Jesus said: Believe me, woman, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.(...) God is spirit, and those who worship must worship in spirit and truth. John 4:21, 24
You hypocrites! How right Isaiah was when he prophesied about you: These people, says God, honour me with their words, but their heart is really away from me. It is no use for them to worship me, because they teach man-made rules as though they were my laws! Matthew 15:7-9
( ) Prayer is joy. Prayer is what the human heart desires. ( ) Our Lady of Medjugorie, November 25, 1994. Words from Heaven, P.277.
Pray as much as you can, however you can, but pray more always. ( ) Our Lady of Medjugorie, April 24, 1984. Words from Heaven, P.12.
But when you pray, go to your private room and, when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in that secret place, and your father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you. Matthew 6:6
(...) your Father knows what you need before you ask him. So you should
pray like this: Our Father in heaven, may your name be held holy, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as
in heaven. Give us today our daily bread and
forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven those who are in debt to us. And do not put us to the test, but save us from the evil one. Matthew 6:9-13
Their prayer therein will be, "Glory be to you, our God", and their greetings therein will be "Peace". Their ultimate prayer will be, "Praise be to God, Lord of Universe." Quran 10:10
Then Jesus replied: (...) You must worship the Lord your God, and serve him alone. Matthew 4:10
(...) no prayer can be called perfect or free from blemish when there is some tincture of self-interest in it. Thomas A Kempis, Immitation of Christ, III.49.2
The Beloved: My son, this is how you should pray in all circumstances: "Lord, if this is what pleases you, let it come to pass. Lord, if this will be to your honor, let it happen in your name." Thomas A Kempis, III.15.1
When you are praying, speak not much ... for your Father knoweth what is needful for you. Matthew 6:7-8
Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Ps 51:10
Briefly, all effort and exertion put forth by man from the fullness of his heart is worship, if it is prompted by the highest motives... This is worship: to serve mankind and to minister to the needs of the people. Service is prayer. Baha'ullah.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead, than whom no one is greater, is attainable by unalloyed devotion (...). Gita 8:22
They are always engaged in chanting My glories. Endeavoring with great determination, offering homage unto Me, they worship Me with devotion. Gita 9:14
The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: He whose mind is fixed on My personal form, always engaged in worshiping Me with great and transcendental faith, is considered by Me to be most perfect. Gita 12:2
By worship of the Lord, who is the source of all beings and who is all pervading, a man can become perfect while doing his work. Gita 18:46
When you get up early in the morning, you concentrate upon the Spiritual
Master, bow your head at His Holy Feet with reverence and practise the Divine Name bestowed by the Lord. Then your
entire day shall pass off happily. Similarly, if you
pray before your sleep, your night too shall pass off well. Shanti Vachan Bhandar, 1166.
When the Spirit has come to reside in someone, that person cannot stop
praying; for the Spirit prays without ceasing in him. No matter if he is asleep or awake, prayer is going on in his heart all
the time. He may be eating or drinking, he may be resting or
working - the incense of prayer will ascend spontaneously from his heart. ( ) His thoughts will be prompted by God. The slightest stirring of his heart is like a voice which sings in silence and in secret to the Invisible. Isaac the Syrian, 6th Century.
O Lord! Please guide me from falsehood to truth, darkness to light and from death to eternity. Shanti Vachan Bhandar, 1191.
There is immense power in prayer and silence. Shanti Vachan Bhandar, 1198.
O Lord! I cannot discriminate between my gain or loss. Hence grant me the power of discrimination so that I know what is good for me and walk on the path of righteousness and gain spiritual wisdom. Shanti Vachan Bhandar, 1869.
A prayer emanating from the heart has the power like that of electricity. The moment the cord of heart is connected, it unites with the lotus feet of the Lord. Shanti Vachan Bhandar, 2138.
Forget past and future, abolish all other thoughts, but pray with total
concentration of mind and soul and have full faith in God. Chant Om Namaha Shivaya and you can defy death. Have no thought about
life or death. No evil influence will ever come near
you if you pray with purity of heart and mind and with all faith and concentration. Teachings of Babaji, P.2.
(...) his prayer was nothing else but a sense of the presence of God,
his soul being at that time insensible to everything but divine love; (...) when the appointed times of prayer were past, he found
no difference, because he still continued with God, (...).
Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God, P.26.
Do not always scrupulously confine yourself to certain rules, or particular forms of devotion, but act with a general confidence in God, with love and humility. Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God, P.51.
