Praying_HandsWe have a way of bringing into the uncharted land of prayer a false map of what prayer should be like. This expectation is useless, yet we nevertheless use it as the measure by which we judge our prayer. “If I am doing this correctly, my prayer ought to be this way.” This judgment is simply a thought, and it is important to see it as just a thought. John Chapman writes in his Spiritual Letters, “One must do [this practice] for God’s sake; but one will not get any satisfaction out of it in the sense of feeling ‘I am good at prayer,’ ‘I have an infallible method.’ That would be disastrous, since what we want to learn is precisely our own weakness, powerlessness, unworthiness. And one should wish for no prayer, except precisely the prayer that God gives us — probably very distracted and unsatisfactory in every way.”

— Martin Laird, Into the Silent Land