What is the use of praying if at the very moment of prayer, we have so little confidence in God that we are busy planning our own kind of answer to our prayer?

The prayer that has most of all sustained me in the last twenty years of my spiritual journey is the prayer of silence and surrender. Over and over thousands of times I have made to God a symbolic gesture of my intention to lay down my grasping and clinging by repeating silently the sacred word I have carried with me for the past two decades.

In my twenty minutes of prayer at least twice a day, as I have become conscious of being preoccupied with my thoughts, my schemes, my dreams, and the demands I make upon life, I have sought to let go of the chattering of my mind and return to a surrendered silence in the presence of God.

But, silence has not been my only prayer. I have prayed a multitude of prayers in which I have beseeched God’s favour, blessing, and cooperation. I have expressed to God my desire for healing, my own and the healing of those I love and care for. I have pleaded for world peace, for sanity in the human community, for wisdom and guidance in my life and family. I have pounded on the door of heaven demanding justice in the midst of heartbreaking wrong and praying for the witness of Christ’s church in the confusion of the world.

I have sought God to change me and give me a heart of peace in the midst of turmoil.

No doubt many of these prayers have been self-serving and disingenuous. And almost certainly many of them have been only half prayed while the other half of me was seeking a way to solve the problem I was trying to give to God or fix the pain I was hoping God might heal.

It is true my “confidence in God” has at times wavered. But, I have returned again and again to kneel at the edge of the throne and open my heart to a power greater than myself. In this I have been honest and, despite the poverty of my understanding and the inadequacy of my trust, my heart has been sincere.

What attitude characterizes my prayer life?

What expectations do I bring to prayer?

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