I really do love to pray. I seek to find new ways of talking with God, new disciplines that can aid in my devotion and help me deal with my own nature and the external forces I struggle with.
I love the following quote from St. Teresa:
When I was crossing into Gaza, I was asked at the check-post whether I was carrying any weapons. I replied: “Oh yes, my prayer books.” Mother Teresa*
But our Lord warns us against prayer that is babble, that is formulated on the concept that prayer in a certain manner guarantees we will be heard. The revelation of the entire Scripture makes it clear, God can, and has, turned the divine presence away from those whose prayers are self-serving or in any way an attempt at manipulation (magic).
Prayer must have a foundation in respect, in humility, and in a sincere outpour of our heart. God hears prayers when we are angry if our prayers are a sincere expressing of our pain and sense of injustice. God hears our prayers when we doubt, hears our prayers when we are places of darkness. We can beat our chest, use our beads, read our book, write our words, gaze lovingly at our icons, or simply empty our minds and God will listen depending on our heart.
The “Our Father” is a prayer filled with words of respect, of need, of fear, and of intercession. It is the model prayer given to us as an instrument to be spoken to our creator over and over. It is a prayer that honors God. It is a prayer spoken to God by God thus it is truth and offers a path of sincerity if we but take its words seriously.
“Deliver us from evil,” I cry, while making the sign of the cross.
*Pascoe, Sam C.. Our Anglican Heritage, Second Edition: Can an Ancient Church be a Church of the Future? (p. 30). Cascade Books, an imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers. Kindle Edition.