Prayer

[Paraphrase] Action should be something added to the life of prayer, not something taken away from it.

Prayer is the most perfect and most divine action that a rational soul is capable of. It is of all actions and duties the most indispensably necessary.

The aim and end of prayer is to revere, to recognize and to adore the sovereign majesty of God, through what he is in Himself rather than what he is in regard to us, and rather to love his goodness by the love of that goodness itself than for what it sends us.

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

Every wish is like a prayer with God.

Suffering should lead man to self-inspection... to the admission of errors... and to prayer and forgiveness.

Sooner mayest thou trust thy pocket to a pickpocket than give loyal friendship to the man who boasts of eyes to which the heart never mounts in dew! Only when man weeps he should be alone, not because tars are weak, but they should be secret. Tears are akin to prayer - Pharisees parade prayers, impostors parade tears.

The best answer to all objections urged against prayer is that fact that man cannot help praying; for we may be sure that which is so spontaneous and ineradicable in human nature has its fitting objects and methods in the arrangement of a boundless Providence.

The deepest life of nature is silent and obscure; so often the elements that move and mould society are the results of the sister’s counsel and the mother’s prayer.

Prayer requires more of the heart than of the tongue.

There are two principal points of attention necessary for the preservation of this constant spirit of prayer which unites us with God; we must continually seek to cherish it, and we must avoid everything that tends to make us lose it.

Prayer is confession of one's own unworthiness and weakness.

Prayer is not an old woman's idle amusement. Properly understood and applied, it is the most potent instrument of action.

Brotherhood doesn't come in a package. It is not a commodity to be taken down from the shelf with one hand - it is an accomplishment of soul-searching prayer, and perseverance... The spontaneous feeling of brotherhood is a mark of human maturity.

Prayer is intended to increase the devotion of the individual, but if the individual himself prays he requires no formula; he pours himself forth much more naturally in self-chosen and connected thoughts before God, and scarcely requires words at all. Real inward devotion knows no prayer but that arising form the depths of its own feelings.

Adoration is an activity of the loving, but still separate individuality. Contemplation is the state of union with the divine Ground of all being. The highest prayer is the most passive. Inevitably; for the less there is of self, the more there is of God.

Self-knowledge leading to self-hatred and humility, is the condition of the love and knowledge of God. Spiritual exercises that make use of distractions have this great merit, that they increase self-knowledge. Every soul that approaches God must be aware of who and what it is. To practice a form of mental or vocal prayer that is, so to speak, above one’s moral station is to act a lie: and the consequences of such lying are wrong notions about God, idolatrous worship of private and unrealistic phantasies and (for lack of the humility of self-knowledge) spiritual pride.

As my prayer became more attentive and inward I had less and less to say. I finally became completely silent. I started to listen - which is even the further removed from speaking. I first thought that praying entailed speaking. I then learnt that praying is hearing, not merely being silent. This is how it is. To pray does not mean to listen to oneself speaking. Prayer involves becoming silent, and being silent, and waiting until God is heard.

Begin in prayer; continue in prayer; end in prayer; All the help that we have in the conversation of the children comes from God. We cannot convert their souls, but God can by the influence of His Spirit. When we study our lessons, let us go first for illumination to God, that we may so impress it on the minds and hearts of those we are teaching, that they may bring forth fruit for salvation; that they may see our earnestness.

The Divine Mind communicates with the human mind through the imagination. A prayer, therefore, should be offered in the form of a mental image. Man must visualize the thing he desires, he must use his imaginative powers to form his petition in terms clearly outlined in his own mind. The profound concentration of attention and thought which this form of prayer requires fills also the heart with deep earnestness and devotion. Man must pray whole-heartedly as well as wholemindedly; he must believe in his heart that his well-being depends completely upon his prayer.