Love to pray –
feel often during the day the need for prayer, and take [the] trouble to pray. Prayer enlarges the heart until it is capable of containing God’s gift of himself. Ask and seek, and your heart will grow big enough to receive him and keep him as your own … The more we receive in silent prayer, the more we can give in our active life. We need silence to be able to touch souls. The essential thing is not what we say, but what God says to us and through us. All our words will be useless unless they come from within – words which do not give the light of Christ increase the darkness.
- from “Something Beautiful for God: Mother Teresa of Calcutta,” by Malcolm Muggeridge
He wants real prayers. Sometimes we think of those eloquent, gracious prayers in sacrament meeting and general conference as the models for our personal prayers. We try to organize our rough thoughts into smooth sentences and it seems hard. We know how to say, “I’m so grateful for our son who is on his mission,” but we might not know how to say, “I’m so scared and so mad about our son who is on drugs.” Heavenly Father wants to hear the scared and mad prayers just as much as he wants to hear the grateful prayers.
When Jesus was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, he was honest about how hard the Atonement was going to be for him when he prayed that the cup might pass from him. He struggled with a “very heavy” burden of feelings, saying, “My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death,” and he prayed, “Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me” (Mark 14:33-34, 36). He was honest about how much he didn’t like what was happening; and I think it’s because of his honesty that we so revere the love and humility revealed by the rest of his prayer: “Nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt (Mark 14:36).
- from Sanctuary, page 18-19 by Chieko Okazaki