I do not advise you to use multiplicity of words in prayer, many words
and long discourses being often the occasions of wandering. Hold yourself in prayer before God like a dumb or paralytic
beggar at a rich man's gate. Let it be your business to
keep your mind in the presence of the Lord. Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God, P.52.
For what is prayer but the expansion of yourself into the living ether? Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet, P.67.
But you who are born of the mountains and the forests and the seas can find their prayer in your heart ( ). Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet, P.68
Contemplatives rarely pray in words but if they do, their words are
) And so this simple prayer bursting from the depths of your spirit touches the heart of Almighty God more certainly
than some long psalm mumbled mindlessly under your
breath. The Cloud of Unknowing, P.95-96.
In itself, prayer is simply a reverent, conscious openness to God full of the desire to grow in goodness and overcome evil. The Cloud of Unknowing, P.98.
My dear friend in God, go beyond your intellect's endless and involved
investigations and worship the Lord your God with your whole being. Offer Him your very self in simple wholeness, all that
you are and just as you are, without concentrating on any
particular aspect of your being. The Book of Privy Counseling, P.155.
The brothers asked Abba Agathon: Father, which of the virtues of our
life demands the greatest effort? He said to them: Forgive me, but there is no effort comparable to prayer to God. In
fact, whenever you want to pray, hostile demons try to
interrupt you. Of course, they know that nothing but prayer to God entangles them. Certainly when you undertake any other good work, and persevere in it, you obtain rest. But prayer is a battle all the way to the last breath. Yushi Nomura, Desert
Wisdom: Sayings from the Desert Fathers, P.103.
All prayer is a response to God and begins with Him. (...) Every prayer
is a response to a movement of grace, whether we are explicitly aware of it or not. (...) God present in us, present all
around us, is calling us to respond to His presence, His love, His
caring. Basil Pennington, Finding Grace at the Centre, P.7.
"How great is the power of Prayer! One could call it a Queen
who has at each instant free access to the King and who is able to obtain whatever she asks. To be heard it is not necessary
to read from a book some beautiful formula composed for the
occasion.........I do like children who do not know how to read, I say very simply to God what I wish to say, without composing beautiful sentences, and He always understands me. For me, Prayer is an aspiration of the heart, it is a simple glance directed to heaven, it is a cry of gratitude and love in the midst of trial as well as joy; finally, it is something great, supernatural, which expands my soul and unites me to Jesus." St. Therese of Lisieux. Story of a Soul: The Autobiography of Saint Therese of Lisieux., P.242
"Prayer is something deeper than words. It is present in the soul before
it has been formulated into words. And it abides in the soul after the last words of prayer have passed over our lips.
Prayer is an attitude of our hearts, an attitude of mind. Prayer is a
definite attitude of our hearts toward God, an attitude which He in heaven immediately recognizes as prayer, as an appeal to His heart. Whether it takes the form of words or not, does not mean anything to God, only to ourselves."Hallesby, Prayer. P. 16. Submitted to Center-L Discussion Group by Gary Horn <email@example.com>
"We are on the whole disposed to emphasize activity in prayer too much.
From the time we begin and until we have finished, we are busily engaged in speaking with God. And we feel almost as though
there is something wrong or something lacking in
our prayer if we do not talk continually to God. There is activity in prayer, of course, and it includes speaking with God. But that should not be all. In the quiet and holy hour of prayer we should also be still and permit ourselves to be examined by the
Physician of our souls. We should submit to scrutiny under the holy and penetrating light of God and be thoroughly examined, spiritually fluoroscoped and X-rayed, in order to ascertain just where our trouble lies." Hallesby, O. Prayer. P. 94. Submitted
to L-Center Discussion Group by Gary Horn <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
"Saint Teresa of Avila says that every difficulty in prayer comes from
one fatal flaw, that of praying as if God were absent. Our spiritual journey as a whole has the same fatal flaw: seeking
God as if he were absent. Everyday life has the same flaw: we live
as if God were absent. (...) We can't see the presence of God right where we are nor in the precise situations in which we find ourselves. On the contrary we think, "If only I had the ideal circumstances for prayer, everything would be fine. The thought
of God would always be with me. I would pray all the time like the holy monks and cloistered sisters." Thomas Keating, Awakenings, P.8
A billboard near an old house of mine displayed in six-foot type: PRAY,
IT WORKS. I always thought this was the ultimate in American pragmatism. If it doesn't work, do you stop praying?
