Continued Prayers Quotes

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He wanted to know how they prayed to God in El Dorado. "We do not pray to him at all," said the reverend sage. "We have nothing to ask of him. He has given us all we want, and we give him thanks continually.
Voltaire (Candide)
I continue to dream and pray about a revival of holiness in our day that moves forth in mission and creates authentic community in which each person can be unleashed through the empowerment of the Spirit to fulfill God's creational intentions.
John Wesley (How To Pray: The Best of John Wesley on Prayer)
Today Lord I am going to do my best with Your help and for Your glory. I realize that there are many different people in the world with a variety of opinions and expectations. I will concentrate on being a God-pleaser and not a self-pleaser or man-pleaser. The rest I leave in Your hands lord. Grant me favor with You and with men and continue transforming me into the image of Your dear Son. Thank You Lord.
Joyce Meyer (Beauty for Ashes: Receiving Emotional Healing)
Spirituality without a prayer life is no spirituality at all, and it will not last beyond the first defeats. Prayer is an opening of the self so that the Word of God can break in and make us new. Prayer unmasks. Prayer converts. Prayer impels. Prayer sustains us on the way. Pray for the grace it will take to continue what you would like to quit.
Joan D. Chittister (In a High Spiritual Season)
Why does one love? How queer it is to see only one being in the world, to have only one thought in one's mind, only one desire in the heart, and only one name on the lips--a name which comes up continually, rising, like the water in a spring, from the depths of the soul to the lips, a name which one repeats over and over again, which one whispers ceaselessly, everywhere, like a prayer.
Guy de Maupassant (The Complete Short Stories of Guy de Maupassant, Part One)
The saints, too, had wandering minds. The saints, too, had constantly to recall their constantly wandering mind-child home. They became saints because they continued to go after the little wanderer, like the Good Shepherd.
Peter Kreeft (Prayer For Beginners)
My prayer as you read this book is that you will find comfort for the disappointment of unanswered prayer, but also courage to continue on the epic journey that prayer is.
Gerald L. Sittser (When God Doesn't Answer Your Prayer)
Prayer continues to provide power--spiritual power. Prayer continues to provide peace--spiritual peace.
Thomas S. Monson
I used to listen to the monks repeating the Lord's Prayer; I wondered how they could continue to pray without misgiving to their heavenly father to give them their daily bread. Do children beseech their earthly father to give them sustenance? They expect him to do it, they neither feel gratitude to him for doing so nor need to, and we have only blame for a man who brings children into the world that he can't or won't provide for. It seemed to me that if an omnipotent creator was not prepared to provide for his creatures with the necessities, material and spiritual, of existence he'd have done better not to create them.
W. Somerset Maugham (The Razor's Edge)
But then, a grateful heart beats in a world of miracles. If I could only speak one prayer for you, my children, it would be that your hearts would not only beat but grow ever greater in gratitude, that your lives, however long they prove to be and no matter how they end, continue to bring you miracles in abundance.
Kate Braestrup (Here If You Need Me)
Prayer is continuing a conversation that God has started through his Word and his grace, which eventually becomes a full encounter with him.
Timothy J. Keller (Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God)
Some people say, “Once you learn to be happy, you won't tolerate being around people who make you feel anything less.” My Christ says, “Your job is to get off your self righteous butt and start reaching out to the difficult people because my ministry wasn’t about a bunch of nice people getting together once a week to sing hymns and get a feel good message, that you may or may not apply, depending on the depth of your anger for someone. It is about caring for and helping the broken hearted, the difficult, the hurt, the misunderstood, the repulsive, the wicked and the liars. It is about turning the other cheek when someone hurts you. It is about loving one another and making amends. It is allowing people as many chances as they need because God gives them endless chances. When you do this then you will know me and you will know true happiness and peace. Until then, you will never know who I really am. You will always be just a fan or a Sunday only warrior. You will continue to represent who you are to the world, but not me. I am the God that rescues.
Shannon L. Alder
To cry out to Him is never in vain. So long as no response is received, the prayer must be continued.
Anandamayi Ma
Thank you,” she whispered, sending up a quick prayer for his continued recovery. “You’re welcome,” Marcus murmured. Honoria let out a little shriek of surprise, jumping back nearly a foot. “Sorry,” he said, but he was laughing. It was quite the loveliest sound Honoria had ever heard. “I wasn’t thanking you,” she said pertly. “I know.” He smiled
Julia Quinn (Just Like Heaven (Smythe-Smith Quartet #1))
Do Something! I was sitting on a plane after a long, tiring business trip. I was a bit grouchy and irritable because the rigorous schedule I had made for myself left me exhausted. Looking to not talk to the person next to me and simply endure the flight, I decided to open my newspaper and read about what was happening in the world. As I continued to read, it seemed that everywhere I looked there were stories of injustice, pain, suffering, and people losing hope. Finally, fueled by my tired, irritable state, I became overcome with compassion and frustration for the way things were. I got up and went to the bathroom and broke down. With tears streaming down my face, I helplessly looked to the sky and yelled to God. “God, look at this mess. Look at all this pain and suffering. Look at all this killing and hate. God, how could you let this happen? Why don’t you do something?” Just then, a quiet stillness pacified my heart. A feeling of peace I won’t ever forget engulfed my body. And, as I looked into my own eyes in the mirror, the answer to my own question came back to me… “Steve, stop asking God to do something. God already did something, he gave you life. Now YOU do something!
Steve Maraboli (Life, the Truth, and Being Free)
Her eyes were of different colors, the left as brown as autumn, the right as gray as Atlantic wind. Both seemed alive with questions that would never be voiced, as if no words yet existed with which to frame them. She was nineteen years old, or thereabouts; her exact age was unknown. Her face was as fresh as an apple and as delicate as blossom, but a marked depression in the bones beneath her left eye gave her features a disturbing asymmetry. Her mouth never curved into a smile. God, it seemed, had withheld that possibility, as surely as from a blind man the power of sight. He had withheld much else. Amparo was touched—by genius, by madness, by the Devil, or by a conspiracy of all these and more. She took no sacraments and appeared incapable of prayer. She had a horror of clocks and mirrors. By her own account she spoke with Angels and could hear the thoughts of animals and trees. She was passionately kind to all living things. She was a beam of starlight trapped in flesh and awaiting only the moment when it would continue on its journey into forever.” (p.33)
Tim Willocks (The Religion (Tannhauser, #1))
Anytime you pray serious prayers and have attacks in your dream, know that the prayers worked. So what you should do is to continue with the same prayers.
D.K. Olukoya (Power To Bind, Loose and Spoil)
The ever-changing reality in the midst of which we live should awaken us to the possibility of an uninterrupted dialogue with God. By this I do not mean continuous “talk,” or a frivolously conversational form of affective prayer which is sometimes cultivated in convents, but a dialogue of love and of choice. A dialogue of deep wills.
Thomas Merton (New Seeds of Contemplation)
Christ sometimes delays His help so He may test our faith and energize our prayers. Our boat may be tossed by the waves while he continues to sleep, but He will awake before it sinks.
Mrs. Charles E. Cowman (Streams in the Desert, KJV)
Well, The Year Is Finally Wrapped up, Looking Back, I Made Mistakes Along Just like The Next Man, As a Matter of Fact, I Have Wronged, Disappointed, Been Inpatient a Little Insecure, Been Out of Control and at Times Hard to Bare With. My Prayer Dear Family and Friend is That You Forgive Me and Continue to Bare With Me as I Look Upon Myself and Work on Myself on The Next Coming Years, I Haven't Been The Best of Friends But Sure I Will As I Continue To Seek God's Enlightenment and Wisdom. I Love You All and Bless You In God's Name.
William Nsubuga
If it was as logical as that, I wouldn't continue to feel as bad as I do. I know what you're saying, and you're absolutely right in a way. But logic and rationality only go so far. Then you know what happens? Ha! Then your heart adds its two cents and everything reasonable goes right-out-the-window.
Jonathan Carroll (Bones of the Moon (Answered Prayers, #1))
The beginning of effective prayer is learning to continually walk in worship, with our main goal always being to increase and experience the glory of God. Without it, we can do nothing; with it, nothing is beyond our doing.
Cindy Trimm (The Prayer Warrior's Way: Strategies from Heaven for Intimate Communication with God)
We don’t find God in temples and cathedrals. We don’t find Him by standing on a prayer rug or sitting in a pew. God appears when we love someone other than ourselves. And we continue to feel His presence when we do good for others. Because God is not found in mosques and synagogues. He resides in our hearts.
Kamand Kojouri
Throughout my life, until this very moment, whatever virtue I have accomplished, including any benefit that may come from this book, I dedicate to the welfare of all beings. May the roots of suffering diminish. May warfare, violence, neglect, indifference, and addiction also decrease. May the wisdom and compassion of all beings increase, now and in the future. May we clearly see all the barriers we erect between ourselves and others to be as insubstantial as our dreams. May we appreciate the great perfection of all phenomena. May we continue to open our hearts and minds, in order to work ceaselessly for the benefit of all beings. May we go to the places that scare us. May we lead the life of a warrior.
Pema Chödrön (The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times)
The things we are chasing are ours anyway, and he knows it. But as long as he can continue to deceive us to see riches (which God gave us as tools) as destinations, we will not be able to take our place as the gods of the Earth, and Satan will continue his illegal reign and operations.
Tolulope Oyewole (The Spirit of Prayer: The Believer's Authority on the Earth (The Sons of God Book 2))
It is my prayer, it is my longing, that we may pass from this life together—a longing which shall never perish from the earth, but shall have place in the heart of every wife that loves, until the end of time; and it shall be called by my name. But if one of us must go first, it is my prayer that it shall be I; for he is strong, I am weak, I am not so necessary to him as he is to me—life without him would not be life; how could I endure it? This prayer is also immortal, and will not cease from being offered up while my race continues. I am the first wife; and in the last wife I shall be repeated.
Mark Twain (The Diaries of Adam and Eve)
It is such a privilege to have people who continue each day to bless us with their love and prayer. These inner friends of the heart confer on us inestimable gifts.
John O'Donohue (To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Invocations and Blessings)
At this second appearing to take the oath of the Presidential office there is less occasion for an extended address than there was at the first. Then a statement somewhat in detail of a course to be pursued seemed fitting and proper. Now, at the expiration of four years, during which public declarations have been constantly called forth on every point and phase of the great contest which still absorbs the attention and engrosses the energies of the nation, little that is new could be presented. The progress of our arms, upon which all else chiefly depends, is as well known to the public as to myself, and it is, I trust, reasonably satisfactory and encouraging to all. With high hope for the future, no prediction in regard to it is ventured. On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it, all sought to avert it. While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war--seeking to dissolve the Union and divide effects by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish, and the war came. One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was somehow the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union even by war, while the Government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it. Neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with or even before the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes. "Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh." If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said "the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether." With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.
Abraham Lincoln (Great Speeches / Abraham Lincoln: with Historical Notes by John Grafton)
The scriptures are like a written “recording” of the “voice” of the Lord—a voice we feel in our hearts more than we hear with our ears. As we study the written word of God, we learn to hear His voice in the words we read. As we return repeatedly to the holy scriptures, we gain experience and confidence in hearing and feeling His voice. Five basic principles can help us learn more effectively from our personal scripture study. 1. Pray for understanding and invite the help of the Holy Ghost. Begin scripture study with prayer. Ask for understanding as you study. Express gratitude as you conclude. 2. Work. Pay the price of regular and diligent study. 3. Be consistent. Set aside a specific and scheduled time each day. 4. Ponder. Think about the truths, experiences, and lessons in the scriptures. Take time—pondering cannot be forced, hurried, or rushed. 5. Write down impressions, thoughts, and feelings. Record what you learn, think, and feel. Invite the Holy Ghost to continue instruction.
David A. Bednar
Being in a continual attitude of rejoicing is the entrance into prayer. Being grateful and filled with thanksgiving is how we come out of it. Then the cycle repeats itself—immediately.
Cindy Trimm (The Prayer Warrior's Way: Strategies from Heaven for Intimate Communication with God)
Ah, Robert?” “Shhhh, not while I’m praying,” he said, momentarily losing his place before he started again, “thank you for letting us survive that trip from hell. Thank you for ignoring my prayers for a quick death when I didn’t think that I’d be able to survive another day of starvation,” he said, making her roll her eyes in annoyance. “You were given three full meals a day just like everyone else,” she pointed out, not bothering to mention the fact that, on most days, he’d received second helpings. She sat down on a bench near their luggage, wondering just how much longer he was going to keep this up. “I’m sorry for all the cursing that my wife forced me to do while I was on that boat,” he continued, ignoring her even as he amused her. “As you know, she’s been such a bad influence on me. Thank you for pulling me from near death and somehow giving me the strength to survive.” “Near death?” she asked, frowning. “When were you near death?” “When was I near death?” he asked in stunned disbelief as he opened his eyes so that he could glare at her. “How could you forget all those times that I could barely move? When I struggled to find the will to live so that I wouldn’t leave you a young widow? Did my struggle for survival mean nothing to you?” he demanded in outrage, terrifying the people that were forced to walk past him to get to the docks and making her wrack her brain as she struggled to figure out what he was talking about. “Do you mean those few times when you had a touch of seasickness?” she asked, unable to think of anything else that he could be talking about since he’d been the picture of health during the majority of the trip. “A touch?” he repeated in disbelief. “I nearly died!
R.L. Mathewson (Truce (Neighbor from Hell, #4))
A zealous man in religion is pre-eminently a man of one thing. It is not enough to say that he is earnest, hearty, uncompromising, thorough-going, whole-hearted, fervent in spirit. He sees one thing, he cares for one thing, he lives for one thing, he is swallowed-up in one thing — and that one thing is to please God. Whether he lives — or whether he dies; whether he has health — or whether he has sickness; whether he is rich — or whether he is poor; whether he pleases man — or whether he gives offence; whether he is thought wise — or whether he is thought foolish; whether he gets blame — or whether he gets praise; whether he gets honor, or whether he gets shame — for all this the zealous man cares nothing at all. He burns for one thing — and that one thing is to please God, and to advance God's glory. If he is consumed in the very burning — he is content. He feels that, like a lamp, he is made to burn, and if consumed in burning — he has but done the work for which God appointed him. Such a one will always find a sphere for his zeal. If he cannot preach, and work, and give money — he will cry, and sigh, and pray. Yes, if he is only a pauper, on a perpetual bed of sickness — he will make the wheels of sin around him drive heavily, by continually interceding against it. If he cannot fight in the valley with Joshua — then he will do the prayer-work of Moses, Aaron, and Hur, on the hill. (Exod. 17:9-13.) If he is cut off from working himself — he will give the Lord no rest until help is raised up from another quarter, and the work is done. This is what I mean when I speak of "zeal" in religion.
J.C. Ryle
If you cannot recollect yourself continuously, do so once a day at least, in the morning or in the evening. In the morning make a resolution and in the evening examine yourself on what you have said this day, what you have done and thought, for in these things perhaps you have often offended God and those about you.
Thomas à Kempis (The Imitation of Christ)
Perhaps you have noticed that even in the slightest breeze you can hear the voice of the cottonwood tree; this we understand is its prayer to the Great Spirit, for not only men, but all things and all beings pray to Him continually in different ways.
Black Elk (Black Elk Speaks: Being the Life Story of a Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux)
Lost, I am Lost! My fates have doomed my death. The more I strive, I love; the more I love, The less I hope. I see my ruin, certain. What judgement or endeavors could apply To my incurable and restless wounds I throughly have examined, but in vain. Oh, that it were not in religion sin To make our love a god and worship it! I have even wearied heaven with prayers, dried up The spring of my continual tears, even starved My veins with daily fasts; what wit or art Could counsel, I have practiced. But, alas, I find all these but dreams and old men's tales To fright unsteady youth; I'm still the same. Or I must speak or burst. Tis not, I know, My lust, but tis my fate that leads me on. Keep fear and low fainthearted shame with slaves! I'll tell her that I love her, through my heart Were rated at the price of that attempt.
John Ford (Tis Pity She's A Whore)
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Melanie Dickerson (The Golden Braid (Hagenheim, #6))
I must write down that I am to be an artist. Not in the sense of aesthetic frippery but in the sense of aesthetic craftsmanship; otherwise I will feel my loneliness continually—like this today. The word craftsmanship takes care of the work angle & the word aesthetic the truth angle.
Flannery O'Connor (A Prayer Journal)
That his prayer was nothing else but a sense of the presence of GOD, his soul being at that time insensible to everything but Divine love: and that when the appointed times of prayer were past, he found no difference, because he still continued with GOD, praising and blessing Him with all his might, so that he passed his life in continual joy; yet hoped that GOD would give him somewhat to suffer, when he should grow stronger.
Brother Lawrence (The Practice of the Presence of God)
Never underestimate the power of kindness. It is very contagious. A person whose heart is saddened by the troubles of this world, the loss of a friend or family member, a hard days work, or the struggle of provision can experience joy through a simple act of kindness. Romans 12: 10-12, Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another, not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord, rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continually steadfastly in prayer.
Amaka Imani Nkosazana
The whole function of the life of prayer is, then, to enlighten and strengthen our conscience so that it not only knows and perceives the outward, written precepts of the moral and divine laws, but above all lives God's law in concrete reality by perfect and continual union with His will.
Thomas Merton (No Man Is an Island)
mam Mawlud says that abandoning a good act out of fear of ostentation (رياء) is worse than engaging in ostentation itself. A person should not abandon, for example, going to the mosque because he fears ostentation as the motive. One should not submit to an irrational fear that is perhaps inspired by evil whisperings, and thus deprive himself of the blessing of congregational prayer in a mosque. It is better to continue with one's good deeds and to continue to keep one's intentions pure and sincere
Hamza Yusuf (Purification of the Heart: Signs, Symptoms and Cures of the Spiritual Diseases of the Heart)
Syrian monk, Isaac of Niniveh: Many are avidly seeking but they alone find who remain in continual silence. … Every man who delights in a multitude of words, even though he says admirable things, is empty within. If you love truth, be a lover of silence. Silence like the sunlight will illuminate you in God and will deliver you from the phantoms of ignorance. Silence will unite you to God himself. … More than all things love silence: it brings you a fruit that tongue cannot describe. In the beginning we have to force ourselves to be silent. But then there is born something that draws us to silence. May God give you an experience of this “something” that is born of silence. If only you practice this, untold light will dawn on you in consequence … after a while a certain sweetness is born in the heart of this exercise and the body is drawn almost by force to remain in silence.
Thomas Merton (Contemplative Prayer)
To live in the presence of God on a continuous basis can become a kind of fourth dimension to our three-dimensional world, forming an invisible but real background to everything that we do or that happens in our lives.
