Pride and Prayer

“I had a talk yesterday with Tom about prayer, or rather about the contemporary obsession with the ‘problem of prayer’. I am sure that this contemporary prayer is rooted in the same old pride. The essential in it is missing – one’s submersion into God. A person praying like this is affirming himself in prayer, is searching for himself, is loving himself, is proving something to himself. Then he becomes interested in prayer and studies its technique. O Lord, how much in religion makes me….sick!” (The Journals of Father Alexander Schmemann, p 128)

Our immediate goal when we pray is to put ourselves in the presence of God.  Then it is to know God.  In prayer, we are not searching for our self, we are always seeking God.  We don’t aim to make God the servant of our will and wants, but to make ourselves God’s servants in order to do God’s will.  Prayer is thus always relational – it is not about technique, but about maintaining one’s relationship with the Living God.