Faith-Inspiring Quotes On Prayer From C.S. Lewis

woman praying - Faith-Inspiring Quotes On Prayer From CS Lewis

According to the C.S. Lewis Institute, Clive Staples Lewis was a humble, even shy, man, who spoke little about his personal life. He is said to have thought himself to be just an ordinary man, a simple Christian with no frills, not anybody special, and not even considering himself to be a theologian. 

Most of what we know about C.S. Lewis’s views on prayer are pulled from his writings, either books or letters that he wrote. C.S. Lewis believed that prayer should be a natural part of being a true Christian, to the point where believers just do it, without making a big deal of it. 

C.S. Lewis Quotes On Prayer

From his writings, we find out that C.S. Lewis took prayer very seriously, and felt that when a person prays with serious intention and concentration, either for themselves or in intercession for another, that person is changed and enters into a special relationship with the sovereign God.

Prayer Basics

Prayer truly is a basic thing to the spiritual life. It is simply talking to God. Whether out loud or silent, quickly blurted out or prayed earnestly in a real concentration of will, a prayer is heard by God through what He knows is in the heart of the one praying. The idea of prayer can be intimidating, but even our small prayers, even a split second of prayer, can pack a wallop that moves heaven and earth and changes what might have happened otherwise. 

“Say a child’s prayer if you can’t say a man’s.” 

C.S. Lewis, Perelandra

“A concentrated mind and a sitting body make for better prayer than a kneeling body and a mind half asleep.” 

C.S. Lewis, Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer

“Meantime, however we want to know not how we should pray if we were perfect, but how we should pray being as we now are… It is of no use to ask God with a fastidious earnestness for A when our whole mind is in reality filled with the desire for B. We must lay before him what is in us, not what ought to be in us.” 

C.S. Lewis, Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer

“For after all, everything—even virtue, even prayer—has its dangers and if one heeds the grain of truth in the Enemy propaganda, one can never do anything at all”. 

C.S. Lewis

“Words without thoughts never to heaven go,’ says the King in Hamlet. Simply to say prayers is not to pray; otherwise a team of properly trained parrots would serve as well as men” 

C.S. Lewis, The World’s Last Night: And OtheR Essays

“If they are wrong they need your prayers all the more; and if they are your enemies, then you are under orders to pray for them. That is one of the rules common to the whole house.” 

C.S. LEwis, Mere Christianity

“It is much easier to pray for a bore than to go visit him.” 

C.S. Lewis, Letters To Malcolm: Chiefly On Prayer

Petitionary Prayer and Answers

In these quotes on petitionary prayer, Lewis shows us how the simplest request, when made from the heart, can demonstrate the strong power of prayer. We may see immediately answered prayers, long-awaited answers, or no answers in this lifetime. The result of our prayers is entirely in the hands of God. That’s what prayer is all about, isn’t it?

“I sometimes pray not for self-knowledge in general but for just so much self knowledge at the moment as I can bear and use at the moment; the little daily dose.” 

C.s.lewis, Letters to malcolm: chiefly on prayer

“Prayer in the sense of petition, asking for things, is a small part of it; confession and penitence are its threshold, adoration its sanctuary, the presence and vision and enjoyment of God its bread and wine.” 

C.S. Lewis, How To Pray: Reflections And Essays

“In Gethsemane the holiest of all petitioners prayed three times that a certain cup might pass from Him. It did not.” 

c.s.lewis, the world’s last night: and other essays

“For prayer is request. The essence of request, as distinct from compulsion, is that it may or may not be granted.” 

c.s.lewis, letters to malcolmL chiefly on prayer

“They have always come in when things were at their worst. Oh if only they could now. ‘And he called out ‘Aslan! Aslan! Aslan! Come and help us now!’
But the darkness and the cold and the quietness went on just the same.
‘Let me be killed,’ cried the King. ‘I ask nothing for myself. But come and save all Narnia.’ And still there was no change in the night or the wood, but there began to be a kind of change inside Tirian. Without knowing why, he began to feel a faint hope. And he somehow felt stronger. ‘Oh, Aslan, Aslan,’ he whispered. ‘If you will not come yourself, at least send me the helpers from beyond the world. Or let me call them. Let my voice carry beyond the world.” 

c.s.lewis, the last battle

Adoration and Praise 

Giving praise to God is not optional, it’s frequently not easy, and in particular moments can be downright grueling. However, giving praise to our Heavenly Father is a gift for the one praying. It opens doors we never imagined as God sees our heartfelt praise to God’s glory as the most important part of the prayer, and praise is the greatest gift we can give Him. 

“People are merely “amusing themselves” by asking for the patience which a famine or a persecution would call for if, in the meantime, the weather and every other inconvenience sets them grumbling. One must learn to walk before one can run. So here. We – or at least I – shall not be able to adore God on the highest occasions if we have learned no habit of doing so on the lowest. At best, our faith and reason will tell us that He is adorable, but we shall not have found Him so, not have “tasted and seen.” Any patch of sunlight in a wood will show you something about the sun which you could never get from reading books on astronomy. These pure and spontaneous pleasures are “patches of Godlight” in the woods of our experience.” 

c.s.lewis, letters to malcolm: chiefly on prayer

Prayer changes things

Praying makes all the difference, not only in our situations but in our attitudes. Prayer can turn things around by putting a stop to the destruction of the enemy’s plans for us. When we don’t know what we should say in prayer, the Holy Spirit helps us out so that we don’t need the words.  Our greatest work is simply to pray. 

“There is no question whether an event has happened because of your prayer. When the event you prayed for occurs, your prayer has always contributed to it. When the opposite event occurs, your prayer has never been ignored; it has been considered and refused, for your ultimate good and the good of the whole universe.”

c.s.lewis, how to pray: reflections and essays

“One of the purposes for which God instituted prayer may have been to bear witness that the course of events is not governed like a state but created like a work of art to which every being makes a conscious contribution, and in which every being is both a means and an end.” 

C.S. Lewis, Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer

“When you ask me to pray for you—I don’t know if you are serious, but the answer is yes, I do. It may not do you any good, but it does me a lot, for I cannot ask for any change to be made in you without finding that the very same needs to be made in me; which pulls me up also by putting us all in the same boat, checks any tendency to priggishness.”


“Prayer doesn’t change God, it changes me.” 


God knows our hearts. Whether we offer up wordy petitions or consider ours to be the worst prayers – well, either of these is insignificant. Prayer is not about fancy words or the amount of time we spend praying. Prayer is the way that mere human beings can communicate with the God who created the universe. And that’s pretty awesome – the best thing ever. 

I hope you enjoy these Christian quotes on prayer. I have been richly rewarded as I read through many more C.S. Lewis quotes on prayer than what I have included here. I myself have read several of Lewis’ books, and am looking forward to a few more that I have placed in my reading queue. 

The man C.S. Lewis, an English professor who was once an atheist, explored Christianity and eventually wrote volumes of books, including the Chronicles of Narnia, The Screwtape Letters, Mere Christianity, his own story in Surprised By Joy, along with many others. We now know him as a great Christian apologist and author. 

Several Other Articles On Prayer

How To Start Prayer Journaling

Simple Daily Prayers For Your Husband

Praying At All Times: Lessons From Nehemiah

C.S. Lewis Quotes On Prayer Pinterest Pin
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