 24:10-28) --The fifth-grader watched her father struggling under the hot sun to cut the grass on the family’s sizable yard. When he was finally done, she said to him, “Daddy, I wish we had a riding lawn mower. I’m going to buy you one.” She did more than make what seemed like an impossible promise. She began praying for a riding mower for her dad. And she began doing odd jobs to earn money. Finally the girl had saved up $50, but everyone knew that wasn’t enough. Then one day she and her mom saw a riding mower that was for sale. Skeptically, they took a closer look at the sign. They couldn’t believe their eyes: $50. And the mower worked! In Genesis 24:12, 13, 14, we read the account of Abraham’s servant seeking a bride for Isaac. He had the difficult task of finding a woman from a family hundreds of miles away. And she had to be willing to return with him to Canaan. He prayed specifically, did everything he could, and waited on the Lord. Two seemingly impossible requests. Two faithful believers in prayer and action. It’s a formula for great results. Not all prayers are answered affirmatively, of course, but that isn’t our concern. Our job is to see the need, ask God for help, and do what we can. We all need “mower” faith. —Our Daily Bread

Prayer And Politics (Romans 13:1-7)  [Pray] for all men, for kings and all who are in authority. (1Timothy 2:1-2) -- In 1787 a convention was called in the United States to revise the Articles of Confederation. For weeks delegates reviewed ancient history and analyzed modern governments, searching for insights. But nothing suited the infant nation. Finally, a distinguished gentleman named Benjamin Franklin rose and said, "In this situation of this assembly, groping as it were in the dark to find political truth and scarce able to distinguish it when it is presented to us, how has it happened that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of Lights to illuminate our understandings?" Mr. Franklin believed there was a sovereign God who could provide guidance to those who sought it. If ever there was a time to follow that prayerful example, it is now. Paul said that governments are ordained of God (Ro 13:1), and that we are to pray for those in authority over us (1Ti 2:1-2). This prayer principle also applies to the election of our leaders. We must become informed and vote prayerfully for those who shape our laws. Because God has instructed us to do so, we can--indeed we must--unashamedly and boldly mix prayer with our politics. —Dennis J De Haan

Prayer Path -  In one region of Africa, the first converts to Christianity were very diligent about praying. In fact, the believers each had their own special place outside the village where they went to pray in solitude. The villagers reached these “prayer rooms” by using their own private footpaths through the brush. When grass began to grow over one of these trails, it was evident that the person to whom it belonged was not praying very much.  Because these new Christians were concerned for each other’s spiritual welfare, a unique custom sprang up. When ever anyone noticed an overgrown “Prayer path,” he or she would go to the person and lovingly warn, “Friend, there’s grass on your path!” —R W De Haan

Prayer and Pretzels - I can imagine some of you are surprised by the title of this devotional — and I will freely admit that I used it to get your attention. However, there is a very real relationship between prayer and pretzels! The twisted bits of salted, baked dough that go by that name were first made in northern Italy about A.D. 610. A monk who had been baking bread found he had some dough left over, so he formed it into thin, pencil-like rolls, and then twisted them into little figures representing children with their arms folded in prayer! Coating them with syrup and salt he put them in the oven. Finding them very palatable, he gave them as rewards to the youngsters who learned their catechism lessons. He called these tasty morsels "pretiola" which in Latin means "little reward." This monk who invented pretzels, and gave them to the children for knowing answers to Bible questions, was using good psychology. Explaining that the twisted dough represented them in an attitude of devotion, perhaps he hoped thereby also to remind them to "pray in" the truths of the Word they had only mentally digested. Can we not all learn a lesson from this? Let us also add much prayer to our study of the Bible, beseeching God to give us a deeper "heart understanding" of its precepts, and a greater wisdom in applying its purifying lessons to our daily lives. From now on, every time you see pretzels, I hope you are re-minded that they represent "children at prayer." Incidentally, if more people thought of their youngsters praying for them when they ate those salted goodies, they would not drink along with those snacks some of the things they do! (Enough said?)

The aim of prayer is not to force God’s hand or make him do our will against his own, but to deepen our knowledge of him and our fellowship with him through contemplating his glory, confessing our dependence and need, and consciously embracing his goals. Our asking therefore must be according to God’s will and in Jesus’ name. The context of such asking is assured faith. In that day when Jesus teaches them, by the Spirit, plainly of the Father, there will be no question of enlisting Jesus’ support in prayer, as if he were more merciful than the Father or could influence him in a way that they could not; in that day they will know inwardly that as believers they are the Father’s beloved. To asked in Jesus’ name is not to use a verbal spell but to base our asking on Christ’s saving relationship to us through the cross; this will involve making petitions which Christ can endorse and put his name to. When God answers in Jesus’ name, he gives through Jesus as our mediator and to Jesus as the one who will be glorified through what is given.   —J I PACKER

Each Christian’s prayer life, like every good marriage, has in it common factors about which one can generalize and also uniquenesses which no other Christian’s prayer life will quite match. You are you, and I am I, and we must each find our own way to God; and there is no recipe for prayer that can work for us like a handyman’s do-it-yourself manual or a cookery book, where the claim is that if you follow the instructions you can’t go wrong.   Praying is not like carpentry or cookery; it is the active exercise of a personal relationship: a kind of friendship with the living God and his Son Jesus Christ, and the way it goes is more under divine control than under ours. Books on praying, like marriage manuals, are not to be treated with slavish superstition, as if the perfection of technique is the answer to all difficulties; their purpose, rather, is to suggest things to try. But as in other close relationships, in prayer you have to find out by trial and error what is right for you, and you learn to pray by praying.   Some of us talk more, others less; some are constantly vocal, others cultivate silence before God as their way of adoration; some slip into glossolalia, others make a point of not slipping into it; yet we may all be praying as God means us to do. The only rule is: Stay within the biblical guidelines, and within those guidelines, as John Chapman put it, “Pray as you can, and don’t try to pray as you can’t.”   —J I PACKER

Things looked bleak for the children of George Mueller’s orphanage at Ashley Downs in England. It was time for breakfast, and there was no food. A small girl whose father was a close friend of Mueller was visiting in the home. Mueller took her hand and said, “Come and see what our Father will do.” In the dining room, long tables were set with empty plates and empty mugs. Not only was there no food in the kitchen, but there was no money in the home’s account. Mueller prayed, “Dear Father, we thank Thee for what Thou art going to give us to eat.” Immediately, they heard a knock at the door. When they opened it, there stood the local baker. “Mr. Mueller,” he said, “I couldn’t sleep last night. Somehow I felt you had no bread for breakfast, so I got up at 2 o’clock and baked fresh bread. Here it is.” Mueller thanked him and gave praise to God. Soon, a second knock was heard. It was the milkman. His cart had broken down in front of the orphanage. He said he would like to give the children the milk so he could empty the cart and repair it.

Time Out (Acts 11:19-26; 13:1-3) - Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away. —Acts 13:3 - El Bulli restaurant, 2 hours north of Barcelona, is so popular that customers must reserve a table 6 months in advance. But noted Spanish chef Ferran Adrià decided to close the doors of his award-winning restaurant for 2 years so he and his staff could have time to think, plan, and innovate. Adrià told Hemispheres Magazine, “If we are winning all the prizes, why change? Working 15 hours a day leaves us very little time to create.” In the midst of great success, they took time out for what is most important to them. The first-century church in Antioch experienced a time of exciting growth when “a great number believed and turned to the Lord” (Acts 11:21). As a result, Barnabas and Saul came to teach the new believers (Acts 11:25-26). But along with the hard work, they took time to seek the Lord through prayer and fasting (Acts 13:2-3). Through this, God revealed His plan for taking the gospel into Asia. Few people can take 2 years off to think and plan. But all of us can build time into our schedule to seek the Lord earnestly through prayer. As we open our hearts and minds to God, He will be faithful to reveal the steps of life and service that honor Him. —David C. McCasland

Silent Prayer - A friend of mine took his small son with him to town one day to run some errands. When lunchtime arrived, the two of them went to a familiar diner for a sandwich. The father sat down on one of the stools at the counter and lifted the boy up to the seat beside him. They ordered lunch, and when the waiter brought the food, the father said, “Son, we’ll just have a silent prayer.” Dad got through praying first and waited for the boy to finish his prayer, but he just sat with his head bowed for an unusually long time. When he finally looked up, his father asked him, “What in the world were you praying about all that time?” With the innocence and honesty of a child, he replied, “How do I know? It was a silent prayer. —Our Daily Bread

When Robert Louis Stevenson was a boy he once remarked to his mother, “Momma, you can’t be good without praying.” “How do you know, Robert?” she asked. “Because I’ve tried!” he answered. This brings to mind a story about another little fellow—one who had been sent to his room because he had been bad. A short time later he came out and said to his mother, “I’ve been thinking about what I did and I said a prayer.” “That’s fine,” she said, “if you ask God to make you good, He will help you.” “Oh, I didn’t ask Him to help me be good,” replied the boy. “I asked Him to help you put up with me.” —Our Daily Bread

A Bold Entrance - Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace. (Hebrews 4:16) (Read Hebrews 4:14-16) — One morning, Scott Long and his wife had just awakened and were lying in bed when suddenly a young fellow entered their bedroom. He walked around the bed to Scott’s side. If the trespasser had been a total stranger, his entrance would’ve been criminal intrusion. If he had been a friend, his entrance would’ve been just plain obnoxious. But it was their toddler son who had entered their bedroom, jumped on the bed, and boldly said, “I want in the middle.” Scott was struck with the beauty of a child’s security in knowing he is wanted. We are welcome in our heavenly Father’s presence as well. Hebrews 4:16 tells us we can “come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” We can approach Him confidently about anything—our needs and our desires—knowing that He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). Writer Phillips Brooks said,

“If man is man and God is God, to live without prayer is not merely an awful thing; it is an infinitely foolish thing.” 

Let’s not be foolish and ignore the help we can find in prayer to our Father. Instead, let’s approach Him with the boldness of a child who knows he is loved and wanted by his father. —Our Daily Bread

When we approach the Lord in prayer,
We can come boldly to His throne;
His children come expectantly,
For grace and mercy will be shown.

SAYING PRAYERS - Lord, teach us to pray Luke 11:1 - For two and one-half years I served as student-pastor in a little church on the outskirts of a small town. None of the businessmen of the village attended, for most of them were members of another very large denomination which claimed the majority of the people in that community. They were friendly to me, however, and gave our church a sizable discount each time we made a purchase. Usually the businessman would say, "I want to give this item to you at my cost; I only ask that you say a prayer for me." I believe they said this sincerely because they truly thought it would help if I would do this for them. I told them frankly that I didn't "say prayers" in the routine, perfunctory way they sup-posed, but that I would remember them when we brought our petitions before the Lord. No, prayer is not just repeating some memorized phrases de-signed to produce magical results. Prayer is talking to God! If I am really to communicate with Him who is perfect in holiness, I must search my soul, examine my motives, and confess my sins. In fact, God often permits afflictions and crushing disappointments to enter the lives of His children in order that they might be driven to real intercession! By nature we are spiritually lazy; consequently, a life of ease and prosperity has a tendency to draw us away from God so that we begin "saying prayers" rather than really praying. "Saying prayers" will accomplish very little; but heartfelt petitions will keep you close to the Lord, make your life glow with spiritual splendor, and draw your mind away from all that is wicked and carnal. In fact, you cannot be an effective Christian without real prayer, for God has chosen to do His work in this way. Let us ask the Lord every day to keep us from "saying prayers." With the disciples of old, we must approach Him re-questing, "Lord, teach us to pray!" It will probably cost us some-thing, but it will be worth it!

Weight of Prayer - Shortly after World War II, a woman entered a grocery store and asked for enough food for a Christmas dinner for her children. When the owner inquired how much she could afford, she answered, “My husband was killed in the war. Truthfully, I have nothing to offer but a little prayer.” The man, an unbeliever, was unmoved by the woman’s need, and said sarcastically, “Write your prayer on a piece of paper and you can have its weight in groceries.” To his surprise, she plucked a folded note out of her pocket and handed it to him. “I already did that during the night while I was watching over my sick child,” was her immediate reply. Without even reading it, he put it on one side of his old-fashioned scales. “We’ll see how much food this is worth,” he muttered. To his dismay, nothing happened when he put a loaf of bread on the other side. But he was even more upset when he added other items and still nothing happened. Finally he blurted out, “Well, that’s all it will hold anyway. Here’s a bag. You’ll have to put these things in yourself. I’m busy!” With a tearful “Thank you,” the lady went happily on her way. The grocer later discovered that the scale was out of order. As the years passed, he often wondered if that was just a coincidence. Why did the woman have the prayer already written before he asked for it? Why did she come at exactly the time the mechanism was broken? Whenever he looks at the slip of paper that bears her petition, he is amazed, for it reads, “Please, dear Lord, give us this day !” —Our Daily Bread

Why Pray? One of the great paradoxes of the Christian faith is that God wants us to talk to Him about everything that is going on in our lives, even though He already knows everything. So why pray?  If you’ve ever wrestled with that question, perhaps the thoughts of the 19th-century preacher R. A. Torrey can help. Among the reasons he gave for prayer are these:
      •       Because there is a devil, and prayer is a God-appointed way to resist Him (Eph. 6:12–13, 18).
      •       Because prayer is God’s way for us to obtain what we need from Him (Lk. 11:3–13; Jas. 4:2).
      •       Because prayer is the means God has appointed for us to find “grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:16).
     •     Because prayer with thanksgiving is God’s way for us to obtain freedom from anxiety and to receive “the peace of God” (Phil. 4:6–7).  Besides these reasons, it’s enough to read the command in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing,” and realize that God wants us to talk with Him. Yes, He is all-knowing, but He also desires our fellowship. When we seek God’s face in prayer, we strengthen our relationship with Him. That’s the most important reason to pray.—J D Brannon

The young mother called out to the missionary, “Come quick! My baby is going to die.” Gale Fields was in Irian Jaya helping her husband Phil translate the Bible into Orya, a tribal language. But they also provided medical help whenever possible. Gale looked at the malaria-stricken child and realized she didn’t have the right medicine to help the infant. “I’m sorry,” she told the mother, “I don’t have any medicine for babies this small.” Gale paused, then said, “I could pray for her though.” “Yes, anything to help my baby,” answered the mother. Gale prayed for the baby and then went home feeling helpless. After a little while, she again heard the mother cry out, “Gale, come quick and see my baby!” Expecting the worst, Gale went to the baby’s side. This time, though, she noticed improvement. The dangerous fever was gone. Later, Gale would say, “No wonder the Orya Christians learned to pray. They know God answers.” The early Christians prayed for Peter to be released from prison and then were “astonished” when God answered them (Acts 12:16). We respond that way too, but we shouldn’t be surprised when God answers our prayers. Remember, His power is great and His resources are endless.  

