31 Days of Prayer: Day 24 – Fifty great quotes on prayer

Quotation MarksAs I was putting together ’31 Days of Prayer’, I scoured books and websites for quotes on prayer that would encourage and inspire me in my own prayer life, and would help as I wrote this series. Over the course of these 31 days, not all the quotes are going to find their way into the posts, but they’re just too good to pass up. So, here are 50 of the best quotes on prayer that I could find. Be challenged and encouraged by the insights of God’s people! Which is your favourite?

“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)

“Prayer is the most tangible expression of trust in God.” (Jerry Bridges)

“The great antidote to anxiety is to come to God in prayer. We are to pray about everything. Nothing is too big for Him to handle, and nothing is too small to escape His attention.” (Jerry Bridges)

“Our prayer must not be self-centered. It must arise not only because we feel our own need as a burden we must lay upon God, but also because we are so bound up in love for our fellow men that we feel their need as acutely as our own. To make intercession for men is the most powerful and practical way in which we can express our love for them.” (John Calvin)

“To know God as the sovereign disposer of all good, inviting us to present our requests, and yet not to approach or ask of him, were so far from availing us, that it were just as if one told of a treasure were to allow it to remain buried in the ground.” (John Calvin)

“We ought to contemplate providence not as curious and fickle persons are wont to do but as a ground of confidence and excitement to prayer. When he informs us that the hairs of our head are all numbered it is not to encourage trivial speculations but to instruct us to depend on the fatherly care of God which is exercised over these frail bodies.” (John Calvin)

“Believers do not pray, with the view of informing God about things unknown to him, or of exciting him to do his duty, or of urging him as though he were reluctant. On the contrary, they pray, in order that they may arouse themselves to seek him, that they may exercise their faith in meditating on his promises, that they may relieve themselves from their anxieties by pouring them into his bosom; in a word, that they may declare that from Him alone they hope and expect, both for themselves and for others, all good things.” (John Calvin)

“All of us would be wiser if we would resolve never to put people down, except on our prayer lists.” (D.A. Carson)

“You can greatly improve your prayer life if you combine these first two principles: set apart time for praying, and then use practical ways to impede mental drift.” (D.A. Carson)

“The unvarnished truth is that what we most frequently give thanks for betrays what we most highly value.” (D.A. Carson)

“Effective prayer is the fruit of a relationship with God, not a technique for acquiring blessings.” (D.A. Carson)

“Prayer is not like a good recipe: simply follow a set of mechanical directions and everything turns out right in the end.” (D.A. Carson)

“We cannot justify our relative prayerlessness by saying that those who are peculiarly effective are more gifted than we.” (D.A. Carson)

“We will not grow in prayer unless we plan to pray.” (D.A. Carson)

“People do not drift toward Holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. … We slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated.” (D.A. Carson)

“Prayer does not fit us for the greater works; prayer is the greater work.” (Oswald Chambers)

“Prayer is the battle; it is a matter of indifference where you are. Whichever way God engineers circumstances, the duty is to pray.” (Oswald Chambers)

“Prayer is a child asking her Father for help – nothing more, nothing less.” (Tim Chester)

“I’m not a great pray-er. I’m easily distracted. … But in Jesus and through Jesus, I’m a great pray-er. I pray prayers that God delights to hear and delights to answer.” (Tim Chester)

“In many ways, it’s a mistake to focus on prayer itself, as if prayer was some kind of skill to be acquired. All that a child needs to know is that she is needy and her father loves her. And all you need to know to pray well is that you’re needy and your heavenly Father loves you.” (Tim Chester)

“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.” (Jonathan Edwards)

“There is no way that Christians, in a private capacity, can do so much to promote the work of God and advance the kingdom of Christ as by prayer.” (Jonathan Edwards)

“The mighty, all-powerful God, who by rights should destroy us as his enemies, has instead reached out to us in love, wiped away our sins, and adopted us as his own children. He has become our Father, and he allows us to approach him and pour out our requests to him at any time, promising that he will hear us and give us every good gift. This is the first, and in a sense the only, necessary reason for prayer.” (Phillip Jensen)

