I am getting ready to teach a class on prayer, and rounded up some of my favorite quotes about prayer, outside of Scripture. (Some of these are included in a previous post, “What Do I Believe about Prayer?”) Do you have any favorite quotes about prayer that I have not included? I’d love for you to share them with me!


“Prayer is a refusal to settle for what is.” – Walter Brueggemann

“To clasp the hands in prayer is the beginning of an uprising against the disorder of the world.” – Karl Barth

“Prayer gets us in on what God is doing.“ – Eugene Peterson

“Prayer is the test of everything; prayer is also the source of everything; prayer is the driving force of everything; prayer is also the director of everything. If prayer is right, everything is right.” – St. Theophan the Recluse

“Whatever good may be done is done and brought about by prayer.” – Martin Luther 

“True, whole prayer is nothing but love.” – St. Augustine

“Real prayer comes not from gritting teeth but from falling in love.” – Richard Foster

“Prayer is not something you do. It is something, finally, you are.” – Richard Rohr

“True prayer is a way of life, not just for use in cases of emergency.” – Billy Graham

“If you want a life of prayer, the way to get it is by praying.” – Thomas Merton

“The most important thing in prayer is that we present ourselves as we are before God as He is.” – Thomas Merton 

“The prayer preceding all prayers is ‘May it be the real I who speaks. May it be the real Thou that I speak to.’“ – C.S. Lewis

“Prayer is not an escape from the world but an entrance into it.” – Ann & Barry Ulanov

“The only way to pray is to pray; and the way to pray well is to pray much.” – Dom Chapman

“Pray as you can, not as you can’t.” – Dom Chapman

“The desire for prayer is prayer, the prayer of desire.“ – Mary Clare Vincent

“Every religion that is worth its salt has taught people how to pray.” – William Johnston

“Prayer is not asking. Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at his disposition, and listening to his voice in the depths of our hearts.“ – Mother Teresa

“Prayer changes the world because it first changes us.” – Laurence Freeman

“More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.” – Alfred Lord Tennyson

“The root of all prayer is interior silence.“ – Thomas Keating

“Talk in prayer is essential but it is also partial.  Silence is also essential.“ – Eugene Peterson

“If we wish to pray with confidence and gladness, then the words of Holy Scripture will have to be the solid basis of our prayer.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“A prayer life that does not stick to Scripture will soon become poor in ideas, poor in faith, poor in love, and will finally die.” – Adolf Koberle

“Prayer requires both silence and crying out at the same time, both in the presence of God in response to God’s Word.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“Whoever does not pray at determined times does not pray at undetermined ones.” – Claus Harms

“The need for prayer has never been greater than it is at this time, and it will be still greater from now on till the end of time.” – Martin Luther 

“A life of prayer is a life of beginning all over again.“ – Charles Cummings

5 thoughts on “My Favorite Quotes about Prayer (Outside of Scripture)

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