The Quotable Moody

Dwight L. Moody

Dwight L. Moody

Dwight L. Moody

A prolific speaker and author, American evangelist Dwight Lyman Moody also maintained extensive correspondence with family and friends. The great body of his work has given us many quotes that are both inspiring and informative. Many of Moody’s letters can be found online in the D. L. Moody Digital Archives, providing greater insight and context into the life and times that surround these quotes.

D. L. Moody Quotes

 “… will you ask them to pray for me.  This state is a grand field to work in and I want power from on High to preach as never before.  Also will you ask them to pray for Mexico.  I am to go there in April and I want the Lord of the Harvest to get the ground ready of the seed of the Kingdom.” 

– D.L. Moody, in correspondence with Henry F. Cutler regarding Moody’s work in Texas and Mexico


“Before we pray that God would fill us, I believe we ought to pray Him to empty us.”

– D.L. Moody, Secret Power


“There are many of us that are willing to do great things for the Lord, but few of us are willing to do little things.”

– D.L. Moody


“So few grow, because so few study.” 

– D. L. Moody, Pleasure and Profit in Bible Study


“I have always been an ambitious man … ambitious to leave no wealth or possessions, but to leave lots of work for you to do.”

– D.L. Moody’s words to his children before his death as, quoted in The Life of D.L. Moody


“There is plenty of opportunity in this fallen world to perform works of mercy and religion.”

– D.L. Moody


“The central idea of the Northfield Conferences is Christian unity … but it is understood that along with the idea of Christian unity goes the Bible as it stands.”

– D.L. Moody quoted in The Life of D.L. Moody


“Too frequently when Christians get together they seek for points upon which they differ, and then go at it …The Christian denominations too often present a spectacle of a political party split into factions and unable to make an effective fight.”

– D. L. Moody quoted in The Life of D.L. Moody


“So, if we only lead one soul to Christ, we may set a stream in motion that will flow on when we are dead and gone …”

– D.L. Moody, The Overcoming Life


“I should like to see a wave surging from Maine to California sweeping thousands into the Kingdom of God.”

– D.L. Moody


“I have never known the Spirit of God to work where the Lord’s people were divided.”

– D. L. Moody, Secret Power


“Cling to the whole Bible, not a part of it.  A man is not going to do much with a broken sword.”

– D.L. Moody


“Every time the reverent heart reads the Bible, its words come fresh from the lips of God, always new.”

– D.L. Moody


“If you will read your Bible in light of Calvary, you will find there is no other way of coming to heaven but by the blood.”

– D.L. Moody


“Reading the Bible and remembering the poor—a combination of faith and works—will always bring joy.”

– D.L. Moody


“Many people have the Bible in their heads, or in their pockets; but we need to get it down into our hearts.”

– D.L. Moody


“When I pray, I talk to God, but when I read the Bible, God is talking to me … I believe we should know better how to pray if we knew our Bibles better.”

– D.L. Moody


“Bear in mind there is no situation in life for which you cannot find some word or consolation in Scripture.”

– D.L. Moody


“So there is a scarlet thread running all through the Bible—the whole book points to Christ.”

– D.L. Moody


“When I was young I thought it was hard that I had lost my father, but now I believe I would not be where I am if I had not been thrown on to myself early in life …”

– D.L. Moody


“… the thought that you may be cut down unsaved troubles me.  I do hope you will take the gift of God and live forever.  That is the prayer of your father as he travels west … God bless you and save you my dear son and I shall be the happiest father on earth.”

– D.L. Moody


“There are many of us that are willing to do great things for the Lord, but few of us are willing to do little things.”

– D.L. Moody


“Faith makes all things possible … love makes all things easy.”

– D.L. Moody


“Sometimes you can take one hundred members into the Church, and they don’t add to its power.  Now that is all wrong.  If they were only anointed by the Spirit of God, there would be great power if one hundred saved ones were added to the Church.”

– D. L. Moody


“Parents would think it a great calamity to have their children born dumb; they would mourn over it, and weep; and well they might; but did you ever think of the many dumb children God has?  The churches are full of them; they never speak for Christ.  They can talk about politics, art, and science; they can speak well enough and fast enough about the fashions of the day, but they have no voice for the Son of God.”

– D. L. Moody


“Doctor Gordon of Boston used to say that as you passed along Washington street … you might see stores with the card in the window, ‘To rent, with or without power,’ and any one could rent the store, and by paying something extra could have power furnished from the engine in the rear.  Doctor Gordon thought it would be a good thing to ask man and women when they joined the church if they wanted to be a member on the “with power” or the “without power” basis, and if the latter, to tell them there were no vacancies for that kind in the church, it already had too many members without power.”

– D.L. Moody


“The men who have studied the Bible for fifty years have never got down to the depths of it yet.  There are truths there that the church of God has been searching out for the last nineteen hundred years, but no man has yet fathomed the depths of the ever-living stream.”

– D.L. Moody


“A great many think that we need new measures, new churches, new organs, new choirs, and all these new things.  That is not what the Church of God needs today.  It is the old power that the apostles had.  If we have that in our churches, there will be new life.

“… I heard two or three men stand up and say, ‘We had a new minister last Sunday—the same old minister, but he had got new power,’ and I firmly believe that is what we want today all over America—new ministers in the pulpit and new people in the pews.  We want people quickened by the Spirit of God.”

– D.L. Moody


“The Spirit of God doesn’t work where there is division, and what we want today is the spirit of unity amongst God’s children, so that the Lord may work.”

– D.L. Moody


“Well, what we need as Christians is to be able to feed ourselves.  How many there are who sit helpless and listless, with open mouths, hungry for spiritual things, and the minister has to try to feed them, while the Bible is a feast prepared, into which they never venture.”

– D.L. Moody


“So there is a scarlet thread running through the Bible—the whole book points to Christ.”

– D.L. Moody


“Read the Bible, my friends, as if you were seeking for something of value.  It is a good deal better to take a single chapter, and spend a month on it, than to read the Bible at random for a month.”

– D.L. Moody


“There is no class of people exempt from broken hearts.  The rich and the poor suffer alike.  There was a time when I used to visit the poor that I thought all the broken hearts were to be found among them, but within the last few years I have found there are as many broken hearts among the learned as the unlearned, the cultured as the uncultured, the rich as the poor.”

– D.L. Moody


“You cannot heal the brokenhearted without the Comforter …”

– D.L. Moody


“I have seen many Christian men on the plain of Ono, men who were doing a splendid work but had been switched off.  Think how much work has been neglected by temperance advocates in this country because they have gone into politics and into discussing woman’s rights and woman’s suffrage.  How many times the Young Men’s Christian Association has been switched off by discussing some other subject instead of holding up Christ before a lost world!  If the church would only keep right on and build the walls of Jerusalem they would soon be built.  Oh, it is a wily devil that we have to contend with!  Do you know it?  If he can only get the church to stop to discuss these questions, he has accomplished his desire.”

– D.L. Moody


“A great many people are afraid of the will of God, and yet I believe that one of the sweetest lessons that we can learn in the school of Christ is the surrender of our wills to God, letting Him plan for us and rule our lives.”

– D.L. Moody


“I know of nothing that speaks louder for Christ and Christianity than to see a man or woman giving up what they call their rights for others, and ‘in honor preferring one another.’”

– D.L. Moody


“There was a time when I used to think more of the love of Jesus Christ than of God the Father.  I used to think of God as a stern judge on the throne, from whose wrath Jesus Christ had saved me.  It seems to me now I could not have a falser idea of God than that.”

– D. L. Moody


“When I came to Jesus Christ, I had a terrible battle to surrender my will, and to take God’s will.  When I gave up business, I had another battle for three months; I fought against it.  It was a terrible battle.  But oh! how many times I have thanked God that I gave up my will and took God’s will.”

– D.L. Moody


“If we make a full surrender, God will give us something better than we have ever known before.  We will get a new vision of Jesus Christ, and will thank God not only in this life but in the life to come.”

– D.L. Moody


“It doesn’t take long to build the walls of a city if you can only get the whole of the people at it.  If the Christians of this country would only rise up, we could evangelize America in twelve months.”

– D.L. Moody


“Don’t be kept out of the kingdom of God or out of active Christian work by the scorn and laughter and ridicule of your godless neighbors and companions.”

– D.L. Moody


“The trouble nowadays is that it doesn’t mean anything to some people to be a Christian.  What we must have is a higher type of Christianity in this country.  We must have a Christianity that has in it the principle of self-denial.  We must deny ourselves.  If we want power, we must be separate.”

– D.L. Moody


“… the great Emperor of heaven is here, and if you put down all your sins and multiply them by ten thousand, He will pay it and shelter you underneath the blood of Jesus Christ, which cleanseth us from all sin.”

– D.L. Moody


“Many men want a religion in which there is no cross, but they cannot enter heaven that way.”

– D.L. Moody


“I tell you the moment a man breaks away from this doctrine of blood, religion becomes a sham, because the whole teaching of this book is of one story, and this is, that Christ came into the world and died for our sins.”

– D.L. Moody


“We want a Christianity that goes into our homes and everyday lives.  Some men’s religion just repels me.  They put on a whining voice and a sort of a religious tone, and talk so sanctimoniously on Sunday that you would think they were wonderful saints.  But on Monday they are quite different.  They put their religion away with their clothes, and you don’t see any more of it until the next Sunday.”

– D.L. Moody


“Religion as an abstraction, as a doctrine, has little interest for the world, but what people can say from personal experience always has weight.”

– D.L. Moody


“… if we only lead one soul to Jesus Christ we may set a stream in motion that will flow on when we are dead and gone.”

– D.L. Moody


“So if you turn one to Christ, that one may turn a hundred; they may turn a thousand, and so the stream, small at first, goes on broadening and deepening as it rolls toward eternity.”

– D.L. Moody


“There used to be a period when people came to meeting brining their candles with them.  The first one, perhaps, wouldn’t make a great illumination, but when two or three got there, there would be more light.  If the people of Boston should do that now, if each one should come here in this tabernacle, with a candle, don’t you think there would be a little light.”

– D.L. Moody


“A lighthouse does not have a drum beaten or a trumpet-blown in order to proclaim the proximity of a lighthouse: it is its own witness.  And so if we have the true light in us it will show itself.  It is not those who make the most noise who have the most piety.”

– D.L. Moody


“We are nothing, but Christ is everything, and what we want is to keep in communion with Him and let Christ dwell in us richly and shine forth through us.”

– D.L. Moody


“We see very few illuminated Christians now.  If everyone of us was illuminated by the Spirit of God, how we could light up the churches!  But to have a lantern without any light, that would be a nuisance.”

– D.L. Moody

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Dwight L. Moody had a way with words. Sincerity, earnestness, and relatability were hallmarks of Mr. Moody’s preaching and writing. While many of D.L. Moody’s most inspiring statements are available online, there are hidden treasures amidst the Moody Center’s D.L. Moody Digital Archives.

The quotes in Reading Mr. Moody’s Mail are all taken from Moody’s letters. Some are more mundane than others, but each serves as a window into the life of a man from Northfield who resolved to be overshadowed by God for the sake of the gospel.

Did you know?

D.L. Moody only had a 5th grade education

Dwight L. Moody was born in Northfield, Massachusetts to Edwin and Betsey Moody in 1837. His father passed away when Dwight was only four years old, leaving his mother to raise her nine children alone. She struggled to provide schooling for her children, leaving Dwight with only a fifth grade education. When he turned 17, D.L. Moody moved to Boston to work in his uncle’s shoe store. Converted at age 18 by his Sunday school teacher, Moody left for Chicago.

In 1856, he established what would eventually become the Moody Memorial Church in Chicago. He soon left his shoe-making business to focus on his work as an evangelist- and the rest is history. Despite his lack of education, D.L. Moody changed the lives of many people all over the U.S. He never got tired of sharing the Gospel, even preaching six sermons a day shortly before he passed away.