Waiting - Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer. —Romans 12:12 - Day after day for years Harry shared with the Lord his concern for his son-in-law John who had turned away from God. But then Harry died. A few months later, John turned back to God. When his mother-in-law Marsha told him that Harry had been praying for him every day, John replied, “I waited too long.” But Marsha joyfully shared: “The Lord is still answering the prayers Harry prayed during his earthly life.” Harry’s story is an encouragement to us who pray and wait. He continued “steadfastly in prayer” and waited patiently (Ro 12:12). The author of Psalm 130 experienced waiting in prayer. He said, “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits” (Ps 130:5). He found hope in God because he knew that “with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him is abundant redemption” (Ps 130:7).....What a privilege we have to fellowship with God in prayer and to wait for the answer in the fullness of His time. —Anne Cetas

Why Pray? (Luke 11:1-13) One of the great paradoxes of the Christian faith is that God wants us to talk to Him about everything that is going on in our lives, even though He already knows everything. So why pray? If you've ever wrestled with that question, perhaps the thoughts of the 19th-century preacher R. A. Torrey can help. Among the reasons he gave for prayer are these: 

  • Because there is a devil, and prayer is a God-appointed way to resist Him (Eph. 6:12, 13,18). 
  • Because prayer is God's way for us to obtain what we need from Him (Lk. 11:3-13; Jas. 4:2). 
  • Because prayer is the means God has appointed for us to find "grace to help in time of need" (Heb. 4:16). 
  • Because prayer with thanksgiving is God's way for us to obtain freedom from anxiety and to receive "the peace of God" (Phil. 4:6, 7).

Besides these reasons, it's enough to read the command in 1Thessalonians 5:17, "Pray without ceasing," and realize that God wants us to talk with Him. Yes, He is all-knowing, but He also desires our fellowship. When we seek God's face in prayer, we strengthen our relationship with Him. That's the most important reason to pray. —J D Brannon

The story is told about a church in a small town which seemed to have everything going its way. There were no gambling casinos, no liquor stores, and no "beer joints" in the entire area. After several years, however, a night club was built right on Main Street. The congregation was very much disturbed and held several all-night prayer meetings in which some members specifically asked God to burn the tavern down. Well, a few days later, during a tremendous thunderstorm, lightning did strike the drinking establishment and fire completely demolished it. The owner, knowing how the church had prayed, sued them for damages. His lawyer claimed that it was their prayers which caused the loss. The church, however, hired their own lawyer and fought the charges. After many hearings and much deliberation, the judge declared: "It is the opinion of this court that wherever the guilt may lie, the tavern owner is the one who really believes in prayer, while the church members do not!" Doesn't this suggest how faithless we often are? Even those in the early church were guilty of such unbelieving prayer. Acts 12 tells us that Peter, having escaped from prison, went to the house of Mary the mother of John where many Christians were gathered together praying for his release. He knocked, and Rhoda went to the door; but, hearing his voice, she was so thrilled that, with-out opening it, she ran to the "prayer meeting crowd" and told them that Peter was outside. "Thou art mad!" they said. As she insisted that it was really Peter, they concluded, "It is his angel." As the apostle continued knocking, they finally opened the door. Seeing him, they "were astonished." How often we are like that: surprised at the way God answers prayer

Never Give Up! - One day George Mueller began praying for five of his friends. After many months, one of them came to the Lord. Ten years later, two others were converted. It took 25 years before the fourth man was saved. Mueller persevered in prayer until his death for the fifth friend, and throughout those 52 years he never gave up hoping that he would accept Christ! His faith was rewarded, for soon after Mueller’s funeral the last one was saved.— Our Daily Bread

No Audience - One winter night composer Johann Sebastian Bach was scheduled to debut a new composition. He arrived at the church expecting it to be full. Instead, he learned that no one had come. Without missing a beat, Bach told his musicians that they would still perform as planned. They took their places, Bach raised his baton, and soon the empty church was filled with magnificent music. Beloved, we may sometimes feel like we are praying and the Lord is not listening. When that happens, pray like Bach played and rest assured it will be "beautiful music" to our Master's Ear!

Equal Access - Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. —Hebrews 4:16 (Read: Psalm 145:14-21) - Pastor Stuart Silvester told me of a conversation he had with an acquaintance who frequently flew his small private plane in and out of Toronto International Airport. He asked the pilot if he ever encountered problems taking off and landing a small craft at an airport that was dominated by so many large jets. His friend responded, “My plane may be small, but I have the same rights, the same privileges, and the same access to that airport as anyone else—even the jumbo jets!” Pastor Silvester then made this spiritual application: “It’s the same with prayer, with the believer’s approach to the throne of grace. No matter who we are or how small we are in comparison with others or how low our station in life, we take a back seat to no one. No one is given priority treatment.” In a world that offers preferential treatment to the wealthy, the famous, and the influential, it’s encouraging to know that every child of God has equal access to the Father in heaven. The psalmist said, “The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth” (Psalm 145:18).With that assurance, we can “come boldly to the throne of grace” in prayer, knowing that our loving God will never turn us away.

A comment by Robert A. Cook, president of The King’s College in New York, renewed my appreciation for the privilege of prayer. Speaking at the Moody Bible Institute, Cook said that the day before, he had been at a gathering in Washington and had talked with Vice President George Bush. Two hours later he spoke briefly with President Ronald Reagan. Then smiling broadly, Cook told us, “But that’s nothing! Today I talked with God!” - Our Daily Bread

Facing Danger With Prayer (2 Kings 19:1-19) O Lord our God, I pray, save us . . . that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the Lord God. —2 Kings 19:19 -- Trouble lay ahead for King Hezekiah of Judah. He had just received a menacing letter from Assyria's King Sennacherib. This marauding monarch had conquered many cities, and Jerusalem was next on his list. In his letter, Sennacherib mocked the God of Israel and threatened to destroy the holy city. We read in 2 Kings 19 that Hezekiah went immediately up to the temple and spread the letter before the Lord. He acknowledged Him as the One who created all things (2Ki 19:15). He told Him that Sennacherib had reproached the living God (2Ki 19:16). Finally, He pleaded with God to deliver Judah so that all the nations of the world would know that He alone is God (2Ki 19:19). Hezekiah's actions said, in effect, "Look, God! Read this! I need your help. Your honor is at stake!" What an example of faith in a real God who is present and aware of our needs! Like Hezekiah, we at times face imminent danger from someone who wants to harm us. Or it may be some other kind of menacing situation. No matter what we ultimately do, our first response should be to tell God of the danger and praise Him for His greatness. Then we can trust Him for the kind of help that brings Him glory. Facing danger? God honors Hezekiah-style prayers. —J D Brannon 

How to Lift the Fog - The promise of today’s text (1 John 3:13–24) carries two important conditions—”if our heart condemn us not” (1Jn 3:21), and if “we keep His commandments” (1Jn 3:22). In other words, when we are in the center of God’s will and have a clear conscience, the resources of heaven are at our disposal. The following incident vividly illustrates this truth:
      The captain of an ocean steamer tells that on one occasion his ship was engulfed in a dense fog off the coast of Newfoundland. It was Wednesday evening and the captain had been on the bridge for 24 hours when he was startled by someone tapping on his shoulder. He turned and saw one of his passengers—George Mueller.
      “Captain,” said Mueller, “I must be in Quebec on Saturday afternoon.”
      “That’s impossible!” replied the captain. “I’m helpless!”
      Mueller suggested, “Let’s go down to the chart room and pray.”
      The captain thought he had a lunatic on board. “Do you know how dense the fog is?” he asked.
      “No,” came the reply, “my eye is not on the density of the fog, but on the living God who controls every circumstance of my life.” Once in the chart room, Mueller got down on his knees and prayed, “O Lord, if it is consistent with Thy will, please remove this fog in 5 minutes. Thou knowest the engagement Thou didst make for me in Quebec for Saturday. I believe it is Thy will.” Within a matter of minutes the fog lifted. — Our Daily Bread

The Squeaky Wheel - “The squeaky wheel gets the oil” is a popular proverb. As a child I rode my bicycle for long distances between home and school, and the squeaky sounds of the wheels drew my attention to the need to lubricate them. In Luke 18, the widow’s persistent request to the judge for justice against her adversary made her sound like a “squeaky wheel” until she got the result she needed. Luke explains that Jesus told this story to teach us the need to pray continually and not to give up, even if it appears that the answer to our prayer is delayed (Lk 18:1-5). — Lawrence Darmani

Lost Prayers - Psalm 86:1-17 - The headline read: UNANSWERED PRAYERS: LETTERS TO GOD FOUND DUMPED IN OCEAN. The letters, three hundred in all and sent to a New Jersey minister, had been tossed in the ocean, most of them unopened. The minister was long dead. How the letters came to be floating in the surf off the New Jersey shore is a mystery. The letters were addressed to the minister because he had promised to pray. Some of the letters asked for frivolous things; others were written by anguished spouses, children, or widows. They poured out their hearts to God, asking for help with relatives who were abusing drugs and alcohol, or spouses who were cheating on them. One asked God for a husband and father to love her child. The reporter concluded that all were "unanswered prayers." Not so! If those letter-writers cried out to God, He heard each one of them. Not one honest prayer is lost to His ears. "You know what I long for, Lord," David wrote in the midst of a deep personal crisis, "you hear my every sigh" (Ps 38:9). David understood that we can cast all our cares on the Lord, even if no one else prays for us. He confidently concluded, "I will call to you whenever I'm in trouble, and you will answer me" (Ps 86:7). —Dave H Roper 

Jesus hears our faintest cry.

The Only Way To Help - "Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer  was offered to God for him by the church." (Acts 12:5) - I looked at my watch. To my dismay, it was  1:45 in  the afternoon. I had promised my daughter Lisa, who was playing the piano in a competition for college scholarships at 1:30, that I would pray for her. I got busy, though, and forgot all about it.  By 1:45 I knew she had already finished. I sat at my desk with a feeling of lingering  emptiness.   I felt  as if I had failed her.  I knew that the only possible way I could have assisted Lisa during her competition was to ask  God  to  calm her and help her recall the music she had practiced so long and hard to master. As I contemplated this situation, I was  reminded of how important  prayer is as a link with those we cannot reach. By talking to the Lord about a friend or loved one's  needs, we  have  a unique opportunity to make a difference in their lives—even though we can't be with them in person. What an amazing concept! No  matter what the circumstances of our friends or family members  who are away from us, prayer is always an effective way we can support them and be of help.  It worked  for  the people  who  prayed for Peter (Acts 12:1-25), and it can work for us. —J. David Brannon

Access to God - Technology is a blessing in so many ways. Need a bit of information about a health problem? All you have to do is access the Internet where you instantaneously get a list of options to guide your search. Need to contact a friend? Just send a text, email, or Facebook post. But technology can also be frustrating at times. The other day I needed to access some information in my bank account and was asked a list of security questions. Unable to recall the exact answers, I was blocked from my own account. Or think of the times when an important conversation is cut off because of a dead cellphone battery, with no way to reconnect until you find a plug to recharge it. All of this makes me delighted with the reality that when I need to access God in prayer, there are no security questions and no batteries required. I love the assurance that John gives when he says, “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us” (1 John 5:14). God is always accessible, for He never slumbers nor sleeps! (Ps. 121:4). And thanks to His love for us, He is waiting and ready to listen. —Joe Stowell

Holy Fools (Genesis 12:1-5) - If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes. —(Mark 9:23) - When God spoke to Abram, he obeyed at once, departing for an unknown land based only on a promise. Childless, he trusted God to make of him “a great nation” (Gen. 12:2). God often does His work through “holy fools”—dreamers who strike out in ridiculous faith. Yet I tend to approach my decisions with calculation and restraint. My church in Chicago once scheduled an all-night vigil of prayer during a major crisis. At length we discussed the practicality of the event before finally putting it on the calendar. The poorest members of the congregation, a group of senior citizens from a housing project, responded the most enthusiastically. I wondered how many of their prayers had gone unanswered over the years, yet they showed a childlike trust in the power of prayer. “How long do you want to stay—an hour or two?” we asked, thinking of van shuttles. “Oh, we’ll stay all night,” they replied. One woman in her 90s explained, “We can pray. We got time, and we got faith. Some of us don’t sleep much anyway. We can pray all night if needs be.” And so they did. Meanwhile, a bunch of yuppies in a downtown church learned an important lesson: Faith often appears where least expected and falters where it ought to thrive. — Philip Yancey

Faith looks across the storm—it does not doubt
Or stop to look at clouds and things without.
Faith does not question why when all His ways
Are hard to understand, but trusts and prays.

Prayer is the voice of faith.

Pray Or Act? - Having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away. —Acts 13:3 - A missionary comes to your church and says that he needs some short-term help. Do you pray or do you act? The youth pastor says your church needs some new musical instruments for the youth ministry. Do you pray or do you act? A mission needs help in a soup kitchen. Do you pray or do you act? Prayer is one of the most powerful tools we have at our disposal. It allows us to speak to the Lord and to petition Him directly for guidance and help.But sometimes we can be the answer to our own prayer. Those are the times when we should pray and act. Maybe that missionary’s request can be answered by your willingness to go. Perhaps you can donate a musical instrument. Are you the person God is leading to help in that soup kitchen? In the first century, the good news of Christ was spread by people going out and taking action. That’s why their story is told in a book called The Acts of the Apostles, not The Prayers of the Apostles. We should never downplay prayer, for it is something God commanded us to do. But let’s realize that sometimes we need to back up our prayers with action. —Dave Brannon

Holy Fools (Read Genesis 12:1-5) If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes. (Mark 9:23) -- When God spoke to Abram, he obeyed at once, departing for an unknown land based only on a promise. Childless, he trusted God to make of him “a great nation” (Ge 12:2). God often does His work through “holy fools”—dreamers who strike out in ridiculous faith. Yet I tend to approach my decisions with calculation and restraint. My church in Chicago once scheduled an all-night vigil of prayer during a major crisis. At length we discussed the practicality of the event before finally putting it on the calendar. The poorest members of the congregation, a group of senior citizens from a housing project, responded the most enthusiastically. I wondered how many of their prayers had gone unanswered over the years, yet they showed a childlike trust in the power of prayer. “How long do you want to stay—an hour or two?” we asked, thinking of van shuttles. “Oh, we’ll stay all night,” they replied. One woman in her 90s explained, “We can pray. We got time, and we got faith. Some of us don’t sleep much anyway. We can pray all night if needs be.” And so they did. Meanwhile, a bunch of yuppies in a downtown church learned an important lesson: Faith often appears where least expected and falters where it ought to thrive.