What does it mean to say that prayer works? You get what
you want? Life gets better? My billboard would say: PRAY. IT MAY NOT WORK. Prayer is an alternative to working hard to get what you want. One discovers eventually that what you want is almost always what you don't need. Pray - period! Don't expect anything. Or better, expect nothing. Prayer cleanses us of expectations and allows holy will, providence, and life itself an entry. What could be more worth the effort - or the noneffort? Moore, Thomas. Meditations: On the Monk Who Dwells In Daily Life. P.19. Submitted by Gary Horn mailto:email@example.com
In Centering Prayer, then, purity of intention is the primary focus
of the practice. It is a matter of love. That is why it moves
us away from our former dependence (conscious or unconscious) on thinking
about God and on making acts of devotion to feel
that we are doing something when we pray. The Spirit now has taken over our activity and prays in us. Our will is mingled with God's will in some mysterious way so that we have a sense of well-being or a conviction of being with God or in God.
Sometimes sensible consolation overflows into the body, but it is not required for the fruits of this prayer. Centering Prayer becomes contemplation when the work of the Spirit absorbs our prayer and takes over. This can eventually be our habitual
state of prayer, which is resting in God. We did not get to that state, of course, by our own efforts. Keating, Thomas. Intimacy With God, P. 124.
Prayer moves from knowing about God to knowing God;(...) Prayer: Our Journey Home, Maria Boulding, PP.11-16 .
Prayer may then become less an effort to love God and more a matter
of letting him love you. Relax, because he loves you. To be preoccupied with your unworthiness is not only pointless but
obstructive. It is very humbling to be loved by someone
who knows everything and still loves you, as Peter discovered on the lakeside after the resurrection. Prayer: Our Journey Home, Maria Boulding, P. 33
The prayer of the heart introduces us into deep interior silence so
that we learn to experience its power. For that reason the prayer of the heart has to be always very simple, confined to the simplest
of acts and often making use of no words and no
thoughts at all. If on the other hand we speak of meditation as "mental prayer," consisting of busy discursive acts, complex logical reasoning, active imagining and the deliberate stirring up of affections, then we find, as St. John of the Cross shows, that
this kind of meditation tends to conflict with our silent and receptive attention to the inner working of the Holy Spirit, especially if we attempt to carry on with it once its usefulness has come to an end.." Merton, Thomas. Contemplative Prayer. P.42
There are many among you who have no knowledge of the inner work required of the man who would hold God in remembrance. Nor do such people even understand what remembrance of God means, or know anything about spiritual prayer, for they imagine that the only right way of praying is to use such prayers as are to be found in Church books. As for secret communion with God in the heart, they know nothing of this, nor of the profit that comes from it, nor do they ever taste its spiritual sweetness. Those who only hear about spiritual meditation and prayer and have no direct knowledge of it are like men blind from birth, who hear about the sunshine without ever knowing what it really is. (...) St. Dimitri of Rostov, qouted in: The Art of Prayer: An Orthodox Anthology. P. 43
When applying this notion to the prayer of human beings, Eckhart says:
'That which one can praise with words is a paltry thing, and so is prayer with the lips.' Oral prayer seems to him of less value
than the praise which human beings offer to God by their
"essence," that is, by their being in his image. God receives his purest praise and honor from what human beings are. In this context Eckhart cites the words of Jesus: "You worship you know not what, but true worshipers will come who will worship my Father in the spirit and in truth" (Jn 4:22). Those who pray aright allow God to pray in them. Jager, Willigis. The Way to Contemplation. P.49
I plead with you, for the love of God, do not give up on your prayer. Start over again every day. Do not look for consolations. Remember again and again that love begins when nothing is expected in return. You will have consolations enough when God wills it. Enjoy them when they are given, but do not look for them or become attached to them. Seek the giver, not the gifts." Meninger, William A. The Loving Search for God. P.35
We may suppose these depths of prayer are our achievement, the precipitate of our own habits at the surface level settled into subconscious regions. But this humanistic account misses the autonomy of the life of prayer. It misses the fact that this inner level has a life of its own, invigorated not by us but by a divine Source.......We pray, and yet it is not we who pray, but a Greater who prays in us......All we can say is, Prayer is taking place, and I am given to be in the orbit.....and we are joyfully prayed through, by a Seeking Life that flows through us into the world of men. Kelly, Thomas R. A Testament of Devotion P.41
