Encouraging Ellen White Quotes dealing with prayer

8 min

Girl praying with hands on 150 year old Bible

Here are some ‘favorite’  quotations sent in by some of our SDAnet contributors during a discussion on the subject of prayer.  For a more complete look at what she says on this topic,  go to the EGW Estate where all of her published writings are available for online reading and searching by topic or phrase.

Steps to Christ, ch. 11, p. 98

Unceasing PRAYER is the unbroken union of the soul with God, so that life from God flows into our life; and from our life, purity and holiness flow back to God.

Our High Calling, p. 177

When men have to swim against the stream, there is a weight of waves driving them back. Let a hand then be held out, as was the Elder Brother’s hand to a sinking Peter. . . . Let the one who is supposed to have moved wrongly be given no occasion by his brother to become discouraged, but let him feel the strong clasp of a sympathizing hand; let him hear the whisper, “Let us pray.” The Holy Spirit will give a rich experience to both. It is PRAYER that unites hearts. It is PRAYER to the Great Physician to heal the soul that will bring the blessing of God. PRAYER unites us with one another and with God. PRAYER brings Jesus to our side, and gives new strength and fresh grace to the fainting, perplexed soul to overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil. PRAYER turns aside the attacks of Satan.

That I May Know Him, p. 271

What a PRAYER was that which came forth from the lips of Daniel! What humbling of soul it reveals! The warmth of heavenly fire was recognized in the words that were going upward to God. Heaven responded to that PRAYER by sending its messenger to Daniel. In this our day, prayers offered in like manner will prevail with God. “The effectual fervent PRAYER of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16). As in ancient times, when PRAYER was offered, fire descended from heaven and consumed the sacrifice upon the altar, so in answer to our prayers, the heavenly fire will come into our souls. The light and power of the Holy Spirit will be ours. . . . That God who heard Daniel’s PRAYER will hear ours when we come to Him in contrition.

Pray without ceasing
Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, Feb. 30, 1900

PRAYER to the Great Physician for the healing of the soul brings the blessing of God. PRAYER unites us one to another and to God. PRAYER brings Jesus to our side, and gives new strength and fresh grace to the fainting, perplexed soul. By PRAYER the sick have been encouraged to believe that God will look with compassion upon them. A ray of light penetrates to the hopeless soul, and becomes a savor of life unto life. PRAYER has “subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire,”–we shall know what this means when we hear the reports of the martyrs who died for their faith,–“turned to flight the armies of the aliens.”

The Spirit of Prophecy, v. 4, p. 348

Again, worldly wisdom teaches that PRAYER is not essential. Men of science claim that there can be no real answer to PRAYER; that this would be a violation of law, a miracle, and that miracles have no existence. The universe, say they, is governed by fixed laws, and God himself does nothing contrary to these laws. Thus they represent God as bound by his own laws; as if the operation of divine laws could exclude divine freedom. Such teaching is opposed to the testimony of the Scriptures. Were not miracles wrought by Christ and his apostles? The same compassionate Saviour lives to-day, and he is as willing to listen to the PRAYER of faith as when he walked visibly among men. The natural co-operates with the supernatural. It is a part of God’s plan to grant us, in answer to the PRAYER of faith, that which he would not bestow, did we not thus ask.

Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 353

As the priests morning and evening entered the holy place at the time of incense, the daily sacrifice was ready to be offered upon the altar in the court without. This was a time of intense interest to the worshipers who assembled at the tabernacle. Before entering into the presence of God through the ministration of the priest, they were to engage in earnest searching of heart and confession of sin. They united in silent prayer, with their faces toward the holy place. Thus their petitions ascended with the cloud of incense, while faith laid hold upon the merits of the promised Saviour prefigured by the atoning sacrifice. The hours appointed for the morning and the evening sacrifice were regarded as sacred, and they came to be observed as the set time for worship throughout the Jewish nation. And when in later times the Jews were scattered as captives in distant lands, they still at the appointed hour turned their faces toward Jerusalem and offered up their petitions to the God of Israel. In this custom Christians have an example for morning and evening prayer. While God condemns a mere round of ceremonies, without the spirit of worship, He looks with great pleasure upon those who love Him, bowing morning and evening to seek pardon for sins committed . . .

Testimonies, v. 4, p.267

The minister is not to rule imperiously over the flock entrusted to his care, but to be their ensample, and to show them the way to heaven. Following the example of Christ, he should intercede with God for the people of his care till he sees that his prayers are answered.

Testimonies, v.5, p.161

We must be much in prayer if we would make progress in the divine life. When the message of truth was first proclaimed, how much we prayed. How often was the voice of intercession heard in the chamber, in the barn, in the orchard, or the grove. Frequently we spent hours in earnest prayer, two or three together claiming the promise; . . . Our perils are greater now than then. Souls are more hardened. We need now to be imbued with the spirit of Christ, and we should not rest until we receive it.

Testimonies, v.5, p.454

A great work is to be done, and this work has been entrusted to those who know the truth. They should make mighty intercession with God for help now.

Testimonies, v.9, p.126

In visions of the night, representations passed before me of a great reformatory movement among God’s people. Many were praising God. The sick were healed, and other miracles were wrought. A spirit of intercession was seen, even as was manifested before the great Day of Pentecost. Hundreds and thousands were seen visiting families and opening before them the word of God. Hearts were convicted by the power of the Holy Spirit, and a spirit of genuine conversion was manifest.

