„I pray because I can't help myself. I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God- it changes me.“

William Nicholson18
British screenwriter, playwright and novelist 1948
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„This is the prayer I pray to God every day, “Lord help me to see M. L. King as M. L. King in his true perspective.” Because if I don’t see that, I will become the biggest fool in America.“

—  Martin Luther King, Jr. American clergyman, activist, and leader in the American Civil Rights Movement 1929 - 1968
Context: One of the problems that I have to face and even fight every day is this problem of self-centeredness, this tendency that can so easily come to my life now that I’m something special, that I’m something important. Living over the past year, I can hardly go into any city or any town in this nation where I’m not lavished with hospitality by peoples of all races and of all creeds. I can hardly go anywhere to speak in this nation where hundreds and thousands of people are not turned away because of lack of space. And then after speaking, I often have to be rushed out to get away from the crowd rushing for autographs. I can hardly walk the street in any city of this nation where I’m not confronted with people running up the street, “Isn’t this Reverend King of Alabama?” Living under this it’s easy, it’s a dangerous tendency that I will come to feel that I’m something special, that I stand somewhere in this universe because of my ingenuity and that I’m important, that I can walk around life with a type of arrogance because of an importance that I have. And one of the prayers that I pray to God everyday is: “O God, help me to see myself in my true perspective. Help me, O God, to see that I’m just a symbol of a movement. Help me to see that I’m the victim of what the Germans call a Zeitgeist and that something was getting ready to happen in history; history was ready for it. And that a boycott would have taken place in Montgomery, Alabama, if I had never come to Alabama. Help me to realize that I’m where I am because of the forces of history and because of the fifty thousand Negroes of Alabama who will never get their names in the papers and in the headline. O God, help me to see that where I stand today, I stand because others helped me to stand there and because the forces of history projected me there. And this moment would have come in history even if M. L. King had never been born.” And when we come to see that, we stand with a humility. This is the prayer I pray to God every day, “Lord help me to see M. L. King as M. L. King in his true perspective.” Because if I don’t see that, I will become the biggest fool in America.

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„I try to be a Christian... I don't pray really, because I don't want to bore God.“

—  Orson Welles American actor, director, writer and producer 1915 - 1985
Quoted in interview by Merv Griffin, from Frank Brady, Citizen Welles: A Biography of Orson Welles, Charles Scribner's Sons: New York, NY (1989), page 576.

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„As I lay me down to sleep
This I pray
That you will hold me dear“

—  Sophie B. Hawkins American musician 1967
Context: As I lay me down to sleep This I pray That you will hold me dear Though I'm far away I'll whisper your name into the sky And I will wake up happy

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„I don’t see myself as a yoga person or a man who meditates and prays and eats well and says “Namaste” or “God bless you.” I became that because I exhausted all other options.“

—  Russell Brand British comedian, actor, and author 1975
Context: "I don’t see myself as a yoga person or a man who meditates and prays and eats well and says “Namaste” or “God bless you.” I became that because I exhausted all other options. There was a point, I’ll admit, when I flung myself full force into an L. A. New Age lifestyle. I’d just got divorced, and a movie I wanted to do well didn’t meet my expectations. My response to this was to stop shaving and start wearing pajamas outdoors. That is relatively typical behavior for any lunatic; we see them everywhere—twitching, twisting, hollering at their imagined foes. The difference is I was doing it in Hollywood and my pajamas looked suitably ethnic, so I think I got away with it. Although my mates have subsequently told me they were worried and, thinking about it, they did drop hints like “Trim your beard, you look like a shoe bomber” and “Stop wearing them gap-year trousers, you fuckin’ nut,” but I was immune. A friend of mine, himself no stranger to mental illness, and that’s putting it lightly—he’s a right fucking fruitcake, living at his mum’s on disability benefits—said to me, “In India if you have a mental breakdown, they don’t build you back up again; they leave you in communion with God.” He then looked up, mimicking, I supposed, an Indian yogi, and raised his hands and eyes skywards as if he were playing a tiny accordion just in front of his hairline. “They say, ‘Ah, he’s in conversation with Brahman now,’ and they revere you. In this country they just give you a bus pass.”

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„You’re saying God is all made up, but okay, who cares? People say, “I can’t pray because I feel like I’m talking to myself.” The rabbi would say, “Pray! That’s so good. Go talk to yourself.”“

—  Abby Stein Trans activist, speaker, and educator 1991
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„I just take one day at a time, pray, and know that whatever happens is God's will, so there's nothing I can do to change that.“

—  Javon Ringer All-American college football player, professional football player, running back 1987
Quoted here http://www.ncaa.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/092108acj.html

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„I'm just afraid that I may not have the strength to do this job. After you leave me tonight, Jimmy, I am going to pray. I am going to pray that God will help me, that he will give me the strength and the guidance to do this job and to do it right. I hope that you will pray for me, too, Jimmy.“

—  Franklin D. Roosevelt 32nd President of the United States 1882 - 1945
Talking to his son James http://politicalwire.com/archives/2008/11/04/fear_and_strength.html on the night of his landslide victory over Herbert Hoover (8 November 1932), as quoted in Traitor to His Class: The Privileged Life and Radical Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (2008) by H. W. Brands

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—  Harriet Tubman African-American abolitionist and humanitarian 1820 - 1913
As quoted in Scenes in the Life of Harriet Tubman (1971), by Sarah Hopkins Bradford, Freeport: Books for Libraries Press, <!-- (orig. pub. 1869) ISBN 0-8369-8782-9,--> pp. 14-15.

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