The Spirit prays even when we cannot bear to.


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Home For the Seeking Spirit Prayer Resources

Don't pray to God without listening.

References on Praying

There are all sorts of references on this page, to books, sites, Bible passages, and other material on prayer and praying. And this just scratches the surface. The thing to remember in using these is to use them prayerfully and attentively. Prayerfully, that the Spirit may use these to develop a way of living prayer that's really from your own self. Attentively, because the Spirit will show you various lessons at various times, and many doors will open and close -- even how to know when not to be attentive and just be in prayer. Prayer is a valuable, lifelong journey. Hopefully, you've already taken steps on that road. The information below should help you with further steps.

Some books on prayer

Ole Hallesby, *Prayer* (Augsburg; orig. 1931, repr. 1994)

Anthony Bloom, *Beginning To Pray* (Paulist, 1979)
George Buttrick, *Prayer* (Abingdon, 1942)
Judson Cornwall, *Praying the Scriptures* (Creation House, 1990)
Richard Foster, *Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home* (Harper, 1992)
Romano Guardini, *Prayer In Practice* (Pantheon, 1957)
Jeanne Guyon, *Experiencing God Through Prayer* (Whitaker, 1984)
David Hansen, *Long Wandering Prayer* (Bible Reading Fellowship)
Jane Holloway, *Prayer For Amateurs* (Hodder & Stoughton)
Timothy Jones, *The Art of Prayer* (Ballantine, 1997)
Lyn Klug, *Praying : Meeting God In Daily Life* (Augsburg Fortress, 1995)
Kenneth Leech, *True Prayer* (Harper, 1980)
C.S. Lewis, *Letters To Malcolm* (Harcourt Brace, 1964)
Leanne Payne, *Listening Prayer: Learning to Hear God's Voice* (Baker)
Bjorn Pedersen, *Face To Face With God In Your Church: Establishing A Prayer Ministry* (Augsburg, 1995)
M. Basil Pennington, *Centering Prayer* (Image, 1980)
Joseph Schmidt, *Praying Our Experiences* (St. Mary's Press, 1989)
Kenneth Swanson, *Uncommon Prayer: Approaching Intimacy With God* (Ballantine, 1987)
Theresa of Avila, *The Interior Castle* (Paulist, 1979)
R.A. Torrey, *The Power Of Prayer* (Zondervan, 1955)
Alvin VanderGriend w. Edith Bajema, *The Praying Church Sourcebook* (Church Development Resources, 1997)
Norvene Vest, *Gathered In the Word : Praying the Scripture in Small Groups* (Upper Room)
C. Peter Wagner, *Churches That Pray* (Regal, 1993)
Timothy Ware, ed., *The Art of Prayer: A Orthodox Anthology* (Faber and Faber, 1966)

There's also a list of books to help you pray without ceasing.

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Prayer is the most essential act of the spiritual life.

A good way to learn about Christian prayer practice is to set aside some time each week (say, an hour), and go down the list. Check the site out thoroughly, maybe even save or print some pages for further study. Keep doing this weekly discipline until you've visited each site. If you stop before that, you may not get the full picture.

Prayer is no place to practice contortions.

Bible passages on prayer

(click on 'em!)

Isaiah 65:24; Jeremiah 33:3; 2 Chronicles 7:14; Matthew 7:7, 21-22;
Mark 11:22-26; Luke 18:1-6; Luke 11:1-13; John 15:7,16;
Romans 8:26; Ephesians 6:18-19; Colossians 4:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18;
James 5:16; 1 Peter 3:12; Revelation 8:3-4.

The Spirit prays with and for you when you can't


"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

"Tell God all that is in your heart, as one unloads one's heart, its pleasures and its pains, to a dear friend. Tell God your troubles, that God may comfort you; tell God your joys, that God may sober them; tell God your longings, that God may purify them; tell God your dislikes, that God may help you conquer them; talk to God of your temptations, that God may shield you from them: show God the wounds of your heart, that God may heal them. If you thus pour out all your weaknesses, needs, troubles, there will be no lack of what to say. Talk out of the abundance of the heart, without consideration say just what you think. Blessed are they who attain to such familiar, unreserved intercourse with God."
Francois Fenelon

"Prayers do shape the future in ways different from what would have been the case had no prayers been uttered. And this is because of the kind of God to whom the prayers are spoken. .... God is open to taking new directions and changing courses in view of the interaction between God and people. Yet always in view will be God's salvific will for all."
Terence Fretheim, 'Creating Space In the World For God', in *A Primer On Prayer*, ed. Paul Sponheim (Fortress, 1988) p. 61. Emphasis is in the original.

Heaven is full of answers to prayers for which no one ever bothered to ask.
Billy Graham

"Certain thoughts are prayers. There are moments when, whatever be the attitude of the body, the soul is on its knees."
Victor Hugo

"Don't pray when it rains if you don't pray when the sun shines."
Leroy 'Satchel' Paige

"The Third Petition of the Lord's Prayer is repeated daily by millions who have not the slightest intention of letting anyone's will be done but their own."
Aldous Huxley

"Think of prayer less as an activity for God and more as an awareness of God. Seek to live in uninterrupted awareness. Acknowledge His presence everywhere you go."
Max Lucado, Today's Christian, November/December 2004

"Even if you did nothing in your meditation but bring your heart back, and place it again in our Lord's presence, though it went away again every time you brought it back, your hour would be very well employed."
Francis deSales

"You will never learn how to pray until you are moved enough to weep."

"The pursuit of a prayerful life of simple love and discipline sets us in isolation from and opposition to the mainstream, mammon-directed culture in which we live. We become deserters from technocracy, disaffiliating ourselves from its power, rejecting its false values. To pray is to drop out in the most profound and positive sense."
, *True Prayer* (Harper, 1980), p.81

"Prayer is the breath of your life which gives you the freedom to go and stay where you wish and to find the many signs which point out the way to a new land."
, *With Open Hands*

"What men usually ask of God when they pray is that two and two not make four."

"Prayer puts us on the potter's wheel, reshaping us to be God's vessels. As we beg that God's will be done on earth as it is in heaven, we present ourselves to God to do it."
from *Churches That Make A Difference*, Olson / Unruh / Sider (Baker, 2002), p. 142

"God has instituted prayer so as to confer upon his creatures the dignity of being causes."

There is a place where thou canst touch the eyes
Of blinded men to instant, perfect sight;
There is a place where thou canst say, "Arise"
To dying captives, bound in chains of night;
There is a place where thou canst reach the store
Of hoarded gold and free it for the Lord;
There is a place--upon some distant shore--
Where thou canst send the worker and the Word.
Where is that secret place--dost thou ask, "Where?"
O soul, it is the secret place of prayer!

"Learning to pray is the way Christians discover how to speak. The primary language of the church is the way of prayer -- because in prayer the practice and the language are inseparable."
William Willimon and , *Where Resident Aliens Live*, p. 42

"You may pray for an hour and still not pray. You may meet God for a moment and then be in touch with Him all day."
Fredrik Wisloff, *I Believe In the Holy Spirit* (Augsburg)

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