God looks not at the oratory of your prayers, how elegant they may be; nor at the geometry of your prayers, how long they may be; nor at the arithmetic of your prayers, how many they may be; not at logic of your prayers, how methodical they may be; but the sincerity of them he looks at.
. . . the number of prayers we say may contribute to our happiness, but the number of prayers we answer may be of greater importance. Let us open our eyes and see the heavy hearts, notice the loneliness and despair; let us feel the silent prayers of others around us; and let us be an instrument in the hands of the Lord to answer those prayers.
Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Many people are praying and their prayers go unanswered. Imagine if you decided to step in your role as a god and resolved to answer their prayers. How many prayers would be answered from now on? But no, you also keep your face hidden like other careless gods and keep your ears closed to their clamor.
The secret of our lost mode of prayer is to shift our perspective of life by feeling that the miracle has already happened and our prayers have been answered. Now we have the opportunity to bring this wisdom into our lives as prayers of gratitude for what already exists, rather than asking for our prayers to be answered.
Bold prayers honor God, and God honors bold prayers. God isn't offended by your biggest dreams or boldest prayers-he is offended by Anything Less. If your prayers aren't impossible to You, they are insulting to God- why? Because they don't require divine intervention. But ask God to part the Red Sea or make the sun stand still or float an iron axhead and God is moved to Omnipotent action
Prayers prayed in the Spirit never die until they accomplish God's intended purpose. His answer may not be what we expected, or when we expected it, but God often provides much more abundantly than we could think or ask. He interprets our intent and either answers or stores up our prayers. Sincere prayers are never lost. Energy, time, love, and longing can be endowments that will never be wasted or go unrewarded.
Wesley L Duewel
Exercise 1: Guarding the Prayer Once we are performing the five obligatory prayers with regularity, then it is certainly worth our efforts to begin increasing extra prayers- especially the late-night prayers (tahajjud). Late-night prayer is one of the defining qualities of a salih (righteous) person, also called a wali (friend of Allah). Regarding late-night prayers, Fudayl b. 'Iyyad said that if a man was unable to do them, it was due to his wrong actions during the day. May Allah make us befitting to stand before Him, here and in the hereafter. Agenda to Change our Condition, Hamza Yusuf & Zaid Shakir, S. 46
On the ground of our own goodness we cannot expect to have our prayers answered. But Jesus is worthy, and for His sake we may have our prayers answered. There is nothing too choice, too costly, or too great for God to give Him. He is worthy. He is the spotless, holy Child, who under all circumstances acted according to the mind of God. And if we trust in Him, if we hide in Him, if we put Him forward and ourselves in the background, depend on Him and plead His name, we may expect to have our prayers answered.
Daily fervent prayers seeking forgiveness and special help and direction are essential to our lives and the nourishment of our testimonies. When we become hurried, repetitive, casual, or forgetful in our prayers, we tend to lose the closeness of the Spirit, which is so essential in the continual direction we need to successfully manage the challenges of our everyday lives. Family prayer every morning and night adds additional blessings and power to our individual prayers and to our testimonies.
Donald L. Staheli
There has come to you as your birthright something beautiful and sacred and divine. Never forget that. Your Eternal Father is the Great master of the Universe. He rules over all, but He also will listen to your prayers as His daughter and hear you as you speak with Him. He will answer your prayers. He will not leave you alone.
Gordon B. Hinckley
God shapes the world by prayer. Prayers are deathless. The lips that uttered them may be closed to death, the heart that felt them may have ceased to beat, but the prayers live before God, and God's heart is set on them and prayers outlive the lives of those who uttered them; they outlive a generation, outlive an age, outlive a world.
Edward McKendree Bounds
I knew all of the childhood prayers I uttered on my knees at the side of my bed. Many years of Sunday-school attendance had etched certain Psalms and rote prayers into the fibers of my brain. However, somewhere deep inside of me, I had the secret belief that I did not know how to pray, and that frightened me.
Often when you ask for one thing you receive another, this is the mysterious thing about prayer, we address them to heaven with some private intention, but they choose their own path, sometimes they delay, allowing other prayers to overtake them, frequently they overlap and become hybrid prayers of dubious origin, which quarrel and argue among themselves.
I witness the reality and divinity of our Eternal Father, of His Only Begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Ghost. I testify that our Father hears and answers our prayers. May each of us strive with greater resolve to ask in faith and thereby make our prayers truly meaningful.
David A. Bednar
The greater the charity of the Saints in their heavenly home, the more they intercede for those who are still on their journey and the more they can help them by their prayers; the more they are united with God, the more effective those prayers are. This is in accordance with Divine order, which makes higher things react upon lower things, like the brightness of the sun filling the atmosphere.
Why is it that sometimes our prayers seem not to be answered? This is a manifestation of the Buddha's wisdom, so that we can deepen our prayers, become stronger people, live more profound lives and secure deeper, more lasting good fortune. If our slightest prayer was answered immediately, we would become lazy and degenerate. And we could not hope to build a life of great dignity and substance.
