One spiritual writer notes that we are often in the habit of praying for lesser gifts when God wants us to want the greatest gift – Himself. Direct from You, the answer to all our prayers is: “Here I am.”
As one grows in the life of prayer there is a peculiar twinge of guilt that resonates about our prayers of petition. When once we have entered even the outer fringes of contemplative prayer, there is something in us that wants to label the daily routines of life as more trivial than previously supposed, and we begin to think that if others realized this they’d not ask us to pray for their successful surgery, or whatever. But our petitions are motivated by our desire of the best for those we love, yet we lack a clear understanding of the fact that each of us already has access to the best and no one else can pursue it for us.
In a proper understanding of the nature of prayer it just may be that itemized lists of petitions miss the point. There is a world of difference between reaching out to touch You and reaching out to put the touch on You. I know I will not stop the daily mantras of my morning and nighttime lists of prayers. I know I will not stop when people ask me for my prayers. There are plenty of times in the relationship between lover and loved one that are moments of “small talk” or non-intimate conversation – conversation that is about daily life, about our health, our friends, what we did, and where we are going. Would we, with You, want less to engage in such conversation? I don’t think so and I don’t think You think so. You let us hear from You through Your life on earth and from things You whisper to us from time to time. We like to let You hear from us about our lives. A prayer life based totally on expectations of receiving something is a one-sided conversation - a monopoly of any spiritual dialogue, and a blatant assertion of our own selfishness. You are always there.