Thomas Keating (On Prayer)
To the USSR on Stalin's death: "Regardless of the identity of government personalities, the prayer of us Americans continues to be that the Almighty will watch over the people of that vast country and bring them in His wisdom opportunity to live their lives in a world where all men, and women, and children, dwell in peace and comradeship.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
I never wavered in my certainty that God did not exist. I was simply liberated by the thought that there might be a way to engage with religion without having to subscribe to its supernatural content - a way, to put it in more abstract terms, to think about Fathers without upsetting my respectful memory of my own father. I recognized that my continuing resistance to theories of an afterlife or of heavenly residents was no justification for giving up on the music, buildings, prayers, rituals, feasts, shrines, pilgrimages, communal meals and illustrated manuscripts of the faiths.
Alain de Botton (Religion for Atheists: A Non-Believer's Guide to the Uses of Religion)
Fame is not the reason why brands are created and erected. Be diligent, focused and chain unceasing prayers to God who will continue giving you cheers.
Israelmore Ayivor (Shaping the dream)
Prayer is God’s plan to supply man’s great and continuous need with God’s great and continuous abundance.
E.M. Bounds (The Complete Collection of E. M. Bounds on Prayer)
My prayer is that God would continue to love me enough to refuse to answer the prayers I'm praying that I shouldn't be praying.
Craig D. Lounsbrough
May God continue to grant you more grace for your work.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
I breathe in the soft, saturated exhalations of cedar trees and salmonberry bushes, fireweed and wood fern, marsh hawks and meadow voles, marten and harbor seal and blacktail deer. I breathe in the same particles of air that made songs in the throats of hermit thrushes and gave voices to humpback whales, the same particles of air that lifted the wings of bald eagles and buzzed in the flight of hummingbirds, the same particles of air that rushed over the sea in storms, whirled in high mountain snows, whistled across the poles, and whispered through lush equatorial gardens…air that has passed continually through life on earth. I breathe it in, pass it on, share it in equal measure with billions of other living things, endlessly, infinitely.
Richard Nelson (The Island Within)
Death makes me hungry. Maybe it's because I've been emptied; or maybe it's the body's way of seeing to it that I remain alive, continue to repeat its bedrock prayer: I am, I am. I am, still.
Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid's Tale (The Handmaid's Tale, #1))
The New Testament describes the characteristics of a "virtuous widow" who is qualified to receive help from believers. This woman's description seems to parallel the miraculous, poured-out life portrayed by the Proverbs 31 woman. She does not live for her own pleasure but is well reported for good works, bringing up children, lodging strangers, washing the saints' feet, relieving the afflicted, and diligently following every good work. How does she accomplish all of this? "She trusts in God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day" (1 Timothy 5:5-6,10). She lives a supernatural existence, accomplishing incredible things without stress and exhaustion because she makes prayer the foundation of her life.
Leslie Ludy (Set-Apart Femininity: God's Sacred Intent for Every Young Woman)
We are not our own any more than what we possess is our own. We did not make ourselves, we cannot be supreme over ourselves. We are not our own masters. We are God's property. Is it not our happiness thus to view the matter? Is it any happiness or any comfort, to consider that we are our own? It may be thought so by the young and prosperous. These may think it a great thing to have everything, as they suppose, their own way–to depend on no one–to have to think of nothing out of sight, to be without the irksomeness of continual acknowledgment, continual prayer, continual reference of what they do to the will of another. But as time goes on, they, as all men, will find that independence was not made for man–that it is an unnatural state–will do for a while, but will not carry us on safely to the end …'" Mustapha Mond paused, put down the first book and, picking up the other, turned over the pages. "Take this, for example," he said, and in his deep voice once more began to read: "'A man grows old; he feels in himself that radical sense of weakness, of listlessness, of discomfort, which accompanies the advance of age; and, feeling thus, imagines himself merely sick, lulling his fears with the notion that this distressing condition is due to some particular cause, from which, as from an illness, he hopes to recover. Vain imaginings! That sickness is old age; and a horrible disease it is. They say that it is the fear of death and of what comes after death that makes men turn to religion as they advance in years. But my own experience has given me the conviction that, quite apart from any such terrors or imaginings, the religious sentiment tends to develop as we grow older; to develop because, as the passions grow calm, as the fancy and sensibilities are less excited and less excitable, our reason becomes less troubled in its working, less obscured by the images, desires and distractions, in which it used to be absorbed; whereupon God emerges as from behind a cloud; our soul feels, sees, turns towards the source of all light; turns naturally and inevitably; for now that all that gave to the world of sensations its life and charms has begun to leak away from us, now that phenomenal existence is no more bolstered up by impressions from within or from without, we feel the need to lean on something that abides, something that will never play us false–a reality, an absolute and everlasting truth. Yes, we inevitably turn to God; for this religious sentiment is of its nature so pure, so delightful to the soul that experiences it, that it makes up to us for all our other losses.'" Mustapha Mond shut the book and leaned back in his chair. "One of the numerous things in heaven and earth that these philosophers didn't dream about was this" (he waved his hand), "us, the modern world. 'You can only be independent of God while you've got youth and prosperity; independence won't take you safely to the end.' Well, we've now got youth and prosperity right up to the end. What follows? Evidently, that we can be independent of God. 'The religious sentiment will compensate us for all our losses.' But there aren't any losses for us to compensate; religious sentiment is superfluous. And why should we go hunting for a substitute for youthful desires, when youthful desires never fail? A substitute for distractions, when we go on enjoying all the old fooleries to the very last? What need have we of repose when our minds and bodies continue to delight in activity? of consolation, when we have soma? of something immovable, when there is the social order?
Aldous Huxley (Brave New World)
Outside the windows the cars swept past continuously, out of town, into town, lights ablaze, radios at full throttle. “I wither slowly in thine arms,” he read. “Here at the quiet limit of the world,” and repeated to himself: “Here at the quiet limit of the world. Here at the quiet limit of the world”… as a monk will repeat a simple pregnant text, over and over again in prayer.
Evelyn Waugh (The Loved One)
HOW TO ASCERTAIN THE WILL OF GOD I seek at the beginning to get my heart into such a state that it has no will of its own in regard to a given matter. Nine-tenths of the trouble with people generally is just here. Nine-tenths of the difficulties are overcome when our hearts are ready to do the Lord's will, whatever it may be. When one is truly in this state, it is usually but a little way to the knowledge of what His will is. 2.—Having done this, I do not leave the result to feeling or simple impression. If so, I make myself liable to great delusions. 3.—I seek the Will of the Spirit of God through, or in connection with, the Word of God. The Spirit and the Word must be combined. If I look to the Spirit alone without the Word, I lay myself open to great delusions also. If the Holy Ghost guides us at all, He will do it according to the Scriptures and never contrary to them. 4.—Next I take into account providential circumstances. These often plainly indicate God's Will in connection with His Word and Spirit. 5.—I ask God in prayer to reveal His Will to me aright. 6.—Thus, through prayer to God, the study of the Word, and reflection, I come to a deliberate judgment according to the best of my ability and knowledge, and if my mind is thus at peace, and continues so after two or three more petitions, I proceed accordingly. In trivial matters, and in transactions involving most important issues, I have found this method always effective. GEORGE MÜLLER.
George Müller (Answers to Prayer From George Müller's Narratives)
That night, I continued my on-going chat with God. “Did Pam’s prayer count? I love her. And I understand her wanting a ticket to heaven, but her prayer seemed more like fire insurance against hell than a heartfelt desire to hang out with You.”    “Don’t worry.” God smiled. “No one comes to me with pure motives.”    Wow! I thought for a minute. “You really do love us, don’t You?”    “I do.
Elizabeth Bristol (Mary Me: One Woman’s Incredible Adventure with God)
I prayed to dispel my fear, until suddenly, and I do not know how the idea came to me, I began to pray for others. I prayed for everyone who came into my thoughts - - people with whom I had traveled, those who had been in prison with me, my school friends of years ago. I do not know how long I continued my prayer, but this I do know - - my fear was gone! Interceding for others had released me!
Corrie ten Boom
Every poet knows that the gift of the gods is not fire but language. “Man dwells poetically on this earth,” Hölderin wrote. Language is the essence of being human. We can think, thanks to language, for thought exists only by the grace of words. Our experiences and emotions are molded by language. It is language that allows us to name and know the world. We ourselves are known by language, through prayer, confession, poetry. Language gives us a world that reaches beyond the reality of the moment, to a past (there was…) and a future (there shall be…). It is through language that eternity has a space and that the dead continue to speak: “Defunctus adhuc loquitur” (Hebrews 11:4). Thanks to language, there is meaning, there is truth.
Rob Riemen (Nobility of Spirit: A Forgotten Ideal)
For those who have been affected physically, emotionally, and financially by this terrible pandemic, I pray that your spirit stays strong enough, so you may continue to see a dim light peaking through the darkness that will soon shine brightly again.
Charles F Glassman
Contemplation, sadly, helps you see your woundedness! That’s why most people do not stay long with contemplative prayer, because it’s not very glorious. It’s a continual humiliation, realizing, “Oh my God, I did it again. I still don’t know how to love!
Richard Rohr (Radical Grace: Daily Meditations by Richard Rohr)
Isabel took a drive alone that afternoon; she wished to be far away, under the sky, where she could descend from her carriage and tread upon the daisies. She had long before this taken old Rome into her confidence, for in a world of ruins the ruin of her happiness seemed a less unnatural catastrophe. She rested her weariness upon things that had crumbled for centuries and yet still were upright; she dropped her secret sadness into the silence of lonely places, where its very modern quality detached itself and grew objective, so that as she sat in a sun-warmed angle on a winter's day, or stood in a mouldy church to which no one came, she could almost smile at it and think of its smallness. Small it was, in the large Roman record, and her haunting sense of the continuity of the human lot easily carried her from the less to the greater. She had become deeply, tenderly acquainted with Rome; it interfused and moderated her passion. But she had grown to think of it chiefly as the place where people had suffered. This was what came to her in the starved churches, where the marble columns, transferred from pagan ruins, seemed to offer her a companionship in endurance and the musty incense to be a compound of long-unanswered prayers. There was no gentler nor less consistent heretic than Isabel; the firmest of worshippers, gazing at dark altar-pictures or clustered candles, could not have felt more intimately the suggestiveness of these objects nor have been more liable at such moments to a spiritual visitation.
Henry James (The Portrait of a Lady)
Six people went into the house of a sick man to pray for him. He was an Episcopalian vicar, and lay in his bed utterly helpless, without even strength to help himself. He had read a little tract about healing and had heard about people praying for the sick, and sent for these friends, who, he thought, could pray the prayer of faith. He was anointed according to James 5:14, but, because he had no immediate manifestation of healing, he wept bitterly. The six people walked out of the room, somewhat crestfallen to see the man lying there in an unchanged condition. When they were outside, one of the six said, “There is one thing we might have done. I wish you would all go back with me and try it.” They went back and all got together in a group. This brother said, “Let us whisper the name of Jesus.” At first when they whispered this worthy name nothing seemed to happen. But as they continued to whisper, “Jesus! Jesus! Jesus!” the power began to fall. As they saw that God was beginning to work, their faith and joy increased; and they whispered the name louder and louder. As they did so the man arose from his bed and dressed himself. The secret was just thus, those six people had gotten their eyes off the sick man, and they were just taken up with the Lord Jesus Himself, and their faith grasped the power that there is in His name. O, if people would only appreciate the power that there is in this name, there is no telling what would happen.
Smith Wigglesworth (The Teachings of Smith Wigglesworth)
Be always at work scraping the dirt from the well. To everyone who suffers, perseverance brings good fortune. The Prophet has said that each prostration of prayer is a knock on heaven's door. When anyone continues to knock, felicity shows its smiling face.
Rumi Muhammad Jalal ud Din Balkhi
Continual prayer is a lifestyle." ~R. Alan Woods [2013]
R. Alan Woods (The Journey Is the Destination: A Book of Quotes With Commentaries)
I hope my prayers reach you. My imperfect children... The imperfect imitation sun... continues to love you all... now and forever.
Kaori Yuki (Angel Sanctuary, Vol. 20)
every expression of gratitude is a prayer, which means the practice of intentional gratitude leads directly to a life lived in continual worship.” He
Terri Blackstock (If I'm Found (If I Run #2))
Prayer without ceasing is only possible in a life of continual thanks. How did I ever think there was another way to enter into His courts but with thanksgiving?
Ann Voskamp (One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are)
need and want that His Word has promised and believe you receive them when you ask for them. Then you will have whatever it is you need from God. Some people continually ask me why God won’t heal them after they have had many people pray for them and have had no results. Very
Kenneth E. Hagin (Bible Prayer Study Course)
For I will yet praise him” (Ps. 43:5). More prayer, more exercising of our faith, and more patient waiting leads to blessings—abundant blessings. I have found it to be true many hundreds of times, and therefore I continually say to myself, “Put your hope in God.” George Mueller
Lettie B. Cowman (Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings)
I have somewhere read of a wise bishop who in a visit to his diocese found an old woman whose only prayer consisted in the single interjection "Oh!- "Good mother" said he to her, "continue to pray in this manner; your prayer is better than ours." This better prayer is mine also.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Confessions)
Why wait for your awakening? The moment your eyes are open, seize the day. Would you hold back when the Beloved beckons? Would you deliver your litany of sins like a child's collection of sea shells, prized and labeled? "No, I can't step across the threshold," you say, eyes downcast. "I'm not worthy, I'm afraid, and my motives aren't pure." "I'm not perfect, and surely I haven't practiced nearly enough." "My meditation isn't deep, and my prayers are sometimes insincere." "I still chew my fingernails, and the refrigerator isn't clean." Do you value your reasons for staying small more than the light shining though the open door? Forgive yourself. Now is the only time you have to be whole. Now is the sole moment that exists to live in the light of your true Self. Perfection is not a prerequisite for anything but pain. Please, oh please, don't continue to believe in your disbelief. This is the day of your awakening.
Danna Faulds (Go In and In: Poems From the Heart of Yoga)
God is pleased continually to vary His mode of dealing with us, in order that we may not be tempted to trust in donors, or in circumstances, but in Him alone, and to keep our eye fixed upon Him.
Answers To Prayer
If thou dost continually draw thine impulse, thy life, the whole of thy being from the Holy Spirit, without whom thou canst do nothing; and if thou dost live in close communion with Christ, there will be no fear of thy having a dry heart. He who lives without prayer—he who lives with little prayer—he who seldom reads the Word—he who seldom looks up to heaven for a fresh influence from on high—he will be the man whose heart will become dry and barren; but he who calls in secret on his God—who spends much time in holy retirement—who delights to meditate on the words of the Most High—whose soul is given up to Christ—who delights in his fullness, rejoices in his all-sufficiency, prays for his second coming, and delights in the thought of his glorious advent—such a man, I say, must have an overflowing heart; and as his heart is, such will his life be. It will be a full life; it will be a life that will speak from the sepulcher, and wake the echoes of the future. "Keep thine heart with all diligence," and entreat the Holy Spirit to keep it full; for, otherwise, the issues of thy life will be feeble, shallow, and superficial; and thou mayest as well not have lived at all.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Four times during the first six days they were assembled and briefed and then sent back. Once, they took off and were flying in formation when the control tower summoned them down. The more it rained, the worse they suffered. The worse they suffered, the more they prayed that it would continue raining. All through the night, men looked at the sky and were saddened by the stars. All through the day, they looked at the bomb line on the big, wobbling easel map of Italy that blew over in the wind and was dragged in under the awning of the intelligence tent every time the rain began. The bomb line was a scarlet band of narrow satin ribbon that delineated the forward most position of the Allied ground forces in every sector of the Italian mainland. For hours they stared relentlessly at the scarlet ribbon on the map and hated it because it would not move up high enough to encompass the city. When night fell, they congregated in the darkness with flashlights, continuing their macabre vigil at the bomb line in brooding entreaty as though hoping to move the ribbon up by the collective weight of their sullen prayers. "I really can't believe it," Clevinger exclaimed to Yossarian in a voice rising and falling in protest and wonder. "It's a complete reversion to primitive superstition. They're confusing cause and effect. It makes as much sense as knocking on wood or crossing your fingers. They really believe that we wouldn't have to fly that mission tomorrow if someone would only tiptoe up to the map in the middle of the night and move the bomb line over Bologna. Can you imagine? You and I must be the only rational ones left." In the middle of the night Yossarian knocked on wood, crossed his fingers, and tiptoed out of his tent to move the bomb line up over Bologna.
Joseph Heller (Catch-22)
God’s purpose in prayer is not for us to inform or persuade Him to respond to our needs but to open sincere and continual lines of communication with Him. Prayer, more than anything else, is sharing the needs, burdens, and hungers of our hearts with a God who cares. He wants to hear us and commune with us more than we could ever want to commune with Him, because His love for us is so much greater than our love for Him.
John F. MacArthur Jr. (Alone With God: Rediscovering the Power and Passion of Prayer)
Mr. J. Hudson Taylor well reminds us that while in nature the normal order of growth is from childhood to manhood and so to maturity, in grace the true development is perpetually backward toward the cradle: we must become and continue as little children, not losing, but rather gaining, childlikeness of spirit. The disciple's maturest manhood is only the perfection of his childhood. George Müller was never so really, truly, fully a little child in all his relations to his Father, as when in the ninety-third year of his age.
George Müller (GEORGE MULLER COLLECTION (5-in-1): Biography, Autobiography, Answers to Prayer, Counsel to Christians, Preaching Tours and Missionary Labours)
I suppose there may be a branch president or a high councilor or an elders quorum president or a visiting teacher in the room who wants to know what it is we are to accomplish as Church members when we get together, even if it's only in a home evening group or an opportunity to pray together. Well, this passage indicates that it may have something to do with remembering each other. We all count. Everyone matters. We have a name and it's recorded and we need to remember that here. No one must get lost. "And their names were taken, that they might be remembered and nourished by the good word of God. . . to keep them continually watchful unto prayer, relying alone upon the merits of Christ . . . to fast and to speak with one another concerning the welfare of their souls . . . to observe that there should be no iniquity among them"--what a great thought about meetings and what they are supposed to do, what a Sunday School class can be, what a scriptural discussion in an apartment can be.
Jeffrey R. Holland
Paul said, "Continue in prayer and, "Pray without ceasing." He did not mean that people should be always on their knees, but he did mean that our prayers should be like the continual burned-offering steadily preserved in every day; that it should be like seed-time and harvest, and summer and winter, unceasingly coming round at regular seasons; that it should be like the fire on the altar, not always consuming sacrifices, but never completely going out.
J.C. Ryle (A Call to Prayer)
We have faith that the practices of silence, praying with scripture, or reciting the prayers passed on to us will bear fruit over time. If we continue to fight through our fears and anxieties in order to sit in silence, we trust that God can meet us, even if it leads to results we aren't expecting or doesn't even result in quantifiable progress.
