Since 2010, America has been fascinated with a History Channel television reality series named American Pickers. The camera follows Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz as they scour the country looking for antiques and collectible items. Mike has a penchant for old motorcycles; Frank adores antique toys. Regardless, these two fun-loving, affable characters scrounge through dilapidated barns, musty basements, and cramped attics searching, or “picking,” for unique hidden treasures.
I too am a collector of sorts.
I collected Olympic pins from the 1996 Atlanta Games. I collect golf balls with the logo of the courses I play. I used to collect matchbooks from restaurants until the size of my collection became a fire hazard. My “collectibles” however, have little value other than to spark a fond memory. Though I probably shouldn’t use the word “spark” in reference to matchbooks. Ah, but I do have a collection whose value is infinite, whose worth cannot be measured in dollars and cents.
Quotes. I collect quotes.
They may be funny, inspirational or motivational. Nevertheless, whenever I stumble across words worth remembering, I write them down. These golden proverbs, insights, axioms, and words of wisdom are for me the seeds of faith, virtue, and character. They help keep the mind focused on that which is good and righteous.
One of my favorite areas of focus is collecting quotes relating to prayer.
When I became a Christian at the age of 18, I soon realized that prayer is an integral part of a dynamic faith life. Cynics and non-theists may consider such behavior as nothing more than wishful thinking. My life experience suggests otherwise. So I have collected quotes on prayer from across the Christian spectrum. These insights are more than just a collectible to be displayed, framed, or documented in a book. They are a spiritual feast to be savored.
Speaking of prayer, did you know that America has a history of proclaiming National Days of Prayer dating back to the Second Continental Congress in 1775? In 1952, Congress formally designated the first Thursday in May as the annual day of observance. This year’s National Day of Prayer is May 3rd when Christians across this country are being urged to take a few minutes and pray for our country, our leaders, our churches and our homes. In anticipation of this day of national humility, I went back and culled through my collection of prayer quotes, and have included a few below.
I pray you will be just as delighted to behold them as when American Pickers Mike Wolfe jubilantly discovers a vintage jukebox.
After all, these are the greatest collectible of all.
God Bless America!
Favorite Quotes on Prayer
John Wesley, Founder of Methodism (1703-1791)
“God does nothing but in answer to prayer.”
C.S. Lewis, British Academic and Christian Apologist (1898-1963)
“May it be the real I who speaks, may it be the real Thou I speak to.”
Oswald Chambers – Quotes from “My Utmost for His Highest” (1874-1917)
“The point of prayer is not to get answers from God, but to have perfect and complete oneness with Him.” (August 6th)
“To say that ‘prayer changes things’ is not as close to the truth as saying ‘Prayer changes me and then I change things’.” (August 28th)
“The shortest distance between a problem and a solution is the distance between my knees and the floor.”
Warren Wiersbe, Christian Pastor and Writer
“The ability to calm your soul and wait before God is one of the most difficult things in the Christian life. Our old nature is restless…the world around us is frantically in a hurry. But a restless heart usually leads to a reckless life.”
Mother Teresa, Catholic Nun and Missionary (1910-1997)
“Prayer is as necessary as the air, as the blood in our bodies, as anything to keep us alive — to keep us alive to the grace of God.”
“You can pray while you work. Work doesn’t stop prayer and prayer doesn’t stop work. It requires only that small raising of the mind to Him: I love you God, I trust you, I believe in you, I need you now. Small things like that. They are wonderful prayers.”
Ruth Bell Graham, Christian Author and Wife of Billy Graham (1920-2007)
“It is unrealistic to ask the Lord to do in someone else’s life that which we are unwilling for Him to do in ours….” This realization came over Ruth Bell Graham as she prayed for her son Franklin. Quoted from her book “Prodigals and Those Who Love Them”
G.K. Chesterton, English Writer and Philosopher (1874-1936)
“You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the play and the opera. And grace before the concert and the pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching and painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing, and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.”
Martin Luther King, Jr., Baptist Minister and Civil Rights Leader (1929-1968)
“To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.”
Paul Billheimer, Author of “Destined for the Throne”
“Satan does not care how many people read about prayer if only he can keep them from praying.”
Henri Nouwen, Priest, Writer, Theologian (1932-1996)
“A spiritual life without prayer is like the Gospel without Christ.”
“The only way to pray is to pray, and the way to pray well is to pray much.”
“Our life is full of brokenness — broken relationships, broken promises, broken expectations. How can we live with that brokenness without becoming bitter and resentful except by returning again and again to God’s faithful presence in our lives.”
Samuel Chadwick, British Methodist Minister (1860-1932)
“The one concern of the devil is to keep the saints from praying. He fears nothing from our prayerless work, prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, he mocks our wisdom, but he trembles when we pray.”
William Law, Anglican Priest (1686-1761)
“There is nothing that makes us love a man so much as praying for him.”
Eugene Peterson, Presbyterian Minister, Author
“A changed world begins with us … and a changed us begins when we pray.”
“Prayer: ‘a subversive activity [that] involves a more or less open act of defiance against any claim by the current regime.”
Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)
“Prayer can truly change your life. For it turns your attention away from yourself and directs your mind and your heart toward the Lord. If we look only at ourselves, with our own limitations and sins, we quickly give way to sadness and discouragement. But if we keep our eyes fixed on the Lord, then our hearts are filled with hope, our minds are washed in the light of truth, and we come to know the fullness of the Gospel with all its promise and life.”
Billy Graham (1918-2018)
“[Jesus] prayed briefly when He was in a crowd; He prayed a little longer when He was with His disciples; and He prayed all night when He was alone. Today, many in the ministry tend to reverse that process.”
“We are to pray in times of adversity, lest we become faithless and unbelieving. We are to pray in times of prosperity, lest we become boastful and proud. We are to pray in times of danger, lest we become fearful and doubting. We are to pray in times of security, lest we become self-sufficient.”