Prayers For Rain' begins like practically every Cure song, with an introduction that's longer than most Bo Diddley singles. Never mind the omnipresent chill, why does Robert Smith write such interminable intros? I can put on 'Prayers For Rain, ' then cook an omelette in the time it takes him to start singing. He seems to have a rule that the creepier the song, the longer the wait before it actually starts. I'm not sure if Smith spends the intro time applying eye-liner or manually reducing his serotonin level, but one must endure a lot of doom-filled guitar patterns, cathedral-reverb drums and modal string synth wanderings during the opening of 'Prayers for Rain.
Some prayers are followed by silence (from God) because they are wrong, others because they are bigger than one can understand. It will be a wonderful moment for some of us when we stand before God and find that the prayers we clamored for in early days and imagined were never answered, have been answered in the most amazing way, and that God's silence has been the sign of the answer.
Let our heart glow when you pray. Let our soul's innermost desire and need flow in silence, gratitude and humble petition. Let our daily prayers be a life attitude not only when we are in trouble but never forgetting to include all others who are also in difficulties. There are times prayers cannot change things for us but we grow and change with faith and strength, patience and serenity with a heart that extends for others.
Finn, listen!" Trevanion said, his voice raw."I prayed to see you one more time. It's all I prayed for. Nothing more. And my prayers were answered. Go east, I'll lend them west." "We have a dilemma, then," Finnikin said fiercely. "Because I prayed that you would grow old and hold my children in your arms as you held me. My prayers have not been answered yet, Trevanion. So whose prayer is more worthy? Yours or mine?
People who pray for miracles usually don't get miracles. But people who pray for courage, for strength to bear the unbearable, for the grace to remember what they have left instead of what they have lost, very often find their prayers answered. Their prayers help them tap hidden reserves of faith and courage that were not available to them before.
Harold S. Kushner
Prayers are designed to raise God-consciousness five times a day, throughout one's life. Prayers also provide regular exercise - like yoga or Tai Chi or Qigong built into the day - and serve as a calming retreat from the daily demands of life. Muslims thus learn to balance deeni wa dunyavi (the spiritual and the worldly). They can't abandon one for the other; that's the essence of their faith.
We get too comfortable with this orphanage universe, though. We sit in our pews, or behind our pulpits, knowing that our children watch "Christian" cartoons instead of slash films. We vote for the right candidates and know all the right "worldview" talking points. And we're content with the world we know, just adjusted a little for our identity as Christians. That's precisely why so many of us are so atrophied in our prayers, why our prayers rarely reach the level of "groanings too deep for words" (Rom 8:26). We are too numbed to be as frustrated as the Spirit is with the way things are.
Popular piety is one of our strengths because it consists of prayers deeply rooted in people's hearts. These prayers even move the hearts of people who are somewhat cut off from the life of the Church and who have no special understanding of faith. All that is required is to 'illuminate' these actions and 'purify' this tradition so that it may become part of the life of the Church today.
Pope Benedict XVI
I noticed that all the prayers I used to offer to God, and all the prayers I now offer to Joe Pesci, are being answered at about the same fifty percent rate. Half the time I get what I want, half the time I don't... Same as the four-leaf clover and the horseshoe... same as the voodoo lady who tells you your fortune by squeezing the goat's testicles. It's all the same... so just pick your superstition, sit back, make a wish, and enjoy yourself...
I noticed that all the prayers I used to offer to God, and all the prayers I now offer to Joe Pesci, are being answered at about the same fifty percent rate. Half the time I get what I want, half the time I don't...Same as the four-leaf clover and the horseshoe...same as the voodoo lady who tells you your fortune by squeezing the goat's testicles. It's all the same...so just pick your superstition, sit back, make a wish, and enjoy yourself...
It came at last. "'Dr. Graham, tell me, ' she asked tremulously, 'do you believe that prayers - wicked unreasonable prayers - are granted?' He helped himself to another slice of bread-and-butter before answering. 'Well-' he said slowly, 'it seems hard to believe that every fool who has a voice to pray with and a brain to conceive idiotic requests should be permitted to interfere with the economy of the universe. As a rule, if people were long-sighted enough to foresee the result of their petitions, I fancy very few of us would venture to interfere.' ("The Story of A Ghost")
I've begun worshipping the sun for a number of reasons. First of all, unlike some other gods I could mention, I can see the sun. It's there for me every day. And the things it brings me are quite apparent all the time: heat, light, food, and a lovely day. There's no mystery, no one asks for money, I don't have to dress up, and there's no boring pageantry. And interestingly enough, I have found that the prayers I offer to the sun and the prayers I formerly offered to "God" are all answered at about the same 50% rate.