It does not take long, dear friend in God, before you will start to notice that your contemplative meditation spills over, as it were, into the other activities of your daily life. It enters into your other forms of prayer, making them more spontaneous. It enlightens your meditations on the scriptures or church teachings or your own life in pursuit of the virtues. It enters into your recited prayers such as the psalms or the prayers of the liturgy, transforming them, bringing them to a new level of understanding. Meninger, William. The Loving Search for God. P.58
Prayer is relationship, and hence capable of almost infinite growth. Relationship can go on growing forever, especially relationship with the infinite God. Prayer is the relationship in which purity of heart, reached through the unloading of the unconscious and the dismantling of the false-self system, opens us to the will of God in everything and enables us to respond out of divine love to the events of everyday life. Keating, Thomas. The Mystery of Christ. P.51
(...) I am talking about a special dimension of inner discipline and experience, a certain integrity and fullness of personal development which are not compatible with a purely external, alienated, busy-busy existence. This does not mean that they are incompatible with action, with creative work, with dedicated love. On the contrary, these all go together. A certain depth of disciplined experience is a necessary ground for fruitful action. Without a more profound human understanding derived from exploration of the inner ground of human existence, love will tend to be superficial and deceptive. Traditionally, the ideas of prayer, meditation and contemplation have been associated with this deepening of one's personal life and this expansion of the capacity to understand and serve others. Merton, Thomas. Contemplation in a World of Action. P. 154, 155. Submitted to L-Center Discussion Group by Gary Horn firstname.lastname@example.org
(...) we have to face the existential reality of our wretchedness, nothingness and abjection because it is there that our prayer begins. It is out of this nothingness that we are called into freedom. It is out of this darkness that we are called into light. Therefore, we need to recognize this as our true starting point. Otherwise our prayer is not authentic. But we are called OUT of this nothingness, darkness and alienation and frustration, into communion and intimacy with God, in his freedom. That is the meaning of prayer. Merton, Thomas. Contemplation in a World of Action. P. 217. Submitted to L-Center Discussion Group by Gary Horn email@example.com
In prayer, you shall find the way out of every situation that has no exit. Our Lady of Medjugorie, March 28, 1985. Words from Heaven, P.34
Today I call you to approach prayer actively Prayer will be your joy: if you make a start, it won't be boring to you because you will be praying out of joy. Our Lady of Medjugorie, March 20, 1986. Words from Heaven, P.35.
Let prayer be life for you. Our Lady of Medjugorie, September 25, 1987. Words from Heaven, P.36.
If you pray, satan cannot injure you, not even a little, because you are God's children and He is watching over you. ( ) Our Lady of Medjugorie, February 25, 1988. Words from Heaven, P.51.
I ask you only to pray with fervor. Prayer must become a part of your daily life to permit the true faith to take root. Our Lady of MedjugorieSeptember 8, 1981. Words from Heaven, P.102.
Through prayer, one obtains everything. Our Lady of Medjugorie, February 13, 1982. Words from Heaven, P.123.
Pray. When I give you this message, do not be content to just listen to it. Increase your prayer and see how it makes you happy. All graces are at your disposal. All you have to do is to gain them. In order to do that, I tell you - Pray! Our Lady of Medjugorie, September 12, 1983. Words from Heaven, P.149.
When I say, 'pray, pray, pray,' I do not only want to say to increase
the number of hours of prayer, but also to reinforce the desire for prayer, and to be in contact with God. Place yourselves
permanently in a state of spirit bathed in prayer. Our Lady of
Medjugorie, June 26, 1984. Words from Heaven, P.156.
When you pray you must feel more. Prayer is a conversation with God.
To pray means to listen to God. Prayer is useful for you because after prayer everything is clear. Prayer makes one know happiness.
Prayer can teach you how to cry. Prayer can
teach you how to blossom. Prayer is not a joke. Prayer is a dialogue with God. Our Lady of Medjugorie, October 20, 1984. Words from Heaven, P.159.
) I do not need The Lord's Prayer said a hundred or two hundred times.
It is better to pray only one, but with a desire to encounter God. You should do everything out of love. Accept all annoyances,
all difficulties, everything, with love. Dedicate
yourselves to love. Our Lady of Medjugorie, March 9, 1985. Words from Heaven, P.166.
Pray for the gift of love, for the gift of faith, for the gift of prayer, for the gift of fasting. Our Lady of Medjugorie, April 17, 1986. Words from Heaven, P.175.
