The Heart of a Simple Prayer
Thou shalt make thy prayer unto Him, and He shall hear thee.
Bible, Job 22:27
A tale told by mystics of many cultures is about the disciple who, while praying to his Lord for the inner secret of prayer, received the call to seek out a shepherd living in the mountains many miles away. The disciple travelled long and climbed the mountains and when he had found the shepherd, told him that he had been sent to learn the inner secret of prayer.
“But I do not have such a secret, for I do not even know how to read,” the shepherd innocently replied.
Amazed, the disciple asked, “How do you pray, if you don’t know how to read the prayers?”
The shepherd hung his head and answered in a very soft voice:
“I recite the alphabet, for that is all I know. When I pray, I beg in my heart, over and over again, ‘Dear God, please take these letters and form them into prayers for me that will sparkle like gems and be fragrant with the sweetest of scents to reflect the love in my heart for you.’”
Upon hearing this, the disciple understood that the inner secret of prayer is that God recognizes only the simple prayer of a humble heart and not words covered with pride, offered by the learned.