Faith looks across the storm—it does not doubt
Or stop to look at clouds and things without.
Faith does not question why when all His ways
Are hard to understand, but trusts and prays.

Moody's Barroom Meeting - "Effectual, fervent prayer....availeth much." (James 5:16) - The power of prayer is most effectively illustrated in the following story concerning D L Moody (full biography). Entering a tavern in order to ask the bartender if his two little girls might attend his Sunday school, he was told that an infidel club met there every Thursday night, and that the owner of the bar was in no mood to offend them. The tactful soul winner refused to retreat, but looking into the face of the father he pleaded with him earnestly in behalf of his youngsters. Finally the man's heart was touched and he said, "I'll tell you what I'll do, parson; if you'll come down here Thursday night and meet the boys in a joint discussion, and you win, you shall have the children; but if not, it is all off." "Agreed," said Moody. Immediately he looked up a crippled newsboy who really knew how to pray and said to him, "Tommy, I need you next Thursday night." When the hour of the meeting arrived, Tommy and the evangelist entered the saloon. It was full of men sitting on whiskey barrels, beer kegs, and even on the counter — all eagerly awaiting the coming debate. Moody began by saying, "Gentlemen, it is our custom to open our meetings with prayer. Tommy, jump up on that barrel and pray!" Tommy turned his little face toward Heaven, and how he did beseech the Lord for the souls of all present. As the tears began to roll down the little fellow's cheeks, the more tenderhearted of the men beat a retreat. Finally even the hardened sinners, subdued by the pathos and spiritual power of the occasion, also slowly retired until there was no one left except the bartender, Moody, and the praying boy. "That will do, Tommy," exclaimed the evangelist. "Now," he said, turning to the father, "I claim your children for my Sunday school!" "They shall come, but it is a queer way to fight," said the bartender. "It's the way I win many a battle," replied Moody. He had instructed the boy not to cease until he had prayed all the men out of the tavern! Such a combination of faith and fervent prayer "availeth much!

Long Distance Prayer - Eighteen-year-old Hudson Taylor wandered into his father’s library and read a gospel tract. He couldn’t shake off its message. Finally, falling to his knees, he accepted Christ as his Savior. Later, his mother, who had been away, returned home. When Hudson told her the good news, she said, “I already know. Ten days ago, the very date on which you tell me you read that tract, I spent the entire afternoon in prayer for you until the Lord assured me that my wayward son had been brought into the fold.”—Our Daily Bread

The Giving List - "I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel." - Psalm 16:7 - By now, most of the Christmas presents have been lovingly purchased and carefully wrapped.  Some have been mailed to friends and family who live far away. But it all started with a list.  You wanted to get the right gifts, so you carefully wrote a list, making sure to match each person with the right present.  It is a giving list -- based solely on the desire to give to those you love. It's good that we do that, because it's easy for us to fall into the trap of making lists of what we want to receive rather than what we can give. Unfortunately, this happens all too often in our prayer life.  There are so many times when we need God's help that we tend to make a prayer list that is like a child's list of stuff he wants for Christmas. To avoid being one-sided in our praying, perhaps it would be helpful to keep two kinds of prayer lists: the "needs" list in which we bring our problems to the Lord, and the "giving" list in which we offer our praise to the Lord.  Psalm 16 includes items for which we can praise God under all circumstances:  His protection (vv. 1, 8), His goodness (Ps 16:2), His care (Ps 16:5-6), His counsel (Ps 16:7).  In prayer, as in all of life, we need a giving list.And first on the list is praise to God. -- J. David Branon

A Cry for Strength - In the day when I cried, thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul. Psalm 138:3 - Answered prayer is a great boon to the believer, for it bolsters his faith immeasurably to know that the Lord has heard his pleading cry for help and grace. The Psalmist had enjoyed such a thrilling experience for he exaltingly testified, "In the day when I cried, thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me . . . in my soul!" A young man, a student at the Missionary Training Institute, was much discouraged. Bound by carnal appetites and sick at heart because of his many spiritual failures, he decided to forfeit his lunch hour and to spend the time in supplication and prayer. Climbing the mountain behind the main dormitory and kneeling at a natural-rock altar, he lifted his heart heavenward and cried out in desperation of soul, "What can I do to find deliverance?" Bending his head downward and opening his eyes a little, he observed through a blur of tears a spider web in the grass directly in front of him. At that moment a tiny fly settled down and entangled one foot in the gossamer snare. A violent struggle ensued. The more the fly attempted to escape, the more enmeshed he became. At last the weary creature attracted the attention of the spider, who rushed out and proceeded to wrap strand after strand of sticky thread about his victim — preserving him alive but helpless. That little insect for all his excited activity could not free himself. However, the young man put down his little finger, and with the slightest effort freed the struggling captive. Through that experience God spoke to his heart. He saw that the Lord's little finger was worth more than all his vain struggles, and that if he would only trust Him, he would be set free from the habits and difficulties that bound him. Rising from his knees with joy, he was strengthened in his soul by the realization that it was God's power alone which could supply his want. Encouraged and relieved, he went on to new victories of grace!

A Heart for Revival - Missionary John 'Praying' Hyde [1865-1912] poured out his soul four hours a day begging God for revival in India where he labored. When an autopsy was performed after his untimely death, although a malignancy had taken him, it was discovered that his physical heart had actually shifted some distance in his chest cavity because of his agonizing hours of prayer." —Lewis A. Drummond

Stuck! - 2 Chronicles 14:1-11 Panic Or Pray? - Help us, O Lord our God, for we rest on You, and in Your name we go against this multitude. —2 Chronicles 14:11 - An 85-year-old woman, all alone in a convent, got trapped inside an elevator for 4 nights and 3 days. Fortunately, she had a jar of water, some celery sticks, and a few cough drops. After she tried unsuccessfully to open the elevator doors and get a cell phone signal, she decided to turn to God in prayer. “It was either panic or pray,” she later told CNN. In her distress, she relied on God and waited till she was rescued. Asa was also faced with the options of panic or pray (2 Chr 14:1-15). He was attacked by an Ethiopian army of a million men. But as he faced this huge fighting force, instead of relying on military strategy or cowering in dread, he turned to the Lord in urgent prayer. In a powerful and humble prayer, Asa confessed his total dependence on Him, asked for help, and appealed to the Lord to protect His own name: “Help us, O Lord our God, for we rest on You, and in Your name we go against this multitude” (2Chr 14:11). The Lord responded to Asa’s prayer, and he won the victory over the Ethiopian army. When we are faced with tight spots, meager resources, a vast army of problems, or seemingly dead-end solutions, let’s not panic but instead turn to God who fights for His people and gives them victor. — Marvin Williams

Praying "Accordingly" An accordionist is one who plays an accordion. A praying Christian should be an "accordingist," praying by the "accordings" of God that underlie successful praying.

  • We must pray according to His Word. The man who prays Scripturally prays successfully.
  • We must pray according to His will (1John 5:14, 15).
  • We must pray according to our need (Phil. 4:19). We do not always want what we need or need what we want.
  • We must pray according to our faith. Several times Jesus said, "According to your faith be it unto YOU." 

Recognize these four accordings before you start praying. Remember, it might be disastrous if you received everything you thought you needed! Paul found out that greater than a trip to the third heaven or the joy of deliverance from a thorn in the flesh, is to know that God's grace is always sufficient, that we are strong when we are weak and His strength is made perfect through weakness. That is the Christian's greatest experience.—Vance Havner

Prayer Is Not Enough - If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2Chronicles 7:14. -- It will readily be seen here that God requires four things, not just one. And He will not settle for a fourth of what He requires. If we are going to use this verse let us use all of it. Sometimes we make it sound as though a prayer meeting alone were sufficient to produce a revival. God has said more here than "pray." We are to humble ourselves—not pray for humility, but humble ourselves, "as a little child" (Mt. 18:4), "in the sight of the Lord" (Jas. 4:10), "under the mighty hand of God" (I Pt. 5:6). We are to seek God's face, His favor, the smile of His approval. "When thou saidst, Seek ye my face, my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek" (Ps. 27:8). Is that what your heart says? And we are to turn from our wicked ways. That fourth note is rather subdued these days. "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy" (Pr 28:13). Praying is not enough if God requires more. And in this sadly misused text He certainly does.—Vance Havner

Ray Pritchard on Prayer - According to pollster George Barna, almost 90% of Americans say they pray. Over 60% of unchurched Americans say they pray. Of those unchurched Americans, one in three believe that prayer makes a difference in their lives. Among “born again” respondents, nearly 70% say that God personally answers their prayers. But exactly how do Americans pray? Barna offers these insights: 95% express gratitude to God. 76% ask God to forgive particular sins. 61% make specific requests of God. 12% pray in tongues. So how is your prayer life? I imagine that your answer would be, “It depends. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s not so good.” Prayer can be easy or difficult depending on many factors. There are days when we seem to touch heaven with our prayers, and other days when our words seem to bounce off the ceiling. But regardless of how we feel, if we want to know God better, nothing matters more than our prayers. Did you know that nearly 1,400 verses in the Bible speak about prayer? If you want to grow spiritually, you must learn to pray effectively. There is no shortcut to spiritual growth. Prayer is essential. Facts and Excuses About Prayer - Bruce Goettsche points out a few facts that we all know about prayer:

  • Prayer makes a difference … we don’t know how … we just know it does.
  • Prayer brings wisdom.
  • Prayer provides strength for difficult times.
  • Prayer convicts us of areas in our life that need changing.
  • Prayer brings us assurance of our position in the Father.

We know these things by heart. We know by experience that “prayer changes things.” We know that prayer changes us and it changes the world around us. We know that God gave prayer to us as a wonderful gift. If that is true (and it is), then why don’t we pray more than we do? Several years ago D. A. Carson, New Testament professor at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, wrote A Call to Spiritual Reformation. In one chapter he discusses six excuses we make for not praying more than we do. Do any of these sound familiar?

  • “I am too busy to pray.”
  • “I feel too spiritually dry to pray.”
  • “I feel no need to pray.”
  • “I am too bitter to pray.”
  • “I am too ashamed to pray.”
  • “I am content with mediocrity.”

I doubt that anyone actually says, “I am content with mediocrity.” If they are, they simply don’t pray at all. These excuses don’t amount to anything at all. An excuse is just “the skin of a reason stuffed with a lie.” We fail to pray because we don’t want to pray. If we wanted to pray more, we would. All the excuses in the world can’t erase that truth. I realize that whenever someone preaches on prayer, especially if you’ve gone to church for many years, it’s tempting to say, “Hey, I already know this. Tell me something I don’t know.” I smile when I hear that because one of my jobs as a pastor is to tell you what you already know—and then to tell you over and over and over again. Some things are so important that we need to be constantly reminded of them. Nowhere is that more true than in the area of prayer. The question is not, “Do you already know this?” but rather “What are you doing about it?” Knowledge that is not put into action is worse than useless. 

Give Thanks in Everything - In the autobiography of the late Dr. Clarence E. MacCartney, the following story is told: Two men were passing through a field in the country when they were charged by an enraged bull. They started for the nearest fence, but it was soon apparent that they couldn't make it before the animal reached them. One said to the other, "Put up a prayer, John. We're in for it!" But John answered, "I can't. I never made a public prayer in my life." "But you must," said his companion, "the bull will soon be upon us." "All right," panted John, "I'll give you the only prayer I know, the one my father used to repeat at the table: `O Lord, for what we are about to receive, make us truly thankful!' " We may smile at this story; yet it is true that no matter what trials we may face, or how deep the waters through which we must pass, the true Christian should give thanks "always for all things."

Dr. Charles Stanley has suggested ten ways to pray for leaders who occupy the highest offices in the land.

  • 1. Pray that they would realize their daily need for cleansing of their sin by Jesus Christ.
  • 2. Pray that they would recognize their personal inadequacy to fulfill their tasks and that they would depend upon God for knowledge, wisdom, and the courage to do what is right.
  • 3. Pray that they would reject all counsel that violates spiritual principles, trusting God to prove them right.
  • 4. Pray that they would resist those who would pressure them to violate their conscience.
  • 5. Pray that they would reverse the trends of socialism and humanism in this nation, both of which deify man rather than God.
  • 6. Pray that they would be ready to sacrifice their personal ambitions and political careers for the sake of this nation, if yielding them would be in the best interest of their country.
  • 7. Pray that they would rely upon prayer and the Word of God as the source of their daily strength, wisdom and courage.
  • 8. Pray they would restore dignity, honor, trustworthiness, and righteousness to the office they hold.
  • 9. Pray that they would remember to be good examples in their conduct to the fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters of this nation.
  • 10. Pray that they would be reminded daily that they are accountable to Almighty God for the decisions they make. —Excerpted from the Rebirth of America, Arthur S. DeMoss Foundation

As long as we continue living we must continue praying.
Matthew Henry

Prayer-time must be kept up as duly as meal-time.
Matthew Henry

Though we cannot by our prayers give God any information, yet we must by our prayers give him honour.
Matthew Henry

We read of preaching the Word out of season, but we do not read of praying out of season, for that is never out of season.
Matthew Henry

Prayer is a habit of attention brought to bear on all that is.
Patricia Hampl

Will petitions that do not move the heart of the suppliant, move the heart of Omnipotence?

Prayer will make a man cease from sin, or sin will entice a man to cease from prayer.
John Bunyan

It is no use to ask God with factitious earnestness for A when our whole mind is in reality filled with the desire for B. We must lay before him what is in us, not what ought to be in us.
           C. S. LEWIS

To thy Redeemer take thy care,
And change anxiety to prayer;
His answers sweet will come at length,
And to thy soul impart new strength! 

It is not good that a man should batter day and night at the gate of heaven. Sometimes he can do nothing else, and then nothing else is worth doing; but the very noise of the siege will sometimes drown the still small voice that calls from the open postern.

It is not that prayer changes God, or awakens in him purposes of love and compassion that he has not already felt. No, it changes us, and therein lies its glory and its purpose.

 It is not well for a man to pray cream and live skim milk.

It is said of James, the head of the community in Jerusalem, that the skin of his knees was as hard as a camel’s from constantly praying, and that he could pray for days together. To our age that may seem laughable; but one should remember what eloquence and fullness of heart is implied by being able to pray for so long without growing tired, particularly as we have difficulty enough in making a truly heartfelt prayer.

Jesus Christ carries on intercession for us in heaven; the Holy Ghost carries on intercession in us on earth; and we the saints have to carry on intercession for all men.
           Oswald Chambers 

Jesus often retired to deserted places to pray. We see him spending nights in prayer. When you visit the Holy Land and see the places he prayed, you realize that it took a significant effort for him to get there. He had to leave the crowds that were beginning to inundate him. And it was work to climb a mountain to pray. The Mount of Transfiguration is a difficult mountain to climb.

Keep praying, but be thankful that God’s answers are wiser than your prayers!

Kneel before you leap.
           GEORGE H. ALLEN

       Let one unceasing, earnest prayer
       Be, too, for light—for strength to bear
       Our portion of the weight of care,
       That crushes into dumb despair,
       One half the human race.

 Let us beware of sublime prayers and of all the lies they make us tell.
           LOUIS EVELY

Like art, like music, like so many other disciplines, prayer can only be appreciated when you actually spend time in it. Spending time with the Master will elevate your thinking. The more you pray, the more will be revealed. You will understand. You will smile and nod your head as you identify with others who fight long battles and find great joy on their knees.

Men may spurn our appeals, reject our message, oppose our arguments, despise our persons—but they are helpless against our prayers.

Lord, speak to me that I may speak,
       In living echoes of thy tone.

       Lord, what a change within us one short hour
       Spent in thy presence will Avail to make!
       What heavy burdens from our bosoms take!
       What parched grounds refresh as with a shower!
       We kneel, and all around us seems to lower;
       We rise, and all, the distant and the near,
       Stands forth in sunny outline brave and clear;
       We kneel, how weak! We rise, how full of power!
       Why, therefore, should we do ourselves this wrong
       Or others, that we are not always strong,
       That we are ever overborne with care,
       That we should ever weak or heartless be,
       Anxious or troubled, when with us is prayer,
       And joy and strength and courage are with thee!

 Many a person is praying for rain with his tub the wrong side up
           SAM JONES 

When earthly help is of no avail,
There is one Friend who will never fail; 
Just lift your eyes--the answer is there,
For nobody knows the power of prayer!

More things are wrought by prayer
       Than this world dreams of.

 Most of us have much trouble praying when we are in little trouble, but we have little trouble praying when we are in much trouble.
           RICHARD P. COOK

Much of our praying is just asking God to bless some folks that are ill and to keep us plugging along. But prayer is not merely prattle: it is warfare.
           ALAN REDPATH 

Neglect of prayer is a guarantee that we will not be victors.

Too many people pray like little boys who knock at doors, then run away.
          War Cry

Never make the blunder of trying to forecast the way God is going to answer your prayer.
           Oswald Chambers

Never wait for fitter time or place to talk to him. To wait till you go to church or to your room is to make him wait. He will listen as you walk.

No one can say his prayers are poor prayers when he is using the language of love.
           JOHN MAILLARD

No prayer of adoration will ever soar higher than a simple cry: “I love you, God.”
           LOUIS CASSELS

       O sad estate
       Of human wretchedness; so weak is man,
       So ignorant and blind, that did not God
       Sometimes withhold in mercy what we ask,
       We should be ruined at our own request.
           HANNAH MORE

      Of course I prayed—
       And did God care?
       He cared as much
       As on the air
       A bird had stamped her foot
       And cried, “Give me!”

Only when we have knelt before God can we stand before men.

Our biggest mistake is to think that a time of prayer is different from any other time. It is all one.

You need not cry very loud; He is nearer to us than we think.

Our God does not always answer our prayers as we request. But he does for us, as for our Lord in the Garden; he strengthens us.
           F. B. MEYER 

In the life of Jesus, prayer was the work and ministry was the prize. For me, prayer serves as preparation for the battle, but for Jesus, it was the battle itself. Having prayed, He went about His ministry as an honor student might go to receive a reward, or as a marathon runner, having run the race, might accept the gold medal.

Our own personal experience can never be taken as the norm for other people. What matters is that our prayers should be living and sincere. Each of us has his own temperament; one is more intuitive, another more logical; one is more intellectual, another more emotional. The relationship of each with God will be marked with the stamp of his own particular temperament.
           PAUL TOURNIER 

Study universal holiness of life. Your whole usefulness depends on this, for your sermons last but an hour or two, your life preaches all the week. If Satan can only make a covetous minister a lover of praise, of pleasure, of good eating, he has ruined your ministry. Give yourselves to prayer, and get your texts, your thoughts, your words from God. Luther spent his best three hours in prayer.
            Robert Murray M’Cheyne

Our prayer and God’s mercy are like two buckets in a well; while the one ascends the other descends.
           MARK HOPKINS 

Our prayers are only as powerful as our lives. In the long pull we pray only as well as we live.
           A. W. TOZER 

People often say to me: “I don’t seem to be able to say my prayers; what ought I to do?” I reply: “Talk to God as you are talking to me; even more simply, in fact.” St. Paul writes that the truest prayer is sometimes a sigh. A sigh can say more than could be contained in many words.
           PAUL TOURNIER 

Perfect prayer is that in which he who is praying is unaware that he is praying at all.

Prayer honors God, acknowledges His being, exalts His power, adores His providence, secures His aid.
            E. M. Bounds

Perhaps little praying is worse than no praying. Little praying is a kind of make-believe, a salve for the conscience, a farce and a delusion.            
            E. M. Bounds

Ponder for a moment what great crises would face you if tomorrow all your prayers were answered.
 Pray devoutly, but hammer stoutly.

Pray not for crutches but for wings.

Pray not for lighter burdens but for stronger backs.

Pray to God in the storm—but keep on rowing.

We can't presume to know what's best
When we begin to pray;
So we must ask, "What honors God?"
And seek His will and way.

Prayer . . . the very highest energy of which the mind is capable.

We need to learn to know Him so well that we feel safe when we have left our difficulties with Him.
          O. Hallesby

Prayer and helplessness are inseparable. Only he who is helpless can truly pray. Your helplessness is your best prayer. It calls from your heart to the heart of God with greater effect than all your uttered pleas.
         O. Hallesby
To pray is nothing more involved that to let Jesus into our needs. To pray is to give Jesus permission to employ His powers in the alleviation of our distress.
         O. Hallesby

Prayer can do anything that God can do.
           E. M. Bounds
Prayer constantly enlarges our horizon and our person. It draws us out of the narrow limits within which our habits, our past, and our whole personage confine us.
           PAUL TOURNIER 

Prayer does not change God, but changes him who prays.

Is there any place in any of our rooms where there is a little bit of carpet worn white by our knees?

Prayer does not enable us to do a greater work for God. Prayer is a greater work for God.

It is said that on one occasion when Caesar gave a very valuable present, the receiver replied that it was too costly a gift. The Emperor answered that it was not too great for Caesar to give. Our God is a great King, and He delights to give gifts to us: so let us delight to ask Him for great things.
         D L MOODY (full biography

Prayer does not mean that I am to bring God down to my thoughts and my purposes, and bend his government according to my foolish, silly, and sometimes sinful notions. Prayer means that I am to be raised up into feeling, into union and design with him; that I am to enter into his counsel and carry out his purpose fully.
           D L MOODY (full biography
       Prayer from a living source within the will,
       And beating up thro’ all the bitter world,
       Like fountains of sweet waters in the sea,
       Kept him a living soul.

Prayer girds human weakness with divine strength.

Prayer is a ladder on which thoughts mount to God.
           ABRAHAM J. HESCHEL 

Pray as though everything depended on God; work as though everything depended on you.

If the request is wrong, God says, “No.” If the timing is wrong, God says, “Slow.”  If you are wrong, God says, “Grow.”  But if the request is right, the timing is right and you are right, God says, “Go!”
Bill Hybels

Prayer is a shield to the soul, a sacrifice to God, and a scourge to Satan.
           John Bunyan 


Prayer is a supernatural activity.
           LOUIS EVELY 

Prayer is battering the gates of heaven with storms of prayer.

Prayer is identifying oneself with the divine will by the stuied renunciation of one’s own.
           PAUL CLAUDEL 
Prayer is not a lazy substitute for work. It is not a shortcut to skill or knowledge. And sometimes God delays the answer to our prayer in final form until we have time to build up the strength, accumulate the knowledge, or fashion the character that would make it possible for him to say yes to what we ask.
           SAMUEL PEPYS

Prayer is not an argument with God to persuade him to move things our way, but an exercise by which we are enabled by his Spirit to move ourselves his way.

       Prayer is not artful monologue
       Of voice uplifted from the sod;
       It is love’s tender dialogue
       Between the soul and God.

Prayer is not flight; prayer is power. Prayer does not deliver a man from some terrible situation; prayer enables a man to face and to master the situation.

God never denied that soul anything that went as far as heaven to ask for it.”
           JOHN TRAPP

Prayer is not learned in a classroom but in the closet.  
         E. M. Bounds

 Prayer is not merely an occasional impulse to which we respond when we are in trouble: prayer is a life attitude.
           WALTER A. MUELLER

Prayer is not monologue, but dialogue. God’s voice in response to mine is its most essential part.
           ANDREW MURRAY

God’s child can conquer anything by prayer. Is it any wonder that Satan does his utmost to snatch that weapon from the Christian or to hinder him in the use of it?

Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly,
Thou has brought me to the valley of vision,
where I live in the depths but see thee in the heights;
   hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold
   thy glory. 
Let me learn by paradox
   that the way down is the way up,
   that to be low is to be high,
   that the broken heart is the healed heart,
   that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
   that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,
   that to have nothing is to possess all,
   that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
   that to give is to receive,
   that the valley is the place of vision.
Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells,
   and the deeper the wells the brighter
   thy stars shine;
Let me find thy light in my darkness,
   Thy life in my death,
   that every good work or thought found in me
   thy joy in my sorrow,
   thy grace in my sin, 
   thy riches in my poverty
   thy glory in my valley

Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance; it is laying hold of his highest willingness.

Prayer is not something we do at a specific time, but something we do all the time.

Prayer is not to hear oneself speak, but to arrive at silence and continue being silent; to wait till one hears God speak.

 Prayer is putting oneself under God’s influence.

Prayer is simple, as simple as a child making known its wants to its parents.
           Oswald Chambers 

Prayer is the breath of the newborn soul, and there can be no Christian life without it.
           ROWLAND HILL 

       Prayer is the burden of a sigh,
       The falling of a tear;
       The upward glancing of an eye,
       When none but God is near.

Prayer is the easiest and hardest of all things; the simplest and the sublimest; the weakest and the most powerful; its results lie outside the range of human possibilities; they are limited only by the omnipotence of God.  
         E. M. Bounds

Prayer is the gymnasium of the soul.

Prayer is the highest use to which speech can be put.
           P. T. FORSYTH 

Prayer is a weapon, a mighty weapon in a terrible conflict. Our prayers are to be a continual, conscious, earnest effort of battle, the battle against whatever is not God’s will.
           P. T. FORSYTH 

Prayer is the key of the morning and the bolt of the night.

Prayer is the link between finite man and the infinite purposes of God.....To pray in the truest sense means to put our lives into total conformity with what God desires.
           PAT ROBERTSON

In my thinking, the "prayer of faith" cannot be prayed simply at will. It is given of God in certain cases to serve His purpose and to accomplish His sovereign will.
George Sweeting.

Prayer is the most important thing in my life. If I should neglect prayer for a single day, I should lose a great deal of the fire of faith.
           MARTIN LUTHER 

Prayer is the pulse of life.
           ANDREW MURRAY


Prayer is the rope that pulls God and man together. But it doesn’t pull God down to us: it pulls us up to him.
           BILLY GRAHAM

       Prayer is the soul’s sincere desire
       Uttered or unexpressed
       The motion of a hidden fire
       That trembles in the breast.

Prayer is weakness leaning on omnipotence.
           W. S. BOWDEN

Prayer moves the arm which moves the world,
       And brings salvation down.

 Prayer provides power, poise, peace, and purpose.

Prayer requires more of the heart than of the tongue.
           ADAM CLARKE 

Prayer serves as an edge and border to preserve the web of life from unraveling.
           ROBERT HALL

Prayerlessness is a sin.
           CORRIE TEN BOOM 

Quiet waiting before the Lord in prayer will give him a chance to change your mood. The situation may not change, but you will have changed for the better in spite of the situation.
           ROBERT A. COOK 

Real prayer is simply being in the presence of God. When I am in trouble, and when I go to my friend, I don’t want anything from him except himself. I just want to be with him for a time, to feel his comradeship, his concern, his caring round me and about me, and then to go out to a world warmer because I spent an hour with him. It must be that way with me and God. I must go to him simply for himself.

       Satan trembles when he sees
       The weakest saint upon his knees.

Seven days without prayer makes one weak.
           ALLEN E. BARTLETT
Some of our shortest prayers are our most effectual ones.

Some people are greedy even when they pray: they expect a thousand-dollar answer to a one-minute prayer.

Some people think God does not like to be troubled with our constant coming and asking. The way to trouble God is not to come at all.
           D L MOODY

Some people’s prayers need to be cut off at both ends and set on fire in the middle.
           D L MOODY

       Something of my old self—my old, bad life—
       And the old Adam in me, rises up,
       And will not let me pray.

Take prayer out of the world, and it is as if you had torn asunder the bond that binds humanity to God and had struck dumb the tongue of the child in the presence of his Father.

Talk to him in prayer of all your wants, your troubles, even of the weariness you feel in serving him. You cannot speak too freely, too trustfully to him.

