Beautiful thoughts on prayer in today's Living Faith by Adrienne von Speyr, probably taken from a book entitled "Light And Images":
"Not everyone who says to me, "Lord, Lord," will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven." -- Matthew 7:21
"Christ himself teaches us a new way to pray. He shows us how to say the Father's prayer. He also showed us his own prayer as a Son, a prayer that grows out of his vision and perfectly grasps the Father's will, a prayer that has appropriated this will and can thus become our model for how God's will ought to be understood in the world. Here we can be raised up beyond our own level and brought into God's level, and we can even acquire a grasp of God's eternal will. We do not grasp this with our natural reason, but with our "prayer-reason". Prayer carries us beyond ourselves and places us in this grasp, without our even becoming aware of it. We are placed on the path of obedience, and obedience allows us to receive a share of God's omniscience. In a certain respect, when we pray wholeheartedly "Thy will be done", it means also that we receive a sense for this will... we are brought into this will... we carry out this will even if we don't know where it is taking us."
Another beautiful piece on prayer by Demetrius Dumm, osb, in his book, "Praying The Scriptures", which we are reading for LRSS these few months:
"There is a delightful story from the Desert Fathers that tells us much about the gift of equanimity that can come from praying. It seems that there was a young monk, newly arrived in Eqypt, who wanted to find holiness in the shortest possible time. But he had a difficulty with his prayers. So he consulted an old monk about his problem. He told the old man that he found it very difficult to say the joyful psalms on days when he felt sad, and conversely that he found it very difficult to say the sad psalms on days when his mood was joyful.
"So he proposed a solution and asked for the old monk's approval. Could he perhaps say joyful psalms only when he felt joyful and could really put his heart into his prayers? And then he would say the sad psalms when he felt sad and could be in tune with their attitude. Of course, he would be careful to say all one hundred fifth psalms each day as required of good monks.
"The old monk thought for a moment and then said, "My son, it is clear that you have much to learn about prayer. Don't you understand that it is precisely on your bad days that you should be saying the joyful psalms and it is precisely on your joyful days that you should pray the sad psalms? For you need to be reminded that you are not the only person on earth and therefore when you are sad you need to join those who are happy and pray the joyful psalms with them, and when you are light-hearted you need to think of those who are heavyhearted and praise God with them. In this way you will be delivered from your self-centredness and have some hope of achieving the holiness you seek." "