Ed Cyzewski (Pray, Write, Grow: Cultivating Prayer and Writing Together)
But also I’m hungry. This is monstrous, but nevertheless it’s true. Death makes me hungry. Maybe it’s because I’ve been emptied; or maybe it’s the body’s way of seeing to it that I remain alive, continue to repeat its bedrock prayer: I am, I am. I am, still. I want to go to bed, make love, right now. I think of the word relish. I could eat a horse.
Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid's Tale (The Handmaid's Tale, #1))
Prayer is not a machine. It is not magic. It is not advice offered to God. Our act, when we pray, must not, any more than all our other acts, be separated from the continuous act of God Himself, in which alone all finite causes operate.
C.S. Lewis (The World's Last Night: And Other Essays)
As I continued to pray raggedly, prayer ceased to be an awkward and self-conscious act. It became a daily need to which I looked forward. If, for any reason, I were deprived of it, I was distressed as if I had been deprived of some life necessity, like water. I cannot say I changed. There tore through me a transformation with the force of a river, which, dammed up and diverted for a lifetime, bursts its way back to its true channel. I became what I was. I ceased to be what I was not.
Whittaker Chambers (Witness)
The Church is that offspring. We are the continuation of the life of Christ on the Earth. Just as Jesus gave glory to the Father by fulfilling His will of revealing His identity and bestowing His glory to those who would come to believe in Him and become a member of His Body, so are we to give glory to God by demonstrating His glory, dominion and power—through the place of prayer.
Tolulope Oyewole (The Spirit of Prayer: The Believer's Authority on the Earth (The Sons of God Book 2))
I think I know now why Jesus had such a tender spot in his heart for the poor. It takes great faith and simplicity of spirit to be poor and not despair. It takes enormous courage to decide to keep on living. The homeless are remarkable people. Their very life is a prayer -- desperate, silent, unspoken pleading with God to keep them alive. And by some miracle, no, not one miracle, but by a continuous chain of miracles all day long and all night, they do stay alive, especially on freezing cold days and nights.
Joseph F. Girzone (The Homeless Bishop)
Our minds are always active. We analyze, reflect, daydream, or dream. There is not a moment during the day or night when we are not thinking. You might say our thinking is 'unceasing.' Sometimes we wish that we could stop thinking for a while; that would save us from many worries, guilt feelings, and fears. Our ability to think is our greatest gift, but it is also the source of our greatest pain. Do we have to become victims of our unceasing thoughts? No, we can convert our unceasing thinking into unceasing prayer by making our inner monologue into a continuing dialogue with our God, who is the source of all love. Let’s break out of our isolation and realize that Someone who dwells in the center of our beings wants to listen with love to all that occupies and preoccupies our minds.
Henri J.M. Nouwen (Bread for the Journey: A Daybook of Wisdom and Faith)
Love is not the answer, peace is. Throughout my whole life I have experienced and seen others use love as a reason to treat people with unkindness by being controlling, jealous, shouting in anger, and projecting guilt and shame. If you love someone but there is not peace in your heart when you think of that person then your work is not done. Do not stop at love, continue all the way towards the freedom of inner peace. Love starts when peace begins. Without peace love is simply a mask for our insecurity, judgment, and egoic attachments.
Alaric Hutchinson
Life in God should be a daring adventure of love—a continuous journey of putting aside our securities to enter more profoundly into the uncharted depths of God. Too often, however, we settle for mediocrity. We follow the rules and practices of prayer but we are unwilling or, for various reasons, unable to give ourselves totally to God. To settle on the plain of mediocrity is really to settle for something less than God that leaves the heart restless and unfulfilled. A story from the desert fathers reminds us that giving oneself wholly to God can make a difference: Abba Lot went to see Abba Joseph and said to him, “Abba, as far as I can I say my little office, I fast a little, I pray and meditate, I live in peace and as far as I can, I purify my thoughts. What else can I do?” Then the old man stood up and stretched his hands towards heaven. His fingers became like ten lamps of fire and he said to him, “If you will, you can become all flame.”15
Ilia Delio (Franciscan Prayer)
I think about Rilke, who said that it's the questions that move us, not the answers. As a writer I believe it is our task, our responsibility, to hold the mirror up to social injustices that we see and to create a prayer of beauty. The questions serve us in that capacity. Pico Iyer describes his writing as "intimate letters to a stranger," and I think that is what the writing process is. It begins with a question, and then you follow this path of exploration. ... I write out of my questions. Hopefully, if we write out of our humanity, our vulnerable nature, then some chord is struck with a reader and we touch on the page. I know that is why I read, to find those parts of myself in a story that I cannot turn away from. The writers who move me are the ones who create beauty and truth out of their sufferings, their yearnings, their discoveries. It is what I call the patience of words born out of the search. ... Perhaps as writers we are really storytellers, finding that golden thread that connects us to the past, present, and future at once. I love language and landscape. For me, writing is the correspondence between these two passions. It is difficult to ever see yourself. I don't know how I've developed or grown as a writer. I hope I am continuing to take risks on the page. I hope I am continuing to ask the hard questions of myself. If we are attentive to the world and to those around us, I believe we will be attentive on the page. Writing is about presence. I want to be fully present wherever I am, alive to the pulse just beneath the skin. I want to dare to speak "the language women speak when there's no one around to correct them".
Terry Tempest Williams
1. Myth: Without God, life has no meaning. There are 1.2 billion Chinese who have no predominant religion, and 1 billion people in India who are predominantly Hindu. And 65% of Japan's 127 million people claim to be non-believers. It is laughable to suggest that none of these billions of people are leading meaningful lives. 2. Myth: Prayer works. Studies have now shown that inter-cessionary prayer has no effect whatsoever of the health or well-being of the subject. 3. Myth: Atheists are immoral. There are hundreds of millions of non-believers on the planet living normal, decent, moral lives. They love their children, care about others, obey laws, and try to keep from doing harm to others just like everyone else. In fact, in predominantly non-believing countries such as in northern Europe, measures of societal health such as life expectancy at birth, adult literacy, per capita income, education, homicide, suicide, gender equality, and political coercion are better than they are in believing societies. 4. Myth: Belief in God is compatible with science. In the past, every supernatural or paranormal explanation of phenomena that humans believed turned out to be mistaken; science has always found a physical explanation that revealed that the supernatural view was a myth. Modern organisms evolved from lower life forms, they weren't created 6,000 years ago in the finished state. Fever is not caused by demon possession. Bad weather is not the wrath of angry gods. Miracle claims have turned out to be mistakes, frauds, or deceptions. We have every reason to conclude that science will continue to undermine the superstitious worldview of religion. 5. Myth: We have immortal souls that survive death. We have mountains of evidence that makes it clear that our consciousness, our beliefs, our desires, our thoughts all depend upon the proper functioning of our brains our nervous systems to exist. So when the brain dies, all of these things that we identify with the soul also cease to exist. Despite the fact that billions of people have lived and died on this planet, we do not have a single credible case of someone's soul, or consciousness, or personality continuing to exist despite the demise of their bodies. 6. Myth: If there is no God, everything is permitted. Consider the billions of people in China, India, and Japan above. If this claim was true, none of them would be decent moral people. So Ghandi, the Buddha, and Confucius, to name only a few were not moral people on this view. 7. Myth: Believing in God is not a cause of evil. The examples of cases where it was someone's belief in God that was the justification for their evils on humankind are too numerous to mention. 8. Myth: God explains the origins of the universe. All of the questions that allegedly plague non-God attempts to explain our origins still apply to the faux explanation of God. The suggestion that God created everything does not make it any clearer to us where it all came from, how he created it, why he created it, where it is all going. In fact, it raises even more difficult mysteries: how did God, operating outside the confines of space, time, and natural law 'create' or 'build' a universe that has physical laws? We have no precedent and maybe no hope of answering or understanding such a possibility. What does it mean to say that some disembodied, spiritual being who knows everything and has all power, 'loves' us, or has thoughts, or goals, or plans? 9. Myth: There's no harm in believing in God. Religious views inform voting, how they raise their children, what they think is moral and immoral, what laws and legislation they pass, who they are friends and enemies with, what companies they invest in, where they donate to charities, who they approve and disapprove of, who they are willing to kill or tolerate, what crimes they are willing to commit, and which wars they are willing to fight.
Matthew S. McCormick
American abolitionist Frederick Douglass said, “If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom yet deprecate agitation are men who want crops without plowing up the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. Power concedes nothing without demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.
Shane Claiborne (Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals)
More than happiness or joy or lower blood pressure, the practice of God’s presence gives us meaning. Through this practice we become more closely aligned with Jesus and we learn His desire for us more completely.Life can be hard. The Practice of The Presence of God makes it easier. As Brother Lawrence said, “There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful than that of a continual conversation with God.
David Paul Kirkpatrick (Breakfast in the temple)
Similar to the Bodhisattvas of India, the Buddhist way-showers, I play the role of the guide along the esoteric trail and aim to bring the seeker across the water. There I wait and watch from the shore as the pilgrim continues. This is not my journey; I have brought the sojourner to this place, to this state of grace and divine connection, and I set my intention and prayers that all is well. Great Spirit – be with us now!
Stephen Poplin (Inner Journeys, Cosmic Sojourns: Life transforming stories, adventures and messages from a spiritual hypnotherapist's casebook)
We are not our own any more than what we possess is our own. We did not make ourselves, we cannot be supreme over ourselves. We are not our own masters. We are God's property. Is it not our happiness thus to view the matter? Is it any happiness or any comfort, to consider that we are our own? It may be thought so by the young and prosperous. These may think it a great thing to have everything, as they suppose, their own way–to depend on no one–to have to think of nothing out of sight, to be without the irksomeness of continual acknowledgment, continual prayer, continual reference of what they do to the will of another. But as time goes on, they, as all men, will find that independence was not made for man–that it is an unnatural state–will do for a while, but will not carry us on safely to the end …'" Mustapha Mond paused, put down the first book and, picking up the other, turned over the pages. "Take this, for example," he said, and in his deep voice once more began to read: "'A man grows old; he feels in himself that radical sense of weakness, of listlessness, of discomfort, which accompanies the advance of age; and, feeling thus, imagines himself merely sick, lulling his fears with the notion that this distressing condition is due to some particular cause, from which, as from an illness, he hopes to recover. Vain imaginings! That sickness is old age; and a horrible disease it is. They say that it is the fear of death and of what comes after death that makes men turn to religion as they advance in years. But my own experience has given me the conviction that, quite apart from any such terrors or imaginings, the religious sentiment tends to develop as we grow older; to develop because, as the passions grow calm, as the fancy and sensibilities are less excited and less excitable, our reason becomes less troubled in its working, less obscured by the images, desires and distractions, in which it used to be absorbed; whereupon God emerges as from behind a cloud; our soul feels, sees, turns towards the source of all light; turns naturally and inevitably; for now that all that gave to the world of sensations its life and charms has begun to leak away from us, now that phenomenal existence is no more bolstered up by impressions from within or from without, we feel the need to lean on something that abides, something that will never play us false–a reality, an absolute and everlasting truth. Yes, we inevitably turn to God; for this religious sentiment is of its nature so pure, so delightful to the soul that experiences it, that it makes up to us for all our other losses.
Aldous Huxley (Brave New World)
To continue to condemn only brings condemnation, then, for self. This does not mean that self's activity should be passive, but rather being constant in prayer--knowing and taking, knowing and understanding that he that is faithful is not given a burden beyond that he is able to bear . . .
Edgar Evans Cayce
And so, Navani painted a prayer onto the stones themselves, sending her attendants for more ink. She paced off the size of the glyph as she continued its border, making it enormous, spreading her ink onto the tan rocks. Soldiers gathered around, Sadeas stepping from his canopy, watching her paint, her back to the sun as she crawled on the ground and furiously dipped her brushpen into the ink jars. What was a prayer, if not creation? Making something where nothing existed. Creating a wish out of despair, a plea out of anguish. Bowing one's back before the Almighty, and forming humility from the empty pride of a human life. Something from nothing. True creation. Her tears mixed with the the ink. She went through four jars. She crawled, holding her safehand to the ground, brushing the stones and smearing ink on her cheeks when she wiped the tears. When she finally finished, she knelt back before a glyph twenty paces long, emblazoned as if in blood. The wet ink reflected sunlight, and she fired it with a candle; the ink was made to burn whether wet or dry. The flames burned across the length of the prayer, killing it and sending its soul to the Almighty.
Brandon Sanderson (The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive, #1))
The thing for us to do is to pray without ceasing; once having come into the presence of God, never to leave it; to abide in His presence and to live, steadily, unbrokenly, continuously, in the midst of whatever distractions or trials, with and in Him. God grant such a life to every one of us!
Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield (Faith & Life)
In order to live in victory, you must call the enemy’s bluff, pull the curtain back, open up your spiritual eyes, and remain continually aware of the one who’s truly behind a lot of the stuff you’re always blaming on your circumstances, your upbringing, your boyfriend, or whoever. Even on yourself.
Priscilla Shirer (Fervent: A Woman's Battle Plan to Serious, Specific, and Strategic Prayer)
He who lives among a certain sort of people becomes accustomed to that kind of habit, behavior, and morals. Consequently the cool become enthusiastic, the stupid become sharp, the idle are aroused to activity by a lively interest in their fellow men. Spirit can give itself to spirit and act beneficially upon another and attract another to prayer, to attention. It can encourage him in despondency, turn him from vice, and arouse him to holy action.
Anonymous (The Way of a Pilgrim and the Pilgrim Continues His Way)
I sank down every night on my knees at my bed and prayed, it seemed to me, as I had never prayed before. I don't remember what I said, but I think I was asking for strength, strength, and more strength. As far as I recall, I went on talking atheism to the girls and continued prayers while locked in my room.
Gertrude Beasley (My First Thirty Years)
Sherrie described atheism as a positive system of belief—one based on data, exploration and observation rather than scripture, creed and prayer. Atheists believe that human life is a chemical phenomenon, that our first parents were super-novas that happened billions of years ago—that humans are inexplicable miracles in a universe of structured chaos. Atheists believe that when we die, we will turn into organic debris which will continue cycling for billions of years in various incarnations. Sherrie explained that atheists appreciate life unfathomably because it is going to end. No one who takes atheism seriously dies without hope.
Israel Morrow (Gods of the Flesh: A Skeptic's Journey Through Sex, Politics and Religion)
Moral obligations verses Legal obligations. Legally, you must abide by the laws of the land or face the consequences of being fined, imprisoned or both. Moral obligations tend to lean more towards a spiritual nature of a person. Some people perform immoral acts because legally there are no consequences. Morals birth in the heart of the individual. Moral characteristics are developed at an early age and continue into adulthood. It's a disgrace to neglect having good moral character.
Amaka Imani Nkosazana (Sweet Destiny)
Life batters and shapes us in all sorts of ways before it's done, but those original selves which we were born with, and which I believe we continue in some measure to be no matter what, are selves which still echo with the holiness of their origin. I believe that what Genesis suggests is that this original self, with the print of God's thumb still upon it, is the most essential part of who we are and is buried deep in all of us as a source of wisdom and strength and healing which we can draw upon or, with our terrible freedom, not draw upon as we choose. I think that among other things all real art comes from that deepest self – painting, writing music, dance, all of it that in some way nourishes the spirit and enriches the understanding. I think that our truest prayers come from there too, the often unspoken, unbidden prayers that can rise out of the lives of unbelievers as well as believers whether they recognize them as prayers or not. And I think that from there also come our best dreams and our times of gladdest playing and taking it easy and all those moments when we find ourselves being better or stronger or braver or wiser than we are.
Frederick Buechner (Telling Secrets)
To a realized master, death and rebirth is in every breath. Death is that of body consciousness, ego and limits of the mind. Rebirth is that of the cosmic mind of being the Spirit. In this realization is liberation. When awake as liberated, each prayer and each moment of meditation is for humanity as there is no more individual ego or identity left. Such realized masters continually gift humanity with the grace of higher consciousness- so that each of us attain our fullest potential in goodness.
Nandhiji (Mastery of Consciousness: Awaken the Inner Prophet: Liberate Yourself with Yogic Wisdom.)
Well, it's not called a mystery for nothing," said Henry sourly. "Take my word for it. But one mustn't underestimate the primal appeal to lose one's self, lose it utterly. And in losing it be born to the principle of continuous life, outside the prison of mortality and time. That was attractive to me from the first, even when I knew nothing about the topic and approached it less as potential mystes than anthropologist. Ancient commentators are very circumspect about the whole thing. It was possible, with a great deal of work, to figure out some of the sacred rituals-the hymns, the sacred objects, what to wear and do and say. More difficult was the mystery itself: how did one propel oneself into such a state, what was the catalyst?" His voice was dreamy, amused. "We tried everything. Drink, drugs, prayer, even small doses of poison.
Donna Tartt (The Secret History)
It says in the brochure," said Arthur, pulling it out of his pocket and looking at it again, "that I can have a special prayer, individually tailored to me and my special needs." - "Oh, all right," said the old man. "Here's a prayer for you. Got a pencil?" - "Yes," said Arthur. - "It goes like this. Let's see now: "Protect me from knowing what I don't need to know. Protect me from even knowing that there are things to know that I don't know. Protect me from knowing that I decided not to know about the things that I decided not to know about. Amen." That's it. It's what you pray silently inside yourself anyway, so you may as well have it out in the open." - "Hmmm," said Arthur. "Well, thank you" - "There's another prayer that goes with it that's very Important," continued the old man, "so you'd better jot this down, too, just in case. You can never be too sure. "Lord, lord, lord. Protect me from the consequences of the above prayer. Amen." And that's it. Most of the trouble people get into in life comes from missing out that last part.
Douglas Adams
We use the word cross in our hymns, in our piety, in our prayers, and in our pastoral language. But we use it too cheaply. We say that a person has to live with some sort of suffering in life: a sickness that cannot be cured, an unresolvable personality conflict within the family, poverty, or some other unexplainable or unchangeable suffering. Then we say, “That person has a cross to bear.” Granted, whatever kind of suffering we have is suffering that we can bear in confidence that God is with us. But the cross that Jesus had to face, because he chose to face it, was not—like sickness—something that strikes you without explanation. It was not some continuing difficulty in his social life. It was not an accident or catastrophe that just happened to hit him when it could have hit somebody else. Jesus’ cross was the price to pay for being the kind of person he was in the kind of world he was in; the cross that he chose was the price of his representing a new way of life in a world that did not want a new way of life. That is what he called his followers to do.
John Howard Yoder (Radical Christian Discipleship (John Howard Yoder's Challenge to the Church, # 1))
Anxiety is unable to relax in the face of chaos; continuous prayer clings to the Father in the face of chaos.
Paul E. Miller (A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World)
Prayer without ceasing is only possible in a life of continual thanks.
Ann Voskamp (One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are)
Prayer is a state of continual gratitude.