) You wish to live everything I am telling you, but you are not succeeding
because you are not praying. (
) If you make a start, it won't be boring to you because you will be praying out of
) Our Lady of Medjugorie, March 20, 1986. Words
from Heaven, P.229.
( ) If you pray, satan cannot injure you even a little, because you are God's children and He is watching over you. ( ). Our Lady of Medjugorie, February 25, 1988.Words from Heaven, P.248.
( ) pray in such a way that your prayer, your surrender to God may become like a road sign. That way, your witness will not only have value for yourselves, but for all of eternity. ( ). Our Lady of Medjugorie, March 25, 1988. Words from Heaven, P.249.
( ) I call you to pray so that all those who are far from God may be converted. Then our hearts shall be richer, because God will rule in the hearts of all men. Therefore, little children, pray, pray, pray. Let prayer begin to rule in the whole world. ( ) Our Lady of Medjugorie, August 25, 1989. Words from Heaven, P.255.
) Let prayer be life for you. A family cannot say that it is in peace
if it does not pray. Therefore, let your mornings begin with morning prayer, and the evening end with thanksgiving. Little children,
I am with you, and I love you and I bless you and I wish
for everyone of you to be in my embrace. You cannot be in my embrace if you are not ready to pray every day. ( ) Our Lady of Medjugorie, August 25, 1995. Words from Heaven, P.280.
Be the reflection of Jesus. This way, you will be His witness in your lives; but you cannot be His reflection without prayer. Our Lady of Medjugorie, February 15, 1988. Words from Heaven, P.286.
( ) When you fill up all the empty spaces with prayer, you prevent satan from entering your soul. ( ). Our Lady of Medjugorie, March 21, 1988. Words from Heaven, P.287.
( ) Pray as much as you can and renew yourself through prayer. Construct yourself spiritually. This construction lasts until the end of your life. ( ). Our Lady of Medjugorie, March 27, 1989. Words from Heaven, P.296.
) Tonight especially, I want to ask you to give me your problems and
difficulties so that you are able to pray with more freedom and more joy so that your prayer becomes a prayer with the
heart. That is why I wish to ask you tonight to release
yourselves from your difficulties through prayer; ( ) Our Lady of Medjugorie, May 11, 1990. Words from Heaven, P.303.
( ) The important thing is, first of all, to enter into prayer. Later, you will make the right choice. Our Lady of Medjugorie, October 20, 1983. Words from Heaven, P.347.
( ) To all those who wish to ask me questions, I will answer: 'There is only one response, prayer, a strong faith, and intense prayer, and fasting. Our Lady of Medjugorie, October 28, 1983. Words from Heaven, P.348.
) It is necessary to pray much, not to say: 'If today we have not
prayed, it is nothing serious.' (
) Prayer is the only road, which leads to peace. If you pray and fast, you will obtain everything
that you ask for. Our Lady of Medjugorie, October 29,
1983. Words from Heaven, P.249.
Pray and fast! All you can do for me is to pray and fast. Our Lady of Medjugorie, November 8, 1983. Words from Heaven, P.350.
Pray! I have such a great need for your prayers. Give me your hearts. Our Lady of Medjugorie, November 9, 1983. Words from Heaven, P.350.
Pray, because prayer is life. Through it and in it, you live in prayer. Our Lady of Medjugorie, November 14, 1983. Words from Heaven, P.351.
( ) I invite you to prolong your personal prayer, to pray more intensely for the others. Our Lady of Medjugorie, November 17, 1983. Words from Heaven, P.352.
( ) Prayer should be for you not only a habit but also a source of happiness. ( ) Our Lady of Medjugorie, December 4, 1983. Words from Heaven, P.356.
When others cause you some difficulty, do not defend it, rather, pray. Our Lady of Medjugorie, 1983. Words from Heaven, P.360.
( ) Prayer is a conversation with God. To pray means to listen to the Lord. ( ) Our Lady of Medjugorie, April 20, 1984. Words from Heaven, P.372.