Patriarchs and Prophets, p.663

[The nation of Israel] had lost [Samuel] to whom the people had been accustomed to go with their great troubles–lost one who had constantly interceded with God in behalf of the best interests of its people. The intercession of Samuel had given a feeling of security; for “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” James 5:16.

Review and Herald, Oct. 30, 1888

We must have the spirit of supplication to God. The enemy holds many of you from prayer, by telling you that you do not feel your prayers, and that you would better wait until you realize more of the spirit of intercession, lest your prayers should be a mockery. But you must say to Satan, “It is written” that “men ought always to pray, and not to faint.” . . .

Review and Herald, Mar. 24, 1903

Ministers should be instant in prayer. Among the ministers of Christ there is too little prayer, and too much self-exaltation. There is too little weeping between the porch and the altar, crying, “Spare thy people, O Lord, and give not thy heritage to reproach.” Too little is said about the love and compassion of Jesus. Christ is constantly interceding for sinners. Those who co-operate with him must do a work which corresponds to that which he is doing in heaven. Jesus has opened the door of heaven for us, and we may make intercession at the throne of grace, lifting up holy hands without wrath or doubting, presenting before God those for whom we are laboring. And by faith we may see heaven opened, and the glorified Son of God, the High Priest of our salvation, pleading for sinners.

Review and Herald, Dec. 8, 1910

There must be no pretense in the lives of those who have so sacred and solemn a message as we have been given to bear. The world is watching Seventh-day Adventists, because it knows something of their beliefs and of the high standard they have; and when it sees those who do not live up to their profession, it points at them with scorn. God’s people should now make mighty intercession to him for help. It is the privilege of every believer, first to talk with God, and then, as God’s mouthpiece, to talk with others. In order that we may have something to impart, we must daily receive light and blessing.

Signs of the Times, Oct 3, 1892

Talk courage to the church; lift them up to God in prayer. Tell them that when they feel that they have sinned, and cannot pray, it is then the time to pray. . . . The Father has given his Son for us that through the Son the Holy Spirit might come to us, and lead us unto the Father. Through divine agency, we have the spirit of intercession, whereby we may plead with God, as a man pleadeth with his friend.

Pamphlet: An Important Testimony to Our Brethren and Sisters in New York, 1887

A truly Christian life will cost us thoughtfulness, searching of the Scriptures, and most earnest, persevering prayer. It will not be prayer without point and purpose, but it will be the intercession of a heart burdened for poor sinners out of Christ.

Testimonies, v.5, p.452

Those who have access to God through Christ have important work before them. Now is the time to lay hold of the arm of our strength. The prayer of David should be the prayer of pastors and laymen: “It is time for Thee, Lord, to work: for they have made void Thy law.” Let the servants of the Lord weep between the porch and the altar, crying: “Spare Thy people, O Lord, and give not Thine heritage to reproach.” God has always wrought for His people in their greatest extremity, when there seemed the least hope that ruin could be averted. The designs of wicked men, the enemies of the church, are subject to His power and overruling providence. He can move upon the hearts of statesmen; the wrath of the turbulent and disaffected, the haters of God, His truth, and His people can be turned aside, even as the rivers of water are turned, if He orders it thus. Prayer moves the arm of Omnipotence. He who marshals the stars in order in the heavens, whose word controls the waves of the great deep, the same infinite Creator will work in behalf of His people if they call upon Him in faith. He will restrain the forces of darkness until the warning is given to the world and all who will heed it are prepared for the conflict.

Christ’s Object Lessons, p.172

The children of God are not left alone and defenseless. Prayer moves the arm of Omnipotence. Prayer has “subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire” –we shall know what it means when we hear the reports of the martyrs who died for their faith–“turneth to flight the armies of the aliens.” Heb. 11:33, 34.

Signs of the Times, Sept 11, 1893

The church may be composed of those who are poor and uneducated; but if they have learned of Christ the science of prayer, the church will have power to move the arm of Omnipotence. The true people of God will have an influence that will tell upon hearts.

Christ the Medium of Blessing
The Signs of the Times, June 18, 1896

The summing up of the benefit of PRAYER is that devotion that leads to faith in God’s promises. This faith is the key that opens the divine treasury, is the hand by which we appropriate to our use the richest gifts of God. The PRAYER of the contrite heart unlocks the treasure house of supplies, and lays hold of omnipotent power. This kind of PRAYER enables the suppliant to understand what it means to lay hold of the strength of God, and to make peace with him. This kind of PRAYER causes us to have an influence over those with whom we associate. The PRAYER of faith is not listless, dry, and uninteresting. It wells up from perfect trust and assurance, and by its fervor makes manifest to the world, to angels, and to men, that you do believe in God, and have made Christ your personal Saviour.The Lord Jehovah accepts the argument that is presented in the name of his Son, and places the resources of his merit at your command. It is our privilege and duty to bring the efficacy of the name of Christ into our petitions, and use the very arguments that Christ has used in our behalf. Our prayers will then be in complete harmony with the will of God. Then it is that Christ clothes the contrite suppliant with his own priestly vestments, and the human petitioner approaches the altar holding the holy censer, from which ascends the incense of the FRAGRANCE of the merit of Christ’s righteousness.

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