St. John of Kronstadt
As we have seen, prayer, celebration of the religious offices, alms, consoling the afflicted, the cultivation of a little piece of ground, fraternity, frugality, hospitality, self-sacrifice, confidence, study, and work, filled up each day of his life. Filled up is exactly the phrase; and in fact, the Bishop's day was full to the brim with good thoughts, good words, and good actions. Yet it was not complete if cold or rainy weather prevented him from passing an hour or two in the evening, when the two women had retired, in his garden before going to sleep. It seemed as though it were a sort of rite with him, to prepare himself for sleep by meditating in the presence of the great spectacle of the starry firmament. Sometimes late at night, if the two women were awake, they would hear him slowly walking the paths. He was out there alone with himself, composed, tranquil, adoring, comparing the serenity of his heart with the serenity of the skies, moved in the darkness by the visible splendors of the constellations, and the invisible splendor of God, opening his soul to the thoughts that fall from the Unknown. In such moments, offering up his heart at the hour when the flowers of night emit their perfume, lit like a lamp in the center of the starry night, expanding his soul in ecstasy in the midst of creation’s universal radiance, perhaps he could not have told what was happening in his own mind; he felt something depart from him, and something descend upon him; mysterious exchanges of the depths of the soul with the depths of the universe. He contemplated the grandeur, and the presence of God; the eternity of the future, that strange mystery; the eternity of the past, a stranger mystery; all the infinities hidden deep in every direction; and, without trying to comprehend the incomprehensible, he saw it. He did not study God; he was dazzled by Him. He reflected upon the magnificent union of atoms, which give visible forms to Nature, revealing forces by recognizing them, creating individualities in unity, proportions in extension, the innumerable in the infinite, and through light producing beauty. These unions are forming and dissolving continually; from which come life and death. He would sit on a wooden bench leaning against a decrepit trellis and look at the stars through the irregular outlines of his fruit trees. This quarter of an acre of ground, so sparingly planted, so cluttered with shed and ruins, was dear to him and satisfied him. What more was needed by this old man, who divided the leisure hours of his life, where he had so little leisure, between gardening in the day time, and contemplation at night? Was this narrow enclosure, with the sky for a background not space enough for him to adore God in his most beautiful, most sublime works? Indeed, is that not everything? What more do you need? A little garden to walk in, and immensity to reflect on. At his feet something to cultivate and gather; above his head something to study and meditate on; a few flowers on earth and all the stars in the sky.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
The pain of regret is far worse than the pain of discipline. We will never have the anointing, the ministry or the revivals of our heroes if we don’t become as disciplined as they were. They went to bed early to get up early to pray, and they fasted for days on end. We shouldn’t just pray to mark it off of our lists or read a few chapters of our Bible each day to keep up with the church Bible reading chart. We must have a deeper purpose for doing these tasks. Discipline without direction is drudgery. In other words, discipline has to have a purpose to drive it each and every day. The price for spiritual change is expensive, but the rewards are far greater. The world’s ways, ideologies, and influence cannot be present in a life dedicated to Jesus because consecration’s purpose is for us to be different from the world. And, for that matter, if we are separate from the world, then sin must not be a part of our lives either. Sin ruins a life of consecration. It would be a shame to believe that holiness is nothing more than rules or guidelines we are to live by. Holiness and consecration flow from a life given to the spiritual disciplines, a life we can only maintain by continuing to seek for Him daily. Your pursuit will never be greater than your disciplines. No man is greater than his prayer life. Even though Jesus requires us to pray, praying is not to be done out of duty, but it is to be done out of delight. A person’s appetite reveals much about their physical health. Our physical appetite can reveal just as much about our spiritual health. Prayer is the dominant discipline in a godly life and it takes a backseat to no other task. Prayer is the guiding force to a life of consecration and spiritual discipline. Self-denial is tough, but self-indulgence is dangerous.
Nathan Whitley (The Lost Art Of Spiritual Disciplines)
As to the other means of grace, I would say, I fell into the snare into which so many young believers fall, the reading of religious books in preference to the Scriptures. I read tracts, missionary papers, sermons, and biographies of godly persons. I never had been at any time of my life in the habit of reading the Holy Scriptures. When under fifteen years of age, I occasionally read a little of them at school; afterwards God's precious book was entirely laid aside, so that I never read one single chapter of it till it pleased God to begin a work of grace in my heart. Now the scriptural way of reasoning would have been: God himself has consented to be an author, and I am ignorant about that precious book, which his Holy Spirit has caused to be written through the instrumentality of his servants, and it contains that which I ought to know, the knowledge of which will lead me to true happiness; therefore I ought to read again and again this most precious book of books, most earnestly, most prayerfully, and with much meditation; and in this practice I ought to continue all the days of my life. But instead of acting thus, my difficulty in understanding it, and the little enjoyment I had in it, made me careless of reading it; and thus, like many believers, I practically preferred, for the first four years of my divine life, the works of uninspired men to the oracles of the living God. The consequence was, that I remained a babe, both in knowledge and grace.
George Müller (The Autobiography Of George Muller)
But the for serious offline impact of 09/11 was the continual contact, continuous contact, it encouraged. On 09/12 everyone went out and bought phones. The mobiles, the cells. Suddenly, to lose touch was to die, and the only prayer left for anyone who felt buried whether under information or debris was for a signal strong enough to let their last words outlive them on voicemail.
Joshua Cohen (Book of Numbers: A Novel)
It takes a huge contortion of logic to reconcile a loving and just God who hears and answers prayers with the millions of faithful believers who continue to endure unimaginable suffering every single day.
Al Stefanelli
The last great humanitarian that tried to win the presidency was Robert F. Kennedy. As hard as he tried...He wasn't allowed to finish the work of trying to bring America together & to heal our nation. My prayer is that we may now all come together now and stop the hate, stop the obstruction and help our President continue to restore & rebuild our nation! The greater America becomes...the brighter humanity will be!
Timothy Pina (Hearts for Haiti: Book of Poetry & Inspiration)
An uncle continued to pay the fees for Calvin to attend school, but it was a long walk from his hut to St. Patrick’s Elementary School. Since he rarely had dinner the night before, his feet felt heavy as he trudged along. “If only I could go to school in the United States,” Calvin often thought on these long walks. And again, he prayed. When Calvin revealed his prayer to his older brother and an aunt, they laughed.
Theresa Thomas (Big Hearted: Inspiring Stories from Everyday Families)
it is precisely in this continuous process of confession and forgiveness that we are liberated from our isolation and encounter the possibility of a new disarmed way of living. Christians are peacemakers not when they apply some special skill to reconcile people with one another but when, by the confession of their brokenness, they form a community through which God's unlimited forgiveness is revealed to the world.
Henri J.M. Nouwen (Peacework: Prayer and Resistance and Community)
Every generation needs courageous believers who will trust God at His Word and pick up the baton of intercession, continuing the powerful legacy of faithfully standing in the gap and seeking His heart in prayer.
Stephen Kendrick (The Battle Plan for Prayer: From Basic Training to Targeted Strategies)
say no (Deut. 5:15). Strategy 9—Against Your Heart He uses every opportunity to keep old wounds fresh in mind, knowing that anger and hurt and bitterness and unforgiveness will continue to roll the damage forward (Heb. 12:15). Strategy 10—Against Your Relationships He creates disruption and disunity within your circle of friends and within the shared community of the body of Christ (1 Tim. 2:8). And that’s just ten of ’em—ten
Priscilla Shirer (Fervent: A Woman's Battle Plan to Serious, Specific, and Strategic Prayer)
The truth is that we have done far too little, for we have never apologized. We have never fully, publicly acknowledged the evil that was done to African-Americans as evil. The Civil War obliterated a wicked institution, but a war alone cannot obliterate wicked thinking. Slavery ended but racism continued, and in many ways it intensified after that war. Slavery existed only in the South, but racism pervades the entire country.
Marianne Williamson (Illuminata: Thoughts, Prayers, Rites of Passage)
We do not pray in order to provoke God into action. If this is our view of prayer, then we are no different to the prophets of Baal who felt they had to manipulate their aloof, disinterested and fickle gods. Instead we pray because we have a God who has already shown himself to be always active in this world in the person of His Son Jesus, and because we have a confidence that He will continue to work for our good and His glory.
James Krieg
Pray for the physical needs of those believers who have been dislocated and sent away from their homes, especially for families traveling with the young, the sick, and the elderly. Pray for the gospel to continue to spread even as believers are scattered because of persecution. Pray for Christians living in hostile areas to have wisdom as they decide whether to leave for a safer place, or to stay and preach the gospel where they are.
Alana Terry (30 Days of Prayer for the Persecuted Church)
The feeling of the wish fulfilled, if assumed and sustained, must objectify the state that would have created it. This law explains why 'Faith is the substance of things not hoped for, the evidence of things not seen' and why 'He calleth things that are not seen as though they were and things that were not seen became seen.' Assume the feeling of your wish fulfilled and continue feeling that it is fulfilled until that which you feel objectifies itself.
Neville Goddard (Prayer: The Art of Believing)
Sometimes when we pray, we are so busy concentrating on ourselves, and the problems we have, that we forget to be thankful.   "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." (Philippians 4:6)               God has stood by you in the past and He continues to do so now. Despite the mess you’ve gotten yourself into, He has been right there waiting for you to decide change is necessary. Thank Him for that.   Whatever you’re facing, know that things could have been a whole lot worse. Thank Him for that.   God’s mercies are new every morning, you are still here. In spite of your enemies, you are still living and breathing. And as long as you are breathing, you can succeed. With God, you will. Thank Him for that.   “Let them give thanks to the Lord for His loving kindness, and for His wonders to the sons of men!” (Psalms 107:8)   Remember: Forgiveness is not for your enemy, it’s for you. Holding a grudge blocks God’s ability to forgive and bless you. Let it go. Move on and watch God work. Be thankful for what God has already done and what He will do in your future.
Lynn R. Davis (Get Off Your Knees And Do Something: 17 Things To Do After You Pray (By Faith I Declare))
We think rightly or wrongly about prayer according to the conception we have in our minds of prayer. If we think of prayer as the breath in our lungs and the blood from our hearts, we think rightly. The blood flows ceaselessly, and breathing continues ceaselessly; we are not conscious of it, but it is always going on. We are not always conscious of Jesus keeping us in perfect joint with God, but if we are obeying Him, He always is. Prayer is not an exercise, it is the life.
Oswald Chambers (My Utmost for His Highest)
There is point in your life when you come face to face with the reality that you cannot take another step on your own. For me, I had never experienced that point, but depression brought me there. I have slowly, painfully and continually been confronted by my brokenness. Coming to terms with the fact that I am broken has been at the center of my accepting my being loved. For me, now, there exists a sense of desperate need for what God brings to my spiritual and mental self. Without His voice I cannot cope with the darkness, but with His whisper of "you are My beloved", I can take a step each day away from the chasm. I am broken but not beyond mending, not beyond love. It has been this desperation that has opened a crevice in which I am seeing Him for the first time. He is why my soul can find some peace even when my mind is dark and numb. It is this love that continually has brought me back from the edge of the impostor to the honesty of my broken, inner self
David Hulon Hood (Soul Interrupted: A Journey of Simple Prayers and Poetry)
S., a clever and truthful man, once told me the story of how he ceased to believe. On a hunting expedition, when he was already twenty-six, he once, at the place where they put up for the night, knelt down in the evening to pray -- a habit retained from childhood. His elder brother, who was at the hunt with him, was lying on some hay and watching him. When S. had finished and was settling down for the night, his brother said to him: 'So you still do that?' They said nothing more to one another. But from that day S. ceased to say his prayers or go to church. And now he has not prayed, received communion, or gone to church, for thirty years. And this not because he knows his brother's convictions and has joined him in them, nor because he has decided anything in his own soul, but simply because the word spoken by his brother was like the push of a finger on a wall that was ready to fall by its own weight. The word only showed that where he thought there was faith, in reality there had long been an empty space, and that therefore the utterance of words and the making of signs of the cross and genuflections while praying were quite senseless actions. Becoming conscious of their senselessness he could not continue them.
Leo Tolstoy (A Confession)
The Amen is only as good as the attitude. If you are trying to finish up quickly so you can check your cell phone messages, you are missing the chance to spend quiet moments with the giver of life and the eternal, which means you may reap continued feelings of life racing along without you. So as Samuel Beckett admonished us to fail again, and fail better, we try to pray again, and pray better, for slightly longer and with slightly more honesty, breathing more, deeper, and with more attention.
Anne Lamott (Help Thanks Wow: The Three Essential Prayers)
To be humble, and like a little child, afraid of taking a step alone, and so conscious of snares and dangers around us as to cry to Him continually to hold us up that we may be safe, is the sure, the infallible, the only secret of walking closely with Him.
John Newton
Genuine conversion is needed, not once in years, but daily. This conversion brings man into a new relation with God. Old things, his natural passions and hereditary and cultivated tendencies to wrong, pass away, and he is renewed and sanctified. But this work must be continual; for as long as Satan exists, he will make an effort to carry on his work. He who strives to serve God will encounter a strong undercurrent of wrong. His heart needs to be barricaded by constant watchfulness and prayer, or else the embankment will give way; and like a mill-stream, the undercurrent of wrong will sweep away the safeguard. No renewed heart can be kept in a condition of sweetness without the daily application of the salt of the word. Divine grace must be received daily, or no man will stay converted.
Ellen Gould White (Ellen G. White Review and Herald Articles, Book III of IV)
Place gathers stories, relationships, memories. This two acres of sacred landscape in the mountains of Montana has provided the material conditions for preserving a continuity of story in the course of living in eighteen residences located variously in five states and two countries. It has provided a stable location in space and time to give prayerful, meditative, discerning attention to the ways in which my life is being written into the comprehensive salvation story. It is the holy ground from which choke-cherry blossoms scent the spring air and giant ponderosa pines keep sentinel watch in the forest. It opens out on an immense glacier-cut horizon against which the invisibilities of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit form a believing imagination where the “inside is larger than the outside.
Eugene H. Peterson (The Pastor: A Memoir)
People should be entrusted with their own lives. People must be independent in every respect. No one should own anything. Property should be free like people are. The roads should not belong to any one person, in order to stop someone from collecting tolls from travelers. A priest shouldn't take a toll for prayers. A farmhand shouldn't take a toll for the fruits of the earth. The phone company shouldn't take a toll for conversations. Totally free of charge, like the fetus's time inside the mother continues to be after its birth.
Kristín Ómarsdóttir (Children in Reindeer Woods)
But you’re probably thinking something like this: “You call this ‘rest’? It’s nothing but uncomfortable and difficult. There’s no rest in it. When I try doing what you recommend, I find pain and struggling. It’s like I’m being attacked on all sides. A part of me always wants to quit. I don’t let it, but some facet of my mind is constantly trying to squash my best efforts. On the other hand, a part of me desperately wants to feel God and forget my self—be truly selfless—but I can’t.2 I’m still awkward, still self-conscious, and the conflict continues, overwhelming me. It’s agonizing. And this is the ‘rest’ you mean? If so, I think it’s a strange sort of rest.” My response to this is that you’re not used to contemplation yet and that’s why it seems painful. If you were familiar with this work and knew how much it could help you, you would never quit, not for all the physical joys and rest this world offers. Yes, I know it’s agonizing and strenuous. But I still call it “rest” for two reasons: When your soul is engaged in contemplation, it doesn’t worry or feel doubt. It’s totally at peace because it knows exactly what it’s supposed to do. Also, when practicing this prayer, your soul is purified and transformed. You become discerning. And you no longer want to wander from the path as much. Go forth and gently conquer, then. Be humble and passionate in this work. Persevere. Contemplation begins on earth but continues in eternity. Love never ends. Now I ask almighty Jesus to bring you and all those whom he has bought with his precious blood to this glorious, everlasting life. Amen.3
Anonymous (The Cloud of Unknowing: With the Book of Privy Counsel)
And at half past nine in the evening at that restaurant table in Portugal,” Mary continued, “someone gave me a piece of marzipan and it all came back. And I thought: am I really going to spend the rest of my life without ever feeling that again? I thought: I want to go to China. It’s full of treasures and strangeness and mystery and joy. I thought, Will anyone be better off if I go straight back to the hotel and say my prayers and confess to the priest and promise never to fall into temptation again? Will anyone be the better for making me miserable? “And the answer came back—no. No one will. There’s no one to fret, no one to condemn, no one to bless me for being a good girl, no one to punish me for being wicked. Heaven was empty. I didn’t know whether God had died, or whether there never had been a God at all. Either way I felt free and lonely and I didn’t know whether I was happy or unhappy, but something very strange had happened. And all that huge change came about as I had the marzipan in my mouth, before I’d even swallowed it. A taste—a memory—a landslide...
Philip Pullman (The Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials, #3))
First Snow The snow began here this morning and all day continued, its white rhetoric everywhere calling us back to why, how, whence such beauty and what the meaning; such an oracular fever! flowing past windows, an energy it seemed would never ebb, never settle less than lovely! and only now, deep into night, it has finally ended. The silence is immense, and the heavens still hold a million candles; nowhere the familiar things: stars, the moon, the darkness we expect and nightly turn from. Trees glitter like castles of ribbons, the broad fields smolder with light, a passing creekbed lies heaped with shining hills; and though the questions that have assailed us all day remain—not a single answer has been found— walking out now into the silence and the light under the trees, and through the fields, feels like one.
Mary Oliver
Prayer warriors need to put on the armor of God every day because the war is always going on. New battles continually need to be fought so that evil will be driven back, the kingdom of God advanced, and the will of God be done. Our spiritual armor not only protects us from the
Stormie Omartian (The 7-Day Prayer Warrior Experience (Free One-Week Devotional))
We talk to God--that is prayer; God talks to us--that is inspiration." We go apart to get still, that new life, new inspiration, new power of thought, new supply from the fountainhead may flow in; and then we come forth to shed it on those around us, that they, too, may be lifted up. Inharmony cannot remain in any home where even one member of the family daily practices this hour of the presence of God, so surely does the renewed infilling of the heart by peace and harmony result in the continual outgoing of peace and harmony into the entire surroundings.
H. Emilie Cady (Premium Complete Collection: Lessons In Truth; How I Used Truth; God A Present Help (Timeless Wisdom Collection Book 765))
Mental discipline, prayer and remoteness from the world and its disturbing visions reduce temptation to a minimum, but they can never entirely abolish it. In medieval traditions, abbeys and convents were always considered to be expugnable centres of revolt against infernal dominion on earth. They became, accordingly, special targets. Satan, issuing orders at nightfall to his foul precurrers, was rumoured to dispatch to capital cities only one junior fiend. This solitary demon, the legend continues, sleeps at his post. There is no work for him; the battle was long ago won. But monasteries, those scattered danger points, become the chief objectives of nocturnal flight; the sky fills with the beat of sable wings as phalanx after phalanx streams to the attack, and the darkness crepitates with the splintering of a myriad lances against the masonry of asceticism.
