Cold prayers, like cold suitors, are seldom effective in their aims.

What did Elisabeth Elliot mean by:

Cold prayers, like cold suitors, are seldom effective in their aims.


This quote draws a parallel between prayers and suitors, suggesting that the effectiveness of both is largely dependent on the warmth and passion behind them. In the context of a suitor, ‘cold’ implies a lack of enthusiasm or genuine feeling. Similarly, a ‘cold’ prayer is one that lacks sincerity or fervor. The quote suggests that just as a suitor who is indifferent or unenthusiastic is unlikely to win the heart of their beloved, a prayer that is recited without true devotion or belief is unlikely to be effective.

This idea can be applied in many aspects of today’s world. In personal development, it emphasizes the importance of passion and sincerity in achieving one’s goals. Just as a ‘cold’ prayer or suitor is ineffective, setting goals without genuine interest or enthusiasm is unlikely to yield successful results. It suggests that we should pursue our goals with warmth and passion, rather than simply going through the motions.

In a broader societal context, this quote could be interpreted as a critique of performative or insincere actions. For instance, in the world of social media, it’s easy to make grand gestures or statements without any real conviction or action to back them up. This quote is a reminder that true effectiveness comes from sincerity and passion, not from empty words or gestures.

In both cases, the quote serves as a call to be genuine and passionate in our actions, whether that’s in our personal goals, our relationships, or our contributions to society. It’s a reminder that sincerity and enthusiasm are key to effectiveness, and that going through the motions without real conviction is unlikely to yield the results we desire.

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