Sometimes prayers said in a loud voice keep Jesus at a distance, because
when men want to conquer with their own strength there is no place for God. Prayers said out loud are good when they
come from the heart. Our Lady of Medjugorie, May 3,
1985. Words from Heaven, P.381.
From those who have experience in raising their mind to God, I learned
that, in the case of prayer made by the mind from the heart, a short prayer, often repeated, is warmer and more useful than
a long one. Lengthy prayer is also very useful, but only
for those who are reaching perfection, not for beginners. During lengthy prayer, the mind of the inexperienced cannot stand long before God, but is generally overcome by its own weakness and mutability, and drawn away by external things, so that warmth of the spirit quickly cools down. Such prayer is no longer prayer, but only disturbance of the mind, because of the thoughts wandering hither and thither..." The Art of Prayer: An Orthodox Anthology. P.48
There is also another sense in which the Apostle's words must be interpreted.
'Pray without ceasing' (1 Thess. v. 17) must be taken in the sense of prayer performed by the mind: whatever
a man is doing, the mind can always be directed towards God,
and in this way it can pray to Him unceasingly. The Art of Prayer: An Orthodox Anthology, P.50
As a person advances along the path of prayer, he comes to recognize that between him and the world of God this is developing a much stronger and a much closer bond than can ever exist in human relationships. His prayers bring him into union with God. He experiences something new which, until then, he could believe in only by faith. As he continues this advance, his relationship with God becomes easier and more natural, for man's capacity to understand and to love gradually develops and, at last, perfects itself. Yet prayer always remains the humble entreaty of a being longing to be given more light and more love. Raguin, Yves. How To Pray Today. P.5 Submitted to L-Center Discussion Group by Gary Horn <firstname.lastname@example.org>
There are very elaborate methods of concentration which produce a profound
tranquillity. With discipline and determination, we can reach a state of perfect repose beyond all perception and all
thought. The soul is static within an all-pervading peace.
Is this a state of prayer? It depends on the interior disposition of the person who has reached that state. If he is enjoying a profound peace which is only the feeling of complete unity within himself or with the world, there is, properly speaking, nothing
truly religious about it. But if this peace brings a sharper perception of faith and an opening of the spirit to the divine world it is prayer. Raguin, Yves. How To Pray Today. PP. 30, 31. Submitted to L-Center Discussion Group by Gary Horn <email@example.com>
Basically, every [prayer] method is a form of coercion which aims to help us to concentrate our attention on God. This does not come naturally to us, for the truths of faith are not innate. So these methods compel us to keep our attention fixed on matters beyond what we can see and know naturally. If someone adopts a method he is like a farmer who digs a well to get water for his fields. He does not dig at random first in one spot and then in another. He chooses a place where he things there is water and gets to work, digging steadily. He is delighted when he gets down to damp earth and overjoyed when he reaches the hidden spring. The water gushes up and irrigates his land. All he has to do then is to take care that his well neither silts up nor falls in. He who seeks God digs thus, using the means which suit him best. Raguin, Yves. How To Pray Today. P. 31. Submitted to L-Center Discussion Group by Gary Horn <firstname.lastname@example.org>
If we are to reach this state of being continually at prayer, it is important to gain by faith a vision of the world which embraces its hidden realities. If, during the course of a day, time seems necessary to keep this vision sharp and clear, nothing could be easier, for we need only a moment - a quick interior act of praise, of adoration or of gratitude - to make very real our immersion in unceasing prayer. But this kind of prayer remains difficult to achieve, for it counts upon the integration of our world and the world of faith, and that is something which cannot be achieved without a long experience of the depths of the spiritual life. Raguin, Yves. How To Pray Today. P. 41. Submitted to L-Center Discussion Group by Gary Horn <email@example.com>
Genuine worship is more than paying a debt or uttering prayers; it is a heartfelt action that aims at banishing the distance of mundane living from the divine presence by rejoining one's existence to its life-giving origin. Justin O'Brien, A Meeting of Mystic Paths, P.3-4.
(...) Gradually yet inexorably, one is drawn into the living heart of
worship. Simplification and intensification occur. Finally, the practice of religion merges into the source of religion. One abides
blissfully in the supreme Source, even as this infinite fountain
continues to flow with all the precious sacraments, all the powerful forms of worship and meditation ever revealed to humankind. Ramakrishna, quoted after: Novak Philip, The World's Wisdom, P.43-44.
