11 Quotes on Prayer from Teresa of Avila

Teresa of Avila was a Spanish Carmelite nun born in 1515. She was a theologian who focused on mental prayer where one loves God and spends time in His presence though dialogue, meditating on the Word and contemplating His face. Her books on prayer have been considered Christian classics.

“You pay God a compliment by asking great things of Him.”

“Prayer and comfortable living are incompatible.”

“Mental prayer is, as I see it, simply a friendly intercourse and frequent solitary conversation with Him who, as we know, loves us.”

“Souls without prayer are like people whose bodies or limbs are paralysed: they possess feet and hands but they cannot control them.”

“This Beloved of ours is merciful and good. Besides, he so deeply longs for our love that he keeps calling us to come closer. This voice of his is so sweet that the poor soul falls apart in the face of her own inability to instantly do whatever he asks of her. And so you can see, hearing him hurts much more than not being able to hear him… For now, his voice reaches us through words spoken by good people, through listening to spiritual talks, and reading sacred literature. God calls to us in countless little ways all the time. Through illnesses and suffering and through sorrow he calls to us. Through a truth glimpsed fleetingly in a state of prayer he calls to us. No matter how halfhearted such insights may be, God rejoices whenever we learn what he is trying to teach us.”

“Union is as if in a room there were two large windows through which the light streamed in it enters in different places but it all becomes one.”

“It is foolish to think that we will enter heaven without entering into ourselves.”

“The closer one approaches to God, the simpler one becomes.”

“For prayer is nothing else than being on terms of friendship with God.”

“It is of great importance, when we begin to practise prayer, not to let ourselves be frightened by our own thoughts.”

“May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content knowing you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.
It is there for each and every one of us.”

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Esther Laurie
Esther Laurie is a staff writer at ChurchLeaders.com. Her background is in communication and church ministry. She believes in the power of the written word and the beauty of transformation and empowering others. When she’s not working, she loves running, exploring new places and time with friends and family. It’s her goal to work the word ‘whimsy’ into most conversations.