be awake to the Life that is loving you and sing your prayer, laugh your prayer, dance your prayer, run and weep and sweat your prayer, sleep your prayer, eat your prayer, paint, sculpt, hammer, and read your prayer, sweep, dig, rake, drive and hoe your prayer, garden and farm and build and clean your prayer, wash, iron, vacuum, sew, embroider and pickle your prayer, compute, touch, bend and fold but never delete or mutilate your prayer. Learn and play your prayer, work and rest your prayer, fast and feast your prayer, argue, talk, whisper, listen and shout your prayer, groan and moan and spit and sneeze your prayer, swim and hunt and cook your prayer, digest and become your prayer, release and recover your prayer, breathe your prayer, be your prayer
Alla Renee Bozarth
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Bibles read without prayer; sermons heard without prayer; marriages contracted without prayer; journeys undertaken without prayer; residences chosen without prayer; friendships formed without prayer; the daily act of prayer itself hurried over, or gone through without heart: these are the kind of downward steps by which many a Christian descends to a condition of spiritual palsy, or reaches the point where God allows them to have a tremendous fall.
J. C. Ryle
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Spirituality without a prayer life is no spirituality at all, and it will not last beyond the first defeats. Prayer is an opening of the self so that the Word of God can break in and make us new. Prayer unmasks. Prayer converts. Prayer impels. Prayer sustains us on the way. Pray for the grace it will take to continue what you would like to quit.
Joan D. Chittister
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If you don't pray often, you won't gain a love for praying. Prayer is work, and therefore it is not very appealing to our natural sensibilities. But the simple rule for prayer is this: Begin praying and your taste for prayer will increase. The more you pray, the more you will acquire the desire for prayer, the energy for prayer, and the sense of purpose in prayer.
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The Prophet introduced a system of prayer in that it was interwoven into man's daily work: a prayer in the morning when he arose from his bed; a prayer at lunch time, as an indication that if his body needed a diet, so did his spirit; a prayer in the afternoon when he retired from his daily work; a prayer at sunset and a prayer when going to bed.
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Prayer is vastly superior to worry. With worry, we are helpless; with prayer, we are interceding. When I hear sad news, I try to say a prayer for the victims. When I am troubled, I will say a prayer that asks for relief for myself and for all those who suffer as I do. When I am concerned about my relatives or friends I say a short prayer to myself - "May they be happy and free of suffering."
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In my deepest, darkest moments, what really got me through was a prayer. Sometimes my prayer was 'Help me.' Sometimes a prayer was 'Thank you.' What I've discovered is that intimate connection and communication with my creator will always get me through because I know my support, my help, is just a prayer away.
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All right prayer has good effect, but if you give your whole life to the prayer you multiply its power... No one really knows the full power of prayer. Of course, there is a relationship between prayer and action. Receptive prayer result in an inner receiving, which motivates to right action.
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Prayer is first of all listening to God. It's openness. God is always speaking; he's always doing something. Prayer is to enter into that activity... Convert your thoughts into prayer. As we are involved in unceasing thinking, so we are called to unceasing prayer. The difference is not that prayer is thinking about other things, but that prayer is thinking in dialogue,... a conversation with God.
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Prayer is vastly superior to worry. With worry, we are helpless; with prayer, we are interceding. When I hear sad news, I try to say a prayer for the victims. When I am troubled, I will say a prayer that asks for relief for myself and for all those who suffer as I do. When I am concerned about my relatives or friends I say a short prayer to myself - "May they be happy and free of suffering." Book: Seeking Peace: Chronicles of the Worst Buddist in the World
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Pray a little each day in a childlike way for the Spirit of prayer. If you feel that you know, as yet, very little concerning the deep things of prayer and what prayer really is, then pray for the Spirit of prayer. There is nothing He would rather do than unveil to you the grace of prayer.
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To strive in prayer means to struggle through those hindrances which would restrain or even prevent us entirely from continuing in persevering prayer. It means to be so watchful at all times that we can notice when we become slothful in prayer and that we go to the Spirit of prayer to have this remedied. In this struggle, too, the decisive factor is the Spirit of prayer.
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I'm not sure where I heard it or why I believed it but when I was in my mid-twenties, a few words changed my approach to and experience of prayer. The words were these: 'Every thought you think is a prayer. Every word you speak is a prayer. Every act in which you engage is a prayer, because the Spirit of God lives in you.' Now, how awesome is that?
