Between faith and prayer

By Paulo Coelho

‘Is there anything more important than prayer?’ a disciple asked his teacher.

The teacher told the disciple to go to a nearby tree and cut off a branch. The disciple obeyed.

‘Is the tree still alive?’ asked the teacher.

‘As alive as it was before.’

‘Then go over there and slice through its roots.’

‘If I do that, the tree will die.’

‘Prayers are the branches of a tree whose roots are called Faith,’ said the teacher. ‘Faith can exist without prayer, but prayer cannot exist without faith.’

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  1. Mariam Genena says:

    I like what you said and i do believe in it, but eventually the roots and the tree must grow branches or else it would be dead, there’s no living roots if there are no branches.

  2. raj says:

    Faith does not depend on a clever head,only belief : belief in the self and the strength that lies within.
    Faith is the seed of victory and the foundation of making impossible > possible.

    bless you

  3. ANITA says:

    hi my name is ANITA im from iran.i realy love your books and you too.
    it was one of my wishes to speak with you .
    Im realy strange in your books.
    In all of biginnig of my books i leaved a messagen for you !!!
    you and yor books has changed my life and my atittude .
    yor one of my gods sign

  4. Agnieszka says:

    Can YOU believe me..
    when I pray?
    Can YOU see..
    what it means to me..
    when I can..
    say the words,
    and do things
    make me say?

  5. ” the prayers is the mind of faith”
    الصلاة مخ العبادة” El Slat Mo7′ El 3ebada”
    also that Communicating with god is through Praying asking him all the time 24/24
    and when u pray u r almost that mighty cauze u r askin no one but ALLAH , u grow strong out of communicating with ALLAH , u r not askin any ordinary one, u r soul 2 soul with GOd praing 2 him, and u r very important 2 him :)))
    luv u all

  6. Yajna says:

    Dearest Paulo and friends,

    Belief is of vital importance for anything to occur.
    Doubt of any sort, poses a large threat in any situation.

    Thank you for being

  7. Nancy says:

    I agree in some way to what everyone has posted. It is great to read insightful information. Society will not crumble completely.

  8. …beautiful analogy…I love having these little gems of knowledge handy so that I can pass them on to others.
    Thanks, Paulo…abrigado.

  9. vicky says:

    Roots need acceptance

    Too often we try to transplant ourselves in other soil, leaving our root no chance to anchor.


  10. Liara Covert says:

    We all carry burdens for the purpose of our own learning. The nature of our revelations depends on whether we open ourselves to the source of the light.

  11. Agnieszka says:


    “Faith can exist without prayer, but prayer cannot exist without faith.”

    Faith is this light we have inside, if we want to acknowledge it of course, if we accept it.
    If we desire… to see it, to feel it.
    The more we feel it, the closer we become to The Light, to God.
    We may not pray certain way, but we still may feel it with all our heart, our soul, and express it with our silent conversations, listening, …by love.

    Saying prayer without feeling it deeply is senseless, empty.
    It’s like telling someone you love him, when you’re not.


  12. Tania says:

    And the leaves and the fruit we bear is our soul made visible for all to see…Blessings Tania . Here is one of my mother earth healing cards – Today I stand so very tall to be love and admired by all..
    Today I stand so very tall, just like a tree I cannot fall.. Blessing Tania

  13. A.V.C. says:

    To me, an effective prayer involves receiving just as much as transmitting.

    Perhaps “faith” could be thought of as the received knowledge that the transmission will be made effective.

  14. A.V.C. says:

    I think that effective prayers involve receiving just as much as transmitting.

    To me, “faith” is the received knowledge that the transmitted message will be made effective.