66 Powerful Quotes on Prayer

Will we ever know just how important prayer is?

Prayer is something that I might talk about and write about more than I actually do. That may be true for you as well. As Catherine Marshall once put it: “One can believe intellectually in the efficacy of prayer and never do any praying.” So the obvious purpose of this piece is not to just intellectualise or theologise about prayer, but to spur us on to actually pray – and to pray more.

Thousands of great quotes could be cited here. Some Christians were ‘prayer specialists’ if you will. One thinks of the American clergyman E. M. Bounds (1835–1913) who wrote a number of powerful books on prayer. I feature some of his quotes here: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2020/06/03/prayerless-christians/

Here are 66 more inspiring quotes by 43 Christians to help you and I become the prayer warriors we were meant to be:

“God does not delay to hear our prayers because He has no mind to give; but that, by enlarging our desires, He may give us the more largely.” Anselm of Canterbury

“Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.” Augustine

“Men may spurn our appeals, reject our message, oppose our arguments, despise our persons; but they are helpless against our prayers.” J. Sidlow Baxter

“Men are God’s methods. The Church is looking for better methods; God is looking for better men.” E. M. Bounds

“What the Church needs today is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more and novel methods, but men whom the Holy Ghost can use, men of prayer, men mighty in prayer. The Holy Ghost does not flow through methods, but through men. He does not come on machinery, but on men. He does not anoint plans, but men – men of prayer.” E. M. Bounds

“Talking to men for God is a great thing, but talking to God for men is greater still.” E. M. Bounds

“The men who have most fully illustrated Christ in their character, and have most powerfully affected the world for Him, have been men who have spent so much time with God as to make it a notable feature in their lives.” E. M. Bounds

“The men who have done the most for God in this world have been early on their knees. He who fritters away the early morning, its opportunity and freshness, in other pursuits than seeking God will make poor headway seeking Him the rest of the day. If God is not first in our thoughts and efforts in the morning, He will be in the last place the remainder of the day.” E. M. Bounds

Image of E.M. Bounds on Prayer
E.M. Bounds on Prayer by E. M. Bounds (Author) Amazon logo

“Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men. Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers, pray for powers equal to your task.” Phillips Brooks

“Prayer will make a man cease from sin, or sin will entice a man to cease from prayer.” John Bunyan

“In prayer it is better to have a heart without words than words without a heart.” John Bunyan

“The one concern of the devil is to keep Christians from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work, and prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but trembles when we pray.” Samuel Chadwick

“Prayer does not fit us for the greater work, prayer is the greater work.” Oswald Chambers

“Our ordinary views of prayer are not found in the New Testament. We look upon prayer as a means for getting something for ourselves; the Bible idea of prayer is that we may get to know God Himself.” Oswald Chambers

“Every Christian needs a half-hour of prayer each day, except when he is busy, then he needs an hour.” St Francis De Sales

“The true spirit of prayer is no other than God’s own Spirit dwelling in the hearts of the saints. And as this spirit comes from God, so doth it naturally tend to God in holy breathings and pantings. It naturally leads to God, to converse with him by prayer.” Jonathan Edwards

“Of all the duties enjoined by Christianity none is more essential and yet more neglected than prayer.” François Fénelon

“The devil is aware that one hour of close fellowship, hearty converse with God in prayer, is able to pull down what he hath been contriving and building many a year.” John Flavel

“If you are sick, fast and pray; if the language is hard to learn, fast and pray; if the people will not hear you, fast and pray, if you have nothing to eat, fast and pray.” Frederick Franson

“You cannot pray for someone and hate them at the same time.” Billy Graham

“Satan cannot deny but that great wonders have been wrought by prayer. As the spirit of prayer goes up, so his kingdom goes down.” William Gurnall

“We waste most of our time trying to get God to do something He has already done—or praying for God to do something He told us to do.” Jacquelyn K. Heasley

“I strongly suspect that if we saw all the difference even the tiniest of our prayers make, and all the people those…prayers were destined to affect…we would be so paralyzed with awe…that we would be unable to get up off our knees for the rest of our lives.” Peter Kreeft

“There is a mighty lot of difference between saying prayers and praying.” John G. Lake

“There is nothing that makes us love a man so much as praying for him.” William Law

“In Gethsemane the holiest of all petitioners prayed three times that a certain cup might pass from Him. It did not.” C. S. Lewis

“I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had absolutely no other place to go.” Abraham Lincoln

“You will find that the outstanding characteristic of all the most saintly people the world has ever known has been that they have not only spent much time in private prayer, but have also delighted in it.” Martyn Lloyd-Jones

“Always respond to every impulse to pray. The impulse to pray may come when you are reading or when you are battling with a text. I would make an absolute law of this – always obey such an impulse.” Martyn Lloyd-Jones

“Pray, and let God worry.” Martin Luther

“Christians fight best on their knees. Whatever good may be done is done and brought about by prayer.” Martin Luther

“I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.” Martin Luther

“The greatest tragedy of life is not unanswered prayer, but unoffered prayer.” F. B. Meyer

“I’d rather be able to pray than to be a great preacher. Jesus Christ never taught his disciples how to preach, but only how to pray.” D. L. Moody

“Every great movement of God can be traced to a kneeling figure.” D. L. Moody

“Some people pray just to pray and some people pray to know God.” Andrew Murray

“Faith in a prayer-hearing God will make a prayer-loving Christian.” Andrew Murray

“Think of what He can do, and how He delights to hear the prayers of His redeemed people. Think of your place and privilege in Christ, and expect great things!” Andrew Murray

“Why is it so important that you are with God and God alone on the mountain top? It’s important because it’s the place in which you can listen to the voice of the One who calls you the beloved. To pray is to listen to the One who calls you “my beloved daughter,” “my beloved son,” “my beloved child.” To pray is to let that voice speak to the center of your being, to your guts, and let that voice resound in your whole being.” Henri Nouwen