Talking to men for God is a great thing, but talking to God for men is greater still.  
         E. M. Bounds

Tell God all that is in your heart, as one unloads one’s heart to a dear friend. People who have no secrets from each other never want subjects of conversations; they do not weigh their words because there is nothing to be kept back.

 That wisdom must sometimes refuse what ignorance may quite innocently ask seems to be self-evident.
           C. S. LEWIS 

The activities we do for God are secondary. Above all else, God is looking for people who long for communication with him.
           Erwin W Lutzer

The armour is for the battle of prayer. The armour is not to fight in, but to shield us while we pray. Prayer is the battle.
           Oswald Chambers

The best prayers often have more groans than words.
           John Bunyan 

Though lines to heaven should ever be
Attuned to praying ceaselessly,
Let's take that extra special care
To guard our words in public prayer.
 --H G Bosch

The Christian on his knees sees more than the philosopher on tiptoe.
           D L Moody 

 The closet is not an asylum for the indolent and worthless Christian. It is not a nursery where none but babes belong. It is the battlefield of the church, its citadel, the scene of heroic and unearthly conflicts. The closet is the base of supplies for the Christian and the church. Cut off from it there is nothing left but retreat and disaster. The energy for work, the mastery over self, the deliverance from fear, all spiritual results and graces, are much advanced by prayer. The difference between the strength, the experience, the holiness of Christians is found in the contrast of their praying.  
         E. M. Bounds

The divine wisdom has given us prayer, not as a means whereby to obtain the good things of earth, but as a means whereby we learn to do without them; not as a means whereby we escape evil, but as a means whereby we become strong to meet it.

The fewer the words the better the prayer.

The good unask’d, in mercy grant;
       The ill, though ask’d, deny.
           JAMES MERRICK

       The holy time is quiet
       Breathless with adoration
       The gentleness of heaven broods o’er the sea;

The immediate person thinks and imagines that when he prays, the important thing, the thing he must concentrate upon, is that God should hear what he is praying for. And yet in the true, eternal sense it is just the reverse: the true relation in prayer is not when God hears what is prayed for, but when the person praying continues to pray until he is the one who hears, who hears what God wills. The immediate person uses many words and makes demands in his prayer; the true man of prayer only attends.

The man who says his prayers in the evening is a captain posting his sentries. After that, he can sleep.

No greater help and care is given 
To others  in  their  need
Than when we bear them up in prayer 
And for them intercede.
 - Dennis J. De Haan

The most blessed result of prayer would be to rise thinking, But I never knew before. I never dreamed . . . I suppose it was at such a moment that Thomas Aquinas said of all his own theology, “It reminds me of straw.”
           C. S. LEWIS

The one concern of the devil is to keep Christians from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work, and prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but trembles when we pray.

 The only time my prayers are never answered is on the golf course.
           BILLY GRAHAM

The potency of prayer hath subdued the strength of fire; it has bridled the rage of lions, hushed anarchy to rest, extinguished wars, appeased the elements, expelled demons, burst the chains of death, expanded the gates of heaven, assuaged diseases, repelled frauds, rescued cities from destruction, stayed the sun in its course, and arrested the progress of the thunderbolt. Prayer is an all-efficient panoply, a treasure undiminished, a mine which is never exhausted, a sky unobscured by clouds, a heaven unruffled by the storm. It is the root, the fountain, the mother of a thousand blessings.

The prayer of the feeblest saint on earth who lives in the Spirit and keeps right with God is a terror to Satan. The very powers of darkness are paralyzed by prayer; no spiritual séance can succeed in the presence of a humble praying saint. No wonder Satan tries to keep our minds fussy in active work till we cannot think in prayer.
           Oswald Chambers 

Dr. John R. Rice wrote a book on prayer with 'Asking and Receiving' in the title. We like the receiving part but often forget that 'asking' comes before 'receiving.'

There is a divine principle in regard to prayer which runs all through the Scriptures. It is that God is pleased to unite His people with Himself in whatever He is about to do. He first of all leads them to pray, and then does what He intends in answer to their prayers.

The prayer preceding all prayers is “May it be the real I who speaks.”
           C. S. LEWIS

The reason we must ask God for things he already intends to give us is that he wants to teach us dependence, especially our need for himself.
           Erwin W Lutzer

David Watson notes that “Prayer has always been a primary mark of the saints of God in every generation of the church. George Whitefield, who retired punctually at ten p.m. every night, rose equally promptly at four a.m. in order to pray.

The spectacle of a nation praying is more awe-inspiring than the explosion of an atomic bomb. The force of prayer is greater than any possible combination of man-controlled powers because prayer is man’s greatest means of tapping the infinite resources of God.
           J. EDGAR HOOVER 

The time of business does not with me differ from the time of prayer; and in the noise and clatter of my kitchen, while several persons are at the same time calling for different things, I possess God in as great tranquility as if I were upon my knees.

The time to pray is not when we are in a tight spot but as soon as we get out of it.
           JOSH BILLINGS

The wish to pray is a prayer in itself.

The world is full of faces, black with anger, green with envy, and red with shame, which could be made radiantly white with holiness and spirituality, aglow by the transfiguring power of prayer.

There are two doorkeepers to the house of prayer, and Sorrow is more on the alert to open than her grandson Joy.

There is a communion with God that asks for nothing, yet asks for everything. . . . He who seeks the Father more than anything he can give is likely to have what he asks, for he is not likely to ask amiss.

Why pray, if God loves us and knows all we need before we pray? “What if he knows prayer to be the thing we need first and most? What if the main object in God’s idea of prayer be the supplying of our great, our endless need—the need of himself? What if the good of all our smaller and lower needs lies in this, that they help drive us to God? Communion with God is the one need of the soul beyond all other needs; prayer is the beginning of that communion.

There is a vast difference between saying prayers and praying.

Prayer is surrender—surrender to the will of God and cooperation with that will. If I throw out a boat hook 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.
             E. STANLEY JONES

There is nothing that makes us love a man so much as praying for him.
           WILLIAM LAW 

If I fail to spend two hours in prayer each morning, the devil gets the victory through the day. I have so much business I cannot get on without spending three hours daily in prayer.
            MARTIN LUTHER

For more than half a century, I have never known one day when I had not more business than I could get through. For 40 years, I have had annually about 30,000 letters, and most of these have passed through my own hands. I have nine assistants always at work corresponding in German, French, English, Danish, Italian, Russian, and other languages. Then, as pastor of a church with 1200 believers, great has been my care. I have had charge of five orphanages; also at my publishing depot, the printing and circulation of millions of tracts, books, and Bibles. But I have always made it a rule never to begin work till I have had a good season with God.

Come, my soul, thy suit prepare:
Jesus loves to answer prayer;
He Himself has bid thee pray,
Therefore will not say thee nay;
Therefore will not say thee nay.

Thou art coming to a King,
Large petitions with thee bring;
For His grace and power are such,
None can ever ask too much;
None can ever ask too much.

With my burden I begin:
Lord, remove this load of sin;
Let Thy blood, for sinners spilt,
Set my conscience free from guilt;
Set my conscience free from guilt.

Lord, I come to Thee for rest,
Take possession of my breast;
There Thy blood bought right maintain,
And without a rival reign;
And without a rival reign.

As the image in the glass
Answers the beholder's face;
Thus unto my heart appear,
Print Thine own resemblance there;
Print Thine own resemblance there.

While I am a pilgrim here,
Let Thy love my spirit cheer;
As my Guide, my Guard, my Friend,
Lead me to my journey's end;
Lead me to my journey's end.

Show me what I have to do,
Every hour my strength renew:
Let me live a life of faith,
Let me die Thy people's death;
Let me die Thy people's death.
           JOHN NEWTON

To God we use the simplest, shortest words we can find because eloquence is only air and noise to him.

To lift up the hands in prayer gives God glory, but a man with a dung-fork in his hand, a woman with a slop pail, give him glory, too.

To pray “in Jesus’ name” means to pray in his spirit, in his compassion, in his love, in his outrage, in his concern. In other words, it means to pray a prayer that Jesus himself might pray.
           KENNETH L. WILSON

To pray is to expose the shores of the mind to the incoming tide of God.

It was your Lord who put an end to long-windedness, so that you would not pray as if you wanted to teach God by your many words. Piety, not verbosity, is in order when you pray, since He knows your needs. Now someone perhaps will say: ‘But if He knows our needs, why should we sate our requests even in a few words? Why should we pray at all? Since He knows, let Him give what He deems necessary for us.’ Even so, He wants you to pray so that He may confer His gifts on one who really desires them and will not regard them lightly.

Nothing can so quickly cancel the frictions of life as prayer. If you find yourself growing angry at someone, pray for him—anger cannot live in an atmosphere of prayer.

Commit to pray and intercede—
The battle’s strong and great’s the need;
And this one truth can’t be ignored:
Our only help comes from the Lord.

He Will Answer Every Prayer
God has given you His promise,
That He hears and answers prayer,
He will heed your supplication
If you cast on Him your care.

To pray well is the better half of study.
           MARTIN LUTHER

Secular View of Prayer -  The 1993 Christmas issue of Newsweek magazine carried an article on angels, a rather surprising topic to find in a secular publication. As might be expected, though, many points were in conflict with Scripture. For instance, Professor Robert Ellswood, a specialist in unorthodox religions, made this assertion: “With angels around, people feel they don’t have to bother an Almighty God in order to get help.”  And Andre D’Angelo, a minister in Carmel, California, suggested that God is like the CEO of a large corporation, and “an angel is like a good executive secretary.”
           Our Daily Bread

To pray when one ought to be working is as much a sin as to work when one ought to be praying.
           DOROTHY L. SAYERS 

To spend an hour worrying on our knees is not prayer. Indeed, there are times when it is our duty, having committed a problem to God in prayer, to stop praying and to trust and to do the necessary work to arrive at a solution.

To suppose that God could not care for each of us because there are so many people in the world is to place upon him human limitations; but, let us remember, he is God, not man! If he knows our need and seeks to help us, we do not have to give him information, but we do need through prayer to place ourselves in an attitude to be helped.

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.
            E. M. Bounds

True prayer is born out of brokenness.

We carry check on the bank of heaven and never cash them at the window of prayer - we lie to God when we pray rather than rely upon him after we pray.
           Vance Havner

True prayers are like carrier pigeons: from heaven they came, they are only going home.
           C H Spurgeon 

I would rather teach one man to pray than ten men to preach.
           C H Spurgeon 

We are ill-taught if we look for results only in the earthlies when we pray. A praying saint performs far more havoc among the unseen forces of darkness than we have the slightest notion of.
           Oswald Chambers 

"Give to the winds thy fears, and be thou undismayed;
God hears thy sighs and counts thy tears—God shall lift up thy head."
          Paul Gerhardt

We are obliged to pray if we are citizens of God’s Kingdom. . . . The gospel cannot live, fight, or conquer without prayer—prayer unceasing, instant, and ardent.
          E. M. Bounds

It's not enough to say a prayer, we have to live one too!

We are slaves to our gadgets, puppets of our power, and prisoners of our security. The theme of our generation is: “Get more, know more, and do more,” instead of “Pray more, be more, and serve more.”
           BILLY GRAHAM 

We are too busy to pray, and so we are too busy to have power. We have a great deal of activity, but we accomplish little; many services but few conversions; much machinery but few results.
           R. A. TORREY 

We may pray most when we say least, and we may pray least when we say most.

We pour out millions of words and never notice that the prayers are not answered.
           A. W. TOZER 

We shall never sing, “Gloria in excelsis” except we pray to God de profundis: out of the depths must we cry, or we shall never behold glory in the highest.
           C H Spurgeon

We, on our side, are praying to God to give us victory because we believe we are right; but those on the other side pray him, too, for victory, believing they are right. What must he think of us?
       When God inclines the heart to pray,
       He hath an ear to hear;
       To him there’s music in a groan
       And beauty in a tear.

When I can neither see, nor hear, nor speak, still I can pray so that God can hear. When I finally pass through the valley of the shadow of death, I expect to pass through it in conversation with him.

 When in prayer you clasp your hands, God opens his.

When life knocks you to your knees, you’re in position to pray.

When our requests are such as honor God, we may ask as largely as we will. The more daring the request, the more glory accrues to God when the answer comes.
           A. W. TOZER 

 When the Lord wants to lead someone to great faith, he leaves his prayers unheard.
           ANDREW MURRAY 

When the outlook is bad, try the uplook.

When we become too glib in prayer, we are most surely talking to ourselves.
           A. W. TOZER 

When you cannot pray as you would, pray as you can.

The more we go to God in prayer,
Intent to seek His face,
The more we'll want to be with Him
Before the throne of grace

When you pray, things remain the same, but you begin to be different.
           Oswald Chambers

Who rises from prayer a better man, his prayer is answered.

       You know I say just what I think, and nothing more or less,
       And, when I pray, my heart is in my prayer.
       I cannot say one thing and mean another
       If I can’t pray, I will not make-believe.

You shall find this to be God’s usual course: not to give his children the taste of his delights till they begin to sweat in seeking after them.

You stand tall when you kneel to pray.

You will find in your “closet of prayer” what you frequently lose when you are out in the world. The more you visit it, the more you will want to return. If you are faithful to your secret place, it will become your closest friend and bring you much comfort. The tears shed there bring cleansing.
           THOMAS Á KEMPIS 

God’s ear lies close to the believer’s lip.

Prayer is possession by anticipation.

The moment you wake up each morning, all your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals. And the first job each morning consists in shoving it all back; in listening to that other voice, taking that other point of view, letting that other, larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in.

