Prayer is likely to be undervalued by all but wise people because it is so silent and so secret. We are often deceived into thinking that noise is more important than silence. War sounds far more important than the noiseless growing of a crop of wheat, yet the silent wheat feeds millions, while war destroys them. Nobody but God know how often prayers have changed the course of history. Many a man who prayed received no credit excepting in heaven. We are tempted to turn from prayer to something more noisy like speeches or guns, because our motives are mixed. We are interested in the making of a better world, of course, but we also want people to give us credit for what we have done.
Secret prayer for others all during the day is an acid test of our unselfishness. Our little selves must fade out, leaving a self-forgetting channel, through which God’s warmth flows unhindered in lovely unending prayer. The highest form of communion is not asking God for things for ourselves, but letting him flow down through us, out over the world—in endless benediction.
—Frank Laubach, Prayer: The Mightiest Force in the World
Photo credit: Keith Ewing, Creative Commons via Flickr