Just as thieves do not lightly attack a place where they see royal weapons prepared against them, so he who has grafted prayer into his heart is not easily robbed by the thieves of the mind.
St. Mark the Monk1
How much prayer is enough? If "total minutes prayed" is not the standard, by what do we measure the quality of our prayer lives?
The question of quality struck me recently while jogging. I realized my nine-minute miles take over twice as long as the ones run by marathoners, and they run twenty-six miles compared to my three. I am not a marathoner and have no immediate intention of becoming one. So their standard means little to me except to remind me of increasing age.
But between gasping breaths, I decided I should be measured against some standard. If not an Olympic standard, an age-graded standard? (Average thirty-eight-year-olds run a mile in so many minutes.) A magazine editor's standard? A Christian jogger's standard?
Or should it be a personalized, subjective standard? How I feel ...1