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Prayer is that which enables the soul to realize its divinity. Through prayer human beings worship absolute truth, and seek an eternal reward. Prayer is the foundation-stone of religion; and religion is the means by which the soul is purified of all that pollutes it. Prayer is the worship of the first cause of all things, the supreme ruler of all the world, the source of all strength. Prayer is the adoration of the one whose being is necessary.
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God is always present, always available. At whatever moment in which one turns to him the prayer is received, is heard, is authenticated, for it is God who gives our prayer its value and its character, not our interior dispositions, not our fervor, not our lucidity. The prayer which is pronounced for God and accepted by him becomes, by that very fact, a true prayer.
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Prayer brings to us blessings which we need, and which only God can give, and which prayer can alone convey to us ... This service of prayer is not a mere rite, a ceremony through which we go, a sort of performance. Prayer is going to God for something needed and desired. Prayer is simply asking God to do for us what he has promised us he will do if we ask him ... Asking is man's part. Giving is God's part. The praying belongs to us. The answer belongs to God.
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Prayer is a salve for every sore, a remedy for every malady; and when we are afflicted with thorns in the flesh, we should give ourselves to prayer. If an answer be not given to the first prayer, nor to the second, we are to continue praying. Troubles are sent to teach us to pray; and are continued, to teach us to continue instant in prayer.
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Let us recognize this one thing: burden is the secret of prayer. If a person does not feel within him burden to pray for a particular matter he can hardly succeed in prayer. In a prayer meeting some brothers and sisters may mention a great many subjects for prayer. But if you are not touched inwardly, you cannot pray.
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Prayer that works is prayer that makes a difference, contemplation that turns into action, on behalf of peace and justice in a troubled and unjust world system. Prayer is energy, the energy of love and transformative power. It is given to us to use for the good of all creation. In prayer God gives us the fuel of life, and asks us to live it.
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...just as the edifice of all the virtues strives upward toward perfect prayer so will all these virtues be neither sturdy nor enduring unless they are drawn firmly together by the crown of prayer. This endless, unstirring calm of prayer... can neither be achieved nor consummated without these virtues. And likewise virtues are the prerequisite foundation of prayer and cannot be effected without it.
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In prayer, it is better to have heart without words, than words without heart. Prayer will make a man cease from sin, or sin entice a man to cease from prayer. The spirit of prayer is more precious than treasures of gold and silver. Pray often, for prayer is a shield to the soul, a sacrifice to God, and a scourge for Satan.
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The great people of the earth today 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 these people who take time and pray. They have not time. It must be taken from something else. This something else is important, very important, and pressing, but still less important and less pressing than prayer. There are people that put prayer first, and group the other items in life's schedule around and after prayer.
S. D Gordon
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Jesus' example of fidelity to prayer challenges us to examine the time and effort we devote to our own prayer. While prayer is a gift of God, it is also an art learned through constant practice. Jesus teaches us to pray constantly, but also to bear witness before others of the beauty of prayer, self-surrender and complete openness to God.
Pope Benedict XVI
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We will only advance in our evangelistic work as fast and as far as we advance on our knees. Prayer opens the channel between a soul and God; prayerlessness closes it. Prayer releases the grip of Satan's power; prayerlessness increases it. That is why prayer is so exhausting and so vital. If we believed it, the prayer meeting would be as full as the church.
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When I started out on my pilgrimage, I was using walking for two purposes at that time. One was to contact people, and I still use it for that purpose today. But the other was as a prayer discipline. To keep me concentrated on my prayer for peace. And after a few years I discovered something. I discovered that I no longer needed the prayer discipline. I pray without ceasing now. My personal prayer is: Make me an instrument through which only truth can speak.
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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.
Henry Ward Beecher
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Prevailing prayer is prayer that pushes right through all difficulties and obstacles, drives back all the opposing forces of Satan, and secures the will of God. Its purpose is to accomplish God's will on earth. Prevailing prayer is prayer that not only takes the initiative but continues on the offensive for God until spiritual victory is won.
