"Devote yourself to prayer, being watchful and thankful." Paul (Colossians, 4:2)
Many believers would like to use the prayer as if they were mobilizing a broom or a hammer.
They expect immediate results, without being aware of any prior preparatory effort. Others persevere in the repetition of the prayer while frightened and in anguish. They waste effort and consume valuable energy in unjustifiable affliction. They visualize only the evil and the shadows, and never take the time to examine the tender young sprout of the Divine seed or the close or remote possibility of goodness. They incarcerate themselves on the "wrong side" and, sometimes, lose an entire existence without the effort of transferring themselves to the "right side."
What probability of success could be provided to the needy one that shouts out a prayer with evident symptoms of an imbalance? A prudent concessionary, to begin with, would delay the solution, prudently awaiting serenity to return to the petitioner.
The words of Paul in this sense are clear.
"Devote yourself to prayer, being watchful and thankful." It is imperative to recognize that to praise is not solely the utterance of beautiful expressions; it is also to be happy, while in actual combat for the victory of goodness, expressing gratitude to God for the motive of the suffering and sacrifice, seeking to find the advantages that adversity and the efforts brought to the spirit.
Let us ask Jesus for the gift of peace and happiness; but let us not overlook glorifying the supreme designs, each time that His merciful and Just Will clashes with our inferior objectives. Let us be convinced that a prayer contrived of desperate thoughts and inopportune demands is destined to the renovating floor as occurs to an unproductive flower that the winds blow away.
XAVIER, Francisco Cândido. Our Daily Bread. By the Spirit Emmanuel. Spititist Alliance for Books, 2003. Chapter 108.