Patrick Leigh Fermor (A Time to Keep Silence)
Jesus Christ graced earth’s guilty sod to offer Himself as the perfect sacrifice and fulfill every requirement of the Law. He shed His blood on an altar constructed of two pieces of wood and fashioned into a cross. Because the fire of holy judgment met with the blood of the spotless Lamb, we need no other act of atonement. But we are desperate for the continuing work of sanctification. Too much power is at stake to continue cultivating an inconsistent and unconsecrated mouth. The challenge of a tamed tongue is so great that we’d be wise to give it daily attention in prayer.
Beth Moore (Believing God Day by Day: Growing Your Faith All Year Long)
Now, personally, I don’t really get the “tell me you love me or I’ll send you to hell” message such preaching promotes. If demonstrations of love to my husband were the result of threats he’d made to my well-being, I’d recognize him as an abusive brute and also be thinking he was some sort of twisted if he really thought the “love” he got through such intimidation was of any value or meaning. If we believed in a benevolent Creator of the Universe, we would be even more surprised at such behaviour, yet it continues, to this day, to be a significant characteristic of the Christian deity.
Gretta Vosper (Amen: what prayer can mean in a world beyond belief)
Rav Hisda nodded. “Despite the dangers, people continue to travel, often for long distances. This is what you would inscribe on an amulet for your brother to protect him on a journey. “May it be Your will, Adonai Savaot, that You conduct Tachlifa bar Haviva in peace, direct his footsteps in peace, and uphold him in peace. Deliver him from the hand of every foe and ambush along the way. Send blessing on his handiwork and grant him grace, loving-kindness, and mercy in Your eyes and in the eyes of all who behold Tachlifa bar Haviva. Blessed are You, Adonai, who harkens unto prayer. Amen. Amen. Selah.
Maggie Anton (Apprentice)
Secondly, it is the very nature of spiritual life to grow. Wherever they principle of this life is to be found, it can be no different for it must grow. "But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day" (Prov. 4:18); "The righteous also shall hold on his way, and he that hath clean hands shall be stronger and stronger" (Job 17:9). This refers to the children of GOd, who are compared to palm and cedar trees (Psa. 92:12). As natural as it is for children and trees to grow, so natural is growth for the regenerated children of God. Thirdly, the growth of His children is the goal and objective God has in view by administering the means of grace to them. "And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints...that we henceforth be no more children...but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the Head" (Eph. 4:11-15). This is also to be observed in 1 Peter 2:2: "as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby, " God will reach His goal and His word will not return to Him void; thus God's children will grow in grace. Fourthly, is is the duty to which God's children are continually exhorted, and their activity is to consist in a striving for growth. That it is their duty is to be observed in the following passages: "But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 3:18); "He that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still" (Rev. 22:11). The nature of this activity is expressed as follows: "Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after" (Phil. 3:12). If it were not necessary for believers to grow the exhortations to that end would be in vain. Some remain feeble, having but little life and strength. this can be due to a lack of nourishment, living under a barren ministry, or being without guidance. It can also be that they naturally have a slow mind and a lazy disposition; that they have strong corruptions which draw them away; that they are without much are without much strife; that they are too busy from early morning till late evening, due to heavy labor, or to having a family with many children, and thus must struggle or are poverty-stricken. Furthermore, it can be that they either do not have the opportunity to converse with the godly; that they do not avail themselves of such opportunities; or that they are lazy as far as reading in God's Word and prayer are concerned. Such persons are generally subject to many ups and downs. At one time they lift up their heads out of all their troubles, by renewal becoming serious, and they seek God with their whole heart. It does not take long, however , and they are quickly cast down in despondency - or their lusts gain the upper hand. Thus they remain feeble and are, so to speak, continually on the verge of death. Some of them occasionally make good progress, but then grieve the Spirit of God and backslide rapidly. For some this lasts for a season, after which they are restored, but others are as those who suffer from consumption - they languish until they die. Oh what a sad condition this is! (Chapter 89. Spiritual Growth, pg. 140, 142-143)
Wilhelmus à Brakel (The Christian's Reasonable Service, Vol. 4)
However, at the moment, I believe the more important thing that can be done with the platform I have been given is to try to convince the American populace that we are not one another’s enemies even if a (D) is by some of our names and an (R) by the names of others. Knowing that the future of my grandchildren and everyone else’s is put in jeopardy by a continuation of reckless spending, godless government, and mean-spirited attempts to silence critics leaves me with little choice but to continue to expound on the principles outlined in my prayer breakfast speech and to fight for a bright future for America.
Ben Carson (One Nation: What We Can All Do to Save America's Future)
Mountains have long been a geography for pilgrimage, place where people have been humbled and strengthened, they are symbols of the sacred center. Many have traveled to them in order to find the concentrated energy of Earth and to realize the strength of unimpeded space. Viewing a mountain at a distance or walking around its body we can see its shape, know its profile, survey its surrounds. The closer you come to the mountain the more it disappears, the mountain begins to lose its shape as you near it, its body begins to spread out over the landscape losing itself to itself. On climbing the mountain the mountain continues to vanish. It vanishes in the detail of each step, its crown is buried in space, its body is buried in the breath. On reaching the mountain summit we can ask, “What has been attained?” - The top of the mountain? Big view? But the mountain has already disappeared. Going down the mountain we can ask, “What has been attained?” Going down the mountain the closer we are to the mountain the more the mountain disappears, the closer we are to the mountain the more the mountain is realized. Mountain’s realization comes through the details of the breath, mountain appears in each step. Mountain then lives inside our bones, inside our heart-drum. It stands like a huge mother in the atmosphere of our minds. Mountain draws ancestors together in the form of clouds. Heaven, Earth and human meet in the raining of the past. Heaven, Earth and human meet in the winds of the future. Mountain mother is a birth gate that joins the above and below, she is a prayer house, she is a mountain. Mountain is a mountain.
Joan Halifax (The Fruitful Darkness: A Journey Through Buddhist Practice and Tribal Wisdom)
If Ever You Feel Down, Remember, 100Trillion Cells Make Up Your Body and ALL each of them cares About is You. Our body is made up of about 100,000 Billions of cells (100 Trillion)... all living working and sacrificing themselves completely for the exclusive benefit, well-being, and survival of the whole (which is you). We are each of us a universe unto ourselves. To put 100 Trillion in perspective... Jeremy Harper counted from one to one million in about 3 months. He did NOTHING but count, eat, and sleep (minimal). During this time; he didn't leave his home nor even shave. And that's only one MILLION, so if you ignore the fact that pronunciation takes much, much longer on ever larger numbers (more than a minute each), counting to 100 Trillion would take more than 25 Million years. It's awe inspiring to think that 100 Trillion cells (worlds) are counting ON me also, my decisions determine (to a large degree) whether they are allowed to continue living and experiencing in this life or not. Knowing all of this, who could realistically say that there are no miracles. We each have over 100 Trillion miracles working FOR us and depending ON us each and every second of every day. So when praying, I must always keep in mind that each word is in behalf of 100 Trillion worlds. OUR Father Who Art in Heaven...
Raymond D. Longoria Jr.
This, the universal Christ who, in grace and love, holds all things and all people and all creatures in that grace, is what gives me hope in this world. The universal Christ, who is not a colonizer, who does not seek after profit or create empires to rule over the poor or to oppress people, is constantly asking us to see ourselves as we fit in this sacredly created world. It is what my Potawatomi ancestors saw when they prayed to Kche Mnedo, to Mamogosnan, and is what our relatives still see when they pray today, a sacred belonging that spans time and generations and is called by many names. Today, it is what I continue to see in my own faith—not a Christianity bound by a sinner’s prayer and an everyday existence ruled by gender-divided Bible studies and accountability meetings but a story of faith that’s always bigger, always more inclusive, always making room at a bigger and better table full of lavish food that has already been prepared for everyone and for every created thing.
Kaitlin B. Curtice (Native: Identity, Belonging, and Rediscovering God)
I make a prayer now to your old ones, to those whose face you never saw and voice you never heard and name you haven’t known, that they remember you while you try to find them remembering you, that they come at the proper time to gather you in, that they whisper to you the truth that you haven’t been alone, and won’t be, that they know the hard friendship of the ending of days; I make a prayer that all who were there at your making will be there for your gathering in, that their hands will be there just by your opening head, your little fountain, to make a home for your sorrowing heart and for you; I make a prayer that your house and your people will be blessed by your coming and your going, that the day will come when they will boast of for a while having known you, and will marvel at the way of your going out from among them, and that you might be reason enough for them to continue for a while, and that in the days to come you will be claimed as noble, as an ancestor worth coming from.
Stephen Jenkinson
O LORD, all treasures of wisdom and truth and holiness are stored up in your boundless being. Grant that through our constant fellowship with you, those graces of Christian character may more and more take shape within me: The grace of a thankful and uncomplaining heart; The grace to await your timing patiently and to answer your call promptly; The grace of courage whether in suffering or in danger; The grace to endure any hardship in the fight against evil; The grace of boldness to stand up for what is right; The grace of being adequately prepared for any temptation; The grace of physical discipline; The grace of truthfulness; The grace to treat others as I would like them to treat me; The grace of sensitivity, that I may refrain from hasty judgment; The grace of silence, that I may refrain from thoughtless speech; The grace of forgiveness toward all who have wronged me; The grace of tenderness toward all who are weaker than myself; The grace of faithfulness in continuing to desire that you will answer these prayers.
John Baillie (A Diary of Private Prayer)
There was once a man who yearned to live forever. Beginning in his youth, he prayed for God to grant him immortality. He was charitable and earnest, honest in his business dealings, true to his wife, and kind to his children. He humbled himself before God and preached His laws to all who would listen. And yet, he continued to age with every passing year, until he finally died a frail old man. When he reached heaven, he asked, "Lord, why did You refuse to answer my prayer? Did I not live my life according to Your word? Did I not praise Your name to all who would listen?" To which God replied, "You did all of these things. And that is why I did not curse you by answering your prayer.
Seth Grahame-Smith
Many secular observers and spiritual practitioners alike mistake mystical chanting as a kind of anthropological curiosity or interesting musical diversion from secular mainstream entertainment, sometimes labeling it 'world' or 'folk' music. But uttering or chanting spells, mantras or prayers shouldn't be regarded as a romantic excursion to a distant past, or faraway place, or as an escape from our everyday stresses, for relaxation or entertainment. These sounds are meant to be experienced as the timeless unity of energy currents. The chanting of ancient esoteric sounds enables us to realize we are never separate from the one continuously existing omnipresent vibration of the cosmos.
Zeena Schreck
Brother Lawrence says, in The Practice of the Presence of God, 'There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful than that of a continual conversation with God. Those only can comprehend it who practice and experience it' (Letter 5). No one who has ever tried it has ever given it a lesser rating than that. For even though our prayer-contact with God may be almost infinitely poor, the God we thus contact is infinitely rich! Therefore, 'we are to be pitied who content ourselves with so little. God has infinite treasure to bestow' (Letter 4). What is that? 'What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, not the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him' (1 Cor 2:9).
Peter Kreeft (Prayer For Beginners)
everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles” (Acts 2:42). The disciples’ prayers resulted in their receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and their working wonders and signs to God’s glory, just as Jesus had done. Later, we see that the disciples continued to follow the lifestyle of prayer that Jesus had demonstrated for them. They declared, “We…will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word” (Acts 6:3–4). The entire book of Acts describes how they continued the ministry of Jesus through prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit. They learned the secret to Jesus’ effectiveness in ministry. Now that you have learned the same secret, what will you do with it?
Myles Munroe (Understanding The Purpose And Power Of Prayer)
Remember that we deal with alcohol—cunning, baffling, powerful! Without help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power—that One is God. May you find Him now! Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning point. We asked His protection and care with complete abandon. Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of recovery: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
Alcoholics Anonymous (Alcoholics Anonymous)
We are all made in the image of God, beings of immortal consciousness cloaked in diaphanous heavenly light—a heritage buried beneath the cloddish flesh. That heritage we can only acknowledge by meditation. There is no other way—not by reading books, not by philosophical study, but by devotion and continuous prayer and scientific meditation that uplifts the consciousness to God.
Paramahansa Yogananda (The Yoga of Jesus: Understanding the Hidden Teachings of the Gospels)
Larry smiled a trifle ruefully. "Like Rolla [who is?], I've come too late into a world too old. I should have been born in the Middle Ages when faith was a matter of course; then my way would have been clear to me and I'd have sought to enter the order. I couldn't believe. I wanted to believe, but I couldn't believe in a God who wasn't better than the ordinary decent man. The monks told me that God had created the world for his glorification. That didn't seem to me a very worthy object. Did Beethoven create his symphonies for his glorification? I don't believe it. I believe he created them because the music in his soul demanded expression and then all he tried to do was to make them as perfect as he knew how. I used to listen to the monks repeating the Lord's Prayer; I wondered how they could continue to pray without misgiving to their heavenly father to give them their daily bread. Do children beseech their earthly father to give them sustenance? They expect him to do it, they neither feel gratitude to him for doing so nor need to, and we have only blame for a man who brings children into the world that he can't or won't provide for. It seemed to me that if an omnipotent creator was not prepared to provide his creatures with the necessities, material and spiritual, of existence he'd have done better not to create them." "Dear Larry," I said, "I think it's just as well you weren't born in the Middle ages. You'd undoubtedly have perished at the stake." He smiled. "You've had a great deal of success," he went on. "Do you want to be praised to your face?" "It only embarrasses me." "That's what I should have thought. I couldn't believe that God wanted it either. We didn't think much in the air corps of a fellow who wangled a cushy job out of his C.O. By buttering him up. It was hard for me to believe that God thought much of a man who tried to wangle salvation by fulsome flattery. I should have thought the worship most pleasing to him was to do your best according to your lights.
W. Somerset Maugham (The Razor's Edge)
George Muller, that remarkable man of such simple yet strong faith in God, a man of prayer and Bible reading, founder and promoter of the noted orphanage in England, which cared for hundreds of orphan children, conducted the institution solely by faith and prayer. He never asked a man for anything, but simply trusted in the Providence of God, and it is a notorious fact that never did the inmates of the home lack any good thing. From his paper he always excluded money matters, and financial difficulties found no place in it. Nor would he mention the sums which had been given him, nor the names of those who made contributions. He never spoke of his wants to others nor asked a donation. The story of his life and the history of this orphanage read like a chapter from the Scriptures. The secret of his success was found in this simple statement made by him: “I went to my God and prayed diligently, and received what I needed.” That was the simple course which he pursued. There was nothing he insisted on with greater earnestness than that, be the expenses what they might be, let them increase ever so suddenly, he must not beg for anything. There was nothing in which he took more delight and showed more earnestness in telling than that he had prayed for every want which ever came to him in his great work. His was a work of continuous and most importunate praying, and he always confidently claimed that God had guided him throughout it all. A stronger proof of a divine providence, and of the power of simple faith and of answered prayer, cannot be found in Church history or religious biography.
E.M. Bounds (The Complete Collection of E. M. Bounds on Prayer)
THOU RIGHTEOUS AND HOLY SOVEREIGN, In whose hand is my life and whose are all my ways, Keep me from fluttering about religion; fix me firm in it, for I am irresolute; my decisions are smoke and vapour, and I do not glorify thee, or behave according to thy will; Cut me not off before my thoughts grow to responses, and the budding of my soul into full flower, for thou art forbearing and good, patient and kind. Save me from myself, from the artifices and deceits of sin, from the treachery of my perverse nature, from denying thy charge against my offences, from a life of continual rebellion against thee, from wrong principles, views, and ends; for I know that all my thoughts, affections, desires and pursuits are alienated from thee. I have acted as if I hated thee, although thou art love itself; have contrived to tempt thee to the uttermost, to wear out thy patience; have lived evilly in word and action. Had I been a prince I would long ago have crushed such a rebel; Had I been a father I would long since have rejected my child. O, thou Father of my spirit, thou King of my life, cast me not into destruction, drive me not from thy presence, but wound my heart that it may be healed; break it that thine own hand may make it whole.
Arthur Bennett (The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions)
The next morning, between services, in an alcove space used for private prayer, Heinrich confessed to an elder that he had succumbed to the temptation of lust and could no longer be of service to the church. He said that he had seen more of God's glory in the body of a half-naked girl than in the worship services of thirty years combined. That he would like to continue mediating on the glory of God in this fashion.
Jamie Quatro (I Want to Show You More)
May my life be a continual prayer, a long act of love. May nothing distract me from You, no noise or distractions. I would so love, my Master, to live with You in silence. But what I love above all is to do Your will, and since You want me to be in the world at present, I submit myself with all my heart for love of You. I offer You the cell of my heart to be your little Bethany; come and live there, I love You so much.
Claire Dwyer (This Present Paradise: A Spiritual Journey with St. Elizabeth of the Trinity)
When Elizabeth finally descended the stairs on her way to the dining room she was two hours late. Deliberately. “Good heavens, you’re tardy, my dear!” Sir Francis said, shoving back his chair and rushing to the doorway where Elizabeth had been standing, trying to gather her courage to do what needed to be done. “Come and meet my guests,” he said, drawing her forward after a swift, disappointed look at her drab attire and severe coiffure. “We did as you suggested in your note and went ahead with supper. What kept you abovestairs so long?” “I was at prayer,” Elizabeth said, managing to look him straight in the eye. Sir Francis recovered from his surprise in time to introduce her to the three other people at the table-two men who resembled him in age and features and two women of perhaps five and thirty who were both attired in the most shockingly revealing gowns Elizabeth had ever seen. Elizabeth accepted a helping of cold meat to silence her protesting stomach while both women studied her with unhidden scorn. “That is a most unusual ensemble you’re wearing, I must say,” remarked the woman named Eloise. “Is it the custom where you come from to dress so…simply?” Elizabeth took a dainty bite of meat. “Not really. I disapprove of too much personal adornment.” She turned to Sir Francis with an innocent stare. “Gowns are expensive. I consider them a great waste of money.” Sir Francis was suddenly inclined to agree, particularly since he intended to keep her naked as much as possible. “Quite right!” he beamed, eyeing the other ladies with pointed disapproval. “No sense in spending all that money on gowns. No point in spending money at all.” “My sentiments exactly,” Elizabeth said, nodding. “I prefer to give every shilling I can find to charity instead.” “Give it away?” he said in a muted roar, half rising out of his chair. Then he forced himself to sit back down and reconsider the wisdom of wedding her. She was lovely-her face more mature then he remembered it, but not even the black veil and scraped-back hair could detract from the beauty of her emerald-green eyes with their long, sooty lashes. Her eyes had dark circles beneath them-shadows he didn’t recall seeing there earlier in the day. He put the shadows down to her far-too-serious nature. Her dowry was creditable, and her body beneath that shapeless black gown…he wished he could see her shape. Perhaps it, too, had changed, and not for the better, in the past few years. “I had hoped, my dear,” Sir Francis said, covering her hand with his and squeezing it affectionately, “that you might wear something else down to supper, as I suggested you should.” Elizabeth gave him an innocent stare. “This is all I brought.” “All you brought?” he uttered. “B-But I definitely saw my footmen carrying several trunks upstairs.” “They belong to my aunt-only one of them is mine,” she fabricated hastily, already anticipating his next question and thinking madly for some satisfactory answer. “Really?” He continued to eye her gown with great dissatisfaction, and then he asked exactly the question she’d expected: “What, may I ask, does your one truck contain if not gowns?” Inspiration struck, and Elizabeth smiled radiantly. “Something of great value. Priceless value,” she confided. All faces at the table watched her with alert fascination-particularly the greedy Sir Francis. “Well, don’t keep us in suspense, love. What’s in it?” “The mortal remains of Saint Jacob.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
The Lord wants to have an ongoing conversation with us throughout the daily rhythms of our life. He is intimately acquainted with all of our ways. As we speak to Him, we acknowledge His presence and His involvement in our lives. This is what Paul means by praying continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Since our minds continue working all the time, our silent thoughts and prayers can constantly be offered to him in a running dialogue.