God can pick sense out of a confused prayer.
Richard Sibbes

Pray not for crutches but for wings.
Phillip Brooks

Praying without faith is like shooting without a bullet; it makes a noise but does no execution.
Francis Burkitt

The man who prays without faith has a radical defect in his character.
H. W. Fulford

Prayer, it is the very natural breath of faith.
William Gurnall

The prayer of faith is the only power in the universe to which the great Jehovah yields.
Robert Hall

If we cannot go to the house of the Lord we can go by faith to the Lord of the house.
Matthew Henry

Many a person is praying for rain with his tub the wrong side up.
Sam Jones

We lie to God in prayer if we do not rely on him afterwards.
Robert Leighton

Faith is the fountain of prayer, and prayer should be nothing else but faith exercised.
Thomas Manton

What an excellent ground of hope and confidence we have when we reflect upon these three things in prayer—the Father’s love, the Son’s merit and the Spirit’s power!
Thomas Manton

All the storehouses of God are open to the voice of faith in prayer.
D. M. McIntyre

The great thing in prayer is to feel that we are putting our supplications into the bosom of omnipotent love.
Andrew Murray

When the Lord is to lead a soul to great faith he leaves its prayers unheard.
Andrew Murray

There never is a night or day
When God can’t hear us as we pray;
There is no time, there is no place
That we’re beyond His love and grace.
D. De Haan

An intrepid faith in prayer will always give it unction.
Austin Phelps

Good prayers never come weeping home. I am sure I shall receive either what I ask or what I should ask.
Austin Phelps

God may turn his ears from prattling prayers, or preaching prayers, but never from penitent, believing prayers.
William S. Plumer

A saint is to put forth his faith in prayer, and after-wards follow his prayer with faith.
Vavasor Powell

Dear Lord, never let me be afraid for the impossible.
Dorothy Shellenberger

Begin the day with God;
Kneel down to Him in prayer;
Lift up thy heart to His abode,
And seek His love to share.

Believing supplications are forecasts of the future.C H Spurgeon

Large asking and large expectation on our part honour God.
A. L. Stone

When faith sets prayer on work, prayer sets God on work.
Thomas Watson

More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.

Since this is a holy exercise both for the humbling of men and for their confession of humility, why should we use it less than the ancients did?
John Calvin

Work as if everything depended upon your work, and pray as if everything depended upon your prayer.

Prayer is one hand with which we grasp the invisible; fasting the other, with which we let loose and cast away the visible.
Andrew Murray

By fasting, the body learns to obey the soul; by praying the soul learns to obey the body.
William Secker

Prayer is the gymnasium of the soul.

Fasting is calculated to bring a note of urgency and importance into our praying, and to give force to our pleading in the court of heaven. The man who prays with fasting is giving heaven notice that he is truly in earnest.
Arthur Wallis

Few disciplines go against the flesh and the mainstream of culture as this one.
Donald S. Whitney

Without a purpose, fasting can be a miserable, self-centred experience.
Donald S. Whitney

he nature of the divine goodness is not only to open to those who knock, but also to cause them to knock and ask.

To pray rightly is a rare gift.
John Calvin

If you love God, you cannot be at a loss for something to say to him, something for your hearts to pour out before him, which his grace has already put there.
Matthew Henry

When God intends great mercy for his people, the first thing he does is set them a-praying.
Matthew Henry

"Work and pray!" a slogan blest,
Means: ask His help, but do YOUR best!

Of all the blessings of Christian salvation none is greater than this, that we have access to God in prayer.
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

We could not pray at all if it were not for the Holy Spirit.
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Prayer comes from God and … all the time God is training us to pray.
lain H. Murray

D L Moody  had a practical mind that never let a meeting get out of hand. Long public prayers particularly irritated him. Once he told his song leader, Sankey, "Lead us in a hymn while our brother is finishing his prayer." George Sweeting

Only the prayer which comes from God can go to God.
C H Spurgeon

True prayers are like those carrier pigeons which find their way so well; they cannot fail to go to heaven, for it is from heaven they came; they are only going home.
C H Spurgeon

The greatest and best talent that God gives to any man or woman in the world is the talent of prayer.
Alexander Whyte

“I have known men,” says Goodwin—it must have been himself—“who came to God for nothing else but just to come to Him, they so loved Him. They scorned to soil Him and themselves with any other errand than just purely to be alone with Him in His presence. Friendship is best kept up, even among men, by frequent visits; and the more free and defecate those frequent visits are, and the less occasioned by business, or necessity, or custom they are, the more friendly and welcome they are.”
Alexander Whyte

One can form a habit of study until the will seems to be at rest and only the intellect is engaged, the will having retired altogether from exercise. This is not true of real praying. If the affections are laggard, cold, indifferent, if the intellect is furnishing no material to clothe the petition with imagery and fervor, the prayer is a mere vaporing of intellectual exercise, nothing being accomplished worth while.
Homer W. Hodge

Never tell me of a humble heart where I see a stubborn knee.
Thomas Adams

The life of prayer shapes the unity of Christian morality.

It is strange that in our praying we seldom ask for a change of character, but always a change in circumstances.

Nothing is discussed more and practised less than prayer.

Prayer that costs nothing is worth nothing; it is simply a by-product of a cheap Christianity.

Some people treat God as they do a lawyer; they go to him only when they are in trouble.

The devil enjoys hearing a prayer that is addressed to an audience.

Too many people pray like little boys who knock at doors, then run away.

Before the Great War there were many signs of a new interest in PRAYER and new hope from its exercise. How these signs have multiplied is known to every one. This one thing at least that is good the War has done for us already. Let us not miss our opportunity. Prayer is not an easy exercise. It requires encouragement, exposition, and training. There never was a time when men and women were more sincerely anxious to be told how to pray. Prayer is the mightiest instrument in our armory, and if we are to use it as God has given the encouragement, we must do everything in our power to bring it into exercise.
James Hastings.

It is not well for a man to pray cream and live skim milk.
Henry Ward Beecher

YOU ARE SAFE ONLY ON YOUR KNEES- Sir George Adam Smith tells how he and his guide were climbing the Weisshorn in the Swiss Alps. It was stormy and they were making their climb on the sheltered side of the peak. When they reached the summit, they were filled with the exhilaration. Sir George forgot about the fierce winds, leaped up and was nearly blown over the edge to the glacier below! The guide grabbed hold of him and exclaimed: “On your knees, sir. You are safe here only on your knees!”

To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.

When I cannot pray I always sing.

The fewer the words, the better the prayer. To have prayed well is to have studied well. 

When we call out to You, O Lord,
And wait for answers to our prayer,
Give us the patience that we need
And help us sense Your love and care.

God’s greatest movements in this world have been conditioned on, continued and fashioned by prayer. God has put Himself in these great movements just as men have prayer. Persistent, prevailing, conspicuous and mastering prayer has always brought God to present. How vast are the possibilities of prayer! How wide its reach! It lays its hand on Almighty God and moves Him to do what He would not do if prayer was not offered. Prayer is a wonderful power placed by Almighty God in the hands of His saints, which may be used to accomplish great purposes and to achieve unusual results. The only limits to prayer are the promises of God and His ability to fulfill those promises.
E. M. Bounds

Nothing whatever can atone for the neglect of praying.
E. M. Bounds

Other duties become pressing and absorbing and crowd out prayer. ‘Choked to death’ would be the coroner’s verdict in many cases of dead praying if an inquest could be secured on this dire, spiritual calamity.
E. M. Bounds

Straight praying is never born of crooked conduct.
E. M. Bounds

The little estimate we put on prayer is evident from the little time we give to it.
E. M. Bounds

Most of modern man’s troubles stem from too much time on his hands and not enough on his knees.
Ivern Boyett

Cold prayers do always freeze before they reach to heaven.
Thomas Brooks

I judge that my prayer is more than the devil himself. If it were otherwise I would have fared differently long before this. Yet men will not see and acknowledge the great wonders or miracles God works in my behalf. If I should neglect prayer but a single day, I should lose a great deal of the fire of faith.

Cold prayers shall never have any warm answers.
Thomas Brooks

Look, as a painted man is no man, and as painted fire is no fire, so a cold prayer is no prayer.
Thomas Brooks

When thou prayest, rather let thy heart be without words than thy words without a heart.
John Bunyan

A certain preacher whose sermons converted many souls received a revelation from God that it was not his sermons or works by all means but the prayers ofan illiterate lay brother who sat on the pulpit steps pleading for the success of the sermon. It may be in the all-revealing day so with us. We may believe after laboring long and wearily that all honor belongs to another builder whose prayers were gold, silver, and precious stones, while our sermonizings being apart from prayer are but hay and stubble.
C H Spurgeon.

Doubtful prayer is no prayer at all.
John Calvin

Hurry is the death of prayer.
Samuel Chadwick

  What various hindrances we meet
  In coming to the mercy-seat;
  Yet who, that knows the worth of prayer,
  But wishes to be often there?
William Cowper

Many pray with their lips for that for which their hearts have no desire.
Jonathan Edwards

Cold prayers, like cold suitors, are seldom effective in their aims.
Jim Elliot

Whoever only speaks of God, but never or seldom to God, easily leases body and soul to idols. The Christian thus places his whole future in jeopardy by a stunted prayer life.

Prayer as a means to effect a private end is theft and meanness.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Dealing in generalities is the death of prayer.
J. H. Evans

Leave not off praying to God; for either praying will make thee leave off sinning, or continuing in sin will make thee desist from praying.
Thomas Fuller

Prayer is never an excuse for laziness.
Gerald B. Griffiths

Satan rocks the cradle when we sleep at our devotions.
Joseph Hall

A heap of unmeaning words only smothers the words of devotion.
J. Hamilton

It is not much praying that is condemned … but much speaking; the danger of this error is when we only say our prayers, not when we pray them.
Matthew Henry

The sin of failing to come to God in prayer is one of the most common offences a Christian commits.
Simon J. Kistemaker

   'Lord of the years that are left to me,
   I give them to Thy hand;
   Take me and make me and mould me
   To the pattern Thou hast planned.' 
        Vance Havner 

I fancy we may sometimes be deterred from small prayers by a sense of our own dignity rather than of God’s.
C. S. Lewis

Knowing that intercessory prayer is our mightiest weapon and the supreme call for all Christians today, I pleadingly urge our people everywhere to pray. Believing that prayer is the greatest contribution that our people can make in this critical hour, I humbly urge that we take time to pray—to really pray. Let there be prayer at sunup, at noonday, at sundown, at midnight—all through the day. Let us all pray for our children, our youth, our aged, our pastors, our homes. Let us pray for our churches. Let us pray for ourselves, that we may not lose the word ‘concern’ out of our Christian vocabulary. Let us pray for our nation. Let us pray for those who have never known Jesus Christ and redeeming love, for moral forces everywhere, for our national leaders. Let prayer be our passion. Let prayer be our practice.
Robert E. Lee

If I fail to spend two hours in prayer each morning, the devil gets the victory through the day.
Martin Luther

What a fearful canopy the prayers that do not get beyond the atmosphere would make if they turned brown with age!
George MacDonald

God is not mocked. He does not answer prayers if he has already given us the answer and we are not willing to use it.
William Macdonald

If we be empty and poor, it is not because God’s hand is straitened, but ours is not opened.
Thomas Manton

When we make self the end of prayer, it is not worship but self-seeking.
Thomas Manton

Prayer is not a way to get what we want but the way to become what God wants.

Means without prayer is presumption. Prayer without means is tempting God.
Al Martin

As long as we just pour out our hearts in a multitude of petitions without taking time to see whether every petition is sent with the purpose and expectation of getting an answer, not many will reach the mark.
Andrew Murray

Beware in your prayer above everything of limiting God, not only by unbelief but by fancying that you know what he can do.
Andrew Murray
By one hour's intimate access to the throne of grace, where the Lord causes His glory to pass before the soul that seeks Him you may acquire more true spiritual knowledge and comfort than by a day's or a week's converse with the best of men, or the most studious perusal of many folios.

Saying prayers without praying is blasphemy.
Brownlow North

The very breath of prayer sustains the Christian life.

Most Christians expect little from God, ask little and therefore receive little and are content with little.
A. W. Pink

We may as well not pray at all as offer our prayers in a lifeless manner.
William S. Plumer

Satan is far more anxious to keep us off our knees than he is to keep us off our feet!
Ivor Powell

The self-sufficient do not pray, the selfsatisfied will not pray, the self-righteous cannot pray.
Leonard Ravenhill

No prayers can be heard which do not come from a forgiving heart.
J. C. Ryle

Many people pray for things that can only come by work and work for things that can only come by prayer.
W. E. Sangster

Prayer without love has no suction. It does not draw the blessing down.
W. E. Sangster

Even when you feel you have nothing left, you still have prayer—and that's enough.

Prayer without faith! What sort of prayer is it? It is the prayer of a man who does not believe in God.
C H Spurgeon

Public prayer is no evidence of piety. It is practised by an abundance of hypocrites. But private prayer is a thing for which the hypocrite has no heart.
C H Spurgeon

Prayer is good, but when used as a substitute for obedience, it is naught but a blatant hypocrisy, a despicable Pharisaism.
C. T. Studd

No greater help and care is given
To others in their need
Than when we bear them up in prayer
And for them intercede.
   D  J De Hann

Yank some of the groans out of your prayers, and shove in some shouts.
Billy Sunday

The president of International Concerts of Prayer, David Bryant, told of arriving in a major city to help conduct a time of prayer. As he entered the building where the meeting was to take place, he noticed that the huge hall was being shared by another event. In one room was the prayer meeting; in the other room there was going to be a boxing match. Two signs greeted visitors, each with arrows pointing the way. In bold letters, one said BOXING; the other said PRAYER. Bryant said it occurred to him that this was the first time he had ever been in a situation where people had to choose between boxing and wrestling (cp Ge 32:24, 25, 26-30)

How hard it is to pray against besetting sins!
William Tiptaft

Prayer is often conceived to be little more than a technique for self-advancement, a heavenly method for achieving earthly success.
A. W. Tozer

Selfishness is never so exquisitely selfish as when it is on its knees … Self turns what would otherwise be a pure and powerful prayer into a weak and ineffective one.
A. W. Tozer

When we become too glib in prayer we are almost certainly talking to ourselves.
A. W. Tozer

prayer is not so much the cause of a revival as the human preparation for one.