They asked Abba Marcarius: How should we pray? The old man answered: A long speech is not necessary, but instead stretch out your hands and say, Lord, as you wish and as you know, have mercy. Yet if you feel a conflict is breaking out, you have to say, Lord, Help! He knows what is good for us and treats us mercifully. Nomura, Yushi. Desert Wisdom: Sayings from the Desert Fathers. P.104
The brothers asked Abba Agathon: Father, which of the virtues
of our way of life demands the greatest effort? He said to them: Forgive me, but there is no effort comparable to prayer
to God. In fact, whenever you want to pray, hostile demons try
to interrupt you. Of course they know that nothing but prayer to God entangles them. Certainly when you undertake any other good work, and persevere in it, you obtain rest. But prayer is a battle all the way to the last breath." Nomura, Yushi. Desert Wisdom: Sayings from the Desert Fathers. P.103
Prayer is a demand of the soul. (...) The secret of effective prayer
is to change your status from beggar to child of God; when you appeal to Him from that consciousness, your prayer will have both
power and wisdom. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's
Eternal Quest, P.33-4.
Determine honestly whether or not your prayer is legitimate. Do not
ask God for things that are quite impossible in the natural order of life. Ask only for true necessities. (...) Your greatest necessity
is God. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest,
When you pray deeply and continuously you will feel a great joy welling up in your heart. (...) when you feel that all satisfying joy in your heart, you will know God has tuned in your prayer broadcast. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.42-3.
(...) when the mind prays, and prays, and prays again, heaven opens. Then you will be given all the convincing experiences by which you shall know that God is. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.45.
Once we have suspected or felt the mystery of our existence, the necessity
of prayer and, especially, of contemplative listening in prayer, now becomes evident. For the relation between God
and creature is now seen to depend on the marvel of God's
incomprehensible love, and shows him, in setting up this relation, as the Lover absolutely. Then the creature itself is seen as a sustained utterance of prayer; and man only needs to know, in some degree, what he really is, to break spontaneously into St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226), quoted in: Ladinsky Daniel (2002). Love Poems from God. Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West.prayer. Balthasar, Hans Urs von. Prayer. P.36. Submitted to L-Center Discussion Group by Gary Horn firstname.lastname@example.org
In men's hearts there are many prayers (...). But the prayer that should be first in every heart is the prayer for God's presence. (...) in God lies the answer to every desire of the heart. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.121.
(...) when you pray halfheartedly, while thinking in the back of your mind about something else, He knows He is not first with you, and He does not respond. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.131.
There's no set prayer which you can repeat four times a day or five times a day. No language is required, no words are required in prayer. Prayer is a language of love from the heart to the Father, and nobody exists then between you and the Father. You're not conscious of the world when you pray to Him. He exists and you exist. That is real prayer, and it is only possible at the time of meditation when we try to forget all that we are and where we are. Maharaj Charan Singh, quoted after Miriam Bokser Caravella, The Holy Name. P.225.
Prayer is the bridge between our conscious and unconscious lives. Often there is a large abyss between our thoughts, words, and actions, and the many images that emerge in our daydreams and might dreams. To pray is to connect these two sides of our lives by giving to the place where God dwells. Prayer is "soul work" because our souls are those sacred centers where all is one and where God is with us in the most intimate way. Thus, we must pray without ceasing so that we can become truly whole and holy. Henri Nouwen, Bread for the Journey. P. Jan.15.
You may invent an image through which to worship God; but a better image already exists - the living man. You may build a temple in which to worship God, and that may be good; but a better one, a much higher one, already exists - the human body. Vivekananda, quoted in: Nikhilananda, Vivekananda, A Biography, P.210.
Someone asked, "Is there any way to approach God other than prayer?"
The answer is more prayer. However, prayer does not exist only in outward
form: that is just the "shell" of prayer because it has a beginning and
an end. Anything that has a beginning and an end is a "shell." The proclamation
of God's greatness, Allahu Akbar, is the beginning of the prayer and the
greeting of peace is its end. (...) We know that the "soul" of prayer is
not only its external form, but also a state of total absorption and unconsciousness
during which all these external forms, for which there is no room, remain
Rumi, Fihi Ma Fihi #3, quoted in: Helminski, Kabir (2000). The Rumi Collection. P.43.
If you cannot pray sincerely, offer your dry, hypocritical, agnostic prayer; for God in His mercy accepts bad coin. If you have a hundred doubts of God, make them into ninety doubts. This is the way. O, Seeker! Though you have broken your vows a hundred times, come again! Come gain! For God has said, "Though you are on high or in the pit consider me, for I am the Way." Rumi, quoted in: Helminski, Kabir (2000). The Rumi Collection. P.95.