Wesley L Duewel
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One form of prayer moves us particularly to take up the task of evangelization and to seek the good of others: it is the prayer of intercession. Let us peer for a moment into the heart of Saint Paul, to see what his prayer was like. It was full of people: "...I constantly pray with you in every one of my prayers for all of you... because I hold you in my heart" (Phil 1:4, 7). Here we see that intercessory prayer does not divert us from true contemplation, since authentic contemplation always has a place for others.
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There is no way of learning to pray but by praying. No reasoned philosophy of prayer ever taught a soul to pray. We know not what we should pray for as we ought, and if prayer waits for understanding it will never begin. We discover by using. We learn by practice. Though a man should have all knowledge about prayer, and though he should understand all mysteries about prayer, unless he prays he will never learn to pray.
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It is good to have a prayer on your lips wherever you go. There are so many moments in life when you are free to pray. When you are waiting for the cashier in the supermarket, getting mad because he or she doesn't hurry, say a little prayer: 'Lord, Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.' Take that prayer with you wherever you go.
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As it is the sister of reading, so it is the mother of prayer. Though a man's heart be much indisposed to prayer, yet, if he can but fall into a meditation of God, and the things of God, his heart will soon come off to prayer... Begin with reading or hearing. Go on with meditation; end in prayer... Reading without meditation is unfruitful; meditation without reading is hurtful; to meditate and to read without prayer upon both, is without blessing.
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What we feel at prayer is God's business, not ours, and we must strive to be totally abandoned to the presence of 'consolation' or of boredom when we pray. A clear understanding that the value of our prayer does not depend upon how we feel is extremely important if we are to persevere in prayer. So many people feel that if their prayer is distracted it cannot be pleasing to God, and are therefore led to abandon their efforts precisely when fidelity is of the most importance.
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Be faithful to the time spent in prayer and make sure that at least half of your prayer is spent in silence. This will bring you closer to Jesus. If you deepen your prayer life you will grow in holiness and obtain many graces for the souls entrusted to your care. Deepen your love for one another by praying for each other and by sharing thoughts and graces you have received in prayer and reading.
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Another form of prayer, called cataphatic, honors and reverences images and feelings and goes through them to God. This form of prayer also has an ancient and well-attested history in the world of religions. Any sort of prayer that highlights the mediation of creation can be called cataphatic. So, praying before icons or images of saints; the mediation of sacraments and sacramentals; prayer out in creation - all these are cataphatic forms of prayer
Gregory A. Boyd
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Prayer is like practicing the piano or ballet or writing: you have to bring your body for a very long time, in spite of your body's frailties and conflicts and general revolt, and then one day your body is not separate any more. You've in a sense become the piano or the dance or the word or the prayer. The prayer is in your heart. The prayer is your heart.
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I interviewed ordinary people about prayer. Typically, the results went like this: Is Prayer important to you? Oh, yes. How often to you pray? Every day. Approximately how long? Five minutes - well, maybe seven. Do you sense the presence of God when you pray? Occasionally, not often. Many of those I talked to experienced prayer more as a burden than as a pleasure. They regarded it as important, even paramount, and felt guilty about their failure, blaming themselves. Does this sound familiar? (pp. 14/Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference?)
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IN THE BEGINNING I undertook my walking not only to contact people, I undertook it as a prayer discipline to keep me concentrated on my prayer for peace... After the first few years the prayer discipline was completely unnecessary, because I had learned to pray without ceasing. I made the contact so thoroughly that into my prayer consciousness I put any condition or person in the world I am concerned about and the rest takes place automatically.
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Because we are God's children...we can bring our needs to him with certainty in prayer.... Prayer is not some kind of heavenly lottery. Nor does the Bible counsel us to pray with an "I hope this will work"...attitude. Instead...prayer brings us before the throne of grace as children seeking the help of their heavenly Father. That's the heart of breakthrough, successful prayer-the bold confidence that we are talking to the Father who delights to supply our needs.
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The Psalter is the prayer book of Jesus Christ in the truest sense of the word. He prayed the Psalter and now it has become his prayer for all time...we understand how the Psalter can be prayer to God and yet God's own Word, precisely because here we encounter the praying Christ...because those who pray the psalms are joining in with the prayer of Jesus Christ, their prayer reaches the ears of God. Christ has become their intercessor...
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When a man is born from above, the life of the Son of God is born in him, and he can either starve that life or nourish it. Prayer is the way the life of God is nourished. Our ordinary views of prayer are not found in the New Testament. We look upon prayer as a means of getting things for ourselves; the Bible's idea of prayer is that we may get to know God Himself.