Judy Wardell Halliday (Thin Within)
Many readers are familiar with the spirit and the letter of the definition of “prayer”, as given by Ambrose Bierce in his Devil’s Dictionary. It runs like this, and is extremely easy to comprehend: Prayer: A petition that the laws of nature be suspended in favor of the petitioner; himself confessedly unworthy. Everybody can see the joke that is lodged within this entry: The man who prays is the one who thinks that god has arranged matters all wrong, but who also thinks that he can instruct god how to put them right. Half–buried in the contradiction is the distressing idea that nobody is in charge, or nobody with any moral authority. The call to prayer is self–cancelling. Those of us who don’t take part in it will justify our abstention on the grounds that we do not need, or care, to undergo the futile process of continuous reinforcement. Either our convictions are enough in themselves or they are not: At any rate they do require standing in a crowd and uttering constant and uniform incantations. This is ordered by one religion to take place five times a day, and by other monotheists for almost that number, while all of them set aside at least one whole day for the exclusive praise of the Lord, and Judaism seems to consist in its original constitution of a huge list of prohibitions that must be followed before all else. The tone of the prayers replicates the silliness of the mandate, in that god is enjoined or thanked to do what he was going to do anyway. Thus the Jewish male begins each day by thanking god for not making him into a woman (or a Gentile), while the Jewish woman contents herself with thanking the almighty for creating her “as she is.” Presumably the almighty is pleased to receive this tribute to his power and the approval of those he created. It’s just that, if he is truly almighty, the achievement would seem rather a slight one. Much the same applies to the idea that prayer, instead of making Christianity look foolish, makes it appear convincing. Now, it can be asserted with some confidence, first, that its deity is all–wise and all–powerful and, second, that its congregants stand in desperate need of that deity’s infinite wisdom and power. Just to give some elementary quotations, it is stated in the book of Philippians, 4:6, “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication and thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God.” Deuteronomy 32:4 proclaims that “he is the rock, his work is perfect,” and Isaiah 64:8 tells us, “Now O Lord, thou art our father; we art clay and thou our potter; and we are all the work of thy hand.” Note, then, that Christianity insists on the absolute dependence of its flock, and then only on the offering of undiluted praise and thanks. A person using prayer time to ask for the world to be set to rights, or to beseech god to bestow a favor upon himself, would in effect be guilty of a profound blasphemy or, at the very least, a pathetic misunderstanding. It is not for the mere human to be presuming that he or she can advise the divine. And this, sad to say, opens religion to the additional charge of corruption. The leaders of the church know perfectly well that prayer is not intended to gratify the devout. So that, every time they accept a donation in return for some petition, they are accepting a gross negation of their faith: a faith that depends on the passive acceptance of the devout and not on their making demands for betterment. Eventually, and after a bitter and schismatic quarrel, practices like the notorious “sale of indulgences” were abandoned. But many a fine basilica or chantry would not be standing today if this awful violation had not turned such a spectacularly good profit. And today it is easy enough to see, at the revival meetings of Protestant fundamentalists, the counting of the checks and bills before the laying on of hands by the preacher has even been completed. Again, the spectacle is a shameless one.
Christopher Hitchens (Mortality)
The Psalms offer us a way of joining in a chorus of praise and prayer that has been going on for millennia and across all cultures. Not to try to inhabit them, while continuing to invent nonpsalmic “worship” based on our own feelings of the moment, risks being like a spoiled child who, taken to the summit of Table Mountain with the city and the ocean spread out before him, refuses to gaze at the view because he is playing with his Game Boy.
N.T. Wright (The Case for the Psalms: why they are essential)
Act like you’re chanting a prayer,” hissed Kamala in my ear. “Like what?” “Mutter something,” said Kamala. “Do you know how many sadhus I’ve listened to? Let alone eaten? If you don’t start muttering something, they will turn on you. And I don’t want to eat them. They look like they’d taste horrible.” “I--” “A list or something.” “Uh,” I stammered, trying to draw out the sound into the beginning of a chant. The people of Bharata were beginning to frown at me. Some had even stopped hurling shouts at the gates to watch me fail. “Skies…fingers…teeth…” Kamala nodded approvingly. “Can they hear you?” I hissed. “No, not at all. Continue talking to me. That will definitely make you seem crazy. Very convincing for a holy person.” “Are you sure?” “Quite,” said Kamala. “You are like me. Half a thing. Mildly insane. A little of the Otherworld.” “How comforting,” I muttered, continuing with my ridiculous list as we shouldered through people.
Roshani Chokshi (The Star-Touched Queen (The Star-Touched Queen, #1))
It is possible to think of fragrance existing before a flower was created to contain it, and so it is that God created the world to reveal Himself, to reveal Mercy. Once or twice a year, perhaps three times, a woman visits the garden, her face ancient, the eyes calm but not passive as she approaches the rosewood tree and begins to pick and examine each fallen leaf. Whether she is in possession of her full mental faculties, no one is sure. Perhaps she is sane and just pretending madness for self-protection. Many decades ago - long before the house was built, when this place was just an expanse of wild growth - she had discovered the name of God on a rosewood leaf, the green veins curving into sacred calligraphy. She picks each small leaf now, hoping for a repetition of the miracle, holding it in her palms in a gesture identical to prayer. The life of the house continues around her and occasionally she watches them, following the most ordinary human acts with an attention reserved by others for much greater events. If it is autumn, she has to remain in the garden for hours, following the surge and pull of the wind as it takes the dropped foliage to all corners. Afterwards, as the dusk begins to darken the air, they sit together, she and the tree, until only the tree remains. What need her search fulfils in her is not known. Perhaps healing had existed before wounds and bodies were created to be its recipient.
Nadeem Aslam (The Blind Man's Garden)
You must always believe. Stay strong. Faith moves mountains. Don't be a bystander in life. No. Take it by the reins. Lay it down beneath you like a woman, a real woman with curves like a prayer pillow. Embrace it gentlly, at other times intensely. Seek out the source of life, where it pulsates, where it burns hot and humid, here, there, everywhere. The world is yours for the taking. Learn to feel out the world. Always give the best of yourself. Bite into it and don't hold back. Fear; leave it behind, far away from you. It will pass through you and continue its course. Walk like a God among men. Always consider what your actions say about you. Every steps resonates; yours levitate! Be mindful of the the way you carry yourself, especially when life punches you right in the heart, your body. Spit violently on the ground if you have to. Turn a deaf-ear to the mean-spirited and narrow-minded. They can only drag you into the lair of regrets, jealousy and resentement.
Wilfried N'Sondé (The Heart of the Leopard Children)
With respect also to spiritual sloth, beginners are apt to be irked by the things that are most spiritual, from which they flee because these things are incompatible with sensible pleasure. For, as they are so much accustomed to sweetness in spiritual things, they are wearied by things in which they find no sweetness. If once they failed to find in prayer the satisfaction which their taste required (and after all it is well that God should take it from them to prove them), they would prefer not to return to it: sometimes they leave it; at other times they continue it unwillingly. And thus because of this sloth they abandon the way of perfection (which is the way of the negation of their will and pleasure for God's sake) for the pleasure and sweetness of their own will, which they aim at satisfying in this way rather than the will of God. And many of these would have God will that which they themselves will, and are fretful at having to will that which He wills, and find it repugnant to accommodate their will to that of God. Hence it happens to them that oftentimes they think that that wherein they find not their own will and pleasure is not the will of God; and that, on the other hand, when they themselves find satisfaction, God is satisfied. Thus they measure God by themselves and not themselves by God, acting quite contrarily to that which He Himself taught in the Gospel, saying: That he who should lose his will for His sake, the same should gain it; and he who should desire to gain it, the same should lose it.
Juan de la Cruz (Dark Night of the Soul)
Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition ([34]definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. 7 And God’s peace [shall be yours, that [35]tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall [36]garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Anonymous (Amplified Bible)
Every act of love, gratitude, and kindness; every work of art or music inspired by the love of God and delight in the beauty of his creation; every minute spent teaching a severely handicapped child to read or to walk; every act of care and nurture, of comfort and support, for one’s fellow human beings and for that matter one’s fellow nonhuman creatures; and of course every prayer, all Spirit-led teaching, every deed that spreads the gospel, builds up the church, embraces and embodies holiness rather than corruption, and makes the name of Jesus honored in the world—all of this will find its way, through the resurrecting power of God, into the new creation that God will one day make. That is the logic of the mission of God. God’s recreation of his wonderful world, which began with the resurrection of Jesus and continues mysteriously as God’s people live in the risen Christ and in the power of his Spirit, means that what we do in Christ and by the Spirit in the present is not wasted. It will last all the way into God’s new world. In fact, it will be enhanced there.
N.T. Wright (Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church)
LIFE BATTERS AND shapes us in all sorts of ways before it’s done, but those original selves which we were born with and which I believe we continue in some measure to be no matter what are selves which still echo with the holiness of their origin. I believe that what Genesis suggests is that this original self, with the print of God’s thumb still upon it, is the most essential part of who we are and is buried deep in all of us as a source of wisdom and strength and healing which we can draw upon or, with our terrible freedom, not draw upon as we choose. I think that among other things all real art comes from that deepest self—painting, writing music, dance, all of it that in some way nourishes the spirit and enriches the understanding. I think that our truest prayers come from there too, the often unspoken, unbidden prayers that can rise out of the lives of unbelievers as well as believers whether they recognize them as prayers or not. And I think that from there also come our best dreams and our times of gladdest playing and taking it easy and all those moments when we find ourselves being better or stronger or braver or wiser than we are.
Frederick Buechner (Listening to Your Life: Daily Meditations with Frederick Buechne)
Lady Isabeau was tall for a woman, nearly as tall as Molly, but slender where Molly was stout, with a smooth immobile face that looked as if it had been carved from ivory, pale and serene. Hob stared at her: glossy black hair bound about the brows with a broad white linen fillet and partly concealed by a veil that draped down her neck; dark eyes beneath dark brows plucked thin; unsmiling lips, full and well-shaped. There was so little expression on her face, and its beauty was so unworldly, that Hob had a moment when he thought her an apparition, or a graven figure. “Blanche comme la neige,” came to his mind, a song Molly had taught him, “belle comme le jour.” The thinnest of scars ran from her hairline down her forehead, divided her left eyebrow, and curved along her cheek to the corner of her mouth, and seemed at once to augment her beauty and to reinforce its carven stillness, as if some wright's chisel had slipped in the course of fashioning her visage. A linen band of the sort known as a barbette ran down from the fillet at her temples and passed under her chin, framing her face, and rendering her features all the more austere. Her gown was a muted purple; heavy embroidery of red and blue circled its neckline, and it was gathered by a zone of gray silk, sewn with pearls, that circled her hips. From this belt depended a silver ring, as wide around as a big man's fist. On the ring was a bunch of black iron keys, of varying sizes: the symbol and reality of her standing as administrator of the household. As she spoke, she fiddled with the keys as though they were prayer beads; they gave off a continual muted clink, just barely audible to Hob above the rumble of voices, the thuds and thumps of plank tabletops settling onto their trestles.
Douglas Nicholas
At every turn, while he was investigating the background for his study of Thomas Nashe, he would encounter the Church — what Chesterton called (another book title) The Thing. It was everywhere. At one point, he later told me (and he was never very specific just when that point occurred), he decided that the thing had to be sorted out or he couldn't rest. Either it ws true, or it wasn't. Either the entire matter was true, all of it, exactly as the Church claimed, or it was the biggest hoax ever perpetrated on a gullible mankind. With that choice clearly delineated, he set out to find which was the case. What came next was not more study, but testing. The matter had to be tested — on its own terms: that is, by prayer. He told me that the principal prayer that he used was not some long or complex formula, but simply, "Lord, please, send me a sign." He reported that, almost immediately, not one but a deluge of signs arrived. And they continued to arrive unabated for a long time. As to just what the signs consisted in and what happened next, well, some things must remain private. The reader may deduce the rest from the fact of his conversion. ... -- Eric McLuhan, introduction
Marshall McLuhan (The Medium and the Light)
1. We admitted we were powerless over our emotions, that our lives had become unmanageable. 2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. 3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him. 4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. 5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. 6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character. 7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings. 8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all. 9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. 10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it. 11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out. 12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to emotionally and mentally ill persons and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
Jerry Hirschfield (The Twelve Steps for Everyone: Who Really Wants Them)
openness, your yearning for Divine Love, your willingness to search for, embrace and heal any and all soul wounds that stand in its way, with continual dedication, self inquiry and prayer. The most important thing is to do this, because once a soul walks through this door, once Divine Love is tasted and allowed in fully, once enough wounding is removed by Divine Love, then Divine Love can always be asked for and received. Whenever you ask for it, in one second it will come and fill you. Ask and you shall receive, knock on the door and the door will open. This is a massive key and is worth giving EVERYTHING for.
Padma Aon Prakasha (Dimensions of Love)
Firmly grounded in the divine dream of Israel’s Torah, the Bible’s prophetic vision insists that God demands the fair and equitable sharing of God’s world among all of God’s people. In Israel’s Torah, God says, “The land is mine; with me you are but aliens and tenants” (Lev. 25:23). We are all tenant farmers and resident aliens in a land and on an earth not our own. The prophets speak in continuity with that radical vision of the earth’s divine ownership. They repeatedly proclaim it with two words in poetic parallelism. “The Lord is exalted,” proclaims Isaiah. “He dwells on high; he filled Zion with justice and righteousness” (33:5). “I am the Lord,” announces Jeremiah in the name of God. “I act with steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth, for in these things I delight” (9:24). And those qualities must flow from God to us, from heaven to earth. “Thus says the Lord,” continues Jeremiah. “Act with justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor anyone who has been robbed. And do no wrong or violence to the alien, the orphan, and the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place” (22:3). “Justice and righteousness” is how the Bible, as if in a slogan, summarizes the character and spirit of God the Creator and, therefore, the destiny and future of God’s created earth. It points to distributive justice as the Bible’s radical vision of God. “Ah, you who join house to house, who add field to field,” mourns the prophet Isaiah, “until there is room for no one but you, and you are left to live alone in the midst of the land” (5:8). But that landgrab is against the dream of God and the hope of Israel. Covenant with a God of distributive justice who owns the earth necessarily involves, the prophets insist, the exercise of distributive justice in God’s world and on God’s earth. All God’s people must receive a fair share of God’s earth.
John Dominic Crossan (The Greatest Prayer: A Revolutionary Manifesto and Hymn of Hope)
Remember how those who bent on denying the truth plotted against you to imprison you or kill you or expel you: they schemed—but God also schemed. God is the best of schemers. 31 Whenever Our revelations are recited to them, they say, ‘We have heard them. If we wished, we could produce the like. They are nothing but the fables of the ancients.’ 32 They also said, ‘God, if this really is the truth from You, then rain down upon us stones from heaven, or send us some other painful punishment.’ 33 But God would not punish them while you [Prophet] were in their midst, nor would He punish them so long as they sought forgiveness. 34 Yet why should God not punish them when they debar people from the Sacred Mosque, although they are not its guardians? Its rightful guardians are those who fear God, though most of them do not realize it. 35 Their prayers at the Sacred House are nothing but whistling and clapping of hands. ‘So taste the punishment because of your denial.’ 36 Those who are bent on denying the truth are spending their wealth in debarring others from the path of God. They will continue to spend it in this way till, in the end, this spending will become a source of intense regret for them, and then they will be overcome. And those who denied the truth will be gathered together in Hell. 37 So that God may separate the bad from the good, He will heap the wicked one upon another and then cast them into Hell. These will surely be the losers. 38 Tell those who are bent on denying the truth that if they desist, their past shall be forgiven, but if they persist in sin, they have an example in the fate of those who went before.b 39 Fight them until there is no more [religious] persecution,c and religion belongs wholly to God: if they desist, then surely God is watchful of what they do, 40 but if they turn away, know that God is your Protector; the Best of Protectors and the Best of Helpers!
Anonymous (The Quran: A Simple English Translation (Goodword))
Let us remember this history, when we pray for ourselves. We are sometimes tempted to think that we get no good by our prayers, and that we may as well give them up altogether. Let us resist the temptation. It comes from the devil. Let us believe, and pray on. Against our besetting sins, against the spirit of the world, against the wiles of the devil, let us pray on, and not faint. For strength to do duty, for grace to bear our trials, for comfort in every trouble, let us continue in prayer. Let us be sure that no time is so well-spent in every day, as that which we spend upon our knees. Jesus hears us, and in his own good time will give an answer. Let us remember this history, when we intercede for others. Have we children, whose conversion we desire? Have we relatives and friends, about whose salvation we are anxious? Let us follow the example of this Canaanitish woman, and lay the state of their souls before Christ. Let us name their names before Him night and day, and never rest until we have an answer. We may have to wait many a long year. We may seem to pray in vain, and intercede without profit. But let us never give up. Let us believe that Jesus is not changed, and that He who heard the Canaanitish mother, and granted her request, will also hear us, and one day give us an answer of peace.
J.C. Ryle (J.C. Ryle's Commentaries on the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John)
When you combine this sacred text with the belief that one’s group alone has a unique revelation, then you can say to others, “With all due respect, my good friends, God does not hear your prayers because you do not believe as I do.” Why do they say that? Because they combine an infallible book with unique revelation and think they have become God’s chosen people. They want us to believe that they alone are God’s and know how to interpret the Bible, since God cannot speak for herself. These presumptions of sacred text and unique revelation combine to create an arrogance of faith that is arguably the most destructive force in the world. It has gone on for centuries and it continues.
