Favorite Prayer Quotes

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Rev. Laurie Barnes, Pastor of Prayer and Congregational Care at the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection writes…

I attended a Franklin-Covey Time Management Seminar this week.  (It was excellent, by the way, and I would highly recommend it.)  Because I have been employed by churches for twenty years, it always comes as a bit of a shock to me when I attend a seminar that doesn’t begin and end in prayer!  Clearly, I need to get out in the “real world” more often.

During the breaks, the power-point presentation would flash interesting little quotes, most dealing with time and time management, on the screen as the clock counted down the time until the seminar would begin again.  The quotes were interesting and I even wrote down a few.  But it occurred to me that I need to gather some favorite prayer quotes and use them in that way the next time I give a prayer presentation.  Here are five of my favorite prayer quotes.  At least, they are my favorites this week!

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

“In prayer we shift the center of living from self-consciousness to self-surrender.”  Abraham Joshua Heschel

“Hurry is the death of prayer.”  Samuel Chadwick

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

“Going a little farther, Jesus fell with his face to the ground and prayed, ‘My father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me.  Yet not as I will, but as you will.”   Jesus  (Matthew 26:39)

What are some of your favorite prayer quotes?

Saying I’ll Pray for You…

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“I will pray for you.”  We say that a lot, but what does it really mean?  Blogger John Acuff (check him out at http://stuffchristianslike.blogspot.com) suggests that saying “I’ll pray for you” is often the Christian equivalent of ending a date by saying “I’ll give you a call.”  Do we say it and not really mean it?  What is intercessory prayer anyway, and why should we mean it when we tell someone we will pray for them?

In intercessory prayer, we move from praying for our own needs to praying for the needs and concerns of others. We are called to prayer for one another. “Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints.” (Eph 6.18)

Richard Foster, in his book, Prayer: Finding Heart’s True Home, says “…we have the honor of going before the Most High on behalf of others. This is not optional; it is a sacred obligation – and a precious privilege – of all who take up the yoke of Christ.”

Jesus prayed for his disciples (Luke 17:1-19), and he prayed for all the believers who would follow (that’s you and me).  On the cross, he prayed for those who crucified him.

When we first think about praying unselfishly, praying in a spirit of intercession, our minds turn toward major events:  severe illnesses, a life crisis like a divorce or a mental breakdown, a bad accident – of course these are things we pray about, but they are not the only things we should pray about. Peter wrote, “cast your cares on the Lord, because he cares for you,” and that does not mean only your BIG cares. A teenager who is struggling, not with drug addiction but with Algebra, is someone we can pray for – an elderly person facing, not Alzheimer’s, but loneliness because she’s had to move from her longtime home town, is someone we can pray for. The Bible does not give us some kind of “importance” scale by which to measure whether something is or is not important enough to “bother” God with – that’s one of the advantages of communicating with God.

We receive over 100 prayer requests weekly in Congregational Care here at Church of the Resurrection.  We get prayer requests for people who are critically ill, and for people who are sick in spirit.  Lately, as you can imagine, we get a lot of requests from people who are out of work, out of money, and nearly out of hope. Not too long ago, we got a wonderful prayer request from a child who wanted us to pray that God would help him be a good “Dad” to his new pet hamster.

We don’t want our promise to pray for these requests to be the Christian equivalent of telling a date “I’ll call.”  We want to follow Christ’s example and pray hard and long for those who have blessed us with the opportunity to join them in praying for their lives.

You can experience this precious privilege every week.  Sign up to pray with a Covenant Prayer Team at www.cor.org/prayer.  There are 16 different prayer teams, and you can join one or more of them and receive requests for prayer via email.  I guarantee you will be blessed.

A Prayer for our New President

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Tuesday will be an important day in history for all Americans.  Though most of us will not be in Washington, we can support the new President of the United States in prayer as he takes office.  Join us in this prayer for President Barak Obama:

God of Hope and Light,
we pray your richest blessings on Barak Obama as he takes the oath of office this week and becomes President of the United States.

We ask that his transition into office go smoothly.

Give him courage and strength of commitment and purpose on a daily basis.

Stay close to him and help him rest in your presence.  Keep him, and his wife and daughters safe and well. Guide and protect them as they adjust to all the changes in their lives.

And Lord, we ask that you nudge each of our hearts daily to remind us to pray for President Obama and his family.

In Christ’s name we pray,

Praying for Peace – Jennifer Creagar 1.9.09

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Prayers for peace are filling my mind and heart these days.  Violence, fear, and war, and distress seem to be everywhere.   And I long for peace, as I’m sure you do.  Peace in the world.  Peace in the hearts and lives of friends and family.  Peace in our own hearts and lives.  Jesus came to be the source of peace in the world.  Spend some time this week in conversation with him, praying for peace.

Before you begin:

•    Be silent for a few minutes. Listen to your body, feel each breath. Let peace wash over you as you put aside the cares of your day for a time. Lay them aside. You can always pick them right back up later.
•    Pray for the peace in the world. Reflect on Jesus words:
”I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33
•    Pray for peace in your own life. Ask God to quiet the fears and concerns you are carrying, and replace them with his own peace. Jesus said:
”Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27
•    Pray for peace in the hearts and lives of your family, your friends, the people you will meet on the street today…anyone who comes to mind. Ask God to grant them full knowledge of this verse from Philippians:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

End your prayer time with this prayer, adapted from an ancient Gaelic Blessing:

Deep peace of the quiet earth to us all
Deep peace of the shining stars to us all
Deep peace of the gentle night to us all
Moon and stars pour out their healing light to us all
Deep peace to us all, deep peace to us all.  Amen.

Prayer as Lifestyle not just Event

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Pastor Laurie Barnes writes:

In my on-going collection of definitions of prayer, I recently added another definition; “prayer is struggle.”  The following excerpt, from The Struggle of Prayer by Donald G. Bloesch, is helpful in expanding on this thought:


“The biblical Christian can only pray empty-handed, as the thirteenth-century Dominican preacher William Peraldus expressed it.  Or, as Augustine observed, ‘The best disposition for praying is that of being desolate, forsaken, stripped of everything.’  Unlike the ritualist, we know that any sacrifice we bring before God is stained by sin and therefore unworthy of acceptance apart from the mediation and intercession of Jesus Christ.  Our hope depends not on the right technique or the proper phrase or gesture, which borders on magic, but on the promises of God to look with favor on those who throw themselves on His mercy and who acknowledge the efficacy of the atoning sacrifice of his Son, Jesus Christ, for their redemption. As I see it, true prayer is neither mystical rapture nor ritual observance nor philosophical reflection: it is the outpouring of the soul before a living God, the crying to God ‘out of the depths.’ Such prayer can only be uttered by one convicted of sin by the grace of God and moved to confession by the Spirit of God.  True prayer is an encounter with the Holy in which we realize not only our creatureliness and guilt but also the joy of knowing that our sins are forgiven through the atoning death of the divine savior, Jesus Christ.  In such an encounter, we are impelled not only to bow before God and seek his mercy but also to offer thanksgiving for grace that goes out to undeserving sinners.”


As we enter into this New Year, it is my goal to help Resurrection people move from the mindset of prayer as just an event (such as a once a week pastoral prayer in worship or a once a year National Day of Prayer) to a lifestyle.  A lifestyle where we recognize prayer not as something that requires the “right technique” or the “proper phrase or gesture” but as an “encounter with the Holy.”

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