“History is silent about revivals that did not begin with prayer.” Edwin Orr

“Prayer is not so much an act as it is an attitude—an attitude of dependency, dependency upon God.” Arthur W. Pink

“The renewal of the Church will depend on the renewal of our prayer life.” Praying Hyde

“Prayer is taxing. Prayer is exacting. Prayer means enduring. Prayer means dying to self, a daily dying by choice.” Leonard Ravenhill

“Do you know what the most eloquent prayer is? When you don’t say a word!” Leonard Ravenhill

“Notice, we never pray for folks we gossip about, and we never gossip about the folk for whom we pray! For prayer is a great deterrent.” Leonard Ravenhill

“The more self-confidence you have, the less you pray. The less self-confidence you have, the more you have to pray.” Leonard Ravenhill

“Men who prayed most accomplished most. Lasting prayers bring lasting revivals. Prayer does not condition God; prayer conditions us. Prayer does not win God to our view; it reveals God’s view to us.” Leonard Ravenhill

“It is interesting to note that the disciples did not request, ‘Lord, teach us to preach’. They said, ‘Lord, teach us to pray’.” Leonard Ravenhill

“Prayer needs neither learning, wisdom or book knowledge to begin it. It needs nothing but heart and will.” J. C. Ryle

“Let us resolve by God’s grace that, however feeble and poor our prayers may seem to us, we will pray on.” J. C. Ryle

“How different the world would look, how different the state of our nation would be, if there were more sanctified priestly souls! These are souls who have the power to bless, for they intercede with sanctified hearts. They never begin their daily time of intercessory prayer without having first brought to the cross all that is unholy in their lives, so that their old self can be crucified there with Jesus, the sacrificial Lamb.” Basilea Schlink

“God can pick sense out of a confused prayer.” Richard Sibbes

“Prayer is the lisping of the believing infant, the shout of the fighting believer, the requiem of the dying saint falling asleep in Jesus. It is the breath, the watchword, the comfort, the strength, and honor of a Christian.” C. H. Spurgeon

“There is a general kind of praying which fails for lack of precision. It is as if a regiment of soldiers should all fire off their guns anywhere. Possibly somebody would be killed, but the majority of the enemy would be missed.” C. H. Spurgeon

“The condition of the church may be very accurately gauged by its prayer meetings.” C. H. Spurgeon

“When I pray, coincidences happen, and when I don’t pray, they don’t.” William Temple

“Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?” Corrie Ten Boom

“When a Christian shuns fellowship with other Christians, the devil smiles. When he stops studying the Bible, the devil laughs. When he stops praying, the devil shouts for joy.” Corrie Ten Boom

“We are too busy to pray, and so we are too busy to have power. We have a great deal of activity, but we accomplish little; there are many services, but few conversions.” R. A. Torrey

“The key to prayer is simply praying.” A. W. Tozer.

“The angel fetched Peter out of prison, but it was prayer that fetched the angel.” Thomas Watson

“Prayer delights God’s ear; it melts His heart.” Thomas Watson

“I have so much to do that I spend several hours in prayer before I am able to do it.” John Wesley

“God does nothing but in response to prayer.” John Wesley

“I don’t often spend more than half an hour in prayer at one time. But I never go more than half an hour without praying.” Smith Wigglesworth

“I must secure more time for private devotions. I have been living far too public for me. The shortening of devotions starves the soul, it grows lean and faint. I have been keeping too late hours.” William Wilberforce

[1956 words]

5 Replies to “66 Powerful Quotes on Prayer”

  1. The greatest proof of the God’s power in answering prayer is in Jeremiah 7:16 when God asks Jeremiah NOT to pray: “So do not pray for this people nor offer any plea or petition for them; do not plead with me, for I will not listen to you.”

  2. Thanks Dean. Yes I count at least 4 passages on this:

    Jer 7:16 So do not pray for this people nor offer any plea or petition for them; do not plead with me, for I will not listen to you. 
    Jer 11:14 Do not pray for this people nor offer any plea or petition for them, because I will not listen when they call to me in the time of their distress.
    Jer 14:11 “Then the Lord said to me, ‘Do not pray for the well-being of this people’.”
    1 John 5:16 If anyone sees his brother commit a sin that does not lead to death, he should pray and God will give him life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that he should pray about that.

  3. “The condition of the church may be very accurately gauged by its prayer meetings,” said Charles H. Spurgeon (1834–1892), in one of the quotes you provide above.
    His observation is unforgettably illustrated by the following incident:
    “Five college students visited London one Sunday to hear Charles Spurgeon preach at The Metropolitan Tabernacle. They arrived early and were met by a kind gentleman who offered to give them a tour. At one point he asked them if they would like to see the furnace room in the basement. It was a hot July day and the students were not interested. But not wanting to appear rude, they consented. Their guide quietly opened the door and there in the basement of the Metropolitan Tabernacle there were several hundred people fervently praying for the service that was about to begin. It was then that their guide introduced himself. He was none other than Charles Spurgeon himself.”

  4. Our church has just started a teaching/preaching series on prayer, especially focusing on corporate prayer.

    We took our cue from Spurgeon’s description of the “Engine Room” of the Metropolitan Tabernacle: the basement prayer room.

    We are using Jim Cymbala’s “When God’s People Pray” as our small group study book.

    Personal prayer can be greatly helped these days with our phone computer technology, too. I use Prayermate from the UK (https://www.prayermate.net/app for shameless promotion 🙂 ) as my daily prayer assistant, keeping my prayer notes organised. It also has a group feature for churches to use it for all members. I am sure it isn’t the only tool available.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *