prayer

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not a hope in hell

Absolutely no possibility of succeeding, coming to pass, or achieving something. There's not a hope in hell that you'll find me living in this town after I graduate.
See also: hell, hope, not

in someone's prayers

[of someone] remembered and called by name when someone prays. I am sorry to hear of your sickness. You will be in our prayers. The whole family is in my prayers because they have suffered so much.
See also: prayer

*on a wing and a prayer

Fig. to arrive or fly in with one's plane in very bad condition. (Sometimes used fig. of other vehicles. *Typically: come (in) ~; arrive ~.) Finally we could see the plane through the smoke, coming in on a wing and a prayer.
See also: and, on, prayer, wing

the answer to your prayers

exactly what is needed or wanted These new artificial hearts are amazing, but are they the answer to our prayers?
Usage notes: sometimes used in the form the answer to something's prayers: Each new technology has been introduced as the answer to education's prayers.
See also: answer, prayer

not have a prayer

to have no chance With an injured ankle, he doesn't have a prayer of winning the race.
Usage notes: sometimes used without not: Do we have a prayer of convincing him to go?
See also: have, not, prayer

the answer to somebody's prayers

someone or something that someone has needed very much for a long time A new supermarket delivery service was the answer to my prayers.
See have a lot to answer for
See also: answer, prayer

not have a prayer

to be not at all likely to succeed (often + of ) She hasn't a prayer of winning the competition.
See also: have, prayer

on a wing and a prayer

if you do something on a wing and a prayer, you do it hoping that you will succeed although you are not prepared enough for it With scarcely any funding and a staff of six, they operate on a wing and a prayer.
See also: and, on, prayer, wing

not a hope in hell

Also, not a prayer. No chance at all, as in There's not a hope in hell that we have a winning bid, or If you don't watch the conductor you won't have a prayer of coming in on time. The first term was first recorded in 1923, the second in 1941. Both allude to the chance for heavenly salvation. Also see snowball's chance in hell.
See also: hell, hope, not

prayer, not a

see under not a hope in hell.
See also: not
References in classic literature ?
It is the hour of prayer and I have not yet washed myself.
So he went back in anger, and Apollo, who loved him dearly, heard his prayer.
Father Jove, if I ever did you service in word or deed among the immortals, hear my prayer, and do honour to my son, whose life is to be cut short so early.
Why do you expose me to it during prayers and in God's house?
His life in solitude was hard--not on account of the fasts and the prayers (they were no hardship to him) but on account of an inner conflict he had not at all anticipated.
And anyhow I'd always be too tired at night to bother saying prayers.
I fear that this was in some measure owing to the fact that Tom could probably have thrashed any boy in the room except the prepostor; at any rate, every boy knew that he would try upon very slight provocation, and didn't choose to run the risk of a hard fight because Tom Brown had taken a fancy to say his prayers.
No, it seems to be beginning again," he thought, listening to the prayers.
If the Eternal Ear could ever tire it would have ceased long ere this to listen to Deacon Milliken, who had wafted to the throne of grace the same prayer, with very slight variations, for forty years.
Men who their hands, with prayer and blessing, lay On Israel's ark of light.
He had inherited from his mother some acquaintance with medicinal herbs and their preparation--a little store of wisdom which she had imparted to him as a solemn bequest--but of late years he had had doubts about the lawfulness of applying this knowledge, believing that herbs could have no efficacy without prayer, and that prayer might suffice without herbs; so that the inherited delight he had in wandering in the fields in search of foxglove and dandelion and coltsfoot, began to wear to him the character of a temptation.
It includes, for instance,-- what is a command, a prayer, a statement, a threat, a question, an answer, and so forth.
Then she heard the muttered words of prayer, in the midst of which she started, and would have arisen.
I thank you, good deities," said the Herdsman, continuing his prayer, "for showing me the thief.
5) And so hail to you, lord: in my song I make my prayer to thee!