I look back at how I used to pray as a kid and have to face-palm it out pretty good (with a chuckle, of course).
I used to think if I recited enough Hail Mary’s, Our Fathers, and Acts of Contrition, the old man upstairs himself (who, in that moment, had directed his focus from all of the dying and hungry people in the world) would tally up a count sheet before throwing his arms in the air, “Holy hell, Jonas, you WON! Now, what do you want me to give you?”
The J-man said it himself,
And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.
As I wrote the other night, sometimes the best invocations are the shortest.
One word. Or one glance. Or one eye-locking gaze with your beautiful child. Or one embrace with that special person that anchors your shared humanity in this life.
It’s the juju behind it that makes for good prayer. It’s the transformation it brings within that makes it as powerful as it is. True prayer is answered before it leaves the lips.
Save the repetitions for the gym.