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[ Also see Churches Devotion Doctrine God Influence Labor Piety Praise Preaching Redemption Religion Repentance Reverence Sabbath Self-reliance Theology Work Worship ]

If yon bethink yourself of any crime
  Unreconcil'd as yet to heaven and grace,
    Solicit for it straight.
      - William Shakespeare

Nymph, in thy orisons be all my sins remembered!
      - William Shakespeare

Oh, happy vantage of a kneeling knee!
      - William Shakespeare

Rather let my head
  Stoop to the block than these knees bow to any
    Save to the God of heaven and to my king.
      - William Shakespeare

We, ignorant of ourselves,
  Beg often our own harms, which the wise powers
    Deny us for our good; so find we profit,
      By losing of our prayers.
      - William Shakespeare

Bow, stubborn knees, and, heart with strings of steel,
  Be soft as sinews of the new-born babe.
    All many be well.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Hamlet Prince of Denmark
         (Claudius, King of Denmark at III, iii)

I tell thee, Pole, when in the city Tours
  Thou ran'st a-tilt in honor of my love
    And stol'st away the ladies' hearts of France,
      I thought King Henry had resembled thee
        In courage, courtship, and proportion;
          But all his mind is bent to holiness,
            To number Ave-Maries on his beads;
              His champions are the prophets and apostles,
                His weapons holy saws of sacred writ;
                  His study is his tiltyard, and his loves
                    Are brazen images of canonized saints.
      - William Shakespeare,
        King Henry the Sixth, Part II
         (Margaret, Queen to King Henry at I, iii)

No, rather let my head
  Stoop to the block than theses knees bow to any
    Save to the God of heaven and to my king;
      And sooner dance upon a bloody pole
        Than stand uncovered to the vulgar groom.
      - William Shakespeare,
        King Henry the Sixth, Part II
         (Suffolk at IV, i)

But wherefore could not I pronounce 'Amen'?
  I had most need of blessing, and 'Amen'
    Stuck in my throat.
      - William Shakespeare, Macbeth
         (Macbeth at II, ii)

When I would pray and think, I think and pray
  To several subjects: heaven hath my empty words
    Whilst my invention, hearing not my tongue,
      Anchors on Isabel: heaven in my mouth,
        As if I did but only chew his name,
          And in my heart the strong and swelling evil
            Of my conception.
      - William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure
         (Angelo at II, iv)

If you bethink yourself of any crime
  Unreconciled as yet to heaven and grace,
    Solicit for it straight.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Othello the Moor of Venice
         (Othello at V, ii)

You few that loved me
  And dare be bold to weep for Buckingham,
    His noble friends and fellows, whom to leave
      Is only bitter to him, only dying,
        Go with me like good angels to my end;
          And, as the long divorce of steel falls on me,
            Make of your prayers one sweet sacrifice
              And lift my soul to heaven. Lead on a God's name.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Life of King Henry the Eighth
         (Buckingham at II, i)

I do not know
  What kind of my obedience I should tender.
    More than my all is nothing; nor my prayers
      Are not words holy hallowed, nor my wishes
        More worth than empty vanities; yet prayers and wishes
          Are all I can return.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Life of King Henry the Eighth
         (Anne Bullen at II, iii)

His worst fault is, that he is given to prayer; he is something peevish that way, but nobody but has his fault. But let that pass.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Merry Wives of Windsor
         (Mistress Quickly at I, iv)

Well, if my wind were but long enough [to say my prayers], I would repent.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Merry Wives of Windsor
         (Falstaff at IV, v)

Earth bears no balsams for mistakes;
  Men crown the knave, and scourge the tool
    That did his will: but thou, O Lord,
      Be merciful to me, a fool.
      - Edward Rowland Sill, The Fool's Prayer

Our prayers should be for blessings in general, for God knows best what is good for us.
      - Socrates

Premeditation of thought and brevity of expression are the great ingredients of that reverence that is required to a pious and acceptable prayer.
      - Bishop Robert South

Four things which are not in thy treasury,
  I lay before thee, Lord, with this petition:--
    My nothingness, my wants,
      My sins, and my contrition.
      - Robert Southey, Occasional Pieces (XIX),
        imitated from the Persian

Our prayers are the shadows of mercy.
      - Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Prayer pulls the rope below, and the great bell rings above in the ears of God. Some scarcely stir the bell, for they pray so languidly; others give but an occasional pluck at the rope; but he who wins with heaven is the man who grasps the rope boldly and pulls continuously, with all his might.
      - Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Sometimes a fog will settle over a vessel's deck and yet leave the topmast clear. Then a sailor goes up aloft and gets a lookout which the helmsman on deck cannot get. So prayer sends the soul aloft; lifts it above the clouds in which our selfishness and egotism befog us, and gives us a chance to see which way to steer.
      - Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Prayers are heard in heaven very much in proportion to our faith. Little faith will get very great mercies, but great faith still greater.
      - Charles Haddon Spurgeon,
        Gleanings Among the Sheaves--Believing Prayer

To pray together, in whatever tongue or ritual, is the most tender brotherhood of hope and sympathy that men can contract in this life.
      - Madame de Stael (Baronne Anne Louise Germaine de Stael-Holstein),
        Corinne (bk. X, ch. V)

Holy Father, in thy mercy,
  Hear our anxious prayer.
    Keep out loved ones, now far absent,
      'Neath Thy care.
      - Isabella S. Stephenson, Hymn,
        song universally sung among the British troops in World War I (the Great War)

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