It is foolish to pray against sin and then sin against prayer.
John Trapp

A wicked man in prayer may lift up his hands, but he cannot lift up his face.
Thomas Watson

Lifeless prayer is no more prayer than the picture of a man is a man.
Thomas Watson

The angel fetched Peter out of prison, but it was prayer fetched the angel.
Thomas Watson

Christ went more readily ad crucem (to the cross), than we do to the throne of grace.
Thomas Watson

The prayer that is faithless is fruitless.
Thomas Watson

Sincerity is the prime requisite in every approach to the God who requires ‘truth in the inward parts’ and who hates all hypocrisy, falsehood and deceit.
Geoffrey B. Wilson

A holy mouth is made by praying.
E. M. Bounds

Prayer and a holy life are one. They mutually act and react. Neither can survive alone. The absence of the one is the absence of the other.
E. M. Bounds

Prayer goes by faith into the great orchard of God’s exceeding great and precious promises, and with hand and heart picks the ripest and richest fruit.
E. M. Bounds

Prayer is humbling work. It abases intellect and pride, crucifies vainglory and signs our spiritual bankruptcy, and all these are hard for flesh and blood to bear.
E. M. Bounds

If you would have God hear you when you pray, you must hear him when he speaks.
Thomas Brooks

Prayer will make a man cease from sin, or sin will entice a man to cease from prayer.
John Bunyan

Pray, and then start answering your prayer.
Deane Edwards

None can pray well but he that lives well.
Thomas Fuller

The greatest thing anyone can do for God and man is pray. It is not the only thing, but it is the chief thing. The great people of earth are the people who pray. I do not mean those who talk about prayer; nor those who say they believe in prayer; nor yet those who can explain about prayer; but I mean those people who take time to pray.
S. D. Gordon

There is nothing that makes us love a man so much as praying for him.
William Law

There is nothing that tells the truth about us as Christians so much as our prayer life.
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

What a man is on his knees before God, that he is—and nothing more.
Robert Murray M’Cheyne

Honest dealing becomes us when we kneel in God’s pure presence.
David McIntyre

The decisive preparation for prayer lies not in the prayer itself, but in the life prior to the prayer.
Handley C. G. Moule

How our prayer avails depends upon what we are and what our life is.
Andrew Murray

Our lives must be as holy as our prayers.
Andrew Murray

He who prays as he ought will endeavour to live as he prays.
John Owen

If we are not right, our prayers cannot be.
James Philip

It is what we are when we pray our prayers that counts with God.
James Philip

The cardinal element in true prayer is no mere outward ritual but the inward, moral state of the one who prays.
James Philip

Prayer is conditioned by one thing alone and that is spirituality.
Leonard Ravenhill

There's no weapon half so mighty
As the intercessors bear,
Nor a broader field of service
Than the ministry of prayer!

Do not work so hard for Christ that you have no strength to pray, for prayer requires strength.
J. Hudson Taylor

The prayer power has never been tried to its full capacity. If we want to see mighty wonders of divine power and grace wrought in the place of weakness, failure and disappointment, let us answer God’s standing challenge, ‘Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not!
J. Hudson Taylor

Every prayer should begin with the confession that our lips are unclean.
Friedrich Tholuck

Our prayers are only as powerful as our lives. In the long pull we pray only as well as we live.
A. W. Tozer

Prayer at its best is the expression of the total life, for all things else being equal, our prayers are only as powerful as our lives.
A. W. Tozer

‘Twas He who taught me thus to pray
And I know He has answered prayer,
But it has been in such a way
As almost drove me to despair.

Prayer is not overcoming God's reluctance: it is laying hold of His highest willingness.

Abandon the secret chamber and the spiritual life will decay.
Isaac Watts

Kneel before you leap.
George H. Allen

Trouble and perplexity drive us to prayer, and prayer driveth away trouble and perplexity.

God tells us to burden him with whatever burdens us.

If your troubles are deep-seated or longstanding, try kneeling.

Mountains can only be climbed with the knees bent.

Prayer is the key of the morning and the bolt of the night.

Prayer will drive sin out of your life; or sin will drive prayer out!

When a good man falls, he falls on his knees.

When the knees are not often bent the feet soon slide.

Many of us cannot reach the mission fields on our feet, but we can reach them on our knees.
T. J. Bach

Our praying should be the prayer of faith, not faith in prayer.

To clasp the hands in prayer is the beginning of an uprising against the spirit of the world.
Karl Barth

Let the day have a blessed baptism by giving your first waking thoughts into the bosom of God. The first hour of the morning is the rudder of the day.
Henry Ward Beecher

No heart thrives without much secret converse with God, and nothing will make amends for the want of it.
John Berridge

The principal cause of my leanness and unfruitfulness is owing to an unaccountable backwardness to pray. I can write or read or converse or hear with a ready heart; but prayer is more spiritual and inward than any of these, and the more spiritual any duty is the more my carnal heart is apt to start from it.

Prayer is not something to be added after other approaches in our search for the will of God have been tried and have failed. No, we should pray as we use the personal resources God has given us.

Prayer honours God, acknowledges his being, exalts his power, adores his providence, secures his aid.
E. M. Bounds

The prime need of the church is not men of money nor men of brains, but men of prayer.
E. M. Bounds

To give prayer the secondary place is to make God secondary in life’s affairs.
E. M. Bounds

Did any of you, parents, ever hear your child wake from sleep with some panic fear and shriek the mother's name through the darkness? Was not that a more powerful appeal than all words? And, depend upon it, that the soul which cries aloud on God, "the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ," though it have "no language but a cry," will never call in vain.

When you can’t be there, you can help through prayer.

O Thou by whom we come to God,
The Life, the Truth, the Way,
The path of prayer Thyself host trod;
Lord, teach us how to pray!
J. Montgomery

If man is man and God is God, to live without prayer is not merely an awful thing, it is an infinitely foolish thing.
Phillips Brooks

The best Christian is he that is the greatest monopolizer of time for private prayer.
Thomas Brooks

What a privilege it would be to talk privately with the president of the United States! Yet believers can choose at any time to enjoy an infinitely greater privilege -- fellowship with the King of kings.

Hurry is the death of prayer.

What is the life of a Christian but a life of prayer?
David Brown

Prayer is a shield to the soul, a sacrifice to God and a scourge for Satan.
John Bunyan

Prayer is the chief exercise of faith.
John Calvin

The Christian will find his parentheses for prayer even in the busiest hours of life.
Richard Cecil

Prayer is the acid test of devotion.
Samuel Chadwick

Prayer does not enable us to do a greater work for God. Prayer is a greater work for God.
Thomas Chalmers

Andrew Bonar kept a card on his mantel that read, “He who has truly prayed has completed the half of his study.” 

To speak for God to men is a sacred and responsible task. To speak for men to God is not less responsible and is more solemn.
Robert Dabney

Let us advance upon our knees.

Even if no command to pray had existed, our very weakness would have suggested it.
François Fenelon

Time spent in prayer is never wasted.
François Fenelon

Yes, there is only one thing that will save us in this hour of desperation, and that is prayer.

Prayer is the highest use to which speech can be put.
P. T. Forsyth

Pray for great things, expect great things, work for great things, but above all, pray.

Prayer should be the key of the day and the lock of the night.
Thomas Fuller

In Alexander Solzhenitsyn's `A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich,' Ivan endures all the horrors of a Soviet prison camp. One day he is praying with his eyes closed when a fellow prisoner notices him and says with ridicule, "Prayers won't help you get out of here any faster." Opening his eyes, Ivan answers, "I do not pray to get out of prison but to do the will of God."

The greatest thing anyone can do for God and for man is to pray.
S. D. Gordon

You can do more than pray after you have prayed, but you cannot do more than pray until you have prayed.
S. D. Gordon (also attributed to John Bunyan)

What an awful place is the Christian’s closet. The whole Trinity is about it every time he kneels.
Edward Griffin

To pray without labouring is to mock God: to labour without prayer is to rob God of his glory.
Robert Haldane

When we become too glib in prayer we are most surely talking to ourselves.

If you can’t pray as you want to, pray as you can. God knows what you mean.
Vance Havner

The measure of any Christian is his prayer life.
Vance Havner

When God inclines the heart to pray, He hath an ear to hear;
To him there's music in a groan, And beauty in a tear.

Prayer is the breath of the new-born soul, and there can be no Christian life without it.
Rowland Hill

He who has learned to pray has learned the greatest secret of a holy and a happy life.
William Law

I have many times been driven to my knees by the utter conviction that I had nowhere else to go.
Abraham Lincoln

Everything we do in the Christian life is easier than prayer.
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Ultimately there is no better index of one’s spiritual state and condition than one’s prayers.
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

We need less travelling by jet planes from congress to congress … but more kneeling and praying and pleading to God to have mercy upon us, more crying to God to arise and scatter his enemies and make himself known.
D. Martyn Lloyd Jones

As it is the business of tailors to make clothes and of cobblers to mend shoes, so it is the business of Christians to pray.
Martin Luther

I have to hurry all day to get time to pray.
Martin Luther

Prayer is a strong wall and fortress of the church; it is a goodly Christian’s weapon.
Martin Luther

To pray well is the better half of study.
Martin Luther

Since the Holy Spirit makes intercession for the infirmed saints according to God's will, who are we to pray any other way? (Ro 8:22-27). George Sweeting.

Men of God are always men of prayer.
Henry T. Mahan

Let us see God before man every day.
Robert Murray M’Cheyne

Prayer is not manipulating God to get what we want but discovering what He wants us to do, and then asking the Holy Spirit to enable us to do His will.
V C Grounds

Prayer is the pulse of life.
Andrew Murray

To know how to speak to God is more important than knowing how to speak to men.
Andrew Murray

The spirit of prayer is the fruit and token of the Spirit of adoption.
John Newton

God’s help is only a prayer away.

Prayer is to religion what thinking is to philosophy.

I am only as tall as I am on my knees.
Stephen Olford

I had rather learn what some men really judge about their own justification from their prayers than their writings.
John Owen

There is a blessed calm at eventide
That calls me from a world of toil and care;
How restful, then, to seek some quiet nook
Where I can spend a little time in prayer.

Men who know their God are before anything else men who pray.
J. I. Packer

The function of prayer is to set God at the center of attention.

We are never more like Christ than in prayers of intercession.
Austin Phelps

Things to Pray for
      •       We should ask God to make the gospel message clear (Col. 4:4).
      •       Pray for boldness in the one doing the evangelism (Acts 4:29; Eph. 6:19).
      •       Pray that the individual believes the Word of God (Rom. 10:17; 1 Thess. 2:13).
      •       Pray that Satan is bound from blinding them from the truth (2 Thess. 2:13).
      •       Pray for the safety of the messengers (2 Thess. 3:2).
      •       Pray for the success of the gospel and that they will believe in Christ as their Savior (John 1:12, 5:24, 6:27–29; 2 Thess. 3:1).
      •       Pray that the one who receives Christ as Savior may grow spiritually and bear fruit (Matt. 13:23; John 15:16; Col. 1:6, 2:6, 7).
  The Scocaster, Vol. 40, No. 10, March 7, 1999 (

The measure of our love for others can largely be determined by the frequency and earnestness of our prayers for them.
A. W. Pink

If we can bring our woes before God in prayer we have done the best possible thing.
William S. Plumer

Satan is far more anxious to keep us off our knees than he is to keep us off our feet.
Ivor Powell

No man is greater than his prayer life.
Leonard Ravenhill

A man’s state before God may always be measured by his prayers.
J. C. Ryle

Never, never may we forget that if we would do good to the world, our first duty is to pray!
J. C. Ryle

No time is so well spent in every day as that which we spend upon our knees.
J. C. Ryle

Prayer is the very life-breath of true Christianity.
J. C. Ryle

Whatever else you make a business of, make a business of prayer.
J. C. Ryle

If you are too busy to pray then you are too busy.
W. E. Sangster

One cannot get deep into religion until one gets deep into prayer.
W. E. Sangster

Sir Walter Raleigh one day asking a favor from Queen Elizabeth, the latter said to him, 'Raleigh, when will you leave off begging?' To which he answered, 'When your Majesty leaves off giving.' Ask great things of God. Expect great things from God. Let his past goodness make us 'instant in prayer.'" (Ro 12:12KJV)

Anything is a blessing which makes us pray.
C H Spurgeon

As artists give themselves to their models, and poets to their classical pursuits, so must we addict ourselves to prayer.
C. H. Spurgeon

God has no dumb children.
C. H. Spurgeon

He that is never on his knees on earth shall never stand upon his feet in heaven.
C. H. Spurgeon

I always feel that there is something wrong if I go without prayer for even half an hour in the day.
C. H. Spurgeon

If you cannot go to the house of the Lord, go to the Lord of the house.
C. H. Spurgeon

It is a good rule never to look into the face of man in the morning till you have looked into the face of God.
C. H. Spurgeon

Neglect of private prayer is the locust which devours the strength of the church.
C. H. Spurgeon

Prayer has become as essential to me as the heaving of my lungs and the beating of my pulse.
C. H. Spurgeon

Prayer is the breath of faith. Prayer meetings are the lungs of the church.
C. H. Spurgeon

Prayer meetings are the throbbing machinery of the church.
C. H. Spurgeon

Remember that prayer is your best means of study.
C. H. Spurgeon

Sometimes we think we are too busy to pray. That is a great mistake, for praying is a saving of time.
C. H. Spurgeon

We shall never see much change for the better in our churches in general till the prayer meeting occupies a higher place in the esteem of Christians.
C. H. Spurgeon

Whether we like it or not, asking is the rule of the Kingdom.
C. H. Spurgeon

Prayer is the world in tune.

If we ever forget our basic charter—‘My house is a house of prayer’—we might as well shut the church doors.
James S. Stewart

Forgive us, Lord, when we're surprised
By answers to our prayer;
Increase our faith and teach us how
To trust Your loving care.

A prayerless man is a careless man.
William W. Tiptaft

I want to be begging mercy every hour.
William Tiptaft

We must alter our lives in order to alter our hearts, for it is impossible to live one way and pray another.

There is nothing that makes us love a man so much as prayer for him.

A prayerless Christian should be a nonexistent species.
Geoff Treasure

It is significant that there is no record of the Lord teaching his disciples how to preach; but he took time to teach them how to pray and how not to pray.
L. A. T. Van Dooren

Do with your hearts as you do with your watches, wind them up every morning by prayer, and at night examine whether your hearts have gone true all that day.
Thomas Watson

The language of prayer is forged in the crucible of trouble. When we can’t help ourselves and call for help, when we don’t like where we are and want out, when we don’t like who we are and want a change, we use primal language, and this language becomes the root language of prayer.
Eugene Peterson

God does nothing but in answer to prayer.
John Wesley

Prayer should be fundamental, not supplemental.
William J. C. White

Of all things, guard against neglecting God in the secret place of prayer.
William Wilberforce

Surely the experience of all good men confirms the proposition that without a due measure of private devotions the soul will grow lean.
William Wilberforce

God looks not at the pomp of words and variety of expression, but at the sincerity and devotion of the heart. The key opens the door, not because it is gilt but because it fits the lock.

