"Pray, v. To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy."
(Ambrose Gwinett Bierce / 1842-1914 / The Devil's Dictionary)
"Prayer is of no avail. The lightning falls on the just and the unjust in accordance with natural laws."
(Robert Green Ingersoll / 1833-1899)
"Prayer, among sane people, has never superseded practical efforts to secure the desired end."
(George Santayana / 1863-1952 / Imaginative Nature of Religion)
"The prayer is the softest consolation of the unhappy one; he becomes more stronger when he has done this duty."
(The Marquis of Sade / 1740-1814 / Justine / 1788)
"O Lord our God, help us tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it..."
(Mark Twain / 1835-1910 / The War Prayer)
"Man is a marvelous curiosity ... he thinks he is the Creator's pet ... he even believes the Creator loves him; has a passion for him; sits up nights to admire him; yes and watch over him and keep him out of trouble. He prays to him and thinks He listens. Isn't it a quaint idea."
(Mark Twain / 1835-1910 / Letters from the Earth)
"I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: 'O, Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.' And God granted it."
(Voltaire / 1694-1778 / Letter to M. Damilaville / May 16, 1767)
"The prayer of the innocent has no wings."
"Most people like short prayers and long sausages."
"A pack of cards is the devil's prayer book."