“Prayer is no small bond of love for God, developing in us the habit of converse with him and encouraging the pursuit of wisdom.… We are, however, not as aware as we should be of the benefit of prayer, for the reason that we neither apply ourselves to it with assiduity nor have recourse to it in accord with God’s laws. Typically, when we converse with people of a class above us, we make sure that our appearance and gait and attire are as they should be and dialogue with them accordingly.
When we approach God, by contrast, we yawn, scratch ourselves, look this way and that, pay little attention, loll on the ground, do the shopping. If on the contrary we were to approach him with due reverence and prepare ourselves to converse with him as God, then we would know even before receiving what we asked how much benefit we gain.… [In receiving prayer] God, after all, looks not for beauty of utterance or turn of phrase but for freshness of spirit; even if we say what just comes into our mind, we go away with our entreaties successful.”
(St. John Chrysostom)