A friend recently let me borrow the book, “The Power in Prayer” by Charles Spurgeon. I was really struck by the distinction he makes in these two paragraphs:
“We can, if we think it right, teach our children to ‘say their prayers,’ but we cannot teach them to pray. You may make a prayer book, but you cannot put a grain of prayer into a book, for it is too spiritual a matter to be put on pages. Some of you, perhaps, may read prayers in the family. I will not denounce the practice, but I will say this much about it: you may read those prayers for seventy years, and yet you may never once pray, for prayer is quite a different thing from mere words.
True prayer is the trading of the heart with God, and the heart never comes into spiritual commerce with the ports of heaven until God the Holy Spirit puts wind into the sails and speeds the ship into its haven. ‘Ye must be born again’ (John 3:7). If there is any real prayer in your heart, though you may not know the secret, God the Holy Spirit is there.”