Robert Alley
I don't like to make mistakes. Which is why I haven't been with a man before now." He as thrown off balance so quickly and completely, he coud hear his own brain stumble. "Well,that's...that's wise." He took one definite step back, like a chessman going from square to square. "It's interesting that makes you nervous," she said, countering his move. "I'm not nervous,I'm...finished up here, it seems." He tried another tactic, stepped to the side. "Interesting," she continued, mirroring his move, "that it would make you nervous,or uneasy if you prefer, when you've been...I think it's safe to use the term 'hitting on me' since we met." "I don't think that's the proper term at all." Since he seemed to be boxed into a corner,he decided he was really only standing his ground. "I acted in a natural way regarding a physical attraction. But-" "And now that I've reacted in a natural way, you've felt the reins slip out of your hands and you're panicked." "I'm certainly not panicked." He ignored the terror gripping claws into his belly and concentrated on annoyance. "Back off, Keeley." "No." With her eyes locked on his, she stepped in.Checkmate. His back was hard up against a stall door and he'd been maneuvered there by a woman half his weight.It was mortifying. "This isn't doing either of us any credit." It took a lot of effort when the blood was rapidly draining out of his head, but he made his voice cool and firm. "The fact is I've rethought the matter." "Have you?" "I have,yes,and-stop it," he ordered when she ran the palms of her hands up over his chest. "You're hearts pounding," she murmured. "So's mine.Should I tell you what goes on inside my head,inside my body when you kiss me" "No." He barely managed a croak this time. "And it's not going to happen again." "Bet?" She laughed, rising up just enough to nip his chin. How could she have known how much fun it was to twist a man into aroused knots? "Why don't you tell me about this rethinking?" "I'm not going to take advantage of your-of the situation." That,she thought,was wonderfully sweet. "At the moment,I seem to have the advantage.This time you're trembling,Brian." The hell he was.How could he be trembling when he couldn't feel his own legs? "I won't be responsible.I won't use your inexperience.I won't do this." The last was said on a note of desperation and he pushed her aside. "I'm responsible for myself.And I think I've just proven to both of us,that if and when I decide you'll be the one, you won't have a prayer." She drew a deep, satisfied breath. "Knowing that's incredibly flattering." "Arousing a man doesn't take much skill, Keeley. We're cooperative creatures in that area." If he'd expected that to scratch at her pride,and cut into her power,he was mistaken. She only smiled,and the smile was full of secret female knowledge. "If that was true between us, if that were all that's between us, we'd be naked on the tack room floor right now." She saw the change in his eyes and laughed delightedly. "Already thought of that one, have you? We'll just hold that thought for another time.
Nora Roberts (Irish Rebel (Irish Hearts, #3))
PAST, n. That part of Eternity with some small fraction of which we have a slight and regrettable acquaintance. A moving line called the Present parts it from an imaginary period known as the Future. These two grand divisions of Eternity, of which the one is continually effacing the other, are entirely unlike. The one is dark with sorrow and disappointment, the other bright with prosperity and joy. The Past is the region of sobs, the Future is the realm of song. In the one crouches Memory, clad in sackcloth and ashes, mumbling penitential prayer; in the sunshine of the other Hope flies with a free wing, beckoning to temples of success and bowers of ease. Yet the Past is the Future of yesterday, the Future is the Past of to-morrow. They are one—the knowledge and the dream.
Ambrose Bierce (The Devil's Dictionary)
They had come to the loch with their prayer mats and copies of the Qur’an, but they had not looked after them, they had not kept them safe. They had come to a country where people had stopped praying and not realised that they were the ones brought here to pray. They did not consciously take up the worship which others had left. They did not realise that they were a continuation, needed to fill a vacuum, awaited by the ancient forest and masses of rocks. They misunderstood their role. They underestimated their own importance and exaggerated their shortcomings. They inflated their problems and followed their egos, counselled each other but rejected what was right. Their quarrels taking up space, their connections weakening. And now they were far away, deep in the realm of consequence. Bird Summons
Leila Aboulelaa
If the members of the Church would search their scriptures more intensely in the spirit of humility and prayer, disputations would cease among us. It seems to be a difficult thing to eliminate from the minds of some of our brethren cherished notions that are contrary to the revealed word. Many questions have been answered time and time again by those who have the knowledge and are prepared to give the answers, yet the error continues to exist. . . . Why is it that some members of the Church grasp at every sensational rumor with apparent eagerness and delight? If the same eagerness were applied to the revelations already given and we would heed them soberly and in humility of spirit, all would be well. The Lord has promised the Church "commandments not a few, and revelation in their time," yet we have some clamoring for more revelation when we have failed to keep those already given.
Joseph Fielding Smith (Answers to Gospel Questions: The Classic Collection in One Volume)
Pray inwardly, though thee thinketh it savour thee not: for it is profitable, though thou feel not, though thou see nought; yea, though thou think thou canst not. For in dryness and in barrenness, in sickness and in feebleness, then is thy prayer well-pleasant to me, though thee thinketh it savour thee nought but little. And so is all thy believing prayer in my sight. For the meed and the endless thanks that He will give us, therefor He is covetous to have us pray continually in His sight. God accepteth the goodwill and the travail of His servant, howsoever we feel: wherefore it pleaseth Him that we work both in our prayers and in good living, by His help and His grace, reasonably with discretion keeping our powers [turned] to Him, till when that we have Him that we seek, in fulness of joy: that is, Jesus. And that shewed He in the Fifteenth [Revelation], farther on, in this word: Thou shalt have me to thy meed.
Julian of Norwich (Revelations of Divine Love)
the following prayer by Dr. Jane Goodall, who was named a UN Messenger of Peace for her continued world efforts, she seems to touch on most aspects of world conflict as we know them today and as they pertain to all living things. Prayer for World Peace We pray to the great Spiritual Power in which we live and move and have our being. We pray that we may at all times keep our minds open to new ideas and shun dogma; that we may grow in our understanding of the nature of all living beings and our connectedness with the natural world; that we may become ever more filled with generosity of spirit and true compassion and love for all life; that we may strive to heal the hurts that we have inflicted on nature and control our greed for material things, knowing that our actions are harming our natural world and the future of our children; that we may value each and every human being for who he is, for who she is, reaching to the spirit that is within,knowing the power of each individual to change the world. We pray for social justice, for the alleviation of the crippling poverty that condemns millions of people around the world to lives of misery—hungry, sick, and utterly without hope. We pray for the children who are starving,who are condemned to homelessness, slave labor, and prostitution, and especially for those forced to fight, to kill and torture even members of their own family. We pray for the victims of violence and war, for those wounded in body and for those wounded in mind. We pray for the multitudes of refugees, forced from their homes to alien places through war or through the utter destruction of their environment. We pray for suffering animals everywhere, for an end to the pain caused by scientific experimentation, intensive farming, fur farming, shooting, trapping, training for entertainment, abusive pet owners, and all other forms of exploitation such as overloading and overworking pack animals, bull fighting, badger baiting, dog and cock fighting and so many more. We pray for an end to cruelty, whether to humans or other animals, for an end to bullying, and torture in all its forms. We pray that we may learn the peace that comes with forgiving and the strength we gain in loving; that we may learn to take nothing for granted in this life; that we may learn to see and understand with our hearts; that we may learn to rejoice in our being. We pray for these things with humility; We pray because of the hope that is within us, and because of a faith in the ultimate triumph of the human spirit; We pray because of our love for Creation, and because of our trust in God. We pray, above all, for peace throughout the world. I love this beautiful and magnanimous prayer. Each request is spelled out clearly and specifically, and it asks that love, peace, and kindness be shown to all of earth’s creatures, not just its human occupants.
Joe Vitale (The Secret Prayer: The Three-Step Formula for Attracting Miracles)
A Prayer for Grace and Illumination Stay with me, Lord, for it is necessary to have You present so that I do not forget You. You know how easily I abandon You. Stay with me, Lord, because I am weak and I need Your strength, that I may not fall so often. Stay with me, Lord, for You are my life, and without You, I am without fervor. Stay with me, Lord, for You are my light, and without You, I am in darkness. Stay with me, Lord, to show me Your will. Stay with me, Lord, so that I hear Your voice and follow You. Stay with me, Lord, for I desire to love You very much, and always be in Your company. Stay with me, Lord, if You wish me to be faithful to You. Stay with me, Lord, for as poor as my soul is, I wish it to be a place of consolation for You, a nest of Love. Stay with me, Jesus, for it is getting late and the day is coming to a close, and life passes, death, judgment, eternity approaches. It is necessary to renew my strength, so that I will not stop along the way and for that, I need You. It is getting late and death approaches. I fear the darkness, the temptations, the dryness, the cross, the sorrows. O how I need You, my Jesus, in this night of exile! Stay with me tonight, Jesus, in life with all its dangers, I need You. Let me recognize You as Your disciples did at the breaking of bread, so that the Eucharistic Communion be the light which disperses the darkness, the force which sustains me, the unique joy of my heart. Stay with me, Lord, because at the hour of my death, I want to remain united to You, if not by Communion, at least by grace and love. Stay with me, Jesus, I do not ask for divine consolation, because I do not merit it, but, the gift of Your Presence, oh yes, I ask this of You! Stay with me, Lord, for it is You alone I look for. Your Love, Your Grace, Your Will, Your Heart, Your Spirit, because I love You and ask no other reward but to love You more and more. With a firm love, I will love You with all my heart while on earth and continue to love You perfectly during all eternity. Amen. —Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina
Patrick Madrid (A Year with the Bible: Scriptural Wisdom for Daily Living)
Mother's intentions were always sound, never muddy; I don't imagine that she troubled herself to feel very guilty. But the Rev. Mr. Merrill was a man who took to wallowing in guilt; his remorse, after all, was all he had to cling to-especially after his scant courage left him, and he was forced to acknowledge that he would never be brave enough to abandon his miserable wife and children for my mother. He would continue to torture himself, of course, with the insistent and self-destructive notion that he loved my mother. I suppose that his "love" of my mother was as intellectually detached from feeling and action as his "belief" was also subject to his immense capacity for remote and unrealistic interpretation. My mother was a healthier animal; when he said he wouldn't leave his family for her, she simply put him out of her mind and went on singing. But as incapable as he was of a heartfelt response to a real situation, the Rev. Mr. Merrill was tirelessly capable of thinking; he pondered and brooded and surmised and second-guessed my mother to death.
John Irving (A Prayer for Owen Meany)
It was the ultimate sacrilege that Jesus Christ, the very Son of God, was rejected and even put to death. And it continues. In many parts of the world today we see a growing rejection of the Son of God. His divinity is questioned. His gospel is deemed irrelevant. In day-to-day life, His teachings are ignored. Those who legitimately speak in His name find little respect in secular society. If we ignore the Lord and His servants, we may just as well be atheists—the end result is practically the same. It is what Mormon described as typical after extended periods of peace and prosperity: “Then is the time that they do harden their hearts, and do forget the Lord their God, and do trample under their feet the Holy One” (Helaman 12:2). And so we should ask ourselves, do we reverence the Holy One and those He has sent? Some years before he was called as an Apostle himself, Elder Robert D. Hales recounted an experience that demonstrated his father’s sense of that holy calling. Elder Hales said: "Some years ago Father, then over eighty years of age, was expecting a visit from a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on a snowy winter day. Father, an artist, had painted a picture of the home of the Apostle. Rather than have the painting delivered to him, this sweet Apostle wanted to go personally to pick the painting up and thank my father for it. Knowing that Father would be concerned that everything was in readiness for the forthcoming visit, I dropped by his home. Because of the depth of the snow, snowplows had caused a snowbank in front of the walkway to the front door. Father had shoveled the walks and then labored to remove the snowbank. He returned to the house exhausted and in pain. When I arrived, he was experiencing heart pain from overexertion and stressful anxiety. My first concern was to warn him of his unwise physical efforts. Didn’t he know what the result of his labor would be? "'Robert,' he said through interrupted short breaths, 'do you realize an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ is coming to my home? The walks must be clean. He should not have to come through a snowdrift.' He raised his hand, saying, 'Oh, Robert, don’t ever forget or take for granted the privilege it is to know and to serve with Apostles of the Lord.'" [In CR, April 1992, 89; or “Gratitude for the Goodness of God,” Ensign, May 1992, 64] I think it is more than coincidence that such a father would be blessed to have a son serve as an Apostle. You might ask yourself, “Do I see the calling of the prophets and apostles as sacred? Do I treat their counsel seriously, or is it a light thing with me?” President Gordon B. Hinckley, for instance, has counseled us to pursue education and vocational training; to avoid pornography as a plague; to respect women; to eliminate consumer debt; to be grateful, smart, clean, true, humble, and prayerful; and to do our best, our very best. Do your actions show that you want to know and do what he teaches? Do you actively study his words and the statements of the Brethren? Is this something you hunger and thirst for? If so, you have a sense of the sacredness of the calling of prophets as the witnesses and messengers of the Son of God.
D. Todd Christofferson
The man raised the violin under his chin, placed the bow across the strings, and closed his eyes. For a moment his lips moved, silently, as if in prayer. Then, with sure, steady movements, he began to play. The song was like nothing Abbey had heard anywhere else. The notes were clear, sweet and perfect, with a purity of tone that not one violin in ten thousand could produce. But the song was more than that. The song was pain, and loss, and sorrow, an anthem of unrelenting grief for which no words could be sufficient. In its strains Abbey heard the cry of the mother clutching her lifeless child; of the young woman whose husband never returned from war; of the father watching his son die of cancer; of the old man weeping at his wife's grave. It was the wordless cry of every man, woman and child who had ever shaken a fist at the uncaring universe, every stricken heart that had demanded an answer to the question, “Why?”, and was left unsatisfied. When the song finally, mercifully ended, not a dry eye remained in the darkened hall. The shades had moved in among the mortals, unseen by all but Abbey herself, and crowded close to the stage, heedless of all but the thing that called to them. Many of the mortals in the audience were sobbing openly. Those newcomers who still retained any sense of their surroundings were staring up at the man, their eyes wide with awe and a silent plea for understanding. The man gave it to them. “I am not the master of this instrument,” he said. “The lady is her own mistress. I am only the channel through which she speaks. What you have heard tonight — what you will continue to hear — is not a performance, but a séance. In my … unworthy hands … she will tell you her story: Sorrow, pain, loss, truth, and beauty. This is not the work of one man; it is the story of all men, of all people everywhere, throughout her long history. Which means, of course, that it is also your story, and mine.” He held up the violin once more. In the uncertain play of light and shadow, faces seemed to appear and vanish in the blood-red surface of the wood. “Her name is Threnody,” he said. “And she has come to make you free.
Chris Lester (Whispers in the Wood (Metamor City, #6))
Nick tugged her head back, his tormented gaze raking over her face. His trembling fingertips traced the line of her cheek and jaw. “My God. Lottie…” As his panicked exploration continued, he discovered the bruises on her throat, and he uttered a cry of fury. “Holy hell! Your neck. He dared to… I’m going to slaughter that bastard—” Lottie placed her fingers over his mouth. “I’m all right,” she said gently. Feeling the way his large body shook, she drew her hand over his chest in a calming stroke. After the traumatic events of the past hours, it was so wonderful to be with him that her lips curved in a wobbly smile. She gazed into his dusty, sweat-streaked face with concern. “In fact, I believe I may be in better condition than you, my darling.” A primitive groan came from his throat, and he clutched her with his right arm, bending over her hungrily. “I love you,” he said in a low, shaken voice. “I love you so much, Lottie.” His lips covered hers in a fiercely ardent kiss. Clearly he was too unsettled to recall that there were others in the room. Lottie turned her face away with a muffled laugh. “I love you, too,” she whispered. “Not here, darling. Later, with more privacy, we can—” She was silenced as Nick seized her mouth once more. Suddenly she found herself pushed up against the wall by six feet of aroused, overwrought male. Realizing that there was no hope of subduing him, Lottie stroked his broad back in an effort to soothe him. He possessed her with deep, fervent kisses, while his lungs worked so violently that she could feel his rib cage expanding with each breath. She tried to comfort him, gently rubbing the back of his neck as his mouth worked roughly over hers. His breath came in ragged shivers, and in between kisses he breathed her name as if it were a prayer. “Lottie… Lottie…” Each time she tried to answer, he dove for her mouth again. “Sydney,” Sir Grant said after some prolonged throat-clearing had failed to capture his attention. “Ahem. Sydney…” After a long time, Nick finally lifted his head. Lottie pushed at his chest, making him loosen his grip on her. Red-faced and breathless, she saw that Sayer had developed a keenly absorbing interest in the weather outside the window, while Daniel had excused himself to wait outside.
Lisa Kleypas (Worth Any Price (Bow Street Runners, #3))
FRIDAY, APRIL 2, 1943 Dearest Kitty, Oh my, another item has been added to my list of sins. Last night I was lying in bed, waiting for Father to tuck me in and say my prayers with me, when Mother came into the room, sat on my bed and asked very gently, “Anne, Daddy isn’t ready. How about if I listen to your prayers tonight?” “No, Momsy,” I replied. Mother got up, stood beside my bed for a moment and then slowly walked toward the door. Suddenly she turned, her face contorted with pain, and said, “I don’t want to be angry with you. I can’t make you love me!” A few tears slid down her cheeks as she went out the door. I lay still, thinking how mean it was of me to reject her so cruelly, but I also knew that I was incapable of answering her any other way. I can’t be a hypocrite and pray with her when I don’t feel like it. It just doesn’t work that way. I felt sorry for Mother—very, very sorry—because for the first time in my life I noticed she wasn’t indifferent to my coldness. I saw the sorrow in her face when she talked about not being able to make me love her. It’s hard to tell the truth, and yet the truth is that she’s the one who’s rejected me. She’s the one whose tactless comments and cruel jokes about matters I don’t think are funny have made me insensitive to any sign of love on her part. Just as my heart sinks every time I hear her harsh words, that’s how her heart sank when she realized there was no more love between us. She cried half the night and didn’t get any sleep. Father has avoided looking at me, and if his eyes do happen to cross mine, I can read his unspoken words: “How can you be so unkind? How dare you make your mother so sad!” Everyone expects me to apologize, but this is not something I can apologize for, because I told the truth, and sooner or later Mother was bound to find out anyway. I seem to be indifferent to Mother’s tears and Father’s glances, and I am, because both of them are now feeling what I’ve always felt. I can only feel sorry for Mother, who will have to figure out what her attitude should be all by herself. For my part, I will continue to remain silent and aloof, and I don’t intend to shrink from the truth, because the longer it’s postponed, the harder it will be for them to accept it when they do hear it! Yours, Anne
Anne Frank (The Diary of a Young Girl)
My pastor, Pete Wilson, gave a message on prayer, specifically citing this idea many of us have that prayer is a kind of transaction. beside him on the platform, an object the size of a refrigerator stood cloaked beneath a black cover. He said, 'most of us have reduced prayer down to a transaction. A way to manipulate what we want. A vending machine.' At that point, he yanked off the cover revealing a large vending machine, loaded with all kinds of snacks. He inserted some coins and pushed the button for peanut M&Ms (smart man, my pastor). Nothing happened. He hit the machine a couple of times, tried to rock it. Nothing. He continued. 'Most of the time when we go to God, it's because we want something. If we get what we want, we turn and walk off, satisfied. If we don't get what we want, we get frustrated; we kick the machine and blame God for not answering our request.' This 'transaction' view of prayer will always disappoint us because at the root of it, we think it's all about us. but prayer is so much more than giving God a list of our wants and needs or, in some cases, our demands. Prayer is communication. It's talking and listening.
