prayer is

I often struggle with what prayer is or should be all about, and it is a frequent topic of discussion with my spiritual director. I was therefore struck by this quote by Abraham Joshua Heschel from The Wisdom of Heschel, courtesy of the good folks at inward/outward.

  Prayer clarifies our hope and intentions. It helps us discover our true aspirations,
the pangs we ignore, the longings we forget.
It is an act of self-purification….
It teaches us what to aspire to, implants in us the ideals we ought to cherish.
Prayer is an invitation to God to intervene in our lives,
to let God's will prevail in our affairs;
it is the opening of a window to God in our will,
an effort to make God the Lord of our soul.
We submit our interests to God's concern,
and seek to be allied with what is ultimately right.

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