I've begun worshipping the sun for a number of reasons. First of all, unlike some other gods I could mention, I can see the sun. It's there for me every day. And the things it brings me are quite apparent all the time: heat, light, food, and a lovely day. There's no mystery, no one asks for money, I don't have to dress up, and there's no boring pageantry. And interestingly enough, I have found that the prayers I offer to the sun and the prayers I formerly offered to 'God' are all answered at about the same 50% rate.
Daily simple, sincere, and mighty prayers lift our lives to a higher spiritual altitude. In our prayers we praise God, give thanks to Him, confess weaknesses, petition needs, and express deep devotion to our Heavenly Father. As we make this spiritual effort in the name of Jesus Christ, the Redeemer, we are endowed with increased inspiration, revelation, and righteousness, which bring the brightness of heaven into our lives.
Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Prayer assumes the sovereignty of God. If God is not sovereign, we have no assurance that He is able to answer our prayers. Our prayers would become nothing more than wishes. But while God's sovereignty, along with his wisdom and love, is the foundation of our trust in Him, prayer is the expression of that trust.
The motive is this, 'Oh! that God could be glorified, that Jesus might see the reward of his sufferings! Oh! that sinners might be saved, so that God might have new tongues to praise him, new hearts to love him! Oh! that sin were put an end to, that the holiness, righteousness, mercy, and power of God might be magnifi ed!' This is the way to pray; when thy prayers seek God's glory, it is God's glory to answer thy prayers.
I once asked a rabbi in a large congregation which prayers he used with the dying. "You mean the Mourner's Kaddish?" he asked, referring to the prayer recited on behalf of the deceased. "No, " I replied. "I mean the prayers said when a person is actually dying." "Oh, " he replied. "I don't know. I've never seen anyone die." He had been a congregational rabbi for almost twenty years. "I only get called when it's time to do the funeral, " he explained. Clearly there is much to learn within our traditional religious communities.
It is God's will through His wonderful grace, that the prayers of His saints should be one of the great principal means of carrying on the designs of Christ's kingdom in the world. When God has something very great to accomplish for His church, it is His will that there should precede it the extraordinary prayers of His people; as is manifest by Ezekiel 36:37. and it is revealed that, when God is about to accomplish great things for His church, He will begin by remarkably pouring out the spirit of grace and supplication (see Zechariah 12:10).
When the Congress first met, Mr. Cushing made a motion that it should be opened with prayer . . . Mr. Samuel Adams arose and said he was no bigot, and could hear a prayer from a gentleman of piety and virtue, who was at the same time a friend to his country. He . . . had heard that Mr. Duche . . . deserved that character and therefore he moved that Mr. Duche . . . might be desired to read prayers to the Congress . . . . After (he read several prayers), Mr. Duche, unexpected to everybody, struck out into an extemporary prayer, which filled the bosom of every man present.
All the greatest blessings are a source of anxiety, and at no time should fortune be less trusted than when it is best; to maintain prosperity there is need of other prosperity, and in behalf of the prayers that have turned out well we must make still other prayers. For everything that comes to us from chance is unstable, and the higher it rises, the more liable it is to fall. Moreover, what is doomed to perish brings pleasure to no one; very wretched, therefore, and not merely short, must the life of those be who work hard to gain what they must work harder to keep. By great toil they attain what they wish, and with anxiety hold what they have attained; meanwhile they take no account of time that will never more return.
Bold prayers honor God, and God honors bold prayers... The bigger the circle we draw, the better, because God gets more glory. The greatest moments in life are the miraculous moments when human impotence and divine omnipotence intersect "" and they intersect when we draw a circle around the impossible situations in our lives and invite God to intervene.
I began praying for the health and safety of my boys before each one was born. Once a week for two years prior to Joseph's death, I also gathered with other moms to pray for my sons and their schools, and I specifically asked God to protect the health and safety of Joseph, Curt, and Wyatt. My prayers were not answered the way I had hoped. Despite countless prayers for Joseph to be safe, God said no. His plan remains a mystery. I have had to accept that mystery and trust Him in the dark.
I want to tell you a growing conviction with me, and that is that as we obey the leadings of the Spirit of God, we enable God to answer the prayers of other people. I mean that our lives, my life, is the answer to someone's prayer, prayed perhaps centuries ago. It is more and more impossible to me to have programmes and plans because God alone has the plan, and our plans are only apt to hinder Him, and make it necessary for Him to break them up. I have the unspeakable knowledge that my life is the answer to prayers, and that God is blessing me and making me a blessing entirely of His sovereign grace and nothing to do with my merits, saving as I am bold enough to trust His leading and not the dictates of my own wisdom and common sense.
God hears and fulfills the prayer of a man who fulfills His commandments. "Hear God in His commandments," says St. John Chrysostom, "So that He might hear you in your prayers." A man who keeps the commandments of God is always wise, patient, and sincere in his prayers. Mystery of prayer consists in the keeping of God's commandments.