Regarding my actual practice I spend, at the very least, five and a half hours per day in prayer, meditation, and study. On the top of this I also pray whenever I can during odd moments of the day, for example over meals and whilst travelling. In this last case, I have three reasons for doing so: firstly, it contributes toward fulfillment of my daily duty; secondly, it helps to pass time productively; thirdly, it assuages fear! Freedom in Exile. The Autobiography of Dalai Lama. P.205.
(...) for myself, early morning is the best time for practice. The mind is at its freshest and sharpest then. I therefore get up around four o'clock. Freedom in Exile. The Autobiography of Dalai Lama. P.205.
But since I know that wrath is destructive of pure prayer, the fact that you cannot control it shows how far you are from such prayer. St. Evagrios the Solitary (345-399 C.E.), quoted in: The Philokalia, Vol. I., P.41.
Prayer is communion of the intellect with God. St. Evagrios the Solitary (345-399 C.E.), quoted in: The Philokalia, Vol. I., P.57.
First pray for the gift of tears, so that through sorrowing you may tame what is savage in your soul. (...) Pray with tears and all you ask will be heard. (...) If you do shed tears during your prayer, do not exalt yourself, thinking you are better than others. (...) do not turn the remedy for passions into a passion, and so again provoke to anger Him who has given you this grace. St. Evagrios the Solitary (345-399 C.E.), quoted in: The Philokalia, Vol. I., P.58.
Prayer is the flower of gentleness and of freedom from anger. (...) Prayer is the fruit of joy and thankfulness. St. Evagrios the Solitary (345-399 C.E.), quoted in: The Philokalia, Vol. I., P.58.
You cannot attain pure prayer while entangled in material things and agitated by constant cares. for prayer means the shedding of thoughts. St. Evagrios the Solitary (345-399 C.E.), quoted in: The Philokalia, Vol. I., P.63-4.
Pray gently and calmly, sing with understanding and rhythm; then you will soar like a young eagle high in the heavens. St. Evagrios the Solitary (345-399 C.E.), quoted in: The Philokalia, Vol. I., P.65
Prayer is the energy which accords with the dignity of the intellect; it is the intellect's true and highest activity. St. Evagrios the Solitary (345-399 C.E.), quoted in: The Philokalia, Vol. I., P.65.
The man who always dedicates his first thoughts to God has perfect prayer. St. Evagrios the Solitary (345-399 C.E.), quoted in: The Philokalia, Vol. I., P.69.
There are many different methods of prayer. No method is harmful; if it were, it would be not prayer but the activity of Satan. St. Mark the Ascetic (4th Century C.E.), quoted in: The Philokalia, Vol. I., P.111.
When the heart begins to recite, the tongue should stop. Pennington, Basil. (1978). O Holy Mountain! Journal of a Retreat on Mount Athos. P.45.
If you want to pray continually, you must be free from responsibility, If you cannot be free, you must further the possibility for others and you will share in the merit of their prayer. Pennington, Basil. (1978). O Holy Mountain! Journal of a Retreat on Mount Athos. P.48.
When you pray, you yourself must be silent. ... You yourself must be silent, let the prayer speak. Colliander, quoted in: Pennington, Basil. (1978). O Holy Mountain! Journal of a Retreat on Mount Athos. P.65.
Prayer is God who works all things in all men. Saint Gregory of Sinai, quoted in: Pennington, Basil. (1978). O Holy Mountain! Journal of a Retreat on Mount Athos. P.65.
Prayer is the fruit of joy and thanksgiving Saint Nilos of Sinai, quoted in: Pennington, Basil. (1978). O Holy Mountain! Journal of a Retreat on Mount Athos. P.174.
Prayer and sacrifice work together. Where there is no sacrifice, there will eventually turn out to be no prayer, and vice versa. Thomas Merton, quoted in: Pennington, Basil. (1978). O Holy Mountain! Journal of a Retreat on Mount Athos. P.271.
I could not move against this wind if I did not pray. And all that is said of me that is untrue would make lame my gait if I could not free myself from the weight of others malice. I could not move against all His light if I did not pray. See how things become: what a change can happen, when we find a way to keep Him close. Rabia (c.717-801), quoted in: Ladinsky Daniel (2002). Love Poems from God. Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West. P.16.
The result of prayer is life. Prayer irrigates the earth and heart. St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226), quoted in: Ladinsky Daniel (2002). Love Poems from God. Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West. P.54.
Last updated: 2008/10/28
See the related subjects: Contemplation, Longing for God, Meditation, Offerings, Prayers