Just a contribution.
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Mythbhavd has posted a rather good essay on prayer, and, in particular, The Lord's Prayer. I found it an excellent and worthwhile read. Please allow me to add an experience of my own.
I have a friend, Leonard, who has been my friend for the past twenty years. Leonard is Hebrew, as is his wife, Faye. They are Reformed. About ten years or so ago, we were having a quiet dinner on his deck with pleasant conversation. Leonard is very active with his congregation, and present at the dinner was his Rabbi. The Rabbi was in his mid-forties, and he and his wife are a wonderfully charming couple.
The topic of conversation turned to prayer. Being the only one raised in a Christian household, I wisely chose to listen and not comment. Well, the Rabbi managed to drag me into the thing, and, as I was (and still am) actively exploring my own spirituality, I managed to make a few neutral comments. My intent was not to offend or hurt in any and every possible way.
After one comment by Leonard, the Rabbi chose to tell a brief story. I found the story wonderful. I will share it here.
It seems, one day, that the Lord and Peter were in a room engaged in the very same conversation that we were having at dinner. As the room was rather warm, Peter requested a window be opened. The Lord said yes, and Peter picked a window and opened it.
Immediately their ears were assaulted by a cacophony that would awaken the dead. There were bands playing, cymbals crashing, guns being fired, and, amidst all of this noise, people were shouting.
"Help me! Save me! Protect me! Give me! I need this! I need that! Grant this! If you will give me this, I will do that!"
Peter looked at the Lord, and the Lord merely smiled. Peter found the noise offensive, and so he closed the window.
"Lord," he asked, "what was that sound?"
"Oh, just some people who think they are praying. They are quite loud. They must think I am deaf."
Peter crossed the room and opened another window. Hoping for quiet and fresh air, Peter was quite shocked by the sound that this window revealed.
The sound was soft and low. It was a small child, quietly weeping. Peter sat and listened. The child wept for a long time, and, finally, fell asleep. Peter did not move; he did not want to break the beauty of the silence and wanted to retain the memory of that sound. Finally, he looked at the Lord.
"Lord," he whispered, "what was that beautiful sound?"
The Lord smiled.
"You really don't know, do you, Peter?"
"No, Lord, I do not."
The Lord smiled again.
Peace and good health to all of you and your loved ones.