Diane Moody (Confessions of a Prayer Slacker)
My husband and I have been a part of the same small group for the past five years.... Like many small groups, we regularly share a meal together, love one another practically, and serve together to meet needs outside our small group. We worship, study God’s Word, and pray. It has been a rich time to grow in our understanding of God, what Jesus has accomplished for us, God’s purposes for us as a part of his kingdom, his power and desire to change us, and many other precious truths. We have grown in our love for God and others, and have been challenged to repent of our sin and trust God in every area of our lives. It was a new and refreshing experience for us to be in a group where people were willing to share their struggles with temptation and sin and ask for prayer....We have been welcomed by others, challenged to become more vulnerable, held up in prayer, encouraged in specific ongoing struggles, and have developed sweet friendships. I have seen one woman who had one foot in the world and one foot in the church openly share her struggles with us. We prayed that God would show her the way of escape from temptation many times and have seen God’s work in delivering her. Her openness has given us a front row seat to see the power of God intersect with her weakness. Her continued vulnerability and growth in godliness encourage us to be humble with one another, and to believe that God is able to change us too. Because years have now passed in close community, God’s work can be seen more clearly than on a week-by-week basis. One man who had some deep struggles and a lot of anger has grown through repenting of sin and being vulnerable one on one and in the group. He has been willing to hear the encouragement and challenges of others, and to stay in community throughout his struggle.... He has become an example in serving others, a better listener, and more gentle with his wife. As a group, we have confronted anxiety, interpersonal strife, the need to forgive, lust, family troubles, unbelief, the fear of man, hypocrisy, unemployment, sickness, lack of love, idolatry, and marital strife. We have been helped, held accountable, and lifted up by one another. We have also grieved together, celebrated together, laughed together, offended one another, reconciled with one another, put up with one another,...and sought to love God and one another. As a group we were saddened in the spring when a man who had recently joined us felt that we let him down by not being sensitive to his loneliness. He chose to leave. I say this because, with all the benefits of being in a small group, it is still just a group of sinners. It is Jesus who makes it worth getting together. Apart from our relationship with him...,we have nothing to offer. But because our focus is on Jesus, the group has the potential to make a significant and life-changing difference in all our lives. ...When 7 o’clock on Monday night comes around, I eagerly look forward to the sound of my brothers and sisters coming in our front door. I never know how the evening will go, what burdens people will be carrying, how I will be challenged, or what laughter or tears we will share. But I always know that the great Shepherd will meet us and that our lives will be richer and fuller because we have been together. ...I hope that by hearing my story you will be encouraged to make a commitment to become a part of a small group and experience the blessing of Christian community within the smaller, more intimate setting that it makes possible. 6
Timothy S. Lane (How People Change)
I've been strongly influenced, in technique as well as subject matter, by some of the early 20th-century book illustrators — Arthur Rackham and Edmund Dulac in particular, Burne-Jones and other Pre-Raphaelites, and the Arts-&-Crafts movement they engendered. I'm continually inspired by Rembrandt, Breughel (I've wondered whether his brilliant "Tower of Babel" had inspired Tolkien's description of Minas Tyrith), Hieronymous Bosch, Albrecht Durer, and Turner; it's not necessarily that they influence my work in any particular direction, more that their example raises my spirits, re-affirms my belief in the power of images to move and delight us, and shows me how much further I have to go, how much is possible. Having visited Venice and Florence for the first time, I am besotted with the Italian Renaissance artists — Botticelli, Bellini, da Vinci and others. Their work is calm, controlled, and yet each face and landscape contains such passion. In Botticelli's paintings, every pebble and every leaf is rendered with a religious devotion; there is reverence inherent in paying such close attention to every stone, turning painting itself into a form of worship, an act of prayer.
Alan Lee
I believe Jesus had another reason for commanding us to pray for our enemies. He understands that we cannot genuinely pray for another and continue to hate him. In prayer, our vision of the person is transformed as we see him in the light of God’s presence. Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote about the reorienting power of prayer within Christian communities (where a great many of our enemies are often found): A Christian community either lives by the intercessory prayers of its members for one another, or the community will be destroyed. I can no longer condemn or hate other Christians for whom I pray, no matter how much trouble they cause me. In intercessory prayer the face that may have been strange and intolerable to me is transformed into the face of one for whom Christ died, the face of a pardoned sinner. That is a blessed discovery for the Christian who is beginning to offer intercessory prayer for others. As far as we are concerned, there is no dislike, no personal tension, no disunity or strife that cannot be overcome by intercessory prayer. Intercessory prayer is the purifying bath into which the individual and the community must enter every day.1 READ MORE Luke 23:33–34; 1 Peter 3:8–9
Skye Jethani (What If Jesus Was Serious?: A Visual Guide to the Teachings of Jesus We Love to Ignore)
Honorable, happy, and successful marriage is surely the principal goal of every normal person. Marriage is perhaps the most vital of all the decisions and has the most far-reaching effects, for it has to do not only with immediate happiness, but also with eternal joys. It affects not only the two people involved, but also their families and particularly their children and their children’s children down through the many generations. In selecting a companion for life and for eternity, certainly the most careful planning and thinking and praying and fasting should be done to be sure that of all the decisions, this one must not be wrong. In true marriage there must be a union of minds as well as of hearts. Emotions must not wholly determine decisions, but the mind and the heart, strengthened by fasting and prayer and serious consideration, will give one a maximum chance of marital happiness. It brings with it sacrifice, sharing, and a demand for great selflessness. . . . Some think of happiness as a glamorous life of ease, luxury, and constant thrills; but true marriage is based on a happiness which is more than that, one which comes from giving, serving, sharing, sacrificing, and selflessness. . . . One comes to realize very soon after marriage that the spouse has weaknesses not previously revealed or discovered. The virtues which were constantly magnified during courtship now grow relatively smaller, and the weaknesses which seemed so small and insignificant during courtship now grow to sizable proportions. The hour has come for understanding hearts, for self-appraisal, and for good common sense, reasoning, and planning. . . . “Soul mates” are fiction and an illusion; and while every young man and young woman will seek with all diligence and prayerfulness to find a mate with whom life can be most compatible and beautiful, yet it is certain that almost any good man and any good woman can have happiness and a successful marriage if both are willing to pay the price. There is a never-failing formula which will guarantee to every couple a happy and eternal marriage; but like all formulas, the principal ingredients must not be left out, reduced, or limited. The selection before courting and then the continued courting after the marriage process are equally important, but not more important than the marriage itself, the success of which depends upon the two individuals—not upon one, but upon two. . . . The formula is simple; the ingredients are few, though there are many amplifications of each. First, there must be the proper approach toward marriage, which contemplates the selection of a spouse who reaches as nearly as possible the pinnacle of perfection in all the matters which are of importance to the individuals. And then those two parties must come to the altar in the temple realizing that they must work hard toward this successful joint living. Second, there must be a great unselfishness, forgetting self and directing all of the family life and all pertaining thereunto to the good of the family, subjugating self. Third, there must be continued courting and expressions of affection, kindness, and consideration to keep love alive and growing. Fourth, there must be a complete living of the commandments of the Lord as defined in the gospel of Jesus Christ. . . . Two individuals approaching the marriage altar must realize that to attain the happy marriage which they hope for they must know that marriage is not a legal coverall, but it means sacrifice, sharing, and even a reduction of some personal liberties. It means long, hard economizing. It means children who bring with them financial burdens, service burdens, care and worry burdens; but also it means the deepest and sweetest emotions of all. . . . To be really happy in marriage, one must have a continued faithful observance of the commandments of the Lord. No one, single or married, was ever sublimely happy unless he was righteous.
Spencer W. Kimball
Sometimes silences are pregnant and sometimes not. It is hard to know what to make of the silence of much of the New Testament about the Lord’s Supper. Perhaps it is simply an accident of time and circumstance. There was not a felt need to address the matter. What we should not likely conclude is that it was not seen as an important matter in the latter part of the first century A.D. What we can observe is that the Lord’s Supper continued to be an in-home ceremony taken in the context of a fellowship meal. We also now know it was important in both Gentile and Jewish contexts in the church in the second half of the first century, and beyond. We see no evidence anywhere in this material that clerics of any kind are in charge of the meal and its distribution. Even in the Didache, prophets, who were mouthpieces for God, are only allowed to say the thanksgiving prayer as often as they like. The low ecclesiology, coupled with the ever-present eschatology, suggest that the Didache does indeed go back to the end of the first century A.D. But one precedent in the Didache does stand out: the Lord’s Supper is for baptized Christians, and in particular for those who repent of their sins. We are on the way to the church of the Middle Ages in some respects, but we have not begun to localize or confine grace to the elements of the Lord’s Supper itself and then have it controlled by clerics.
Ben Witherington III (Making a Meal of It: Rethinking the Theology of the Lord's Supper)
Priesthood, Ratzinger stressed, meant getting out of a bourgeois lifestyle. It had to ‘guide people towards becoming reconciled, forgiving and forgetting, being tolerant and generous’. It was to help them ‘put up with other people in their otherness, and have patience with one another’. A priest must ‘above all, be able to support people in pain – in bodily suffering, as well as in all the disappointments, humiliations and fears, which no one is spared.’ For ‘the ability to accept and stand suffering’ is ‘a fundamental condition for successful human living. If that is not learned, then failure is inevitable.’16 The ‘right definition of what a priest should be and do’ was still Paul’s message in his letter to the Corinthians: ‘We are ambassadors for Christ.’ A priest is required ‘to know Jesus intimately; he has met him and learned to love him’. It was only by being a man of prayer that he was also a truly ‘spiritual’ person – a priest. When priests were overworked and felt tired and frustrated, it was often caused by a tense straining for performance. Then faith became a heavy burden, ‘when it should be wings to carry us’. Whoever works for Christ knows that ‘it is always someone else who sows and someone else who reaps. He does not have to continually question himself; he leaves the outcome to the Lord and does what he can without worrying, freely and happily, secure as part of the whole.’17
Peter Seewald (Benedict XVI: A Life Volume One: Youth in Nazi Germany to the Second Vatican Council 1927–1965)
Isn't that a beautiful tale, grandfather," said Heidi, as the latter continued to sit without speaking, for she had expected him to express pleasure and astonishment. "You are right, Heidi; it is a beautiful tale," he replied, but he looked so grave as he said it that Heidi grew silent herself and sat looking quietly at her pictures. Presently she pushed her book gently in front of him and said, "See how happy he is there," and she pointed with her finger to the figure of the returned prodigal, who was standing by his father clad in fresh raiment as one of his own sons again. A few hours later, as Heidi lay fast asleep in her bed, the grandfather went up the ladder and put his lamp down near her bed so that the light fell on the sleeping child. Her hands were still folded as if she had fallen asleep saying her prayers, an expression of peace and trust lay on the little face, and something in it seemed to appeal to the grandfather, for he stood a long time gazing down at her without speaking. At last he too folded his hands, and with bowed head said in a low voice, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before thee and am not worthy to be called thy son." And two large tears rolled down the old man's cheeks. Early the next morning he stood in front of his hut and gazed quietly around him. The fresh bright morning sun lay on mountain and valley. The sound of a few early bells rang up from the valley, and the birds were singing their morning song in the fir trees. He stepped back into the hut and called up, "Come along, Heidi! the sun is up! Put on your best frock, for we are going to church together!" Heidi was not long getting ready; it was such an unusual summons from her grandfather that she must make haste. She put on her smart Frankfurt dress and soon went down, but when she saw her grandfather she stood still, gazing at him in astonishment. "Why, grandfather!" she exclaimed, "I never saw you look like that before! and the coat with the silver buttons! Oh, you do look nice in your Sunday coat!" The old man smiled and replied, "And you too; now come along!" He took Heidi's hand in his and together they walked down the mountain side. The bells were ringing in every direction now, sounding louder and fuller as they neared the valley, and Heidi listened to them with delight. "Hark at them, grandfather! it's like a great festival!" The congregation had already assembled and the singing had begun when Heidi and her grandfather entered the church at Dorfli and sat down at the back. But before the hymn was over every one was nudging his neighbor and whispering, "Do you see? Alm-Uncle is in church!" Soon everybody in the church knew of Alm-Uncle's presence, and the women kept on turning round to look and quite lost their place in the singing. But everybody became more attentive when the sermon began, for the preacher spoke with such warmth and thankfulness that those present felt the effect of his words, as if some great joy had come to them all.
Johanna Spyri (Heidi)
You are personally responsible for so much of the sunshine that brightens up your life. Optimists and gentle souls continually benefit from their very own versions of daylight saving time. They get extra hours of happiness and sunshine every day. – Douglas Pagels, from Simple Thoughts That Can Literally Change Your Life The secret joys of living are not found by rushing from point A to point B, but by slowing down and inventing some imaginary letters along the way. – Douglas Pagels, from Simple Thoughts That Can Literally Change Your Life “There is nothing more important than family.” Those words should be etched in stone on the sidewalks that lead to every home. – Douglas Pagels, from Simple Thoughts That Can Literally Change Your Life I may be uncertain about exactly where I’m headed, but I am very clear regarding this: I’m glad I’ve got a ticket to go on this magnificent journey. – Douglas Pagels, from Simple Thoughts That Can Literally Change Your Life When your heart is filled with gratitude for what you do have, your head isn’t nearly so worried about what you don’t. – Douglas Pagels, from Simple Thoughts That Can Literally Change Your Life Don’t let cynical people transfer their cynicism off on you. In spite of its problems, it is still a pretty amazing world, and there are lots of truly wonderful people spinning around on this planet. – Douglas Pagels, from Required Reading for All Teenagers All the good things you can do – having the right attitude, having a strong belief in your abilities, making good choices and responsible decisions – all those good things will pay huge dividends. You’ll see. Your prayers will be heard. Your karma will kick in. The sacrifices you made will be repaid. And the good work will have all been worth it. – Douglas Pagels, from Required Reading for All Teenagers The more you’re bothered by something that’s wrong, the more you’re empowered to make things right. – Douglas Pagels, from Everyone Should Have a Book Like This to Get Through the Gray Days May you be blessed with all these things: A little more joy, a little less stress, a lot more understanding of your wonderfulness. Abundance in your life, blessings in your days, dreams that come true, and hopes that stay. A rainbow on the horizon, an angel by your side, and everything that could ever bring a smile to your life. – Douglas Pagels, from May You Be Blessed with All These Things Each day brings with it the miracle of a new beginning. Many of the moments ahead will be marvelously disguised as ordinary days, but each one of us has the chance to make something extraordinary out of them. – Douglas Pagels, from May You Be Blessed with All These Things Keep planting the seeds of your dreams, because if you keep believing in them, they will keep trying their best to blossom for you. – Douglas Pagels, from May You Be Blessed with All These Things I hope your dreams take you... to the corners of your smiles, to the highest of your hopes, to the windows of your opportunities, and to the most special places your heart has ever known. – Douglas Pagels, from May You Be Blessed with All These Things Love is what holds everything together. It’s the ribbon around the gift of life. – Douglas Pagels, from May You Be Blessed with All These Things There are times in life when just being brave is all you need to be. – Douglas Pagels, from May You Be Blessed with All These Things When it comes to anything – whether it involves people or places or jobs or hoped-for plans – you never know what the answer will be if you don’t ask. And you never know what the result will be if you don’t try. – Douglas Pagels, from Make Every Day a Positive One Don’t just have minutes in the day; have moments in time. – Douglas Pagels, from Chasing Away the Clouds A life well lived is simply a compilation of days well spent. – Douglas Pagels, from Chasing Away the Clouds
Douglas Pagels
He stared at it in utter disbelief while his secretary, Peters, who’d only been with him for a fortnight, muttered a silent prayer of gratitude for the break and continued scribbling as fast as he could, trying futilely to catch up with his employer’s dictation. “This,” said Ian curtly, “was sent to me either by mistake or as a joke. In either case, it’s in excruciatingly bad taste.” A memory of Elizabeth Cameron flickered across Ian’s mind-a mercenary, shallow litter flirt with a face and body that had drugged his mind. She’d been betrothed to a viscount when he’d met her. Obviously she hadn’t married her viscount-no doubt she’d jilted him in favor of someone with even better prospects. The English nobility, as he well knew, married only for prestige and money, then looked elsewhere for sexual fulfillment. Evidently Elizabeth Cameron’s relatives were putting her back on the marriage block. If so, they must be damned eager to unload her if they were willing to forsake a title for Ian’s money…That line of conjecture seemed so unlikely that Ian dismissed it. This note was obviously a stupid prank, perpetrated, no doubt, by someone who remembered the gossip that had exploded over that weekend house party-someone who thought he’d find the note amusing. Completely dismissing the prankster and Elizabeth Cameron from his mind, Ian glanced at his harassed secretary who was frantically scribbling away. “No reply is necessary,” he said. As he spoke he flipped the message across his desk toward his secretary, but the white parchment slid across the polished oak and floated to the floor. Peters made an awkward dive to catch it, but as he lurched sideways all the other correspondence that went with his dictation slid off his lap onto the floor. “I-I’m sorry, sir,” he stammered, leaping up and trying to collect the dozens of pieces of paper he’d scattered on the carpet. “Extremely sorry, Mr. Thornton,” he added, frantically snatching up contracts, invitations and letters and shoving them into a disorderly pile. His employer appeared not to hear him. He was already rapping out more instructions and passing the corresponding invitations and letters across the desk. “Decline the first three, accept the fourth, decline the fifth. Send my condolences on this one. On this one, explain that I’m going to be in Scotland, and send an invitation to join me there, along with directions to the cottage.” Clutching the papers to his chest, Peters poked his face up on the opposite side of the desk. “Yes, Mr. Thornton!” he said, trying to sound confident. But it was hard to be confident when one was on one’s knees. Harder still when one wasn’t entirely certain which instructions of the morning went with which invitation or piece of correspondence. Ian Thornton spent the rest of the afternoon closeted with Peters, heaping more dictation on the inundated clerk. He spent the evening with the Earl of Melbourne, his future father-in-law, discussing the earl’s daughter and himself. Peters spent part of his evening trying to learn from the butler which invitations his employer was likely to accept or reject.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))