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Negligence in prayer withers the inner man. Nothing can be a substitute for it, not even Christian work. Many are so preoccupied with work that they allow little time for prayer. Hence they cannot cast out demons. Prayer enables us first inwardly to overcome the enemy and then outwardly to deal with him.
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The highest level of prayer is not a prayer for anything. It is a deep and profound silence, in which we allow ourselves to be still and know Him. In that silence, we are changed. We are calmed. We are illumined. Prayer is meant to dissolve the worldly focus, to dissolve our sense of a separate self, to help us detach from an insane world order. We pray that He might flood our minds. Prayer is like pouring hot water on an ice cube, melting the cold and encrusted thought forms that still surround our hearts.
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Prayer is a gift from Almighty God that transforms us, whether we bow our heads in solitude, or offer swift and silent prayers in times of trial. Prayer humbles us by reminding us of our place in creation. Prayer strengthens us by reminding us that God loves and cares for each and every soul in His creation. And prayer blesses us by reminding us that there is a divine plan that stands above all human plans.
George W. Bush
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Leviathan laughs at the javelin, but he trembles at prayer. Sword and spear need furbishing, but prayer never rusts, and when we think it most blunt it cuts the best. Prayer is an open door which none can shut. Devils may surround you on all sides, but the way upward is always open.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
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Let methods be changed, therefore, if necessary, that prayer may be given its true place. Let there be days set apart for intercession; let the original purpose of the monthly concert of prayer for missions be given a larger place; let missionary prayer cycles be used by families and by individual Christians.
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The condition of the church may be very accurately gauged by its prayer meetings. So is the prayer meeting a grace-ometer, and from it we may judge of the amount of divine working among a people. If God be near a church, it must pray. And if He be not there, one of the first tokens of His absence will be slothfulness in prayer.
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It upset me that, five days after the hurricane hit down in New Orleans, the President's plan was for a day of prayer. I would have thought a truck of food. A day of prayer. Now, maybe I'm mistaken here and, again, I'm not a scientific expert, but isn't a hurricane officially an act of God? Isn't a day of prayer kind of redundant? Hasn't God already made up his mind on that sort of thing? So we do a day of prayer. The President has his stupid day of prayer. Three days later, Hurricane Rita hits. Somebody must have said something... something like, is that all you got?
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The most powerful thing that can happen in the place of prayer is that you yourself become the prayer. You leave the prayer room able as Jesus' hands and feet on earth. This is what it means to pray continually (without ceasing), to see with the eyes of Jesus and to hear with His ears with every waking moment.
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Prayer is action. By it we step out in advance of all other results . . . Praying is an activity upon which all others depend. By prayer we establish a beachhead for the kingdom among peoples where it has never been before. Prayer strikes the winning blow. All other missionary efforts simply gather up the fruits of our praying.
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We have not been men of prayer. The spirit of prayer has slumbered among us. The closet has been too little frequented and delighted in. We have allowed business, study or active labor to interfere with our closet-hours. And the feverish atmosphere in which both the church and the nation are enveloped has found its way into our prayer closets...
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Anyone who seeks a prayer life guided by Scripture will not take this study seriously. Prayer is based upon a relationship, namely a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, and prayer is itself a part of that relationship. And relationships cannot properly be evaluated by scientific methods.
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Self must be denied as to time and attention for prayer. All-prayer cannot be wielded without the expenditure of time. "A minute with God" seldom lays hold of Him. Sustained prayer is necessary. Such time may only be found by snatching it from personal pursuits, however legitimate they may be.
Walter J Chantry
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Prayer is the force as real as terrestrial gravity. 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. Only in prayer do we achieve that complete and harmonious assembly of body, mind and spirit which gives the frail human reed its unshakable strength.
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Like all good things, prayer requires some discipline. Yet I believe that life with God should seem more like friendship than duty. Prayer includes moments of ecstasy and also dullness, mindless distraction and acute concentration, flashes of joy and bouts of irritation. In other words, prayer has features in common with all relationships that matter.
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But petitional prayer is only one department of prayer; and if we take the word in the wider sense as meaning every kind of inward communion or conversation with the power recognized as divine, we can easily see that scientific criticism leaves it untouched. Prayer in this wide sense is the very soul and essence of religion.
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