Quotes about Prayer
to learn and share
Nothing is greater than the power of prayer.
~ Tanchuma, Bereisheet, Miketz
Make it a habit to be alone when you pray, expressing your thoughts before God each day. If all you can say is a single word, it is still very good. If you can say only one word, repeat it over and over again. Even if you spend many days repeating this word, it is also good. Repeat the word countless times. At some point, God will open your mouth so that you will be able to express yourself.
~ Rebbe Nachman of Bratslav, Likutay Etzot HaShem
Prayer inspired by fear is prayer, but it does not rise to the highest heights. That is reserved for prayer inspired by love.
~ the Zohar
God wants the heart.
~ Talmud, Sanhedrin 106b
The root of all prayer is a happy heart before God. It is for this reason that King David played the harp with all his prayers, in order to fill his heart with joy, in front of God.
~ Yehuda he-Chasid, Sefer Chasidim 18
All of us, especially in our modern, harried world, need moments when we can walk away from our burdens and commune with the vastness of the universe. In such a situation, we can come to understand that all the things we think to be of prime importance are really but ripples on the ocean of life. In moments like these, the soul is refreshed, and our perspective of life is enlarged. Comparable to the nature of this prayer moment is the comb we feel when we gaze at the sea for a period of time. The huge expanse of the water, the regularity of its movements, the limitless of the vision, soon brings us "out of ourselves", and the column of the sea, its power and stability, become part of us, and we become part of it. Gazing at a natural object like the sea, we can gain an insight into the calm and power of its Creator. As we think of the limitless power of our Creator… We empty ourselves of our miseries and take part of gods calm and power into ourselves.
~ Herbert M. Baumgard, Judaism and Prayer
Our prayers are not exercises in reading out loud. They express Jewish devotion, Jewish hope, you reaching out for God.
~ Joseph H. Hertz, Daily Prayer Book
The main thing in prayer is the feeling of oneness with God, the passion with which one reaches out to God and studies Torah, and the attitude which is free of selfish motivation.
~ Ba'al Shem Tov
One time, the Tzartkover Rebbe did not give a dvar torah for a long time. He was asked why, and he replied: "there are 70 ways of speaking words of Torah. One of them is through silence."
Perhaps the Rebbe was trying to convey the thought that we teach best not by our exclamations, but by our examples, not by our lessons but by our lives.
If we can teach silently, we can also pray silently. We can praise in silence; we can make requests in silence; we can pray in silence.
~ Rabbi Sidney Greenberg, Likrat Shabbat
Prayer will not come about by default. It requires education, training, reflection, contemplation. It is not enough to join others; it is necessary to build a sanctuary within, brick by brick, instants of meditation, moments of devotion. This is particularly true in an age when overwhelming forces seem to conspire at destroying our ability to pray.
-Abraham Joshua Heschel
The Kozhnitzer Maggid entered the synagogue for morning prayers with holy emotion and joy, with a sefer Torah in his arms, and he danced one dance before the holy Ark; then he placed the sefer Torah in it. Then he danced another dance before the stand for the prayer leader, and his attendants placed candles in candelabra on it. That was where he sat and stood and prayed. But during the Amidah he jumped up on the table next to the prayer-stand and walked back and forth on it. Then after the Amidah he danced from the table down to the ground...
~ Yitzchak Buxbaum, Jewish Spiritual Practices, 151
Religion asks us to reopen parts of ourselves long closed. It seeks to remind us what it is to re-examine the world in order not just to understand things, but to cherish them. Faith in God begins in wonder about the world...
~ Rabbi David J. Wolpe, Teaching Your Children About God