We may pray when we say least, and we may pray least when we say most.

Lay no weight on the quantity of your prayers; that is to say, how long or how many they are. These things avail nothing with God, by whom prayers are not measured, but weighed.
Thomas Boston

The worth of a prayer is not gauged by its dimensions.
Robert Murray M’Cheyne

Some people’s prayers need to be cut off at both ends and set on fire in the middle.
D L Moody 

It was a season of prayer with John ("Praying") Hyde that made me realize what real prayer was. I owe to him more than I owe to any man for showing me what a prayer life is and what a real consecrated life is. Jesus Christ became a new ideal to me, and I had a glimpse of His prayer life, and I had a longing which has remained to this day to be a real praying man.
J Wilbur Chapman

It is better … that the hearers should wish the prayer had been longer, than spend half or a considerable part of the time in wishing it was over.
John Newton

God does not, it seems to us, frequently yield up his blessing to us till we have spent a reasonable length of time in his presence.
Maurice Roberts

Time spent with God in the secret place is never the cause of spiritual inefficiency.
Maurice Roberts

It is necessary to draw near unto God, but it is not required of you to prolong your speech till everyone is longing to hear the word ‘Amen’.
C H Spurgeon

Humanity is never so beautiful as when praying for forgiveness or else forgiving another.

Praise His blessed name forever!
There is naught that can compare
To the glories of a contact
With the Mighty God through prayer.

He stands best who kneels most.

If your day is hemmed with prayer it is less likely to become unravelled.

Prayers are the leeches of care.

Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks.

Lord, when I sense Your call to serve,
Help me to follow through;
I must not simply pray and wait
When there is work to do.

Prayer can do anything that God can do.
E. M. Bounds

The church upon its knees would bring heaven upon the earth.
E. M. Bounds

The men who have done the most for God in this world have been early on their knees.
E. M. Bounds

Units of prayer combined, like drops of water, make an ocean which defies resistance.
E. M. Bounds

The one concern of the devil is to keep the saints from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work, prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, he mocks at our wisdom, but he trembles when we pray.
Samuel Chadwick

  Restraining prayer we cease to fight;
  Prayer makes the Christian’s armour bright;
  And Satan trembles when he sees
  The weakest saint upon his knees.
William Cowper

Prayer is the rope up in the belfry; we pull it, and it rings the bell up in heaven.
Christmas Evans

The man who kneels to God can stand up to anything.
Louis H. Evans

Prayer moves the Hand which moves the world.

Prayer is the key to heaven’s treasures.
John Gerhard

Prayer is striking the winning blow … service is gathering up the results.
S. D. Gordon

Prayer is the sovereign remedy.
Robert Hall

Within God’s limitations prayer is unlimited.
E. F. Hallock

Prayer is the slender sinew that moves the muscle of omnipotence.
J. Edwin Hartill

Prayer may not get us what we want, but it will teach us to want what we need.
Vance Havner

When a man makes alliance with the Almighty, giants look like grasshoppers.
Vance Havner

I judge that my prayer is more than the devil himself; if it were otherwise, Luther would have fared differently long before this.
Martin Luther

Prayer is that mightiest of all weapons that created natures can wield.
Martin Luther

Better Than My Best
I prayed for strength, and then I lost awhile
All sense of nearness, human and divine;
The love I leaned on failed and pierced my heart;
The hands I clung to loosed themselves from mine;
But while I swayed, weak, trembling, and alone,
The everlasting arms upheld my own.
     I prayed for light; the sun went down in clouds,
The moon was darkened by a misty doubt,
The stars of heaven were dimmed by earthly fears,
But all my little candle flames burned out;
But while I sat in shadow, wrapped in night,
The face of Christ made all the darkness bright.
      I prayed for peace, and dreamed of restful ease,
A slumber drugged from pain, a hushed repose;
Above my head the skies were black with storm,
And fiercer grew the onslaught of my foes;
But while the battle raged, and wild winds blew,
I heard His voice, and perfect peace I knew.
      I thank Thee, Lord, Thou wert too wise to heed 
My feeble prayers, and answer as I sought,
Since these rich gifts Thy bounty has bestowed
Have brought me more than I had asked or thought.
Giver of good, so answer each request
With Thine own giving, better than my best.
      - Annie Johnson Flint

I had rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.
Thomas Lye

There is no burden of the spirit but is lighter by kneeling under it.
F. B. Meyer

Most churches don’t know that God rules the world by the prayers of his saints.
Andrew Murray

I can take my telescope and look millions of miles into space; but I can go away to my room and in prayer get nearer to God and heaven than I can when assisted by all the telescopes of earth.
Isaac Newton

Prayer is the great engine to overthrow and rout my spiritual enemies, the great means to procure the graces of which I stand in hourly need.
John Newton

  Thou art coming to a King;
  Large petitions with thee bring;
  For his grace and power are such,
  None can ever ask too much.
John Newton

When prayers are strongest, mercies are nearest.
Edward Reynolds

The prayers of the Christian are secret, but their effect cannot be hidden.
Howard Chandler Robbins

I know no blessing so small as to be reasonably expected without prayer, nor any so great but may be obtained by it.
Robert South

All our perils are as nothing, so long as we have prayer.
C H Spurgeon

I could no more doubt the efficacy of prayer than I could disbelieve in the law of gravity.
C H Spurgeon

Time spent on the knees in prayer will do more to remedy heart strain and nerve worry than anything else.
George D. Stewart

When I pray coincidences happen, and when I do not, they don’t.
William Temple

God’s timing - God does not depend on our time. Our time is chronological and linear but timeless. He will act at the fullness of His time. Our prayer....may not necessarily rush God into action, but....places us before Him in fellowship.
Samuel Enyia

Pray on! Pray on! Cease not to pray,
And should the answer tarry, wait;
Thy God will come, will surely come,
And He can never come too late.

The power of prayer consists in the knowledge that God is our God.
Friedrich Tholuck

The Christian on his knees sees more than the philosopher on tiptoe.
Augustus M. Toplady

The strongest knees are those which bend most easily.
Mary S. Wood

What a Friend We Have in Jesus
What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.

Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge, take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do your friends despise, forsake you? Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield you; you will find a solace there.

Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised Thou wilt all our burdens bear
May we ever, Lord, be bringing all to Thee in earnest prayer.
Soon in glory bright unclouded there will be no need for prayer
Rapture, praise and endless worship will be our sweet portion there.
Joseph H Scriven

O God of the open ear,
Teach me to live by prayer as well as by providence,
   for myself, soul, body, children, family, church;
Give me a heart frameable to thy will;
   so might I live in prayer,
   and honour thee,
   being kept from evil, known and unknown.
Help me to see the sin that accompanies all I do,
   and the good I can distil from everything.
Let me know that the work of prayer is to bring
    my will to thine,
   and that without this it is folly to pray;
When I try to bring thy will to mine it is 
     to command Christ,
   to be above him, and wiser than he:
     this is my sin and pride.
I can only succeed when I pray
   according to thy precept and promise,
   and to be done with as it pleases thee,
   according to thy sovereign will.
When thou commandest me to pray 
     for pardon, peace, brokenness, 
   it is because thou wilt give me the thing promised, 
     for thy glory, 
     as well as for my good.
Help me not only to desire small things
   but with holy boldness to desire great things
     for thy people, for myself,
     that they and I might live to show thy glory.
Teach me 
   that it is wisdom for me to pray for all I have, 
      out of love, willingly, not of necessity;
   that I may come to thee at any time, 
      to lay open my needs acceptably to thee;
   that my great sin lies in my not keeping 
      the savour of thy ways;
   that the remembrance of this truth is one way 
      to the sense of thy presence;
   that there is no wrath like the wrath of being 
      governed by my own lusts for my own ends.
Author  Unknown

Theology and prayer are inextricably intertwined.
Richard Bewes

If you pray for bread and bring no basket to carry it, you prove the doubting spirit which may be the only hindrance to the gift you ask.

God loves to be consulted.
Charles Bridges

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.
John Bunyan

Prayer is only true when it is within the compass of God’s Word.
John Bunyan

Prayer flows from doctrine.
John Calvin

There is nothing a natural man hates more than prayer.
Robert Murray M‘Cheyne

Prayer is the barometer of the church.
Thomas V. Moore

All the prayers in the Scripture you will find to be reasoning with God, not a multitude of words heaped together.
Stephen Charnock

True prayer is rooted in the promises and covenants of God, in his past achievements, in his ability to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.
Bob Cotton

That which God abundantly makes the subject of his promises, God’s people should abundantly make the subject of their prayers.
Jonathan Edwards

The mightier any is in the Word, the more mighty he will be in prayer.
William Gurnall

Prayer is receiving what God has promised.
E. F. Hallock

God’s promises are to be our pleas in prayer.
Matthew Henry

We cannot expect too little from man, nor too much from God.
Matthew Henry

Turn the Bible into prayer.
Robert Murray M’Cheyne

We are to pray only for what God has promised, and for the communication of it unto us in that way whereby he will work it and effect it.
John Owen

The Scriptures make prayer a reality and not a reverie.
Austin Phelps

Believing prayer never asks more than is promised.
William S. Plumer

Every prayer is an inverted promise … If God teaches us to pray for any good thing, we may gather by implication the assurance that he means to give it.
C H Spurgeon

God does not keep office hours.
A. W. Tozer

God’s promises are the cork to keep faith from sinking in prayer.
Thomas Watson

The reason why we obtain no more in prayer is because we expect no more. God usually answers us according to our own hearts.
Richard Alleine

If you do not get all you ask, it is because the Saviour intends to give you something better.

We ask for silver and God sometimes sends his denials wrapped in gold.

In reality, the denial of prayer is a denial of God himself.
E. M. Bounds

God can never be expected to undertake a cause which is unworthy of defence.
John Calvin

Prayer’s perplexities are most often camouflaged discoveries, there for the making.
Donald Cranefield

I have learned that God’s silence to my questions is not a door slammed in my face. I may not have the answers—but I do have him.
Dave Dravecky

Someone prayed as I met the test
Of temptation fierce and strong;
I felt God near, He gave me rest;
Somebody prayed, I know.

Someone prayed when my faith was dim
And when Satan pressed me sore,
God answered them, gave strength within;
Somebody prayed, I know.
—Mrs. M. Spittal, alt.

God is not a cosmic bellboy for whom we can press a button to get things.
Harry Emerson Fosdick

God has not always answered my prayers. If he had, I would have married the wrong man—several times!
Ruth Bell Graham

I have lived to thank God that all my prayers have not been answered.
Jean Ingelow

How good is God to deny us mercies in mercy!
William Jenkyn

If God had granted all the silly prayers I’ve made in my life, where would I be now?
C. S. Lewis

It is quite useless knocking at the door of heaven for earthly comfort; it’s not the sort of comfort they supply there.
C. S. Lewis

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 refuse them.
C. S. Lewis

The great tragedy of life is not unanswered prayer but unoffered prayer.
F. B. Meyer

When the Lord is to lead a soul to great faith he leaves its prayers unheard.
Andrew Murray

If you can’t pray a door open, don’t pry it open.
Lyell Rader

Patience in prayer is nothing but faith spun out.
Thomas Watson

God answers prayer; shouldst thou complain?
Be not afraid, thou canst not ask in vain.
He only waits thy faith in Him to prove,
Doubt not His power e'en mountains to remove! —Anon. 
What God sovereignly decrees in eternity, men will always demand in time.

Prayer is the preface to the book of Christian living, the text of the new life sermon, the girding on of the armor for battle, the pilgrim's preparation for his journey; and it must be supplemented by action or it amounts to nothing.

Nothing lies beyond the reach of prayer except that which lies outside the will of God.

[About Praying (John) Hyde] He prayed as if God were at his elbow.

God likes to see his people shut up to this, that there is no hope but in prayer. Herein lies the church’s power against the world.
Andrew Bonar

God shapes the world by prayer.
E. M. Bounds

God’s sovereignty does not negate our responsibility to pray, but rather makes it possible to pray with confidence.
Jerry Bridges

We ask what we think to be best; God gives what he knows to be best.
William Burkitt

We are not at liberty in calling upon God to follow the suggestions of our own mind and will, but must seek God only in so far as he has invited us to approach him.
John Calvin

  When we disclose our wants in prayer,
  May we our wills resign;
  That not a thought may enter there
  Which is not wholly thine.
Joseph Dacre Carlyle

God always answers us in the deeps, never in the shallows of our soul.
Amy Carmichael

God answers only the requests which he inspires.
Ralph A. Herring

Prayer is a mighty instrument, not for getting man’s will done in heaven, but for getting God’s will done in earth.
Robert Law

The marvellous and supernatural power of prayer consists not in bringing God’s will down to us, but in lifting our will up to his.
Robert Law

William Carey's Sister - It’s been stated these days, “They just don’t make missionaries like William Carey.” Carey changed the history of missions and the face of India 200 years ago. Few know of Carey’s sister, paralyzed and bedridden for 50 years. Although unable to speak for much of that period, with great effort she allowed herself to be propped up in bed. She wrote long encouraging letters to her brother. And she prayed for him several hours per day for 50 years!

Did not God sometimes withhold in mercy what we ask, we should be ruined at our own request.
Hannah More

Prayer is not monologue, but dialogue; God’s voice in response to mine is its most essential part. Listening to God’s voice is the secret of the assurance that he will listen to mine.
Andrew Murray

In prayer, while we seek in appearance to bend God’s will to ours, we are in reality bringing our will to his.
J. M. Neale

To ask in the name of Christ is … to set aside our own will and bow to the perfect will of God.
A. W. Pink

Don’t pray to escape trouble. Don’t pray to be comfortable in your emotions. Pray to do the will of God in every situation. Nothing else is worth praying for.
Samuel Shoemaker

Every true prayer is a variation on the theme ‘Thy will be done.’
John R. W. Stott

Prayer is not a convenient device for imposing our will upon God, or bending his will to ours, but the prescribed way of subordinating our will to his.
John R. W. Stott

Have faith to believe that where prayer focuses, power falls!

To pray effectively we must want what God wants—that and that only is to pray in the will of God.
A. W. Tozer

  Father, I wait thy daily will;
  Thou shalt divide my portion still;
  Grant me on earth what seems thee best,
  Till death and heaven reveal the rest.
                        Isaac Watts