“The true posture for prayer is repentance and humility. We approach the holy God in prayer only through his grace to us in Jesus Christ.” (Phillip Jensen)

“God will answer your prayers as though you had asked for what you would have asked for, had you known what He knows.” (Tim Keller)

“To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.” (Martin Luther)

“We pray because we are unworthy to pray. Our prayers are heard precisely because we believe that we are unworthy. We become worthy to pray when we risk everything on God’s faithfulness alone.” (Martin Luther)

“Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance, but laying hold of God’s willingness.” (Martin Luther)

“God will either give u what you ask for, 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)

“Next to the wonder of seeing my Savior will be, I think, the wonder that I made so little use of the power of prayer.” (D.L. Moody)

“The prayer of a Christian is not an attempt to force God’s hand, but a humble acknowledgment of helplessness and dependence.” (J.I. Packer)

“Prayer is the way and means God has appointed for the communication of the blessings of His goodness to His people.” (Arthur W. Pink)

“One of the great uses of Twitter and Facebook will be to prove at the Last Day that prayerlessness was not from lack of time.” (John Piper)

“Prayer is a huge hole in the canvas of the Reformed resurgence.” (Attributed to John Piper)

“God is not an employer looking for employees. He is an Eagle looking for people who will take refuge under his wings.” (John Piper)

“Prayer is a wartime walkie talkie for spiritual warfare, not a domestic intercom to increase the comforts of the saints.” (John Piper)

“Prayer is one of God’s appointed means of bringing the elect to faith.” (John Piper)

“Instead of imagining all the things we can accomplish, we ask God to do what only he can accomplish. Yes, we work, we plan, we organise, and we create, but we do it all while we fast, while we pray, and while we constantly confess our need for the provision of God.” (David Platt)

“Perhaps the greatest hindrance to the spread of the Gospel today is the people of God trying to do the work of God apart from the power and presence of God.” (David Platt)

“Fear not because your prayer is stammering, your words feeble, and your language poor. Jesus can understand you.” (J.C. Ryle)

“Praying and sinning will never live together in the same heart. Prayer will consume sin, or sin will choke prayer.” (J.C. Ryle)

“What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
Oh what peace we often forfeit, oh what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer!” (Joseph Scriven)

“Whether we like it or not, asking is the rule of the Kingdom. If you may have everything by asking in his name, and nothing without asking, I beg you to see how absolutely vital prayer is.” (Charles 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.” (Charles Spurgeon)

“Shall I give you yet another reason why you should pray? I have preached my very heart out. I could not say any more than I have said. Will not your prayers accomplish that which my preaching fails to do? Is it not likely that the Church has been putting forth its preaching hand but not its praying hand? Oh dear friends! Let us agonize in prayer.” (Charles Spurgeon)

“I would rather teach one man to pray than ten men to preach.” (Charles Spurgeon)

“Whether we like it or not, asking is the rule of the kingdom.” (Charles Spurgeon)

“Prayer is the open admission that without Christ we can do nothing. And prayer is the turning away from ourselves to God in the confidence that He will provide the help we need. Prayer humbles us as needy, and exalts God as wealthy.” (A.W. Tozer)

“Prayer is never an acceptable substitute for obedience. The sovereign Lord accepts no offering from His creatures that is not accompanied by obedience. To pray for revival while ignoring or actually flouting the plain precept laid down in the Scriptures is to waste a lot of words and get nothing for our trouble.” (Tozer)



2 thoughts on “31 Days of Prayer: Day 24 – Fifty great quotes on prayer

  1. My favorite: “God will either give you what you ask for, or something far better.” (Robert Murray M’Cheyne) I’m thinking of the “No” answers I’ve received to some prayers. What if I express my faith by saying, “God, I don’t know why this request was denied, but I do know YOU, my loving Heavenly Father. I know I can trust you, even though I don’t understand. So I’m trusting you have something far better planned than what I prayed for. And thank you in advance for making this circumstance work for the good of those who love you and are called according to your purpose” (Romans 8:28).

    Thanks, JD!

  2. I really like this list of quotes. I Too believe that prayer is ultimate trust and reliance on God. It shows ultimate faith in Him and allows Him to work in our lives. Thank you for compiling this. Great Job!

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