What is prayer?
I make a list:
Fruitless whining and puling
There the list breaks off; I had found my word. Prayer only looks like an act of language; fundamentally it is a position, a placement of oneself. Focus. Get there, and all that's left to say is the words. They come: from ancient times (here, the round of Psalms, wheeling through the seasons endlessly in the Office), from the surprisingly eloquent heart (taciturn Thomas last night with his intercession, precise as a poet), from the gush and chatter of the day's detail longing to be rendered.
--Patricia Hampl, Virgin Time: In Search of the Contemplative Life