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The Variety of Practice

True prayer is not to be found in the words of the mouth, but in the thoughts of the heart.
Gregory the Great1
To generalize is to be an idiot. William Blake1

Four of us sat at breakfast not long ago. Two of my companions were pastors; the third was a new Christian trying to quit smoking. As he lit up his fourth post-breakfast cigarette, he commented: "Quitting smoking is as hard as trying to develop a prayer life. I've been trying to do that lately, too. Do you guys have any suggestions on how to establish a regular prayer life?"

Asking two pastors for spiritual counsel is like asking an insurance agent about pension plans. Paul took the lead:

"I've struggled for twenty years with a need for regularity and consistency in my prayer life. I longed for an intense, quality time with the Lord. The image that kept running through my mind was that of Adam meeting the Lord in the cool of the day.

"In an attempt to achieve that, I tried particularly hard to get up early in the morning for prayer. ...

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