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Related to prayer: The Lord's Prayer

have a prayer

To not have any chance at all of doing or achieving something. Almost always used in the negative. With that giant supermarket opening up across the street, our little grocery store won't have a prayer of staying open. You think you can beat me? Ha! You don't have a prayer.
See also: have, prayer

in (one's) prayers

A phrase often used to express one's sympathy for someone else, especially someone who has just suffered a tragic loss or is otherwise experiencing a painful or challenging time. I'm so sorry to hear about your mom, Ellen. You're in my prayers. A: "I can't believe the Millers' house burned down." B: "I know, it's horrible. They're in all of our prayers."
See also: prayer

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

not a prayer

Little or no chance or possibility (of succeeding, coming to pass, or achieving something). There's not a prayer of them getting into the playoffs this year. A: "Do you think there's any chance they'll convict the CEO?" B: "Not a prayer—he's too rich and powerful."
See also: not, prayer

not have a prayer

To be completely impossible or incredibly unlikely; to have no chance whatsoever. With the way that the other team has been playing, I'm afraid our guys don't have a prayer. That bill doesn't have a prayer of passing.
See also: have, not, prayer

on a wing and a prayer

Without much preparation (and thus little hope of success). I didn't have time to edit my term paper so I just submitted it on a wing and a prayer.
See also: and, on, prayer, wing

prayer bones

One's knees, as it is most common to prayer while kneeling. Sometimes written as one word. I was down on my prayer bones all night asking God for advice on what to do. Church has always been a regular fixture of this community, getting together each Sunday and getting down on our prayer bones together.
See also: bone, prayer

the/an answer to (one's) prayer(s)

The perfect solution to a desperate need. Can be used literally (when one has actually prayed) or in a more figurative sense. I really believe this job was the answer to my prayer for a better life. This grant is an answer to our prayers. The center can stay open now!
See also: answer

thoughts and prayers

A phrase often used as part of an attempt to comfort someone who has just suffered a tragic loss, as in, "Our thoughts and prayers are with you." The frequent use of the phrase or similar expressions by politicians after mass shootings in the US has increasingly been criticized by those who believe it is used to avoid pursuing tangible actions, notably changes to gun laws. You can keep your thoughts and prayers, senator—they won't give me my sister back.
See also: and, prayer, thought
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

not have a prayer

If you say that someone does not have a prayer, you mean that it is impossible for them to achieve something. The team was on such good form, their opponents didn't have a prayer. He did not seem to have a prayer of regaining the world title.
See also: have, not, prayer

on a wing and a prayer

If you do something on a wing and a prayer, you do it in the hope that you will succeed, even though you do not have what you need to do it. Dozens of airlines have entered the industry on a wing and a prayer, and dozens have gone bankrupt. In the past, teams have been run on a wing and a prayer. Note: This is the title of a song by H. Adamson, written in 1943, which referred to the emergency landing of an aircraft: `Tho' there's one motor gone, we can still carry on, Comin' In On A Wing And A Pray'r.'
See also: and, on, prayer, wing
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

not a hope (or chance) in hell

no hope (or chance) at all. informal
An elaboration of this phrase is not a snowball's chance in hell .
See also: hell, hope, not

not have a prayer

have no chance at all of succeeding at something. informal
1998 Oldie Show them you can re-programme the computer to eliminate the Millennium Problem and you are in. Confess that you don't even know how to turn it on, and you haven't a prayer.
See also: have, not, prayer

on a wing and a prayer

with only the slightest chance of success.
This expression comes from the title of a 1943 song by the American songwriter Harold Adamson , ‘Comin' in on a Wing and a Prayer’. He himself took it from a contemporary comment made by a wartime pilot speaking to ground control before making an emergency landing.
See also: and, on, prayer, wing
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

the ˌanswer to somebody’s ˈprayers

a thing or a person that somebody has waited for or wanted for a long time: If you’ve been looking for a good quality fleece at a reasonable price, this one could be the answer to your prayers.
See also: answer, prayer

not have a ˈprayer (of doing something)

have no chance of succeeding: She’s done no work at all this term, so she doesn’t have a prayer of passing her exams.
See also: have, not, prayer

on a ˌwing and a ˈprayer

with only a very slight chance of success: He started the business in his own home, on a wing and a prayer, but it looks like he’s really going to make a success of it.This expression was first used in the military to describe how pilots flying very badly damaged planes succeeded in returning to base.
See also: and, on, prayer, wing
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

not a hope in hell

No chance at all. This term, with such variations as not a snowball’s chance in hell, has been used since the early twentieth century. The OED cites O. Onions, Peace in Our Time (1923), as its first appearance in print: “‘I rather fancied Lovelightly.’—‘Lovelightly? Not a hope in Hell!’”
See also: hell, hope, not
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
Others think that prayer is a matter of rattling off our entreaties and petitions to God.
According to customers, they travel to the market from nearby towns to buy prayer mats and prayer beads in bulk.
Awwabin Prayer (Salat-ul-Awwabin): Salat-ul-Awwabin is the Sunnah prayer which is offered between Maghreb and Isha prayers.
Prayer is an act of worship and could be described as the "breathing" of the church.
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The dates and venues are: Thursday, May 10; Sileby 10am to noon, prayer coffee morning.
They said the Ministry of Religious Affairs had been unfair by rejecting their demand to enforce prayer breaks in offices, markets and other places.
Abu Dhabi: General Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, will perform the Eid Al Adha prayer at the Shaikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi.
These are some of the top-read special prayers on the prayer website.
to have the resolution in the heart to do something, and to be determined to do it without hesitation."" Therefore, whoever wants to pray the Friday prayer, he should intend in his heart to pray the Friday prayer; by doing so, he would have made the required intention.
The Majlis has now banned all aircraft flights during the morning pre-dawn prayers.
Prayer is an integral aspect of teacher faith formation and spiritual development.
Best selling author, Kimberly Daniels, has compiled a collection of actual prayers generated during seasons of prayer with her intercessory prayer team.
Previous research has demonstrated a connection between prayer and personality type.